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.
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
Here are some details of the questions faced by Tom Tugendhat during his launch:
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 11:39
Sunak suggests rivals’ tax plans are ‘not credible’
Rishi Sunak has taken a swipe at rival candidates, suggesting their tax plans are “not credible” as he said he would only reduce them after inflation is under control.
The former chancellor told those gathered at his campaign launch: “It is not credible to promise lots more spending and lower taxes.
“I had to make some of the most difficult choices of my life as chancellor, in particular how to deal with our debt and borrowing after Covid. I have never hidden away from those, I certainly won’t pretend now the choices I made and the things I voted for were somehow not necessary.
“While that may be politically inconvenient for me, it is also the truth. As is the fact that once we’ve gripped inflation, I will get the tax burden down. It is a question of when, not if.”
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 11:35
Kemi Badenoch vows not to enter ‘tax bidding war’
Former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has said she will not enter into a tax cut “bidding war” against the other candidates, at the launch of her leadership campaign.
Speaking to MPs including Michael Gove, who has pledged his support for her, she said: “I will not enter into a tax bidding war and say my tax cuts are bigger than yours.
“The dividing line in this race is not tax cuts, it’s judgment.”
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 11:31
Tugendhat vows to end Tory ‘factionalism and scandal’
Our political correspondent Adam Forrest reports:
Tom Tugendhat has set out his pitch to be the “clean start” candidate – attacking Tory pettiness and factionalism and scandal.
“We have retreated into the pettiness of a politics that is more about personality than principle,” he said.
The moderate, picking up support from the One Nation wing, added: “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.”
Mr Tugendhat said that he backs tax cuts – promising to take fuel duty down by 10p a litre, and reverse the April national insurance rise.
“Tax cuts cannot be the only round in the magazine,” he added – vowing to champion deregulation. He said the EU’s Solvency II regulations can be ditched, calling it one of the “biggest benefits of Brexit”.
Appealing to red wall MPs in the north of England, he claimed he would create new technical institutes across every part of the country, saying: “I will equalise funding across all our regions – making sure that spending on innovation, infrastructure and transport is spread fairly.”
Andy Gregory12 July 2022 11:29