Lord Frost accuses Boris Johnson of making ‘factually incorrect statements’  

Lord Frost, the former Brexit ministerCredit: Julian Simmonds for The Telegraph

🤠😁😛 Lord Frost has criticised Boris Johnson as he accused the Prime Minister of making “factually incorrect statements” about employment levels in the UK. 

🤠😁😛 The former Brexit minister said he wished Mr Johnson “would not say things like that which are obviously not true” in reference to a claim made by the PM that there are more people in work now than before the pandemic.

🤠😁😛 Speaking at an event hosted by the UK in a Changing Europe think tank this morning, Lord Frost said: “I wish he would not say things like that which are obviously not true, making factually incorrect statements.

🤠😁😛 "But in the end it’s for the Prime Minister’s own party and MPs to decide is that how they want to do things or is it not.”

🤠😁😛 The UK Statistics Authority has previously criticised Mr Johnson for making the employment claim. 

🤠😁😛 Sir David Norgrove, the chairman of the organisation, wrote to Mr Johnson in February and said the claim was “wrong” as he warned against the “selective use of data”.

🤠😁😛 He said the "increase in the number of people who are on payrolls is more than offset by the reduction in the number of people who are self-employed" and so overall "the number of people in work is estimated to be around 600,000 fewer than at the start of the pandemic". 

🤠😁😛 Downing Street said at lunchtime that Mr Johnson had recently made clear that he was referring specifically to the number of employees on payrolls rather than overall employment. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: “I would point to what he said in Parliament yesterday. He is referring to the number of people who are on payroll which is higher now than it was before the pandemic.

🤠😁😛 “I think he has made that clear in the House on a couple of occasions.”

🤠😁😛 ​​Follow the latest updates below.

That is all for today...

🤠😁😛 Thank you for following today's politics live blog. 

🤠😁😛 I will be back early tomorrow morning. 

No 10: 'Unlikely' PM will raise Rwanda policy during Prince of Wales meeting

🤠😁😛 Downing Street has said it is “unlikely” that Boris Johnson will bring up the Government's Rwanda asylum policy with the Prince of Wales in their meeting tomorrow. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said the policy will not be “at the forefront of his mind”, adding: “I’m not going to be over-prescriptive over what the PM will say in any meeting, that includes this one. The Prime Minister’s focus remains on some of the important challenges on the future of Commonwealth, on climate change, on girls’ education.”

🤠😁😛 Pressed on whether he will raise the asylum policy, he said: “It’s unlikely and I’m only not being categorical because it’s simply as a matter of course I do not rule in or out any topic when two individuals meet.”

Surge in vehicle breakdowns amid rail strikes

🤠😁😛 Rail strikes have triggered a surge in breakdowns on Britain’s roads as commuters battle their way into work in unfit cars.

🤠😁😛 The RAC said it was expecting seven thousand breakdowns today, 10 per cent above normal.

🤠😁😛 "People are probably getting into cars that haven't been used for a while," the organisation said. "They are being tested over long distances and failing." 

🤠😁😛 You can follow the latest on the rail strikes here

Sir Keir Starmer set to miss Durham Miners' Gala

🤠😁😛 Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, will not attend the Durham Miners' Gala next month.

🤠😁😛 The traditional trade union-backed event, known as the Big Meeting, attracts some 200,000 people to the historic city centre, where crowds watch processions of brass bands and banners.

🤠😁😛 The gala was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid, and its return is dedicated to the key workers who kept society going during the pandemic – a decision organisers announced last year.

🤠😁😛 Sir Keir was reportedly invited but he is unable to attend because of another engagement. Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband both attended the event when they were party leader. 

British Airways workers vote to strike

🤠😁😛 British Airways’ check-in staff and ground crew at Heathrow have voted to go on strike with walkouts timed for the start of the summer holidays.

🤠😁😛 Holidaymakers now face a “gruelling summer of travel chaos,” GMB, the union behind the strikes has said.

🤠😁😛 About 700 employees at the airport balloted for industrial action in results announced this afternoon.

🤠😁😛 You can read the full story here

PM visits Kigali Genocide Memorial

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson found it “utterly shocking” to witness the images and physical memorials of the genocide in Rwanda as he was led around a museum by survivors.

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister bowed his head during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where the remains of an estimated 250,000 people are interred.

🤠😁😛 Mr Johnson wrote a lengthy message in the visitors book before pausing at the flame of remembrance marking 28 years since the 100 days that saw Hutu extremists claim the lives of around 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus.

🤠😁😛 “It has been utterly shocking to see these images, and so many physical memorials, of the appalling and inexplicable genocide against the Tutsis,” it read.

🤠😁😛 “We must do everything we can to ensure that human hearts never again are allowed to breed such hatred.”

Martin Lewis turned down for peerage for the second time

🤠😁😛 Martin Lewis has been turned down for a peerage for a second time – but the consumer campaigner has vowed to apply again.

🤠😁😛 The founder and chairman of the MoneySavingExpert.com website was reported in 2018 to have been passed over by the House of Lords Appointments Commission (Holac).

🤠😁😛 Mr Lewis revealed a recent application had now also been rejected, claiming the limited hours he could sit acted as a “stumbling block”.

🤠😁😛 You can read the full story here

Senior Tory MP warns against teacher strike 

🤠😁😛 A strike by teachers over pay would be akin to another “lockdown” for children, a senior Conservative MP has said.

🤠😁😛 Robert Halfon, the chairman of the Education Select Committee, warned industrial action by teachers could have a detrimental impact on children.

🤠😁😛 “Our children have been damaged massively over the past few years because of Covid, because most children were not in school,” he told the BBC’s World At One programme.

🤠😁😛 “We know the damage that’s done to their educational attainment, their mental health, their life chances, their safeguarding, and to put children into de facto lockdown by having a strike wouldn’t just cause misery to the children but also would cause huge problems for parents because of course, many of them have to be in work whilst their children are at school."

'Cultural vandalism'

🤠😁😛 The removal of poems by Philip Larkin and Wilfred Owen from a GCSE poetry anthology has been labelled “cultural vandalism” by the Education Secretary.

🤠😁😛 Nadhim Zahawi has hit out at the move by OCR, which is part of a wider reform of the exam board’s anthology.

🤠😁😛 He said he will be discussing the decision with OCR which is one of the main examining bodies in the UK.

'Public sector pay acts as a signalling tool'

🤠😁😛 Granting large public sector pay rises would put pressure on the private sector to follow suit which could fuel spiking prices and keep inflation higher for longer, No 10 has argued. 

🤠😁😛 Downing Street said that "most commentators recognise that the primary risk from current high levels of inflation is that it becomes embedded through the labour market and through wages".

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said that "increases to public sector pay can exacerbate temporary inflationary pressure as those awards can put pressure on other parts of the economy to demand higher wages which will then impact in terms of costs and the price that consumers pay in many areas".

🤠😁😛 The spokesman said: "So in that sense public sector pay acts as a signalling tool from government to private sector on wages.” 

Pictured: PM poses for photographs in Kigali

Boris Johnson is pictured in Kigali, Rwanda, as he attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in RwandaCredit: Dan Kitwood /PA

No 10 backs Nadhim Zahawi on teacher strike warning 

🤠😁😛 Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, has warned a teachers' strike would be "unforgivable" in the wake of Covid. The UK’s largest teaching union has threatened to ballot for a strike (you can read the full story here). 

🤠😁😛 Downing Street has now backed Mr Zahawi's comments. 

🤠😁😛 Asked if Boris Johnson agreed with the Cabinet Minister, the PM's Official Spokesman said: “Well, the Prime Minister agrees with what Nadhim Zahawi has said that, as I’ve clearly stated, that we don’t want to see children’s education being impacted any more than it has been, given the amount of disruption that was caused by the pandemic.”

PM: Strikes are a 'terrible idea'

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson said the ongoing rail strikes are a "terrible idea" as he urged the two sides to "get around the table and sort it out". 

🤠😁😛 Speaking in Kigali, Mr Johnson said: "I just think it is important to remember that these strikes are unnecessary. I think people should get around the table and sort it out."

🤠😁😛 He added: “I want us to work together with railway staff for a better future for the railway. I think the strikes are a terrible idea.”

Pictured: Duchess of Cornwall and Carrie Johnson talk at event in Kigali

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Carrie Johnson, wife of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speak as they attend a Violence Against Women and Girls event at the Kigali Convention Centre on June 23, 2022 in Kigali, RwandaCredit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

PM defends Rwanda plans

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson said that "Rwanda has undergone an absolute transformation in the last couple of decades" as he defended his Government's plans to send asylum seekers to the country. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister said that the country has come on “leaps and bounds” in education and in “taking the society forward”.

🤠😁😛 He said the UK and Rwanda have done an “immense amount of due diligence on the way things work, both in the UK and in Rwanda so that everything we do is in conformity with human rights, with everything you would expect”.

'People need to keep an open mind' 

🤠😁😛 Before delivering his speech at the Commonwealth Business Forum, Boris Johnson visited a school in Kigali and answered some questions from broadcasters. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister said he will stress the “obvious merits” of his Rwanda asylum policy to the Prince of Wales when they meet tomorrow. 

🤠😁😛 Asked if he will defend the deportation strategy in his meeting with Prince Charles, Mr Johnson said: “People need to keep an open mind about the policy, the critics need to keep an open mind about the policy. A lot of people can see its obvious merits. So yeah, of course, if I am seeing the Prince tomorrow, I am going to be making that point.”

🤠😁😛 Asked if will he defend the plan if Prince Charles raises it, Mr Johnson said: “Yes, it hasn’t come up so far, but of course.”

Commonwealth an 'extraordinary grouping of countries' 

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson said the UK wants to be Africa's chosen partner in the years ahead as the continent looks to take advantage of new green technologies. 

🤠😁😛 Speaking in Kigali, the Prime Minister said: "We in the UK have the technology, the City of London certainly has the finance, the Government I am proud to lead has the will and our wonderful Commonwealth, that great institution, has the super fertiliser to be sprinkled across this extraordinary grouping of countries and above all to help to forge a new Africa, sharing your optimism that the people of this continent and every member of the Commonwealth can thrive and prosper from free trade and free enterprise."

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, delivers a speech at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Kigali, Rwanda todayCredit: Simon Maina/AFP

PM describes the Commonwealth as an economic 'fertiliser'

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson described the Commonwealth as a "fertiliser" which can help countries grow their economies. 

🤠😁😛 He said the "common language", common legal systems and "shared sense of mutual trust" across the Commonwealth can help members to prosper. 

🤠😁😛 He said: "That fertiliser is called the Commonwealth. That fertiliser knocks 21 per cent off the cost of trade between Commonwealth members."

Boris Johnson delivers speech in Rwanda

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson is delivering a speech at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Kigali, Rwanda. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister said said that while the weather is "absolutely lovely" in Rwanda "but it is actually hotter in London". 

🤠😁😛 He said the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is "very, very timely" because "we have all come out of the misery of the Covid lockdowns". 

What is the Lord Frost/PM row about?

🤠😁😛 In the recent past the Prime Minister has claimed that there are now more people in employment than before the pandemic began.

🤠😁😛 The UK Statistics Authority criticised the PM for making the claim and suggested he was guilty of the “selective use of data”. 

🤠😁😛 Sir David Norgrove, the chairman of the body, told the PM in February that the claim was “wrong” because “the increase in the number of people who are on payrolls is more than offset by the reduction in the number of people who are self-employed”. 

🤠😁😛 So while payroll numbers are up, self-employed numbers are down and overall there are therefore fewer people in work than before the pandemic. 

🤠😁😛 Mr Johnson made clear that he was talking specifically about “payroll employment” when he made the claim yesterday.

Downing Street responds to Lord Frost

🤠😁😛 Downing Street said Boris Johnson has made clear that he was referring specifically to the number of employees on payrolls when he made claims about employment levels, following criticism from Lord Frost about the PM's past statements (see the post below at 11.00). 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: “I would point to what he said in Parliament yesterday. He is referring to the number of people who are on payroll which is higher now than it was before the pandemic.

🤠😁😛 “I think he has made that clear in the House on a couple of occasions.”

Northern Ireland Protocol Bill to be voted on next week

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson’s plans to unilaterally tear up post-Brexit border rules in Northern Ireland will be debated and voted upon by MPs next week.

🤠😁😛 Commons Leader Mark Spencer announced the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol Bill has been scheduled to receive its second reading on June 27.

🤠😁😛 The Government has argued the measures in the Bill to remove checks on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are necessary to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement and peace and stability. The EU has warned the proposals could breach international law and trigger a trade war. 

Pictured: PM visits a school in Rwanda

Boris Johnson looks on as school children take part in a lesson during a visit to The GS Kacyiru II School in KigaliCredit: Dan Kitwood/AFP

Lord Frost criticises PM

🤠😁😛 Lord Frost has said he wished the Prime Minister would stop saying things that were “factually incorrect” - but it was for Conservative MPs to decide his fate.

🤠😁😛 Asked about Boris Johnson’s claims that there were more people in work now than before the pandemic, which has been criticised by the UK Statistics Authority, the former Brexit minister said: “I wish he would not say things like that which are obviously not true, making factually incorrect statements.

🤠😁😛 “But in the end it’s for the Prime Minister’s own party and MPs to decide is that how they want to do things or is it not.”

Brexiteers should be 'honest' about trade-offs

🤠😁😛 Brexit supporters should be “honest” about the trade-offs of leaving the EU, Lord Frost has said.

🤠😁😛 The former Brexit minister told an event hosted by UK in a Changing Europe that the Leave campaign had not “helped itself by pretending there aren’t any of these trade-offs”.

🤠😁😛 He added: “I think it would be much better to be honest about these things and show where the possibility for doing things better really exist instead of pretending nothing is going on.”

Lord Frost issues warning over Brexit debate

🤠😁😛 Brexit will be a failure if it is still being debated in the same way in “five or six years”, Lord Frost has said.

🤠😁😛 The former Brexit minister said it would probably never be clear whether leaving the EU had succeeded or failed on economic grounds because there are too many other variables. 

🤠😁😛 Speaking at an event held by the UK in a Changing Europe think tank, he said: "One piece of evidence of failure would be if we are still debating this in five or six years’ time in the same way.

🤠😁😛 “If it’s to succeed it needs to settle in the British polity and there needs to be broad consensus that this is how we are going forward. I don’t think we’re quite there at the moment.

🤠😁😛 “I am not sure we will ever get economic evidence one way or the other that is going to prove this. The tests are broader, the tests are about democracy as well as economics.”

Pictured: Prince of Wales attends exhibition in Kigali

The Prince of Wales (centre) arrives to attend a Commonwealth Business Forum Exhibition at Kigali Cultural Exhibition Village, as part of his visit to RwandaCredit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Pictured: PM and Paul Kagame shake hands in Kigali

Boris Johnson shakes hands with Rwandan President Paul Kagame during a bilateral meeting at the office of the President, in Kigali, RwandaCredit: Dan Kitwood/Getty 

Department for Transport rejects Mick Lynch claim

🤠😁😛 Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the RMT union, this morning accused Grant Shapps and the Government of stopping progress from being made in talks between the union, Network Rail and train operating companies (see the post below at 09.06). 

🤠😁😛 The Department for Transport has now rejected the claim. 

🤠😁😛 A DfT spokesman said: “It is entirely false to claim the Government is blocking negotiations. We have said from the outset we urge the unions and industry to agree a deal that is fair for railway staff, passengers and taxpayers.”

Labour frontbencher 'would have voted for strike action' 

🤠😁😛 A Labour frontbencher has said he would have voted for strike action if he was a member of the RMT union.

🤠😁😛 Stephen Kinnock, the shadow immigration minister, was asked the question during an interview on Sky News last night and he said: “Yes, I would be because I think that there is the right to strike and it’s really important that workforces have that right to strike.

🤠😁😛 “We believe that rail workers, health workers, people working in every industry that has done so much as well to keep our economy going through the pandemic, have the right to strike and to fight for a better deal.”

🤠😁😛 He added: “We believe in working people getting a good deal in terms of pay, terms and conditions. A strike is a last resort for getting that but sometimes that’s what you have to do.”

Union boss accuses Labour leadership of 'sitting on the fence' 

🤠😁😛 Eddie Dempsey, the RMT's senior assistant general secretary, has accused the Labour leadership of "sitting on the fence" on the rail strikes and warned Sir Keir Starmer he could get "splinters". 

🤠😁😛 Sir Keir has ordered Labour frontbenchers to stay away from picket lines but he was defied by a handful of his top team on Tuesday. The Labour leader has said he does not want the strikes to go ahead but he has not criticised the unions, instead choosing to blame the Government. 

🤠😁😛 Mr Dempsey told Times Radio: "Well, we've had plenty of support from Labour MPs on our picket lines, we had the leader of Scottish Labour on our picket lines.

🤠😁😛 "People are going to have to make their own decision where they stand in respect to this dispute, and that's for them to work out.

🤠😁😛 "But my opinion is, if you sit on the fence long enough, you just end up with splinters where you don't want them."

Boris Johnson and Paul Kagame hold talks in Rwanda

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson was welcomed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Office of the President in Kigali this morning. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister arrived by car at the entrance to the building and then walked up red-carpeted stairs. At the top, the two men met with a relaxed handshake.

🤠😁😛 They then went next door to the president’s meeting room where they sat in white armchairs in front of a Union flag and a Rwandan flag.

🤠😁😛 Mr Johnson said: “How are you? Very good to see you. What an exciting time to be here in Rwanda. Congratulations on taking over as chair of office. This will be absolutely superb.”

🤠😁😛 Mr Kagame said: “It is a pleasure. Thank you.”

🤠😁😛 The media was then asked to leave the room.

Hold up in grain shipments could have 'devastating consequences' 

🤠😁😛 The grain crisis in Ukraine must be solved by world leaders within the next month or there could be "devastating consequences”, Liz Truss warned today. 

🤠😁😛 She said the UK is offering its own “expertise” on ways to bypass a Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports but she said getting grain shipments out will "require an international effort". 

🤠😁😛 Speaking during a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, the Foreign Secretary said: “This grain crisis is urgent and needs to be solved within the next month, otherwise we could see devastating consequences."

'Commercial vessels need to have safe passage'

🤠😁😛 Commercial ships need to be granted "safe passage" out of Ukrainian ports, Liz Truss said this morning as she stressed the important of getting grain shipments out of Ukraine. 

🤠😁😛 Speaking in Ankara, Turkey, the Foreign Secretary said: "We’re clear that commercial vessels need to have safe passage to be able to leave Ukrainian ports, and that Ukrainian ports should be protected from Russian attacks.

🤠😁😛 “We support the UN talks, but Russia cannot be allowed to delay and prevaricate. It’s urgent that action is taken within the next month ahead of the new harvest. And we’re determined to work with our allies to deliver this.”

Liz Truss accuses Russia of 'weaponising hunger'

🤠😁😛 Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, is in Ankara, Turkey, today for talks. 

🤠😁😛 She has just held a press conference alongside Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and she accused Russia of "weaponising hunger" and using food security as a “callous tool of war” with its blockade of Ukrainian grain.

🤠😁😛 Ms Truss said it is “urgent” that action is taken to free up supplies in the next month ahead of the new harvest.

Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss greets Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu before their talks in Ankara, Turkey todayCredit: Umit Bektas/Reuters

🤠😁😛 She said the UK and Turkey are working “closely together”, in particular to get the “grain out of Ukraine”.

🤠😁😛 She said: “(Vladimir) Putin is weaponising hunger. He is using food security as a callous tool of war. He has blocked Ukrainian ports, and is stopping 20 million tonnes of grain being exported across the globe, holding the world to ransom."

Rishi Sunak admits 'challenge for public finances' 

🤠😁😛 Responding to the latest Government borrowing figures (see the post below at 09.07), Rishi Sunak said that "rising inflation and increasing debt interest costs pose a challenge for the public finances, as they do for family budgets".

🤠😁😛 He said: "That is why we are taking a balanced approach - using our fiscal firepower to provide targeted help with the cost of living, while remaining on track to get debt down.

🤠😁😛 “Being responsible with the public finances now will mean future generations aren’t burdened with even higher debt repayments, and we can secure our economy for the long term.”

Surging debt interest forces Sunak to borrow £14bn

🤠😁😛 Rishi Sunak borrowed another £14bn last month as debt interest payments hit £7.6bn, the highest for any May on record, the Office for National Statistics said.

🤠😁😛 The debt servicing cost is 50pc more than the £5.1bn forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility, as runaway inflation drives up the cost of servicing the national debt. 

🤠😁😛 Around one-quarter of the nation’s £2 trillion debt is linked to the retail price index measure of inflation, which surged to 11.7pc last month.

🤠😁😛 You can follow the latest updates on our business live blog here.

Union boss accuses Grant Shapps of stopping progress in talks

🤠😁😛 Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the RMT union, has accused Grant Shapps and the Government of stopping progress from being made in talks between the union, Network Rail and train operating companies. 

🤠😁😛 Mr Lynch told the BBC: "So there is a lot of exchanges of ideas but you have got to form that into a concrete proposal and that is the sticky part of the equation and I think it is the Government in the form of Grant Shapps and the Treasury that are stopping those ideas coming forward.

🤠😁😛 “If we were dealing with the companies of their own volition and their own cognisance I think we would have had a deal on these issues quite a long time ago. 

RMT union members are pictured outside Newcastle Station this morningCredit: Owen Humphreys/PA

🤠😁😛 “But the Government’s hand is in this and they are a silent partner at the table and the companies leave the room, go and consult the Government ministers and the departmental officials and when they come back often the situation is worse than before we took the adjournment.

🤠😁😛 “That is one of the situations is that there is a third party at these meetings and they are influencing it in a very negative way.” 

Further rail strikes 'extremely likely'

🤠😁😛 Just one in five trains are running today as rail workers stage their second nationwide strike of the week. Another walkout is planned for Saturday. 

🤠😁😛 Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, said this morning that it is "extremely likely" there will be more strikes in the months ahead if the dispute over pay, jobs and conditions is not resolved. 

Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the RMT union, is pictured on the picket line at Euston Station in central London this morning Credit: Jeremy Selwyn/SelwynPics

🤠😁😛 Asked if there will be more strikes, he told BBC Breakfast: “We are going to review that. We will come back next week when everybody is back to work, we will consult our members, we will see where the negotiations lie, we will continue to talk to the companies about everything that has been put on the table and we will review that and see if and when there needs to be a new phase of industrial action. 

🤠😁😛 “But if we don’t get a settlement it is extremely likely that there will be.”

PM will not visit Rwanda migrant accommodation

🤠😁😛 Downing Street said Boris Johnson will not be visiting the accommodation which is due be used by migrants under the Government's Rwanda "offshoring" plan during his trip to Kigali. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: "You will know that the Prime Minister’s time is always limited and to make time to do that he would therefore have to leave elements of the programme whereby he’s working with a unique set of world leaders on quite crucial issues.

🤠😁😛 “We think that the best use of his time for this short period he’s in Rwanda is to dedicate himself to some of the issues that will be raised at the summit and to work with other world leaders on some of those issues we’ve talked about, not least Ukraine and global security.”

Boris Johnson: Rwanda plan is 'sensible' and 'measured'

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson has defended his Rwanda migrants policy and insisted it is "sensible" and "measured" ahead of his meeting with the Prince of Wales tomorrow.  

🤠😁😛 He was asked by reporters before his flight to Kigali if he will tell Prince Charles that he was wrong to privately criticise the policy (see the post below at 08.36).  

🤠😁😛 Mr Johnson said: “I have no evidence for the assertion you’ve just made about the Prince’s comments. I can’t confirm that.

🤠😁😛 “What I can say is that the policy is sensible, measured and a plan to deal with the grotesque abuse of innocent people crossing the Channel.”

PM to tell Prince Charles he is 'proud' of migrant plan

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson is prepared to declare he is “proud” of his Rwanda migrants policy during talks with the Prince of Wales on Friday, The Telegraph understands.

🤠😁😛 The pair will meet for the first time since it emerged the Prince privately described the planned deportation of asylum seekers to the country as “appalling”.

🤠😁😛 The meeting will take place in Rwanda itself as both men attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

🤠😁😛 Clarence House described the gathering scheduled for Friday morning as Mr Johnson “popping in for a cup of tea” with the Prince.

🤠😁😛 You can read the full story here

Boris Johnson criticises 'condescending' critics of Rwanda plan

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson has hit out at “condescending” critics of his scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. 

🤠😁😛 Speaking to reporters as he prepared to fly to Kigali, Mr Johnson said the trip is an opportunity “for us all to understand for ourselves what that partnership has to offer”.

🤠😁😛 “Let’s hope perhaps help others to shed some of their condescending attitudes to Rwanda and how that partnership might work,” he added.

PM ‘conscious’ of arriving in Rwanda before migrant flights  

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson told reporters before his flight to Rwanda overnight that he was “conscious” of the fact that he was arriving in the country before any of the Government’s planned migrant flights. 

🤠😁😛 The Government’s partnership deal with Rwanda was agreed two months ago but the first migrant flight was halted following an intervention by European judges. 

🤠😁😛 Mr Johnson said: “I’m conscious that I’m arriving before anybody who has travelled illegally across the Channel, I cannot conceal that fact from you – there it is – but it is still the case that no UK court and no international court has ruled our plan unlawful.” 

Boris Johnson arrives in Rwanda  

🤠😁😛 Boris Johnson arrived in Kigali, Rwanda, just before 7am UK time. 

🤠😁😛 The Prime Minister is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm). 

🤠😁😛 Mr Johnson has been accompanied on the trip by his wife, Carrie Johnson.

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie are pictured in Kigali, Rwanda this morning Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty

Good morning

🤠😁😛 Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog. 

🤠😁😛 Voters are going to the polls in the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-elections while Boris Johnson has just arrived in Rwanda to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. 

🤠😁😛 Meanwhile, another day of strikes is taking place on the nation's railways. 

🤠😁😛 I will guide you through the key developments.