The Independent from July 11 – July 24

July 11

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has vowed to publish his tax returns if he wins the Conservative Party leadership contest and becomes prime minister, following The Independent’s revelation that HMRC experts are investigating his financial affairs.

 

The leadership hopeful claimed to be the victim of a “smear” campaign – but vowed to “answer any questions that HMRC has of me” and publish his accounts annually if he succeeds Boris Johnson at No 10.

 

Conservative Party leadership candidates Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt have also pledged to open up their tax affairs if they make it to the final stage of the Tory leadership race.

July 12

Sajid Javid exploited a tax loophole to benefit from non-dom perks while working in the Treasury as a ministerial aide, The Independent understands.

 

The Conservative leadership hopeful, who on Monday called for greater scrutiny of candidates as he launched his campaign, would say only that he gave up the controversial tax status “before entering public life” and refused to answer further questions on his tax affairs.

 

But according to sources familiar with Mr Javid’s tax planning, while the former health secretary gave up non-dom status in 2009, he preserved some of the tax benefits through an offshore trust until 2012. This step, which is entirely legal, allowed him not to pay UK income tax on some foreign income from investments. From 2011, Mr Javid worked in the Treasury as a ministerial aide to then chancellor George Osborne.

July 13

A spike in Covid absences and the extended heatwave have left NHS hospitals and ambulance services struggling to cope.

 

The hot weather is also driving more patients to A&E departments, and callers are being urged not to use 999 except in serious emergencies.

 

All 10 ambulance trusts in England are on black alert, the highest level, while health leaders warn that “ill-equipped” hospital buildings are struggling to store medicines correctly amid the abnormally high temperatures.

We’re just shy of a week after Boris Johnson announced that he was resigning as Tory leader (or did he?) and we’re already in the quarter-finals of the contest to crown the next prime minister.

The shortlist has officially been whittled down to the final eight after Sajid Javid, Grant Shapps and Rehman Chishti (who?) all dropped of the running. Thankfully, Priti Patel decided that she wasn’t going to run, much to the relief of everyone.

This then leaves us with the ‘Exciting Eight’ of Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Tom Tugendhat, Liz Truss, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Kemi Badenoch and Nadim Zahawi (some of whom may have already fallen in the race by the time you read this) – the majority of whom have faced their own amount of indignity in the past few days. I know what you’re thinking, ‘How did we get this lucky?’

Well, we have to wait until September to see who will replace Boris Johnson, who might not be in the job by that point given his comments at PMQs.

While UK politics does seem like a never ending merry-go-round of calamity it still doesn’t look as bad as what’s going on in the United States

July 14

Penny Mordaunt is the new favourite to be the next Tory leader and prime minister, after a stunning surge in support among party MPs and members that left her rivals floundering.

 

The little-known former defence secretary was defeated by Rishi Sunak in the first leadership ballot – by 88 votes to 67 – but is the candidate with momentum behind her, as the race hots up.

 

Mrs Mordaunt leapfrogged Liz Truss into second place, ahead of a second ballot on Wednesday, and is also the overwhelming choice of the Tory grassroots who will pick the next leader, according to a bombshell poll.

July 15

The foreign secretary has been accused of “black-ops” in her desperate fight to stay in the Tory leadership race, as the party’s right-wing boosted her chances of being the next prime minister.

 

Two leading supporters of the foreign secretary branded key rival Penny Mordaunt unfit to be prime minister as the contest turned nasty and undermined her claim to be fighting a clean campaign.

 

The Tory infighting comes as one senior Truss supporter revealed frustration with MPs who have failed to vote for her as promised, telling The Independent: “This is the most duplicitous lying electorate you have ever come across.”

 

David Frost accused Ms Mordaunt of failing to “master the detail” when she was his deputy as Brexit minister and urged Kemi Badenoch to pull out of the contest so there can be “unity among free marketeers” in backing Ms Truss.

 

The attacks were condemned by David Davis, the former cabinet minister and a Mordaunt backer, as the “clockwork” response to his candidate surging ahead.

July 18

Ministers have been urged to take action to make Britain fit to cope with extreme heat as the country faces temperatures above 40C for the first time.

 

The Met Office has issued its first “red extreme” heat alert while the government declared a national heatwave emergency for the first time, saying even fit and healthy people were at risk of death from blistering temperatures. Widespread disruption is expected with trains cancelled and Britons told to stay home.

 

MPs and government advisers warned that homes, city centres and NHS services must be urgently adapted and better action plans put in place for when extreme heat strikes, as the Met Office predicts 35C temperatures could happen once every three years by the end of the decade.

July 19

July 20

If you’re reading this then congratulations, you’ve made it through the hottest heatwave that the UK and other parts of Europe have ever experienced. Record temperatures weren’t just surpassed they were absolutely obliterated with heat surpassing the dangerously hot 40C barrier. It was so absurdly warm that it was possible to fry burgers and eggs on a car and more distressingly wildfires broke out leaving an aftermath that looked like something from a movie. Of course, Brits tried their best to try and stay cool (some more creatively than others) but it was easier said than done, especially when you find yourself getting worked up by climate change deniers banging on about the ‘summer of 1976‘ and saying ‘it’s just the weather.‘ Well, they might not be laughing when deadly sharks are swimming off the coast of Norfolk.

Elsewhere, the heat is on in the Tory leadership race which has now been whittled down to Rishi Sunak (who doesn’t know where Darlington is) and former Lib Dem and Remainer Liz Truss following a series of…how shall we say…enlightening debates. In all honesty it hasn’t been the most riveting campaign from any of the candidates but at least we got to know a bit more about Kemi Badenoch and Penny Mordaunt and their interesting approach to politics. We’re just sad that Nadine Dorries didn’t run in the race as her continued strop at the imminent departure of Boris Johnson, who did his best Terminator impression in his final PMQs, has provided us with a huge amount of joy.

Britain smashed its all-time temperature record on Tuesday as intense heat fuelled dozens of serious fires and brought chaos to transport and schools across England and Wales.

 

The mercury hit 40.3C in Coningsby, Lincolnshire – one of 34 locations across England in which the previous 2019 record was broken.

 

Fire services declared major incidents in London, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire after exceptional heat left much of the country tinder-dry, piling pressure on already-stretched services.

July 21

The Conservative party is facing a brutal summer of vicious infighting, as Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss slug it out for the keys to 10 Downing Street in what is expected to be the most tightly-fought leadership contest in decades.

 

There were appeals for the two contenders to succeed Boris Johnson to avoid “blue on blue” attacks on one another, amid Tory fears that a bloody battle will undermine efforts to restore public trust in the party.

 

The new prime minister will be chosen by an estimated 160,000 Conservative members, prompting calls for an immediate election after the new Tory leader is installed on 5 September to give all voters a say on who runs Britain.

July 22

The £30bn tax-slashing plans of Liz Truss have been savaged by economists, who are warning they will fuel inflation and risk a return to austerity while busting Treasury rules.

 

The Tory leadership race favourite was dragged into a damaging row about the credibility of her strategy after she argued it would tame soaring inflation – turning economic orthodoxy on its head.

 

One economics professor told The Independent the claim was “ridiculous”, while the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies went further, also highlighting the danger for public services and spending rules.

July 23

July 24

 

 

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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