Boris Johnson latest news: Minister rejects ‘demeaning’ call for all-women shortlist to replace ‘Porn MP’

Neil Parish resigns after admitting to watching pornography in the Commons

A government minister has rejected calls for an all-women shortlist to find a replacement for disgraced Tory MP Neil Parish.

Universities minister Michelle Donelan said that female-only shortlists for parliamentary candidates are “demeaning” to women.

She argued it is better to encourage female candidates to get into parliament “on merit”.

“We don’t do it by putting in quotas which I find quite demeaning to women,” she told Sky News. “Women can get there on merit”.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, has also voiced opposition to quotas.

“I’ve never been a fan, frankly, personally, of quotas and shortlists,” he said in an interview over the weekend.

It comes after Oliver Dowden, the Tory Party chairman, vowed to ensure half of Conservative candidates for the Commons are women amid claims of sexual misconduct and bullying by MPs in parliament.

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ICYMI: Interest rates are rising this week – should we expect a bumpy road ahead?

At the moment, interest rates are almost absurdly low, and I believe the present crop of central bankers will be judged harshly by history, writes Hamish McRae.

Read Hamish’s full piece here:

Matt Mathers2 May 2022 10:14

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More than 250 people detected in small boats after break in Channel crossings

Some 254 people were detected in small boats crossing the Channel to the UK on Sunday after an 11-day pause in such journeys.

The figure was confirmed by the government as more people thought to be migrants were seen being brought into Dover on Bank Holiday Monday.

There is believed to have been an 11-day break in activity around the Channel from April 20 to 30, when no crossings were recorded amid reports of strong winds and choppy seas.

Updating its figures for Sunday, the Ministry of Defence confirmed 254 migrants were detected in seven small boats.

On Monday morning, more people believed to be migrants were pictured on the Dover Lifeboat following what was thought to be a small boat incident in the Channel.

Matt Mathers2 May 2022 09:55

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Sturgeon: Sexism in politics getting worse

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes the problems of sexism and misogyny in politics are getting worse – in part due to the impact of social media.

Ms Sturgeon told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I don’t thinks there is a woman alive, not just in politics but in any walk of life, who will not have experienced somewhere on the spectrum of misogyny and sexism behaviour which is unacceptable.

“In some ways I think it is worse today than it was when I was a woman starting out in politics.

“You become a bit inured to it and get used to it whereas I see it much more starkly through the eyes younger women.”

Matt Mathers2 May 2022 09:30

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Sturgeon: No illegal referendums

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she would not go ahead with a new referendum on independence unless it was legal and constitutional.

“I wouldn’t want to go ahead with a referendum that wasn’t legal,” she said.

“The only referendum worth its salt is one that is democratic, legal and can deliver.

“It would not be in the interests of those who want independence, let alone anybody else’s interest, for a referendum to be anything other than legal and constitutional because that is the only way of delivering independence.”

Matt Mathers2 May 2022 09:10

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Tory rift over call to find female candidate to replace porn shame MP

Universities minister Michelle Donelan said that female-only shortlists for parliamentary candidates are “demeaning” to women.

Our politics editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

Matt Mathers2 May 2022 08:50

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Outraged Somerset voters burn Tory candidate’s posters

People are ripping down and burning the election posters of a Tory council candidate in Somerset, it has been reported.

Dawn Denton, running for election in Tory held Frome North, told The Telegraph she has been getting a poor response while out canvassing in the rural

“The farmers have said they are happy to put them up but they get trashed,” she said.

“People say they are going to put them up really close to the election, because we know they’re not going to survive.

“I’ve had people throw leaflets back out the door at me as well.”

Matt Mathers2 May 2022 08:37

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Crispin Blunt to quit parliament

A Tory MP who sparked fury by coming to the defence of a colleague found guilty of child sex assault has announced he will stand down from parliament at the next election.

Crispin Blunt was forced to apologise and resign as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on global LGBT+ rights after condemning the conviction of Imran Ahmad Khan as an “international scandal”.

First elected as MP for Reigate 25 years ago in 1997, Mr Blunt has been one of parliament’s loudest defenders of gay and transgender rights since coming out in 2010.

In a statement announcing his decision to step down, he said he would use his remaining time in parliament to “continue to call out long-established populist views on policy shibboleths that continue to cause damage to our society and beyond”.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the latest.

Namita Singh2 May 2022 08:10

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Commons standards chief says he was ‘groped’ as young MP

The chair of Westminster’s standards committee said he was “touched up” by male MPs when he arrived in the House of Commons as a young gay man.

Labour’s Chris Bryant told LBC radio that he never reported the incidents because he did not want to be “part of the story”, but would do so if it happened now.

Mr Bryant’s claims come amid a rash of allegations of harassment and abuse of women in parliament.

Namita Singh2 May 2022 07:55

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Whitehall sources alarmed over participation of Stilitz in Gray report

Allies of prime minister Boris Johnson are raising questions on the appropriateness of a Left-leaning lawyer to have advised Sue Gray in the Partygate investigation, reported the Telegraph.

Daniel Stilitz QC, who provided “independent advise” to the civil servant in her inquiries against Mr Johnson’s alleged breach of Covid-19 restrictions, is a fierce critic of the prime minister.

He had earlier written a warning to Labour MPs backing the Brexit deal, saying that they are a “mug” if they trust the prime minister. In another tweet prior to his election, Mr Stilitz called him a “fake news machine”.

The alarm from the Whitehall sources over his participation comes following the suggestion that the Gray report is so damning that Mr Johnson might be forced to resign following its publication.

Namita Singh2 May 2022 07:45

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Minister denies culture of misogyny in Westminster

Energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng denied there is a culture of misogyny in Parliament, instead blaming it on a few “bad apples”.

Insisting that it is a safe place for women to work, the minister backed the resignation of Tory colleague Neil Parish for twice watching pornography in the Commons.

The incident has also drawn concern from Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who demanded “radical reform” to working practices after a string of bullying and sexual misconduct offences involving MPs surfaced.

Read the details in this report:

Namita Singh2 May 2022 06:58

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