‘Women have not been able hold these: Samoa’s first female PM gets down to the job

After months of political turmoil, following the country’s most contentious election, Fiama Naomi Mata’afa is ready to get to work The prime minister’s office in Apia, the capital of Samoa, which overlooks the harbour, has just been vacated by the man who held the job for 22 years. The bookshelves are still empty, but the […]

How England’s ‘pingdemic’ took a heavy toll on the Tories

It was billed as a return to freedom, but the week ended with empty supermarket shelves and cancelled trains as many thousand workers – including the PM and chancellor – self-isolated Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Last weekend, as MPs prepared for their long summer holiday break from Westminster, a senior […]

Government disability strategy risks becoming a ‘car crash’, says Tory peer

Lord Shinkwin warns PM he must listen more to views of people with disabilities before releasing report The launch of the government’s long-awaited disability strategy risks becoming a car crash if ministers do not do more to listen to the views of people with disabilities before releasing it, a Conservative peer has said. Lord Shinkwin […]

Two years after winning with Dominic Cummings, Johnson looks rudderless

Analysis: attacks by PM’s former adviser echoed by Tory insiders who say No 10 operation is chaotic Two years ago Dominic Cummings became the most powerful man in Downing Street – apart, perhaps, from the prime minister himself. And this week he marked that anniversary with what one former colleague described as a “jihad on […]

Saved by the bell, Boris Johnson’s government flip-flops off for the summer | Polly Toynbee

As the Commons enters recess, the PM has simply kicked huge issues – the ‘pingdemic’, ‘levelling up’ – down the road On the last day of term in parliament, there’s a bad tradition of governments sneaking out a host of unwelcome reports and decisions they hope to hide amid the great Westminster summer escape. Not […]

Sajid Javid tests positive as health chiefs tell PM: don’t let Covid rip

Boris Johnson may be forced to self-isolate after England’s health secretary confirms he has virus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Sajid Javid was self-isolating on Saturday after testing positive for Covid, as senior public health leaders from across the UK accused Boris Johnson today of “letting Covid rip” by relaxing legal […]

Tory jitters mount at political drift of Boris Johnson’s government

Analysis: lack of substance in PM’s ‘levelling up’ speech adds to growing discontent as summer recess nears Boris Johnson’s levelling up speech in Coventry on Thursday was billed as the moment the prime minister would set out the substance behind the central idea of his premiership. In the event, he announced £50m for community football […]

Greensill inquiry acting ‘contrary to natural justice’, says PM’s ex-adviser

Sir Alex Allan questions why family of Sir Jeremy Heywood not given chance to defend his reputation Boris Johnson’s former adviser on ministerial standards has criticised the government’s independent inquiry into the Greensill lobbying scandal for acting “contrary to natural justice”. In his first major intervention since resigning last year, Sir Alex Allan said the […]

‘Yeast. Magic sauce!’ went the PM as he lost a one-man game of Articulate | Zoe Williams

Boris Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ speech contained few policies and even fewer coherent sentences Some background to the prime minister’s speech on Thursday: it was billed as a “major” speech, an almighty drop from the powerhouse of his intellect. There were rumours that he’d been working on it all week. Later, counter-rumours that he was only […]

The Guardian view on the way we eat: do as Dimbleby says | Editorial

It is disappointing but not surprising that the PM appears uninterested in plans to make people healthier The businessman Henry Dimbleby, who co-founded the Leon restaurant chain and led a review of school food, has taken the opportunity given to him two years ago by the then environment secretary, Michael Gove, and run with it. […]

PM attempts to reassure southern MPs over ‘levelling up’

MPs in south-east England fear more byelection losses if ‘red wall’ seats appear favoured over theirs Towns trouser cash as billions earmarked for ‘levelling up’ in UK Boris Johnson will attempt to reassure Tory MPs in south-east England that his flagship “levelling up” policy does not involve directly favouring the party’s new power base in […]

Boris Johnson cleared over Mustique holiday but criticised for explanation

Commons standards committee’s findings underline haphazard nature of PM’s financial arrangements Boris Johnson has been cleared by parliament’s committee on standards of wrongly declaring a luxury villa stay in Mustique funded by a Tory donor – but criticised for failing to ascertain the details himself at the time. The committee, chaired by the Labour MP […]

Boris Johnson performs another masterclass in evading MPs’ questions | Zoe Williams

From the climate crisis to Northern Ireland, the embarrassing depths of the PM’s ignorance were clear to see The liaison committee, comprising the chairs of all Commons select committees, is thereby crowned committee of committees, and you can understand why they so rarely indulge in recommendations or reports. Just imagine the size of that camel. […]

The end of mandatory Covid masks in England: four readers share their views

Opinions divided as the PM announces legal obligation to wear face coverings likely to end on 19 July Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage From 19 July onwards, people in England will be allowed to make their own decisions about what kind of behaviour is safe, and the legal obligation to wear […]

Boris Johnson said becoming PM was ‘ludicrous’ idea, Cummings claims

Former adviser says Johnson admitted after Brexit vote he was ‘unfit’ to lead Britain Boris Johnson admitted privately that him becoming prime minister would be a “ludicrous” idea three years before he took the top job, his former aide Dominic Cummings has claimed. In another blogpost detailing the political machinations that led up to and […]

Ex-EU head Donald Tusk elected leader of Polish opposition party

Tusk, who was Poland’s PM for several years, says he wants to help fight ‘evil’ of country’s rightwing government The former European Union leader and ex-prime minister Donald Tusk has been elected head of the strongest party in Poland’s fragmented opposition. Tusk, 64, said he was returning to Polish politics and to the opposition Civic […]

‘Not cricket’: Lib Dem Chesham victor says Tories recoiled from Johnson

Sarah Green’s explanation of her shock byelection victory has some troubling themes for the PM Little more than a fortnight after pulling off one of the more remarkable byelection wins of recent years, the new MP for Chesham and Amersham, Sarah Green, is attempting something arguably just as difficult: setting up her parliamentary operation from […]

Dominic Raab’s mobile number freely available online for last decade

Exclusive: Finding raises questions for security services weeks after similar revelations about PM’s number For UK foreign secretary, simply having a mobile represents a security risk The private mobile number of Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, has been online for at least 11 years, raising questions for the security services weeks after the prime […]

The Guardian view on political trust: voters put store by it, the PM does not | Editorial

The prime minister wants no one in his cabinet to pay for their mistakes, a strategy that has failed The departure of Matt Hancock from the cabinet is not the end of the matter. It may only be the beginning. Boris Johnson swiftly appointed former chancellor Sajid Javid to replace Mr Hancock, who resigned a […]

Hancock affair: PM has ‘serious questions’ to answer, says Labour

Sir Keir Starmer queries award of Covid contracts, issuance of aide’s parliamentary pass and leak of CCTV Boris Johnson still has “huge questions to answer” in the aftermath of Matt Hancock’s resignation over his affair with a friend and paid adviser, Labour has said, as the government was urged to launch an investigation into a […]

Keir Starmer tells PM to ditch yacht and tackle antisocial behaviour

Labour leader criticises costly ‘national flagship’ plan and pledges to fund crime-fighting instead Keir Starmer is calling on Boris Johnson to scrap his plans for a “vanity yacht” and instead spend the money on tackling antisocial behaviour. Pledging to make Labour “the party of law and order”, Starmer highlighted the blight of antisocial behaviour, such […]

Queen calls Matt Hancock ‘poor man’ at first weekly audience with PM in 15 months

Buckingham Palace footage shows woes of beleaguered health secretary have not escaped monarch’s notice The Queen has held her first in-person weekly audience with the prime minister in 15 months, and revealed that the woes of the beleaguered health secretary Matt Hancock might not have escaped her eye. In a short video clip of the […]

Keir Starmer castigates PM over record low rape prosecutions

Boris Johnson criticised for ‘jabber’ response as Labour leader attacks austerity’s impact on justice system Keir Starmer has accused the government of failing rape victims by making cuts to the criminal justice system during a decade of austerity. “On the prime minister’s watch, rape prosecutions and convictions are at a record low, court backlogs are […]

PM does not have to investigate Russian interference, judge says

High court rejects attempt to compel Boris Johnson to investigate Kremlin interference in UK elections A judge has rejected an attempt by a group of MPs and peers to compel Boris Johnson to investigate Russian interference in UK elections, saying their concerns were a “matter for politics rather than the law”. The judge, Mr Justice […]

Italy’s PM says Euro 2020 final should be moved to Rome due to UK Covid rates

After Mario Draghi’s remarks, head of Italian football federation says they are not seeking to move match Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi has said he wants the final of the European football championships to be held in Rome rather than in London, because of Britain’s rising number of coronavirus infections. Asked during a news conference […]

If football and cricket fans are allowed to sing, why can’t choirs? | Letters

Alan Robinson, Paul Hill and Ian Wells on the continuing restrictions on choral singing under coronavirus regulations Our small local choir was working hard towards a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria for Easter 2020 when the pandemic struck. We immediately shut up shop, and have continued to follow government guidelines as to possible resumption dates, now […]

He pledged unity. But now PM hopes to tighten grip on war-torn Ethiopia

Elections this week could give PM even greater power, despite a regional conflict and a ‘man-made’ humanitarian crisis Tens of millions of Ethiopians are expected to vote on Monday in crucial elections that could provide a launchpad for controversial prime minister Abiy Ahmed to consolidate his increasingly authoritarian rule. Abiy, who won the Nobel peace […]

Anti-corruption tsar vows to tackle Met police over Daniel Morgan cover-up

Pressure increases on Cressida Dick to resign as commissioner after PM’s adviser condemns ‘horrifying’ findings of inquiry into murder of private detective Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption tsar has piled renewed pressure on Cressida Dick after describing the findings of an inquiry that called the Metropolitan police institutionally corrupt as “horrifying”. The prime minister’s anti-corruption champion, John […]

More than half of Europe’s cities still plagued by dirty air, report finds

Data shows only 127 of 323 cities had acceptable PM 2.5 levels despite drop in emissions during lockdowns Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage More than half of European cities are still plagued by dirty air, new data shows, despite a reduction in traffic emissions and other pollutants during last year’s lockdowns. […]