An investigation intoBoris Johnson’s relationship with businesswoman Jennifer Acruri will also review an affair with another woman while he was mayor of London.
It comes as the prime minister faced business leaders at the CBI conference, as they warn his post-Brexit immigration plans risk creating skills shortages in the UK.
A new survey from pollsters Ipsos Mori also shows voters are more concerned about the environment ahead of this election than at any time in the past, ranking it above the economy, education and immigration.
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Conservative councillor kicked out of party for inappropriate sexual comments
A Tory councillor has insisted he was “just joking around” after he was expelled from the Conservative Party over inappropriate sexual remarks on Facebook and Twitter.
Mr Iles apologized for “any offence caused” by his posts, after initially claiming his social media account had been hacked. One post included offering to whip a woman on Twitter.
He said: “I was just being an idiot and just joking around. I apologise for any offence caused, it was not intended.
Commenting on his ‘proud to be English’ caption, the councillor said: “I refute that my message attached to the bacon sandwich was racist. “I’m not a racist, I never have been and I never will be. They are not less English. They are all English to me.
“The majority of people who I represent support me, in that nothing was intended.”
Responding to Boris Johnson’s decision to shelve planned tax cuts for corporations, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the PM had announced a “temporary pause in the Tories’ race to the bottom”.
He added: “It cannot compensate for the lives that have been lost and will not repair the damage done to our communities to pay for the Conservatives’ handouts to big business since 2010.
“The government own figures show that billions have been lost to the public purse, which has had real consequences across the country.
” This pale attempt to mask the Conservatives’ history of handing out tax giveaways to big business shows they are in chaos, but when the election is over we know they’ll soon revert to type. “
Conservatives condemned over claim about ‘foreign criminals from EU’
Conservatives have been accused of xenophobia after a minister suggested that continued free movement would bring thousands of European criminals to the UK.
A group representing EU nationals said Brandon Lewis’s claim was contradicted by the government own expert advisers, who found that European migration has no impact on offending and migrants can even reduce the overall crime rate because they are more law-abiding than Britons.
A spokesman for the 3Million group said Mr Lewis’s comments came “straight from the populist playbook” and were part of a wider effort to portray EU nationals as a drain on the UK.
Labor accuses PM of cowardice over Arcuri comments
Responding to interviews by Jennifer Arcuri this morning, Labour’s shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs, responding has accused Boris Johnson of cowardice for sitting back and refusing to “face the serious allegations against him”.
She continued: “This is an age old story. Powerful men abusing their positions and leaving a woman to be dragged through the mud.
“The person accused of abusing his office and misusing taxpayer’s money is Boris Johnson. He should have the courage to give a full account of why he failed to declare a clear conflict of interest. The public deserves the truth. ”
One Conservative candidate has launched his campaign video, and it’s … unpolished.
Which party is winning the campaign so far? asks Sean O’Grady
“Despite high-profile resignations, plenty of campaign missteps and questions about policy, all major parties are still on the election bandwagon as the 12 December poll approaches. But can any of them say they’re really winning? “
Boris Johnson avoids questions on Prince Andrew interview backlash
Following the unprecedented interview from Prince Andrew at the weekend with BBC Newsnight where he was quizzed on his relationship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the PM refused to comment on the situation on Monday.
It comes as the prince faces a growing backlash over the interview and calls for him to apologise to Epstein’s victims.
Pressed on whether he shared the “nations incredulity” over Prince Andrew’s account and what he personally would advise the queen to do, Mr Johnson replied: “I won’t get dragged into commentary about matters concerning the royal family”.
You can read more about the interview here
Why are we having another general election?
Millions of voters will head to the polls on December 12 for a snap general election, as a deeply divided country hopes it will pave the way for a resolution to Brexit.
The pre-Christmas vote will be the third election since 2015, when David Cameron’s Conservatives unexpectedly won a majority and called the fateful EU referendum.
A staggering one in three teenagers are not registered to vote – with just one week until the deadline to do so – compared with only 6 per cent of pensioners.
And the proportion of 25 to 34 – year-olds currently not on the electoral rolls is also high, at just over one in four, theElectoral Commissionwarned.
Read more below …
Jeremy Corbyn responds to question on anti-Semitism in the Labor Party
Jeremy said anti-Semitism has “no place whatsoever in a civilized society”, during questions following his speech to the CBI.
Responding to a question on anti-Semitism in the Labor Party, Mr Corbyn said: “I’ve spent my life opposing racism in any form. Be it done by the far-right or by the random attacks on individuals, or against a man that was murdered outside my house because he happened to be a Muslim and there happened to be a racist person driving a vehicle that thought it was OK to drive in a crowd of worshippers.
“Just as much as those people that attack synagogues , daub fascist graffiti over them, or attack Jewish people in this country, the USA or anywhere else, have no place whatsoever in a civilized society. “
He added:” The history of the Jewish people has been one of the most unbelievable and egregious – (with) attacks on them in central Europe throughout the early part of the 20 th century, which of course ended with the Holocaust and all the horrors that went with that.
“That is where racism leads you to if you don’t challenge it in the first place. But it’s also about ensuring that every young person in our society is guaranteed a place of safety free from oppression and free from racism in any form. “
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has tweeted about the fact that he was not at the CBI conference along with the major party leaders. It is not clear whether he was asked.
Lib Dems became ‘stronger’ through coalition with Tories, says Scottish leader
Willie Rennie has claimed the Liberal Democrats are “stronger” as a party after their time in coalition with the Tories but admitted he has “regrets” about some of the policies that were introduced.
The party’s leader in Scotland conceded some of the welfare reforms introduced by David Cameron’s Government “should never have happened”.
He said he could “pretty well guarantee” his party would not do a deal with the current Conservative leader Boris Johnson after the December 12 election.
Mr Rennie argued the Lib Dems were a “stronger party” as a result of having gone into power with the Tories.
But the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader told BBC Radio Scotland that as things stand “you can’t imagine Liberal Democrats doing a coalition with Boris Johnson who wants to deliver a dangerous Brexit”.
Looking back at the coalition with the Tories between 2010 and 2015, he said: “In terms of the welfare stuff, there was some stuff as part of the coalition we had to vote through.
“There are a lot of things we managed to achieve in return.
” There are some regrets I have, of course I have that, I think the ‘bedroom tax’ should never have happened and said so at the time. “
He added:” Yes, I regret some of the things but I can tell you we’re a stronger party as a result because we understand much more about the hard choices you have to make in government and it has been really instructive for us in terms of our current campaign to stop Brexit.
“We are resolute in trying to stop doing the damage the Conservatives can do to our country. They are hell bent on this dangerous Brexit. “
CBI chief responds to Corbyn’s speech to business leaders
Responding to Mr Corbyn’s speech, CBI director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said: “It’s time to see Labor open the door to real and lasting partnership with business, not stick with outdated ideologies that would close it in their face.
“The challenge is not what Labor want to achieve, it’s how. Firms share many of the same ambitions, on skills, climate change, delivering high-paid jobs and making sure that the proceeds of growth are felt across the country – but those challenges need a joint response.
“Some of Labor’s proposals do open the door to partnership. Greater flexibility on the Apprenticeship Levy is something firms have long asked for. A step up in all forms of vocational training for school leavers and those switching careers offers opportunities and works for the economy.
“Reskilling the economy to achieve net zero and adapt for increased automation is critical, and apprenticeships can have a big role to play in this.
“But false instincts for mass nationalisations and forcing inclusive ownership schemes onto thriving businesses does little more than frighten off investors from backing the UK, with pensioners and savers having to foot the bill.
“A high-growth, fair mixed economy is within our grasp, but only if business is w elcomed and supported as a provider of opportunity, not falsely portrayed as the root cause of inequality. “
Corbyn accuses PM of ‘preparing to sell out our NHS’ to US trade deal
The Labor leader says he will exclude the NHS, medicines and public services from any trade deals as the health service is “not for sale”.
“Labor’s plan, on the other hand, will get Brexit sorted quickly and immediately end the uncertainty for business because we won’t be ripping up our main trading relationship because major British industries like steel will struggle to survive the Trump deal Brexit Johnson has planned.
“And now we know that Johnson is preparing to sell out our NHS for a US trade deal that will drive up the cost of medicines and lead to the runaway privatisation of our health service.
“£ 500 million a week of NHS money could be handed to big drugs companies as part of a deal now being plotted in secret. “
Jeremy Corbyn addresses CBI conference
He says the general election will set the country course for a long time to go. “It is sometimes claimed that I’m anti-business. This is not true. It’s not anti business to oppose poverty pay, ‘” he adds.
He says a Labor government would bring investments on a scale business leaders can “only dream of”.
Corbyn says he will bring some key services into public ownership, and he “makes no apologies for that”.
“Your workers, your consumers have been failed by rip off energy bill and very poor rail and mail services” across the country he says.
He confirms the Labor Party will publish its general election manifesto on Thursday.
Boris Johnson confirms Sajid Javid will stay as chancellor
If the Conservatives win the general election, the PM said Sajid Javid, the chancellor, will remain in his post at No 11.
During the 2017 general election, Theresa May infamously avoided the question of whether Philip Hammond would stay in the position, fueling speculation he would be sacked.
Asked about Mr Javid’s future, the PM said: “I’m going to give you an absolutely categorical assurance that I will keep Sajid Javid as my chancellor. How about that?
“I think he’s a great guy and I think he is doing a fantastic job and I’m proud to count him as a colleague.
“I’d be grateful however if … we could not have endless questions about the personnel at the top of the Tory Party, I don’t think I want to answer exhaustively about everybody. “
More here on the PM’s U-turn on corporation tax cut
Boris Johnson has scrapped controversial plans to cut corporation tax, to head off Labor criticism that he is in sway to big businesses.
Addressing the CBI conference, the prime minister claimed the U-turn – leaving the tax at 19 per cent, instead of 17 per cent – would free up £ 6bn to spend on the NHS and other public services. The move will be seen – despite big Tory poll
Boris Johnson says further cuts to corporation tax will be postponed
The tax rate on company profits had been due to be cut to just 17 per cent by the end of the decade, from its current level of 19 per cent. The PM says the savings of £ 6bn will be diverted to domestic priority such as the NHS.
“I hope you understand that it is the fiscally sensible thing to do,” he says at the CBI conference.
PM says he is cutting business rates for small businesses
Boris Johnson has unveiled tax cuts the Conservatives say are designed to help companies “make the most of Brexit”. If he wins the general election, the PM said his government would cut business rates, launching a fundamental review at their first budget, under the plans.
The party said they will increase the employment allowance from £ 3, 000 to £ 4, 000, providing a tax cut of up to £ 1, 000 for more than half a million businesses.
Boris Johnson delivers speech at CBI conference
The PM says he is “lost in admiration” for those who have succeeded in business in the UK. He speaks of his pride regarding the volume of Jason Donovan music exports to Korea.
He says the “economy is still not achieving” what it could. “There is so much more natural energy to be unleashed,” he says and accuses parliament of creating a paralysis.
“That is why we must have this election now. We have no choice. We must get Brexit done.
” It’s the best thing for our national mood. And by the way it’s the best thing for our economy.
“We have a deal that is ready to go. Just add in hot water, and stir in pot,” the prime minister adds .
“And by the way it’s the best thing for the economy because the worst thing now is the continuing economic uncertainty: people waiting to take on new staff, or invest in property, or just to invest in this country. “
Social media is an increasingly important battle ground in elections – and home to many questionable claims pumped out by all sides. If social media sites won’t investigate the truth of divisive advertising, we will. Please send any political Facebook advertising you receive todigitaldemocracy @ independent .co.uk, and we will catalog and investigate it.Read more here.