Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.


Tory leadership race - live: Mordaunt criticised for supporting homeopathy on NHS

Foreign secretary vows to axe tax hike and national insurance rise

Jane Dalton,Andy Gregory,Joe Middleton
Saturday 16 July 2022 13:40 BST
‘Borrowing your way out of inflation is a fairytale’: Sunak and Truss clash over economy plan

Tory leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt has been criticised for her support of homeopathy on the NHS.

Homeopathy is a treatment based on using diluted amounts of natural substances, but is not currently funded by the NHS due to its “lack of effectiveness”.

Ms Mordaunt has advocated the practice according to an analysis of her parliamentary record and past comments, and was one of 16 supporters of a motion in the House of Commons criticising the British Medical Association for withdrawing NHS support for homeopathy, in June 2010.

Meanwhile, Liz Truss has pledged that families could receive tax breaks of up to £2,500 to help them take time out of work to look after children or other family members.

Ms Truss has promised a radical overhaul of the taxation system if she gets into Downing Street that would also include ditching green levies on energy bills and reversing an increase to national insurance.

It comes after the five contenders to become the UK’s next prime minister clashed over tax cuts and Boris Johnson’s honesty in a debate on Friday night.

A snap Opinium poll found 36 per cent of viewers believed Tom Tugendhat performed best – while just 10 per cent of Tory voters said the same of Ms Truss.


No 10 refuses to deny reports PM holding party for supporters at Chequers this weekend

Downing Street did not deny that Boris Johnson is hosting a party for supporters at Chequers over the weekend.

Asked about reports, a No 10 spokesman said: “As is usual practice, any political events would be for my political colleagues, it wouldn’t be a question for me, but I confirmed that the PM will be in Chequers over the weekend.”

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 12:34

Most Ukrainian refugees in UK say they don’t have money to support themselves for next three months

Most Ukrainian refugees in the UK say they don’t have enough money to support themselves and their families for the next three months, a new survey shows.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also indicate that people who have come to Britain after fleeing Putin’s invasion have struggled to access healthcare.

The survey of 3,412 individuals on both the Ukraine family scheme and the Homes for Ukraine scheme found that 37 per cent reported they have enough money to support themselves and their dependents for the next three months – indicating that nearly two-thirds do not.

May Bulman reports.

Most Ukrainian refugees in UK ‘don’t have enough money for next three months’

ONS data suggests majority of Ukrainians struggling financially, while most working-age refugees are currently working or were very likely or likely to look for work in the UK in the next month

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 12:25

Westminster is ‘tying itself in knots’ over trans rights, says Mordaunt

Tory leadership contender Penny Mordaunt said Westminster is “tying itself in knots” over the issue of trans rights.

She was asked by Sky News if trans women are women.

Ms Mordaunt said: “Some people who are born male will go through a process to transition into another gender and they are issued a legal document in their new gender. They are not biological women like me, but the law recognises them in their new gender and that’s very simple and straightforward. And Westminster is tying itself in knots over it.”

Asked if trans women can be legally women, she said: “Legally but not biologically. And we are not equivalent in that respect. And I mean, people should look at my record on this. I was raising, for example, the issue of trans people competing against women in sport many years ago.”


Joe Middleton15 July 2022 12:10

Who do you think will win the Tory leadership race? Have your say

The Tory leadership hopefuls have been whittled down to five and are preparing for two live televised debates before another vote on Monday.

And we want to know who you think is going to win the contest to be party leader and therefore our next prime minister.

Let us know by clicking the link below and voting in the poll.

Who do you think will win the Tory leadership race? Have your say

We have a final five candidates in the running to be the UK’s next prime minister. Cast your vote now

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 11:54

Mordaunt said leadership rivals fear her the most and she is not scared of becoming prime minister

Penny Mordaunt has said her leadership rivals are trying to stop her getting to the final round of the leadership contest because they fear her the most in a head-to head battle and that she is not scared on taking on the top job.

Initially seen as an outsider, the trade minister is now tipped as one of the candidates who could make it to the final two, displacing foreign secretary Liz Truss.

She told Sky News that she is “running a positive campaign” and accused her leadership rivals of conducting a “black ops” campaign that could damage the Tory party.

“People obviously are trying to stop me getting into the final because they don’t want to run against me,” she said.

In an interview with Sky News, she said she had been “beavering away” at her junior ministerial job in recent years, when asked about her low-profile compared to rivals Ms Truss and former chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“I have just been getting on with my job, but I have thought long and hard about what this country needs.”

“I feel really compelled to do this. It would be a huge honour to be prime minister.”

She said she was not scared about the prospect of entering Number 10.

“We have all this opportunity ahead of us, so I would so proud to do that job. It is the best country in the world.”

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 11:29

Boris Johnson is on his way out – but the Tory rot runs deeper than one leader

The decision by Boris Johnson to block a vote of no confidence shows he is ending his political career as he conducted it: rule-breaking, undemocratic and opposed to all accountability. Of course the Tories backed his decision.

The signal the Labour Party was trying to send remains. There cannot be any confidence in a government that has done such damage to our country since it was elected in just December 2019.

Similarly, in a reversal of the New Labour theme song, there is confidence that things can only get worse under any of the possible successors to Boris Johnson, writes Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy.

Equally clear is the signal that Labour is the alternative, that we stand ready, that we can win the next general election. On all current polling we are likely to win.

This is the very good reason that it is extremely unlikely there will be a snap election called by the eventual victor in the Tory party race, and why the vote of no confidence was blocked. It has nothing to do with stability or constitutional propriety. It has everything to do with electoral calculation and the risk of a Tory drubbing.

Opinion: Johnson is on his way out – but the Tory rot runs deeper than one leader

There can be no confidence in any of the contenders for the Tory leadership. It will be more of the same, or worse

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 10:57

Kemi Badenoch should not be judged for a lack of experience, says Tory MP

Tory MP Justin Tomlinson denied that Kemi Badenoch, one of the contenders to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader, should be judged for a lack of experience.

He told Times Radio: “The most important part of experience is pure ability, and I didn’t know Kemi personally before I supported her campaign, but I’ve seen her first-hand - select committees, despatch box, inter-ministerial meetings - and she really stood head and shoulders above many of our very talented colleagues.

“She has had two years’ more experience than both David Cameron and Tony Blair, who both went and did very well in elections.

“And, ultimately, this all comes down to elections. We’re facing an unprecedented fifth term, and to do that we need a fresh start, where we’ve fully renewed.

“Nobody offers a better chance, particularly for my Red Wall and Blue Wall colleagues, to make sure they are re-elected.”


Joe Middleton15 July 2022 10:35

What time are the Tory leadership debates and how can I watch them?

Just five candidates remain in the Conservative Party leadership race following Thursday’s second round of voting.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, attorney general Suella Braverman, ex-health secretaries Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt and transport secretary Grant Shapps have already dropped out after failing to amass the support needed.

That leaves ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak as the front-runner to replace Boris Johnson, the very man whose resignation last week marked the beginning of the end for the scandal-hit prime minister.

Junior trade minister Penny Mordaunt, foreign secretary Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat make up the rest of the pack.

The contest now reaches its TV debate stage, with the surviving quintet squaring up three times in five days to thrash out their policy positions on key areas of national concern such as the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine and the recent resurgence of coronavirus.

Joe Sommerlad has the details.

How can I watch the Tory leadership debates?

Channel 4, ITV and Sky News all hosting showdowns as contest heats up

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 10:21

Partygate: MPs investigating Boris Johnson demand photographs and PM’s diaries

MPs investigating whether Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament over the Partygate scandal have demanded a tranche of documents, including the prime minister’s diaries and photographs of events.

The Committee of Privileges wrote to Mr Johnson and the cabinet secretary, Simon Case, on Friday to seek documents before beginning its evidence sessions in September — after the summer recess.

Ordering No 10 to release documents, MPs requested Mr Johnson’s diaries for eight dates, including the 19 June 2020 when a birthday gathering was held in the Cabinet Room for the prime minister.

Ashley Cowburn has the latest on this breaking story.

MPs investigating Boris Johnson over Partygate demand photos and PM’s diaries

MPs investigating whether Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament over the Partygate scandal have demanded a tranche of documents, including the prime minister’s diaries and photographs of events.

Joe Middleton15 July 2022 10:10

It will be a ‘key weekend' for Tugendhat, says Tory MP

Tory MP Jake Berry said it will be a “key weekend” for Tom Tugendhat as live debates begin in the Conservative Party leadership contest.

He said it has been an “extraordinary performance” for Mr Tugendhat to get this far.

“He has had so much support from across the party, and wider, in terms of being able to get into this phase and to set out his case,” he told Sky News.

“It is all up in the air,” he said.

Mr Berry said it is up to the other candidates to prove they have fresh ideas for the party.

“I think the sense of a clean break is immensely important.”


Joe Middleton15 July 2022 10:03

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in