Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


United Kingdom defense secretary denies ‘deeply unfair’ claims on Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced growing scrutiny on Sunday following explosive accusations by his former chief aide Dominic Cummings earlier this week that he lacks competence and integrity. — AP Liz Truss dismisses Dominic Cummings claims as 'tittle-tattle' - as Labour demands inquiry
Kristine Garrett | 27 April, 2021, 09:50

The relationship between Cummings and Johnson has clearly soured; Cummings's blog post followed reports that Johnson believes his former adviser was behind a series of leaks, including of text-message exchanges between the prime minister and businessman James Dyson.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, the U.K.'s top civil servant, is preparing to face questions over Cummings' claims as he faces the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs committee on Monday.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Monday declined to confirm or deny if Mr Johnson had been given an undeclared loan from political donors to pay for the renovation of the flat.

But Labour said there are "crucial puzzle pieces missing", and that the "stench around who may have lent him up to £200,000 for the refurb... will only grow" unless Mr Johnson publishes the delayed list of ministers' interests.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts with a calf at a farm as he campaigns on behalf of the Conservative Party for local elections, at Moreton farm near Wrexham, north Wales, Monday, April 26, 2021.

It also wants a broader independent commission to look into ethics and standards in government after a lobbying scandal involving former leader David Cameron who tried to get ministers to help the now failed finance firm Greensill Capital.

He said: 'If there's anything to be said about that, any declaration to be made, that will, of course, be made in due course'.

Mr Wallace told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'Do I think the Prime Minister is sleazy?

When put to him that Johnson and his colleagues "initially spent months... saying to Tory Party donors "give us the cash, the PM can't afford it, he needs the money to tart up the flat he gets rent-free", Wallace said he didn't "recognise" these claims and that they are "based on a large amount of speculation".

Mr Johnson did impose a third lockdown in January although critics say it could have been avoided had he yielded to pressure from senior ministers to make the second lockdown more stringent.

ITV's political editor Robert Peston has reported the party paid the Cabinet Office for the refurbishment, but that the prime minister is now repaying the party. Last week, the government accused Cummings of being the so-called chatty rat responsible for multiple leaks, notably the one that indicated that the government was planning for another lockdown on October 30, 2020.

Asked last month about the refurbishment plans, Mr Johnson's spokeswoman said all donations, gifts and benefits were properly declared and that no party funds were being used to pay for the refurbishment.

"It's all very well the Prime Minister saying, now, "Well, I paid for it", he added.

Labour has written to the commission calling for a full investigation.

Shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves said: "This is yet another panicked attempt by the Conservatives to cover up the truth behind the original donors for the luxury refurbishment of the Downing Street flat".

His blog post capped a hard few days for Johnson, following the resignation of defense minister Johnny Mercer who told Times Radio the government was "the most distrustful, terrible environment I've ever worked in".

'It seems to me that as long as there is uncertainty, there is doubt and innuendo and rumour about who is getting contracts, who is paying for the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat, who is in and who is out.

Recommended

loading...
...
  • India's top private hospital runs out of oxygen

    India's top private hospital runs out of oxygen

    Britain began to gradually lift Covid-19 restrictions last month after months of curbs and a successful mass vaccination campaign. High demand for tickets on India-US flights after the advisory on Thursday has led to the spike in fares, they said.
    Time running low as search for Indonesian submarine continues

    Time running low as search for Indonesian submarine continues

    Indonesia earlier considered the 44-year-old KRI Nanggala-402 submarine that disappeared on Thursday off Bali as just missing. Even if the vessel is still intact, it's likely to be at a depth that's beyond the capability of most recovery missions.
    Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder of George Floyd

    Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder of George Floyd

    Chauvin's actions more leniently from the perspective of a police officer working in a stressful and unpredictable situation. The site is located outside of Cup Foods, the convenience store linked to Floyd's fatal interaction with Chauvin last May.
  • Almost  1,500 reportedly detained as Putin warns West of 'red line'

    Almost 1,500 reportedly detained as Putin warns West of 'red line'

    Demonstrations took place in large cities in the Far East, the Urals and Siberia including Vladivostok and Novosibirsk. Putin announced new social support measures for families with children ahead of a September parliamentary election.
    Australia cancels Belt and Road deals with China

    Australia cancels Belt and Road deals with China

    Payne said she would "continue to consider foreign arrangements" but expected the "overwhelming majority" would not be affected. China is Australia's largest trading partner and before the pandemic, its biggest source of overseas university students.
    Indonesian Navy searches for missing submarine with 53 people on board

    Indonesian Navy searches for missing submarine with 53 people on board

    An Indonesian navy submarine has gone missing in waters north of the island of Bali, with 53 people on board. Several countries, including Australia, India and Singapore have offered to provide assistance.
  • Modi says India shaken by coronavirus 'storm', US readies help

    Modi says India shaken by coronavirus 'storm', US readies help

    He said that people must b aware that Govt of India has sent free vaccine to all State Govts. Social media is filled with calls for ambulances, intensive care unit beds and medicines.
    Ontario reports almost  4,500 new COVID-19 infections

    Ontario reports almost 4,500 new COVID-19 infections

    Nunavut's premier says the Health Department uncovered three more cases of COVID-19 in the territory Tuesday, all in Iqaluit. Ontario and the federal government have requested help from the Atlantic region in recent days as the pandemic rages on.
    Police shoot, kill teenage girl in Columbus, Ohio

    Police shoot, kill teenage girl in Columbus, Ohio

    If you thought things would change because of it, you were being very naive. "But you couldn't even enjoy that", Shepherd said. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted Tuesday evening , asking that residents "remain calm and allow BCI to gather the facts".
  • Fire tears through Baghdad COVID hospital

    Fire tears through Baghdad COVID hospital

    Many ambulances were rushing towards the hospital, ferrying away those hurt by the fire, a Reuters photographer nearby said. Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi fired several health officials; he attributed the fire to " negligence ".
    George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism, Trudeau says

    George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism, Trudeau says

    They are facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Actress Kerry Washington called Frazier a "hero", tweeting , "Her bravery in that moment must never be forgotten.
    PM to front media after new positive border worker case confirmed

    PM to front media after new positive border worker case confirmed

    The case appears to be unrelated to the travel bubble though and flights with Australia have not been suspended. Victoria recorded zero new local cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with four new cases in hotel quarantine.

At 3,876, Mumbai logs lowest COVID-19 cases since March 30 At 3,876, Mumbai logs lowest COVID-19 cases since March 30 Centre for Disease Control surveillance report later this week, but little more will be made known about it. The death occurred in an undisclosed Southern Interior city this January and will be included in the B.C.

European Commission sues AstraZeneca over delayed delivery of COVID-19 vaccine European Commission sues AstraZeneca over delayed delivery of COVID-19 vaccine But the slow pace of deliveries has frustrated Europeans and has been blamed in part for holding up the EU's vaccine roll-out. The EU believes AstraZeneca has been unfairly and illegally routing jabs to the United Kingdom at the expense of Europe.

Fauci: US will consider sending AZ vaccine to Covid-hit India Fauci: US will consider sending AZ vaccine to Covid-hit India The EU as a whole is also preparing rapid assistance for India, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said earlier.

India’s crematoria overwhelmed as coronavirus ‘swallows people like a monster’ India’s crematoria overwhelmed as coronavirus ‘swallows people like a monster’ Hospitals and patients alike are struggling to procure scarce medical equipment that is being sold at inflated prices. The company said it had responded to an order by the government and notified people whose tweets were withheld.

Biden recognizes Armenian genocide on 106th anniversary Biden recognizes Armenian genocide on 106th anniversary From 1915-1930, the US provided unprecedented humanitarian assistance to save victims of the Armenian Genocide . Can Oguz, consul general of Turkey in Los Angeles, said his country vehemently rejects Biden's statement.

Canada eyes travel restrictions from India due to massive COVID surge Canada eyes travel restrictions from India due to massive COVID surge Only then can they board their flight to Canada, and they will be required to quarantine in Canada as well. Prior to this, the US, UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand have banned flights to and from India .

Doug Ford confirms that paid sick days are coming for Ontario workers Doug Ford confirms that paid sick days are coming for Ontario workers In his first news conference since announcing new police powers and the closure of playgrounds, Premier Doug Ford offered an apology.

Biden administration opens global climate summit Biden administration opens global climate summit Biden's action raises the pressure on China - by far the world's largest carbon emitter. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian Environment, reports .

India sets global record of 314,000 new coronavirus infections India sets global record of 314,000 new coronavirus infections She died before she could be tested for the virus. "If you have corona (virus) or if you don't, it doesn't matter". This has led to a chronic shortage of oxygen supplies , beds and timely medical care.

Taliban targets heavily fortified hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Quetta Taliban targets heavily fortified hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Quetta A Pakistani man comforts to another mourning over the death of his family member in a bomb blast, at a hospital in Quetta . Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said authorities were investigating and a statement would be issued later.

Columbus police shoot, kill teen girl, reports say Columbus police shoot, kill teen girl, reports say He said, "We know based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community". That is something that I want to always be remembered", Bryant told TV station WBNS. "She was 15 years old".

Oxygen runs low in India as hospitals battle virus 'storm' Oxygen runs low in India as hospitals battle virus 'storm' Around 120 patients are now in the ICU. "No hospital beds, no oxygen, no vaccination". In another tweet, he wrote, "Serious oxygen crisis persists in Delhi".

Crowd outside court reacts to Derek Chauvin guilty verdicts — George Floyd Crowd outside court reacts to Derek Chauvin guilty verdicts — George Floyd There should not have been any charge; it should have been a straight conviction. "I don't think this is a system working". A fighter at Capital Punishment Boxing Gym told owner Claudie Kenion the verdict . "You are going to pay for it", he said.

Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder — George Floyd trial Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder — George Floyd trial Artist Natalee Hudson stopped by Albuquerque Civic Plaza to reflect on the guilty verdict of former police officer Derek Chauvin . The South Asian Bar Association of North America applauded the jury verdict that found Chauvin guilty on all counts.

ONTARIO: Province should brace for AstraZeneca shipment delay, Ford says ONTARIO: Province should brace for AstraZeneca shipment delay, Ford says Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said Ford's government had "lost the trust and confidence of the people of Ontario". Ontario announced 4,447 new cases on Monday, with a 10.5% positivity rate and 19 more deaths.