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London politics news LIVE: Aaron Bell latest Tory MP to submit letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson

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Judge suspends Poots’ order to end Irish Sea border checks

A High Court judge has issued an interim order suspending a decision by Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots to direct a stop to Brexit agri-food checks at Northern Ireland ports.

Mr Justice Colton said he was making the temporary direction until a judicial review against the DUP minister’s decision can be heard in full.

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Covid figures released for Friday

The UK has recorded a further 84,053 daily cases and 254 deaths on Friday, according to official figures.

The daily cases now includes reinfections in England and Northern Ireland that are more than 90 days after a previous positive test.

A further 254 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to 157,984, the Government said.

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MP had previously asked Boris Johnson ‘Do you think I’m a fool’?

Aaron Bell, the latest Conservative MP to publicly declare his lack of confidence in Boris Johnson, had earlier this week spoke movingly about his grandmother’s funeral during lockdown.

Speaking following the release of Sue Gray’s update into Partygate, Mr Bell said to Mr Johnson: “It seems a lot of people attended events in May 2020. One I recall attending was my grandmother’s funeral.

“I drove for three hours from Staffordshire to Kent, there were only 10 at the funeral, many people who loved her had to watch online.

“I didn’t hug my siblings, I didn’t hug my parents, I gave the eulogy and then afterwards I didn’t even go to her house for a cup of tea. I drove back three hours from Kent to Staffordshire.

“Does the Prime Minister think I’m a fool?”

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Tory MP becomes eighth to reveal he has submitted letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson

Another Tory MP has revealed that he has submitted a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson despite backing him for leader in 2019.

Aaron Bell, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffs, revealed that he had taken the move over ‘Partygate’.

In a statement, the MP said: “As someone who backed Brexit and who backed Boris Johnson for the leadership in 2019, I am profoundly disappointed it has come to this.”

He added: “The breach of trust that the events in No 10 represent, and the manner in which they have been handled, makes his position untenable.”

Mr Bell joins seven other MPs to reveal they have submitted a vote of no confidence in the PM. A total of 13 have publicly called for him to go.

54 letters need to be sent to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, to trigger a leadership contest.

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Parents facing Down Syndrome support battle, MPs told

Parents are having to face “battles” they should not have to in getting support for their children with Down Syndrome, ministers have heard.

Speaking in support of the Down Syndrome Bill, Conservative MP for Stroud Siobhan Baillie told the Commons about her 19-year-old nephew Rhys, describing him as the “light of every room he enters”.

Ms Baillie told MPs: “I have seen my little sister battle for the understanding about Down Syndrome.”

After having to take interventions from other MPs as she began to cry, the Stroud MP continued: “I have seen her battle for the right to medical care for operations in a timely fashion. She has battled for education.

“She has battled for housing. She has battled to get landlords to take people with benefits. She has battled during the transition from raising a child to an adult.”

The Bill, which has cleared the Commons, aims to place a new duty on the Secretary of State to issue guidance to local authorities on how to meet the specific needs of people who have Down’s syndrome.

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Gove latest Cabinet minister to throw weight behind Boris Johnson

Communities Secretary Michael Gove has also backed Boris Johnson to carry on in Downing Street despite a string of key aides in his inner circle resigning.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Sunderland, Mr Gove said: “I believe that the best thing for the country is for the Prime Minister to continue. I think he is doing a great job.

“Ultimately what happens in Westminster will interest those who are watchers of politics, but what really matters in a week’s or in a month’s or in a year’s time is are we bringing investment, jobs, and a brighter future for the people of Sunderland?

“That’s what I’m here to do in partnership with all the political parties in Sunderland.”

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Sajid Javid says he ‘absolutely supports’ Boris Johnson

Asked by Sky News whether Mr Johnson still enjoys his support, he said: “Of course he does. Absolutely.”

“The Prime Minister has been really clear in his response to all these reports,” said Mr Javid.

“The update from Sue Gray, he came to Parliament as he said he would, he apologised and he set out and said that he will change things, and he’s started making those changes already”.

The show of solidarity with the embattled Prime Minister comes amid ongoing public backlash over ‘Partygate’ and a cost-of-living crisis.

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‘Bit frustating’ to be quizzed on Partygate, says Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has admitted it is frustrating to have to answer questions around partygate and Downing Street resignations while making major policy announcements.

The Health Secretary faced a series of questions from reporters after a speech setting out his ambitions to improve cancer prevention and diagnosis.

The Cabinet minister told the PA news agency: “I think first of all the Prime Minister has responded to the situation – obviously there are still investigations going on and, as he has rightly said, to have a full response we need to wait for the outcome of those further investigations.

“But, of course, understandably it is a big topic in the news and probably will remain for a while.

“If you’re asking me can it be a bit frustrating that when I want to talk about cancer and someone questioning me wants to talk about something completely different, yes – but that’s life, and that’s politics, and I get it.”

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Grant Shapps tests positive for Covid

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has tested positive for Covid.

Mr Shapps said he was isolating as required in a message on social media.

On Thursday he spoke in the House of Commons and visited London Marylebone railway station.

He is the second Cabinet Minister to test positive after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tested positive on Monday.

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‘Change is good’: No 10 spokesman defends departure of senior aides

Boris Johnson has rallied Downing Street staff following the departure of four senior aides, telling them “change is good”, his official spokesman said.

The spokesman confirmed that the Prime Minister used the line from Disney’s The Lion King when he addressed staff in the Cabinet Room on Friday.

“He reflected on the privilege of working in No 10 in order to deliver for the British people and reiterated his and No 10’s commitment to serving the public by keeping people safe, improving lives and spreading opportunity,” the spokesman said.

“As he reiterated to the team today, there is an important job to do, the public expects us to be focused on it, whether it is the situation in Ukraine, recovering from the pandemic or, as the Chancellor was setting out yesterday, on issues such as cost of living.”

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