EXCLUSIVE with @oliver_wright

Boris Johnson asked Sir Alex Allan to tone down report which found Priti Patel had bullied civil servants

‘He didn’t think Alex’s findings accorded with the evidence

‘He spoke to Alex and asked him if he’d change the tone of it. Alex said no’
Whitehall sources told The Times that Boris Johnson asked Sir Alex Allan to change his report to state that there was not clear evidence of bullying at home office

Sir Alex refused and said he’s quit if the PM overruled him - which is exactly what happened today
No 10 tonight confirmed Boris Johnson spoke to Sir Alex about report but did not comment on whether he asked him to tone it down

‘As you would expect, the PM spoke to Sir Alex Allan to further his understanding of the issues

‘Sir Alex’s conclusions are entirely his own’
You can read our report here:

Priti Patel: Defiant Boris Johnson digs in over bullying


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More from @Steven_Swinford

30 Oct
EXCLUSIVE with @elliotttimes

Boris Johnson is preparing to introduce national lockdown restrictions from next Wednesday

The restrictions could see everything except nurseries, schools, universities and non-essential shops close until Dec 1

PM presser on Monday
Boris Johnson held a meeting this afternoon with Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove & Matt Hancock

They discussed new NHS data which shows hospitals are being overwhelmed

Ministers left feeling they have no choice but to implement national restrictions
PM said to be very reluctant to move to national lockdown restrictions but data has left him and other ministers feeling like there’s no choice

Jonathan Van Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, told ministers on Thursday morning that coronavirus is 'out of control'
Read 5 tweets
29 Oct
EHRC antisemitism report:

* Serious failings in leadership & an inadquete process for handling complaints

* Political interference in complaints

* There were 'unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination'

* Culture which 'at worst' could be said to accept anti-Semitism
The EHRC found *23* instances of political interference by Labour staff in anti-semitism cases, including decisions over whether to investigate or suspend

'We concluded that this was indirectly discriminatory and unlawful, and that Labour was legally responsible for it'
Antisemitism by 'ordinary' labour members:

* Diminished scale of Holocaust

* Expressed support for Hitler

* Compared Israelis to Hitler

* Claimed there was a 'witch hunt' in party

* Conspiracy theories about Rothschilds & Jewish power

* Used Zio as anti-semitic term
Read 4 tweets
29 Aug

Boris Johnson has been directly warned by Tory MPs that an algorithm at the heart of his planning reforms risks 'destroying suburbia' and creating 'slums of the future'

PM held a video conference call with 17 Tory MPs from London on Wednesday

Tory MPs, who included four serving ministers, warned reforms would see tower blocks built in the suburbs

They said the targets under the algorithm are so big they could see poor quality, rabbit hutch homes

All London Tory MPs & councillors planning joint consultation response
Boris Johnson said he was in 'listening mode' said he understood concerns

Pushed on the algorithm at the heart of the reforms, the PM joked: 'Algorithms are banned'

Tory MPs said Robert Jenrick, who was also on the call, was far more 'defensive' about the algorithm
Read 4 tweets
29 Aug

England could face nationwide restrictions and extensive local lockdowns in event of 2nd coronavirus wave this winter, Matt Hancock warns

Under 'reasonable worse case scenario' UK could see surge in coronavirus at same time as bad flu outbreak

Hancock on 2nd wave:

'This is reasonable worst-case scenario: we have bad flu and growth in coronavirus as people spend more time indoors

'Cases go up, we have to use extensive local lockdowns or take further national action

'We don’t rule that out but we don’t want to see it'
Matt Hancock also says that under 'central' scenario vaccine won't get regulatory approval until 'some time next year'

He says social distancing rules are here for the 'forseeable' and suggests he doesn't expect grandparents to be able to hug grandchildren at Christmas
Read 6 tweets
22 Aug

Boris Johnson resisting calls by Rishi Sunak to suspend pensions triple lock amid fears of backlash from older voters

Sunak has described it as an ‘anomaly’ and warned cost will soar

Johnson concerned about breaking manifesto commitment

Boris Johnson wants to retain triple lock because it is a manifesto pledge

‘The PM hates it [pausing the triple lock] because it was a manifesto pledge

‘He really doesn’t want to it. The optics are terrible for older voters’
Tory strategists concerned Labour could accuse them of betraying pensioners if they suspend the triple lock

Yougov found Tories retain a 24 point lead among voters over age of 65

Sunak and Johnson have not has ‘blazing rows’ - it’s not how they work - but there is disagreement
Read 4 tweets
27 Jul
Rishi Sunak is considering a new online sales tax amid mounting concern about collapse of high street

Treasury believes levy on sale of goods could provide a 'sustainable and meaningful revenue source for Govt and help bricks-and-mortar retailers compete
Treasury says thatthe pandemic has 'had significant impact on how business is done' and Govt must ensure the 'tax system raises sufficient revenue to fund public services'

It highlights concerns from retailers that business rates impose an 'unreasonable burden' on high street
I'm told Govt is looking at two models:

A straightforward levy of around 2% on sales of online goods, which would raise around £2bn a year

A mandatory charge on consumer deliveries, which would form part of campaign to cut congestion and toxic emissions
Read 5 tweets

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