It is perhaps unsurprising that Sir Tony Blair chose this moment to bring together the political and business elite for a summer summit held alongside a new centrist group inspired by Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche.
The former Labor Prime Minister will hold a ‘Future of Britain’ conference on June 30 which will promote his solutions to help fill a ‘gaping hole’ in British politics.
Organizers want French President and former Labor Foreign Minister David Miliband to speak at the event and already have Obama administration economist Larry Summers and ex-Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson on board. .
Find out why this is sparking speculation about a new political party.
Rarely has Conservative Party politics seemed so hazy. State benefits and pension will see their biggest increase in 32 years, according to a new analysis, as Rishi Sunak refused to rule out more cost-of-living expenses in the future.
According to the Resolution Foundation, the chancellor’s promise to increase the two state grants regardless of inflation in September will cost around £15billion.
The think tank also found that the wealthiest households would lose almost £2,000 as a result of Treasury changes this year, while the poorest would gain more than £1,000.
This graph shows how the Treasury measures will cause the richest to lose.
André Lilico explains why this is the most economical left-wing government we’ve had since the 1970s, despite the Chancellor set to raise a record £12billion from oil and gas producers in the North Sea this year, even before its energy impact tax comes into effect.
One reason Mr Sunak has refused to rule out more spending may have been the prospect of the Scottish Government coming at him with his head in the air.
Nicola Sturgeon will be forced to beg Whitehall for additional funding after the SNP pledged to spend more than £640 per person in Scotland, economists have said.
The Scottish government’s spending review on Tuesday is expected to show a £3.5billion black hole in its budget by 2026-27, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
David Phillips, associate director of the think tank, said the SNP faced “very tough decisions” unless the UK government came to the rescue with additional funding. This chart illustrates Scotland’s dramatic deficit.
Commentary and analysis
Around the world: Ukraine “needs long-range weapons”
Providing Ukraine with long-range rocket launchers is “vital” as Russian forces “slowly eat away at the ground” in the east, Boris Johnson has said. The Prime Minister stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invading army was making “palpable progress” in the Donbass region after abandoning the attempt to encircle Kyiv. It comes as units from the Royal Tank Regiment and the Royal Welsh Battlegroup take part in NATO’s Exercise Hedgehog in the Baltic regions, which you can see in this gallery. Meanwhile, the EU has bowed to pressure from Hungary over new sanctions, which could mean a key Russian pipeline is kept open.
Big Reading Friday
Snake Island: Why Ukraine just won’t let go