Graham Brady confirms new prime minister will be revealed on 5 September
Sir John Major has criticised senior Tory MPs for failing to speak out against Boris Johnson, saying they had left the UK “damaged”.
Appearing before a House of Commons committee, the former Tory prime minister said the government had “broken the law” and risked “pulling our constitution into shreds”.
He said: “What has been done in the last three years has damaged our country at home and overseas and I think has damaged the reputation of Parliament as well.
“The blame for these lapses must lie principally – principally, but not only – with the Prime Minister, but many in his Cabinet are culpable too and so are those outside the Cabinet who cheered him on.
“They were silent when they should have spoken out and then spoke out only when their silence became self-damaging.”
Sir John made his comments at a meeting of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee as part of its inquiry into ethics and propriety in government.
Meanwhile, transport secretary Grant Shapps has pulled out of the race to replace Mr Johnson and has instead backed former chancellor Rishi Sunak to be the next Tory leader.
Priti Patel rules out bid for Tory leadership as rivals absorb right-wing backing
Priti Patel has ruled out a late bid for the Conservative leadership after her rivals absorbed much of the support from the right of the party.
The home secretary is reported to have been “genuinely torn” last night over whether to launch her own leadership bid, following a last-ditch appeal to the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteer Tory MPs as she sought to secure their support.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Ms Patel had vowed to cut taxes, ditch green levies and start fracking, and warned the UK is “quite frankly in one hell of a hole” of rocketing inflation, adding: “No one in the party has gripped this and it must be the priority for our party.”
One ERG source told the paper that Ms Patel “got a good reception”, while another said: “She is on the same page. They all agreed with her.”
Our political correspondent Adam Forrest has the breaking story here, which you can refresh for updates:
Priti Patel rules out bid for Tory leadership
Home secretary says she wants to focus on controlling borders
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 14:03
‘I cannot accept retreat’: Tom Tugendhat promises ‘clean start’
Tom Tugendhat has said the UK must not “retreat” economically and politically as he promised tax cuts to help ease the cost-of-living crisis and a “clean start” following the scandal-hit Boris Johnson years.
The former military officer said the British people wanted a government to “not only hold the line but to advance their aspirations”, and warned of a “creeping sense of despair about our collective future” – with a debt-ridden economy, political division at home and danger abroad.
“They have asked us to advance, and yet we have retreated,” he said at the formal launch of his campaign. “In a moment that is so desperate for so many – and when our service is most needed – we have retreated.
“We have retreated into the pettiness of a politics that is more about personality than principle. We have retreated into division when we desperately need unity. When our nation needed our party to function, we retreated into faction. When the moment demanded service, we delivered scandal.”
He added: “I cannot accept retreat.”
Tom Tugendhat launches Tory leadership campaign
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 13:59
David Davis backs Penny Mordaunt as candidate ‘most likely to actually beat Rishi Sunak‘
Former Cabinet minister David Davis has announced his support for Penny Mordaunt, saying she is the most likely Tory leadership candidate to “beat Rishi Sunak”.
“We need high integrity, we can’t afford any more scandals after the last two years. She’s a woman of incredible integrity,” the senior MP told Sky News.
“But, most of all, she’s got a vision for Britain, she’s a patriot, she knows what she wants to put across, she knows what sort of Conservatism she stands for.
“As a result, she’s popular in Scotland, she’s popular in Red Wall seats, she’s popular with the younger voters and, actually, she’s the person who’s most likely within the party to actually beat Rishi Sunak.”
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 13:54
Suella Braverman appeals to Brexiteers in new campaign clip
Attorney general Suella Braverman has published a new campaign video, in which she says Brexit offered the chance to “liberate Britain” and end “absurd regulations”.
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 13:52
Sir John Major: ‘Johnson’s government damaged democracy’
Sir John Major has laid the blame on Boris Johnson for the government having “damaged” the country and the “reputation of Parliament”.
The current government has “broken the law” and “ignored” conventions, and Mr Johnson is “principally” responsible for the decline in standards, he said.
The former prime minister said: “Democracy is not inevitable. It can be undone step by step, action by action, falsehood by falsehood.
“It needs to be protected at all times and it seems to me that if our law and our accepted conventions are ignored then we are on a very slippery slope that ends with pulling our constitution into shreds.”
He added: “What has been done in the last three years has damaged our country at home and overseas, and I think has damaged the reputation of Parliament as well.”
Lamiat Sabin12 July 2022 13:00
Watch: Sunak says Johnson ‘flawed’ but ‘has a good heart’
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak has defended Boris Johnson by saying that he is “flawed” but “has a good heart”.
During a speech to launch his leadership campaign to replace the prime minister, Mr Sunak said: “Boris Johnson is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met and, whatever some commentators may say, he has a good heart.
Rishi Sunak says Boris Johnson is ‘flawed’ and his leadership was no longer ‘working’
“Did I disagree with him? Frequently. Is he flawed? Yes, and so are the rest of us.
“Was it no longer working? Yes, and that’s why I resigned. But let me be clear, I will have no part in the rewriting of history that seeks to demonise Boris, exaggerates his faults, and deny his efforts.”
Lamiat Sabin12 July 2022 12:45
Tugendhat: No stitch before members have their say
Tom Tugendhat has said the two candidates who make it through to the final stage of the leadership contest must be prepared to go the distance.
In 2016, Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the race, allowing Theresa May to be elected unopposed.
At his leadership launch, Mr Tugendhat said: “There is no way that anyone who makes it to the last two should either offer or accept a compromise that goes behind the back of Conservative party members.”
Lamiat Sabin12 July 2022 12:30
Show MPs attorney general’s legal advice over controversial Brexit bill, John Major says
The government should show MPs “unexpurgated” advice from the Attorney General on the legality of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, Sir John Major has said.
Asked how parliament should deal with the Bill, the former prime minister said: “Parliament ought to see, unexpurgated, the advice from the law officers to whether or not it does break the law at home or internationally, and if it doesn’t then it’s a matter for Parliament.
“If it does break the law, then it is a Bill that ought not to be laid before parliament.”
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 11:55
John Major attacks ‘culpable’ Cabinet for silence over Boris Johnson
Sir John Major has accused Cabinet ministers of speaking out against Boris Johnson “only when their silence became self-damaging”.
The Tory former prime minister told the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee that the blame for “lapses” in standards lay “principally but not only with the prime minister”.
He added: “Many in the Cabinet are culpable too and so are many outside the Cabinet who cheered him on. They were silent when they should have spoken out and then spoke out only when their silence became self-damaging.”
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 11:51
Cummings ‘will have absolutely nothing to do with’ Sunak government
Rishi Sunak has said Dominic Cummings will have “absolutely nothing” to do with any government the ex-chancellor may lead and insisted they have not spoken since the former aide left No 10.
At his campaign launch, Mr Sunak said: “Dominic Cummings has had absolutely nothing to do with this campaign and will have absolutely nothing to do with any government that I’m privileged to lead.
“For the record, I’ve not communicated with Dominic Cummings since the day he left Downing Street.”
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 11:39