Lord Hague said Boris Johnson is “very unlikely” to serve three terms as Prime Minister as he labelled the premier a “limping duck”.
The former Tory leader said he would not bet on Mr Johnson still being in No 10 in the next decade.
He told Times Radio: “I am not a betting man anyway but no, I wouldn’t. You know my views on that. A few weeks ago when there was the vote of confidence I said it was an unsustainable situation so it being sustained into the 2030s seems very unlikely to me.”
Mr Johnson claimed only a few days ago that he is making plans for three terms in Downing Street, meaning that he would remain Prime Minister until the mid 2030s.
Theresa May yesterday suggested that Mr Johnson is a lame duck prime minister and because of that the European Union is unwilling to negotiate with him on the Northern Ireland Protocol because the bloc is not sure how long he will remain in power.
Lord Hague agreed with Mrs May’s suggestion that the PM’s premiership has been damaged by recent events. He said: “She said he is a lame duck. I think he is more of a limping duck in a way, in that a limping duck is still moving around more than a lame duck.”
Follow the latest updates below.
PM refuses to be drawn on extra cash for armed forces
Reports suggest that Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, wants the Ministry of Defence budget to be increased.
Asked if the UK spend on defence will increase, Boris Johnson would not be drawn directly but said a commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence is treated “as a floor, not a ceiling”.
Speaking at the G7 summit in southern Germany, Mr Johnson said: “I don’t comment on leaked stuff. I can tell you, look already at what we are doing. Last year, 2021, the UK the third biggest defence spender in the world.
“What we are doing now under the spending review is putting another £24 billion in, we are well over two per cent, and we treat the two per cent as a floor, two per cent of GDP spent on defence, we treat that as a floor, not a ceiling.”
PM does not expect UK war with Russia
Britain is facing its “1937 moment” and must be ready to “fight and win” to ward off the threat from Russia, the head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, said today.
Boris Johnson was asked at the G7 summit in southern Germany if the UK is preparing for war with Russia.
The Prime Minister said: “I don’t think it will come to that and clearly we are working very hard to make sure that we confine this to Ukraine.”
Timetable slips on Boris and Rishi’s big speech
When will Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak’s long-planned joint speech on the economy take place? Downing Street doesn’t seem to know.
It is understood no date has yet been set for the Prime Minister’s address with the Chancellor – which has already been delayed several times.
“We’re aware that people are concerned about the economy and we’re committed to being transparent about the challenges that we’re facing,” a spokesman told reporters.
No 10 refuses to be drawn on extra defence spend
The Government has refused to be drawn on the prospect of any increase to defence spending amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Asked whether more spend will be allocated or if the size of the Army will increase, a Downing Street spokesman said: “It’s obviously important that we have the right size to deal with the challenges of the future. And it of course is the case that it’s wrong to solely focus on troop numbers and not think in terms of capabilities and technologies.
“But, as I said, the Prime Minister’s committed to investing in defence to make sure that we have a fully capable armed forces. That’s what we’ve done and that’s what has allowed us to invest so heavily in the technologies the MoD has done in recent years.”
The spokesman said he would not comment on any future Government spending, but the PM has always been clear it “will respond to the change in threat” as the conflict continues.
Angela Rayner to face Dominic Raab at PMQs
Boris Johnson will be at the Nato summit in Madrid tomorrow which means a slightly different edition of PMQs.
We are expecting to see Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, face off against Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the Labour Party.
Liz Truss: No country has raised concerns about Rwanda policy
Liz Truss is asked if any countries have raised objections with her over the legality of the Rwanda policy. She replies: ‘No, in fact what has been raised with me by foreign counterparts is wanting to learn from the UK’s policy so that they can engage in similar arrangements.’
— Nick Gutteridge (@nickgutteridge) June 28, 2022
G7 leaders condemn Russia’s ‘illegal and unjustifiable war’
G7 leaders have just released their end of summit communique.
It said they condemn “Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine”.
The statement said: “We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes, providing the needed financial, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic support in its courageous defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We are ready to reach arrangements together with interested countries and institutions and Ukraine on sustained security commitments to help Ukraine defend itself and to secure its free and democratic future.”
The leaders also promised to “continue to impose severe and enduring costs on Russia to help bring an end to this war”.
But plans to impose a price cap on exports of Russian oil appeared to have been watered down – with a commitment only to explore such a measure.
The leaders said: “We will take immediate action to secure energy supply and reduce price surges driven by extraordinary market conditions, including by exploring additional measures such as price caps.
“We reaffirm our commitment to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, without compromising on our climate and environmental goals.”
Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat clash over FCO staff
The Foreign Office has reallocated staff to help boost the UK’s response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
But Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, has been unable to say where those staff have been taken from – i.e. which parts of the Foreign Office’s work have been de-prioritised while Ukraine is being prioritised.
Ms Truss told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that “we have moved staff into Russia/Ukraine, we have moved staff into geo-politics” and “we have gained some efficiencies in doing that”.
She was asked by Tory chairman Tom Tugendhat where staff have been “drawn down” from but she was unable to say.
A frustrated Mr Tugendhat said: “I am just delighted the Foreign Office is clearly the department on the mount and every time you look for loaves and fishes you reach into the basket and there is enough to feed the 5,000. It’s fantastic. It’s a remarkable achievement.”
Liz Truss rubbishes idea of UK joining new European Political Community
Emmanuel Macron, the French President, has floated the idea of creating a new club of European leaders in a new European Political Community designed to boost cooperation between allies.
There were claims from France that Boris Johnson was “very enthusiastic” about the idea but his allies said it was very unlikely that the UK would sign up (you can read the original story here).
Now Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, has rubbished the idea and stressed the UK is focused on Nato and the G7 for its alliances.
She told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee: “That is not true that we have agreed [to join]. I don’t know the exact words that President Macron has used but we have not agreed to that. We see the key guarantor of security in Europe as being Nato and our aims and ambitions are to strengthen Nato and we see the G7 as the absolutely key economic alliance for us.”
Liz Truss hoping for ‘significant progress’ on new Nato members
Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, is giving evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee this morning.
She said that after the session has finished she is flying to Madrid to take part in the Nato summit. She is then visiting France for talks on Friday.
Ms Truss was asked about the applications from Sweden and Finland to join Nato. Turkey has expressed concerns and is blocking progress.
Ms Truss said there are a “few remaining issues to be agreed” and she “very much hopes that we will see significant progress at Madrid”.
Sir Keir Starmer does not deny possible Tory defections
Sir Keir Starmer has failed to deny a report that three Red Wall Conservative MPs are in defection talks with Labour.
Speaking at an event hosted by the New Statesman magazine, the Labour leader said: “If we all spent all our time chasing every story that’s circulating in Westminster we’d spend a lot of time.
“But what I can say is after the result in Wakefield last week if I was a Tory MP I’d be pretty worried about the next general election, because that was a fantastic result for us.
“And the Labour Party is in good spirits, in high hopes and we’ve got a real belief about what we’re doing. Wakefield showed us at a general election, there may well now be a Labour government.”
‘Boring wasn’t on the agenda’
Sir Keir Starmer said business leaders are not looking for a prime minister who can tell jokes and provide entertainment after he was asked if he is “boring”.
Speaking at an event hosted by the New Statesman magazine, the Labour leader said: “I was sitting around a big table with CEOs from some of the biggest bodies and corporations around this country. And we were having a serious discussion about what they expect from government. None of them said ‘a few more jokes, please’, ‘a bit of a laugh’, ‘some entertainment would be good’.
“They all said we want a government which has a very clear sense of its mission, sets that mission clearly out for us to have the certainty to do what we need to do.
“And with partnership the government doesn’t want to run everything, it sets the mission empowering businesses and communities to unleash our potential. We had a really good discussion and boring wasn’t on the agenda.”
Pictured: G7 leaders meet as summit winds down
‘We must meet strength with strength’
Britain and its Nato allies must be “unequivocally prepared to fight” if Russia attacks any of their territory, the head of the Army has said.
General Sir Patrick Sanders said it is essential they have the forces in place to deter further Russian aggression if they are to avoid an even more deadly conflict in future.
Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute land warfare conference in London, he said: “To succeed, the British Army, in conjunction with our Nato allies and partners, must be in place or at especially high readiness – ideally a mix of both. Trip wires are not enough.
“If we fail to deter, there are no good choices given the cost of a potential counter attack and the associated nuclear threat. We must therefore meet strength with strength from the outset and be unequivocally prepared to fight for Nato territory.”
Threat from Russia ‘will become even more acute’
General Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of the British Army, has said it is “dangerous” to assume that Ukraine is a “limited conflict”.
Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) land warfare conference in London, Sir Patrick said: “Historically Russia often starts wars badly. Because Russia wages war at the strategic and not the tactical level its depth and resilience means it can suffer any number of campaigns, battles and engagements lost and yet regenerate and still ultimately prevail.
“While Russia’s conventional capability will be reduced for a time at least, Putin’s declared intent to restore the lands of historic Russia makes any respite temporary and the threat will become even more acute.
“We don’t know how the war in Ukraine will end but in most scenarios Russia will be an even greater threat to European security after Ukraine than it was before.
“The Russian invasion has reminded us of that time-honoured maxim that if you want to avert conflict you had better be prepared to fight.”
Keir Starmer grilled on possible defections
Sir Keir Starmer has been taking part in an event hosted by the New Statesman magazine this morning and it looks like he was asked about The Telegraph’s report that three Red Wall Conservative MPs are in defection talks with Labour:
Keir Starmer refuses to deny that the Labour Party is in talks with Conservative MPs who are considering defecting#NSPoliticsLive
— Freddie Hayward (@freddiejh8) June 28, 2022
Tony Diver, The Telegraph’s Whitehall Correspondent, points out that it is not in Labour’s interests to talk about defections before they are confirmed.
He said: “Clearly it’s not in Labour’s interest for this to be public before it happens. The party successfully kept Christian Wakeford’s defection quiet until *just* before he crossed the floor at PMQs.”
‘Very unlikely’ Boris Johnson makes it to third term
Lord Hague, the former Tory leader, said he does not believe Boris Johnson will make it to a third term as prime minister as he said such an outcome is “very unlikely”.
Asked if he would bet on Mr Johnson being PM for a third term, Lord Hague told Times Radio: “No, I wouldn’t. I am not a betting man anyway but no, I wouldn’t. You know my views on that. A few weeks ago when there was the vote of confidence I said it was an unsustainable situation so it being sustained into the 2030s seems very unlikely to me.”
Mr Johnson claimed only a few days ago that he was making plans for three terms in Downing Street, meaning that he would remain in No 10 until the mid 2030s. You can read the original story here.
Lord Hague labels PM a ‘limping duck’
Theresa May last night suggested that Boris Johnson is a lame duck prime minister and because of that the EU is unwilling to negotiate with him on the Northern Ireland Protocol (you can read the full story here).
Lord Hague, the former Tory leader, said he believes Mr Johnson is more of a “limping duck” but Mrs May’s assessment of the situation was not “unreasonable”.
He told Times Radio: “Her point really is that the EU isn’t going to compromise with Boris because they think he is not going to be around very long.
“She said he is a lame duck. I think he is more of a limping duck in a way, in that a limping duck is still moving around more than a lame duck. But that was her point and I thought it was not an unreasonable one.”
Lord Hague: ‘No alternative but to slog on’ with support of Ukraine
Lord Hague, the former Tory leader and ex-foreign secretary, said that while some people may be in favour of making concessions to Russia to secure peace in Ukraine, he does not believe a lasting peace can be agreed with Vladimir Putin.
He told Times Radio: “Peace is not available with Putin. There isn’t a durable peace treaty that could be created between Ukraine and Vladimir Putin that would last.
“So actually there is no alternative but to slog on with this and to support the Ukrainians with whatever it takes for them to be able to preserve a functioning country.”
Pictured: Boris Johnson holds talks with G7 counterparts
Three Red Wall Tories in talks to defect to Labour
Three Red Wall Conservative MPs are in defection talks with Labour, The Telegraph can reveal.
Labour sources told The Telegraph that the three male Conservatives, first elected in 2019, have entered formal discussions about crossing the floor to join Sir Keir Starmer’s party.
Those familiar with discussions said the MPs had slim majorities in Red Wall areas in the North that had historically voted Labour and believed they would lose their seats at the next election if they did not defect.
It is understood the three have felt dissatisfied with Boris Johnson’s leadership in recent weeks and were pushed towards the decision after a confidence vote in which 148 Tory MPs did not back the Prime Minister.
You can read the full story here.
Scottish Tories: Now is not the time for referendum
Craig Hoy, the chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party, said “we do not believe this is the time for an independence referendum”.
Told that the SNP believe they could hold a referendum without the permission of the UK Government, Mr Hoy told Sky News: “I don’t think that is the case at all. We have to wait to hear what the First Minister says today.
“Two weeks ago she came forward with the first announcement and that was a bit of a damp squib so she has come back before we go into recess at the end of this week to try and re-energise her flagging campaign.
“But we know what the situation is in terms of the Scottish Parliament’s powers. The power to hold a legally binding referendum is reserved to Westminster. We do not believe this is the time for an independence referendum. We should be focused on the people’s priorities.”
‘It is not the only way forward’
Fiona Hyslop, an SNP MSP, said in an “ideal situation” the Scottish Government would have permission from the UK Government to hold another referendum on independence. But she said that is “not the only way forward”.
She told Sky News: “Well, the ideal situation is one where we have agreement between the UK Government and the Scottish Government.
“It is not the only way forward and we expect to hear from the First Minister later today what her plans are in the absence of that.”
SNP MSP: ‘We are respecting democracy’
Fiona Hyslop, an SNP MSP, has dismissed the idea that the Scottish Government needs permission from the UK Government to hold a second referendum on independence.
She told Sky News: “We need permission from the people of Scotland and we got that permission in 2021 in the Scottish elections.”
She added: “We are respecting democracy, we are respecting the will of the people of Scotland because they voted quite clearly in a manifesto, an election, that was very, very clear what would happen if an SNP government was elected, that we would have an independence referendum. That is about democracy and choice.
“We will have a lawful referendum, we respect the rule of law, we think that is really important.”
Pictured: PM holds talks with Japan’s Fumio Kishida at G7 summit
Boris Johnson had an early-morning swim in the lake at the G7 summit venue in the Bavarian Alps before a meeting with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.
The Prime Minister said: “Thank you very much for meeting so early, it’s great to see you. Actually, I’ve already been for a swim in the lake.”
He told the Japanese leader: “This is a relationship that’s going from strength to strength under your leadership, Fumio.
“Two great island democracies, united in our values, determined to stand up together against autocracies and the dangers of drifting backwards in the world, but also wanting to do more together on technology, on security, on trade, and of course I’m delighted that tomorrow – finally – we are able to have Fukushima-origin products all over the shops in the UK.”
Products from Fukushima, the site of a nuclear accident in 2011, had been restricted due to concerns about radiation contamination.
Minister disagrees with Theresa May
Theresa May last night branded the Government’s plans to rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol unlawful and warned that the EU won’t negotiate with Boris Johnson because he was now a lame duck prime minister (you can read the full story here).
Chris Philp, the technology minister, said he disagreed with the former PM and insisted the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill is legal.
He told Times Radio: “I respectfully disagree with Theresa May’s analysis. First of all it is legally justified, the Foreign Office have published a paper drawing attention to the doctrine of necessity which is a well-established convention in international law… that doctrine of necessity says that where the only way to safeguard a nation’s essential interests is to make changes to a treaty and where those changes don’t unreasonably impact on the interests of the other party, in this case the EU, then you are legally entitled to do that.”
Russia ‘irreversibly tarnished’
Chris Philp, the technology minister, said it is “difficult to see” how the UK could ever do business with Vladimir Putin’s regime again.
He told Sky News: “I think the Russian regime, Putin’s regime, is irreversibly tarnished and tarnished is too weak a word by what they have done, just disgraced in international eyes.
“I think it is difficult to see how we can deal with them ordinarily again, certainly so long as they remain in occupation of a free, democratic, sovereign country.”
Russia would be ‘literally insane’ to start conflict with Nato
Britain is facing its “1937 moment” and must be ready to “fight and win” to ward off the threat from Russia, the head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, will say today (you can read the full story here).
Chris Philp, the technology minister, responded to the pre-briefed comments and said Russia would be “literally insane” to enter into a conflict against Nato. He also said the UK is “prepared for anything”.
He told Sky News: “We don’t want to see an escalation into a wider conflict. I think Russia would be literally insane to attempt to do that because Nato is a far larger and a far stronger bloc.
“We have seen the Russians have been unable to make significant progress in Ukraine where they tried to take Kyiv and they were unable to do so.
“Russia would be mad to try and take on Nato. We don’t think they will do that, we don’t think they should do that, we certainly don’t want to see that happen.”
Shopping centre missile strike ‘was an act of terrorism’
A Russian missile strike on a shopping centre was an act of terrorism, a UK Government minister said this morning.
Asked the question during an interview on Sky News, the technology minister Chris Philp said: “Yes, I would go that far and say that it is because it is intentionally targeting civilians.
“There is no military necessity to bombing a shopping centre just as there was no military necessity to bombing a maternity hospital which we saw or that theatre in Mariupol – we saw them bombing that theatre where civilians were taking shelter, it was clearly marked as containing civilians.
“This is not a one-off act, it is part of a consistent pattern of atrocities being committed by the Russian government.”
Minister: ‘No end to barbarity of Putin’s criminal regime’
The toll from a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk has risen to 16 dead and 59 wounded, the head of Ukraine’s emergency services said this morning (you can follow the latest here).
Chris Philp, the technology minister, said the strike was further evidence that there is “no end to the barbarity of Putin’s frankly criminal regime”.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Philp said: “We saw the attack just there on a shopping centre yesterday but it is not a one off, we have seen them over the last three months attacking children’s hospitals, we have seen them attacking maternity wings, we have seen them bombing flats.
“There is apparently no end to the barbarity of Putin’s frankly criminal regime in the way that they are not only invading a free sovereign country but apparently intentionally, deliberately killing and targeting civilians as well.”
‘Democracy only works if you respect the result’
Nicola Sturgeon is failing to respect democracy by pushing for another referendum on Scottish independence, a minister suggested this morning.
Chris Philp, the technology minister, told Sky News: “I am telling her just to respect the result of a democratic referendum just as we respected the result of the Brexit referendum.
“Democracy only works if you respect the result of the vote you have.”
‘They are not up for having a referendum’
Chris Philp, the technology minister, claimed that less than a third of Scottish people want an independence vote to be held this year or next year.
He said the Scottish government should be focused on more pressing matters.
He told Sky News: “They [the Scottish people] are not up for having a referendum. Only 28 per cent of people said they wanted a referendum this year or next.
“There are more important issues facing the country and facing Scotland.”
Minister: Sturgeon must ‘respect the will of the Scottish people’
Nicola Sturgeon will today unveil her plan to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence, with the SNP leader targeting October next year for the vote to take place (you can read the full story here).
Ms Sturgeon is expected to set out how she intends to get around the UK Government refusing to grant permission for the vote.
Chris Philp, the technology minister, said this morning that Ms Sturgeon should respect the result from the 2014 referendum which was supposed to be a “once in a generation” event.
He told Sky News: “We had a referendum in 2014, the Scottish people delivered their verdict by a fairly clear 10 point margin.
“Nicola Sturgeon at the time, and her then mentor Alex Salmond, said very clearly to the Scottish people this was going to be a once in a generation referendum, it was only a few years ago, that’s not once in a generation.
“I think Nicola Sturgeon should respect the will of the Scottish people that was expressed so clearly in that referendum.”
Good morning and welcome to today’s politics live blog.
The G7 summit in southern Germany will finish this morning and Boris Johnson will then fly to Madrid in Spain to attend a Nato summit amid a rumbling row at home over defence funding.
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon will this afternoon set out her road map for holding a second referendum on Scottish independence.
It promises to be a big day and I will guide you through the key developments.