Boris Johnson latest news UK: Kwasi Kwarteng denies misogyny culture as porn scandal MP Neil Parish quits

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Minister denies culture of misogyny in parliament

A minister has denied there is a culture of misogyny in parliament despite reports more than 50 MPs are facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng suggested the issue was people “working in a really intense enivronment” with “long hours”.

Asked about reports 56 MPs are allegedly facing allegations of sexual misconduct that have been referred to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, he said it was “extraordinary” but insisted he had “never seen any of it” in parliament.

It comes following the resignation of Tory MP Neil Parish after he admitted watching pornography in the House of Commons in what he described as a “moment of madness”.

The Tiverton and Honiton MP claimed he looked at adult material twice, the first time stumbling on a porn website while looking for tractors online, but returning deliberately on the second occasion.

Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has called for “radical” reform to working practices in parliament, suggesting staff should no longer be employed by the parliamentarians they work for.

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Sir Keir Starmer denies Labour has secret electoral pact with Lib Dems

Sir Keir Starmer has denied Labour has a secret electoral pact with the Liberal Democrats.

Asked about claims made by Conservative Party chair Oliver Dowden of a pact, the Labour leader told Sky News: “I wouldn’t take anything Oliver Dowden says particularly seriously.”

He added: “The fact that he is spending his Sunday… attacking Labour… why doesn’t he say something about the cost-of-living crisis for heaven’s sake?

“There is no pact, everybody knows there is no pact. We will put a candidate up when there is a by-election, obviously after the Neil Parish resignation of yesterday.”

He later claimed Labour is standing more candidates than ever in the local elections.

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 09:45

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Cabinet ally denies Boris Johnson’s leadership under threat in local elections

Boris Johnson’s position as prime minister is safe regardless of how Conservatives do in Thursday’s local election, a key cabinet ally has claimed.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng admitted that the ballots, taking place across the UK, will be “challenging” for Tories, but insisted: “I don’t think his leadership is under threat at all.”

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the full story:

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 09:29

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Boris Johnson’s leadership not under threat, minister says

Boris Johnson’s leadership is not under threat after delivering a “remarkable series of successes”, a minister has claimed.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News: “I don’t think his leadership is under threat at all.”

He pointed to Mr Johnson’s “remarkable series of successes” with Brexit, overseas effort to help Ukraine and the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Asked about a Mail on Sunday article claiming ex-foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt is ready to launch his leadership challenge, he said: “Jeremy is a very capable colleague, he’s a good friend, I’m not sure what he’s up to.”

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 09:00

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Kwasi Kwarteng denies culture of misogyny in parliament

Kwasi Kwarteng has denied there is a culture of misogyny in parliament, claiming “some people act irresponsibly”.

Asked about reports 56 MPs are allegedly facing allegations of sexual misconduct that have been referred to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, the business secretary said it was “extraordinary” but insisted he had “never seen any of it” in parliament.

On the subject of Tory MP Neil Parish resigning after watching porn twice in the House of Commons, Mr Kwarteng said people in parliament were “working in a really intense enivronment” with “long hours”.

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme the complaints system was an improvement on what was there before but that it needed more resources, adding: “Clearly what we have now isn’t working sufficiently well.”

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 08:52

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Greens winning hearts in North East as party eyes ‘tectonic shift’ among voters

Our North of England correspondent Colin Drury has been in the coastal town of South Shields, where he says Green campaigners were welcomed on the doorstep in the Labour strong-hold as internal polls predicted the party would make large gains across the country in this year’s local elections.

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 08:30

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UK remains ‘world leader’ in hiding dirty money, says top sanctions expert

Britain remains the “world leader” in hiding dirty money despite recent efforts to crack down on oligarchs’ illicit wealth, a leading sanctions expert has told The Independent.

Bill Browder urged Boris Johnson’s government to get to grips with the “enabler community” of lawyers and accountants in London suspected of helping kleptocrats from Russia and elsewhere protect their assets.

Adam Forrest has this exclusive story:

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 08:20

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Celebrities mock Neil Parish over tractor excuse for watching porn

Stephen Fry and David Baddiel were among celebrities to mock Neil Parish over his tractor excuse for watching porn in the House of Commons.

Fry was quick to laugh at the latest development in the story, posting a link to a tractor-related website on Twitter, with the caption: “I shouldn’t click on this, but I can’t help myself…”

Read more from our culture reporter Ellie Harrison:

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 08:10

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Tory MP quits in porn scandal

Neil Parish has resigned as a Conservative MP after admitting watching pornography in the House of Commons in what he described as a “moment of madness”.

Fighting to hold back tears in his first TV interview since the scandal broke, Mr Parish said he looked at adult material twice, the first time stumbling on a porn website while looking for tractors online, but returning deliberately on the second occasion.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the full story:

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 08:00

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Speaker calls for ‘radical’ parliament overhaul

Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has called for “radical” reform to working practices after a series of bullying and sexual misconduct offences involving MPs.

Calling for urgent action, Sir Lindsay suggested staff should no longer be employed by the parliamentarians they work for to address a series of “serious allegations”.

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 07:58

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live UK politics coverage. Stay tuned throughout the day for the latest news and reaction from Westminster and beyond.

Chiara Giordano1 May 2022 07:56

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