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Boris Johnson news – live: PM ‘selling out’ workers, says Labour as Tories urged to alter ‘anti-refugee bill’


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Labour has accused Boris Johnson of “selling out” workers by not attempting to end the “firing and rehiring” of staff on reduced terms.

Writing in The Independent, Labour leader Keir Starmer said the pandemic was being used as a “smokescreen” to erode workers’ rights, with 3 million employees told to reapply for their jobs since March last year.

He added that “unscrupulous bosses” were pressuring workers into taking worse pay and conditions.

Mr Starmer’s remarks come ahead of a debate on the issue in parliament on Friday.

Meanwhile, dozens of celebrities – including Olivia Colman and Stephen Fry – have urged the prime minister to make Britain’s asylum system fairer and more compassionate.

In a letter, they told the government to “think again” about its “anti-refugee” Nationality and Borders bill, which in their view seeks to turn away those “in desperate need of safety”.

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Kuenssberg to step down as BBC political editor, reports suggest

Laura Kuenssberg is in talks to step down as BBC political editor, it has been reported.

A source told the Guardian that the move would come as part of a wider reshuffle of senior figures.

One contender for Ms Kuennsberg job is Jon Sopel, who will soon finish his role as the broadcaster’s North America editor.

Rory Sullivan22 October 2021 09:20

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Inside Politics

Here’s Matt Mathers with a round-up of today’s main political stories:

Rory Sullivan22 October 2021 09:00

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Tory reforms reallocated school cash from poor to wealthy areas, MPs find

Tory reforms to education funding have reallocated cash from poorer to wealthier areas, a cross-party committee has found.

The Public Accounts Committee said the government’s formula had slashed funding in the most deprived areas by 1.2 per cent, but increased it by 2.9 per cent in the most affluent places.

This comes as the government continues to claim it is “levelling up” the country.

In response to the committee’s finding, Kate Green, the shadow education secretary, said: “With the gap in learning between children on free school meals and their peers widening throughout the pandemic it couldn’t be clearer the government has got the wrong priorities for school funding.”

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:

Rory Sullivan22 October 2021 08:38

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UK to deepen investment ties with India

Foreign secretary Liz Truss will use a two-day visit to India to boost trade links between the countries.

She will also try to persuade India’s environment minister Bhupender Yadav to make further green pledges ahead of the Cop26 climate change conference.

“I want the UK and India to step up their partnership in critical areas like technology, investment, security and defence,” Ms Truss said.

Rory Sullivan22 October 2021 08:20

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Celebrities urge government to reconsider ‘anti-refugee’ bill

More than 40 celebrities have urged Boris Johnson to rethink the government’s “anti-refugee” Nationality and Borders Bill.

They said the proposed law, which is passing through parliament, would endanger people who are in “desperate need of safety”.

“Now is not the time to turn them away. Now is the time to offer our hand in kindness and protection. We urge you to think again,” they wrote.

My colleague Lamiat Sabin has more details:

Rory Sullivan22 October 2021 08:03

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PM ‘selling out’ workers, says Labour

Keir Starmer has accused the prime minister of “selling out” workers by not doing more to end the “awful” practice of “fire and rehire”, writes Ashley Cowburn.

In an article for The Independent, the Labour leader said “unscrupulous bosses” were forcing staff to accept lower wages.

He pointed out that 3 million employees have been told to reapply for their positions since the start of the pandemic.

Rory Sullivan22 October 2021 07:50

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Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live politics coverage from Westminster and beyond.

Rory Sullivan22 October 2021 07:45



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