Related: Dominic Raab faces accusations he called Labour leader a w***er
More than 11.6 million pensioners will begin to receive up to £600 from the government today to support them with their energy bills.
To alleviate the rising pressure from the cost of living and energy crisis, pensioners will receive the Winter Fuel Payment over the next two months as part of the government’s £37bn cost of living package.
This year’s payments have been boosted by an extra £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment and should be automatically paid by mid-January.
Elsewhere, Rishi Sunak has been forced to delay planning reforms amid significant pushback from Conservative MPs, demanding an end to the mandatory target of building 300,000 homes a year.
The prime minister was due to face a major test of his leadership next Monday when parliamentarians were set to vote on the flagship Levelling Up Bill.
But nearly 50 backbenchers and former cabinet ministers have signed an amendment that would ban councils from taking housing targets into account while deciding on planning applications.
Tories braced for mass exodus of MPs as December deadline looms
Senior backbencher William Wragg and former work and pensions secretary Chloe Smith became the latest to announce they will not run again as an MP at the next election.
MPs have been given a 5 December deadline for MPs to tell Tory headquarters (CCHQ) whether they plan to run at the election in 2024, The Independent understands.
They are predictions as many as 80 Tory MPs may decide to depart, with many facing an uphill battle to keep their seats as a resurgent Labour party rides high in the polls.
Politics writer Adam Forrest reports:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 09:50
Inexperienced and low-paid staff adding to asylum claims backlog, Home Office insiders say
Inexperienced and low-paid staff are being hired to handle asylum claims which is increasing the long backlog of decisions, insiders claim.
The number of migrants waiting more than three years to find out if they have been granted asylum in the UK has more than quadrupled in 18 months as thousands of people are left in limbo.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 09:35
Shadow home secretary says people have a right to strike but ‘fair deal’ is needed
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said people have a right to campaign for a fair pay deal but that ultimately a deal is needed.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We recognise people have got a right to do everything they can to campaign for a fair pay deal, and they will continue to do so.
“And people have a right to withdraw their labour and to strike as part of that, and we’ll always support people’s right to be able to do that, but ultimately we need a deal in place, and that is what we’ve been calling for.”
She said she wants the government to “get its act together on this”.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 09:20
Supreme Court to rule on Scottish referendum case
The Supreme Court will rule this morning on whether the Scottish parliament has the power to call for a second referendum approval.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants a referendum to be held on 19 October next year.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 09:06
Keir Starmer’s immigration policy straight out of Ukip manifesto, says Nigel Farage
Mr Farage said Labour was now “to the right of the Conservatives on immigration” after Sir Keir said Britain needed to end its “immigration dependency”.
The Labour leader addressed business chiefs in a speech on Tuesday morning and criticised the use of “cheap labour”.
He told his audience at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) that businesses should “start investing more in training up workers who are already here”.
Speaking after Sir Keir’s speech Mr Farage criticised the Tories and said they had “made clear they’re going to continue with large scale mass legal immigration”.
Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 09:05
Mick Lynch says union has to respond from ‘broken promises’ by senior officials
Speaking about the upcoming rail strikes, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the union has to respond to “broken promises” from senior officials.
“There is never a right time to go on strike,” Mr Lynch said. “We don’t want to go on strike and we have taken a lot of care over the last months and listened to the public.
“But we need to get this finished and get this over the line.
“Workers are saying we cannot tolerate the prescription we have been given by the government.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 08:49
Dominic Raab hit by more formal complaints over bullying allegations
The justice secretary is already facing an investigation after two formal complaints, with claims government staff were “scared” to go into his office.
But a “handful” of new complaints have now been made by MoJ civil servants, according to The Guardian – citing sources who accused Mr Raab of creating a “perverse culture of fear”.
One source told the newspaper that the fresh claims were “more serious and more specific” than those already submitted.
Politics writer Adam Forrest has more:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 08:37
Sunak should be judged by his support of the NHS- not his private GP, minister says
Rishi Sunak should be judged by his actions in supporting the NHS, a cabinet minister said following reports the prime minister is registered with a private GP practice.
Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride said Mr Sunak’s medical arrangements were a private matter for him.
Mr Stride told Sky News: “Judge him by his actions, and the health secretary’s actions, on the NHS … In that very difficult autumn statement which had a lot of very hard choices that had to be made, two things really stood out.
“One was an increased commitment to funding education but the other was the health service and social care, which actually got quite a lot of money in the near-term.
“So, the commitment that we have to the NHS is absolutely central to this government. That is something that’s very much driven from the top by the prime minister.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 08:21
Government remains committed to impose minimum service levels during strikes, Mel Stride says
The government remains committed to plans to impose minimum service levels during strikes by transport workers, Cabinet minister Mel Stride said, although no timetable had been set out for the legislation.
The Work and Pensions Secretary told Sky News: “The government has commitments in that area and to minimum service provision.
“In due course, I have no doubt that will come forward and I do think it’s important, because we shouldn’t be left in a position with certain services – such as railways , where we have such an acute dependence upon them for a variety of reasons – where the plug can be pulled on the whole thing.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 08:06
Millions to get latest cost of living payment from today
Millions of people will start to receive up to £600 from today in additional cost of living support.
More than 11.6 million pensioners will receive the winter fuel payment over the next two months to help with their energy bills.
This year’s payments have been boosted by an extra £300 per household pensioner cost of living payment.
The vast majority of payments will be automatic so pensioners will receive the money in their bank accounts. Anyone who has not received their payment by 13 January should contact the government’s Winter Fuel Payment Centre.
My colleague Thomas Kingsley reports:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain23 November 2022 08:01