Strikes 2022 UK – live: Christmas party cancellations ‘near Covid levels’ amid December walkouts

Rishi Sunak says government pay offer ‘reasonable’ despite strikes

Christmas party cancellations have reached “near-Covid” levels as UK hospitality managers say 30 per cent of bookings have been canceled due to strikes.

The upcoming rail strikes will also take £1.5 billion off revenue, as reported by Bloomberg.

It comes as Home Secretary Suala Braverman warned Britons to “think carefully” before going ahead with plans to travel abroad this Christmas.

Ms Braverman said planned raids by Border Force officials would “undoubtedly” cause serious disruption to hundreds of thousands of passengers hoping to use ports and airports.

Ms Braverman told the BBC: “If they continue with these strikes, there will undoubtedly be serious disruption to many thousands of people who have holiday plans.

“I really want to urge people who have plans to travel abroad to think carefully about their plans because they could be affected.”

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The PCS union announced eight days of industrial action on Wednesday, which will see Border Force workers down tools from December 23-26 and again from December 28-31.

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Sonak continues talking about Lady Mona

Continuing his answer to Sir Keir Starmer about Lady Mona, Rishi Sunak said: “The only thing we know about him is that he is a lawyer, he should know that there is a process in place. It is true that this process is ending. I hope it will be resolved quickly.”

He added: “I will say one thing, I will tell him what is weak.”

After Labor MPs shouted “You!” In the Prime Minister, Mr. Sonek continued: “It’s not being able to stand in front of people.

“Why doesn’t he listen to a former minister in Gordon Brown’s government who just said ‘Why does the Labor Party refuse to stand up for workers and businesses such as pubs and restaurants that will lose business as a result of the rail strikes?’

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He added: “If he’s strong, that’s what he should do.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 12:28 p.m

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David Lammy calls out the Prime Minister for his ‘fake shock’ at Lady Mona’s allegations

David Lammy said the Prime Minister’s response to Lady Moon’s allegations was “laughable”.

He tweeted: “Rishi Sunak’s fake ‘shock’ at taxpayer cash being handed out to Conservative cronies is hilarious. He was chancellor at the time.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022, 12:30 p.m

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Labour’s shadow chancellor also called out the Prime Minister for his “surprised” response to the Moon allegations.

She tweeted: “A Tory politician got his hands on millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money and used it for dodgy PPE – and the PM signed the cheque. Now he’s surprised to hear about it. This is the unacceptable way he’s treating the hard-earned taxes paid by working people.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 12:33 p.m

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Stephen Flynn makes his first remarks at PMQs since becoming the SNP’s Westminster leader

Stephen Flynn took aim at the Labor Party in his first remarks in the Commons since becoming Westminster leader of the SNP.

Speaking in the new role for the first time at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Flynn thanked his predecessor before turning to Rishi Sonk and saying: “What does he consider to be the greatest achievement of the Conservative Party in government since 2019?

“Leave the single market and customs union, end freedom of movement, strip Scotland of its democracy, or get Labor to agree to all of the above?”

The Prime Minister said: “May I also congratulate, or join the First Minister, in congratulating the honorable gentleman on his appointment as Westminster leader of the SNP.”

He added: “The things we are most proud of in the last two years is making sure we protect this country through the epidemic, with a vacation and with the fastest vaccine launch.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 12:34 p.m

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Step 1: The Prime Minister gives advice to parents

On Strep A infections, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “I was very happy to work with the Government on this issue, so could he take the opportunity to update the country on the steps the country is taking to keep children safe this winter?”

Rishi Sunak replied: “We are seeing a higher number of cases of Strep A this year than usual. What I can say is that the NHS who have sat down to talk about this are working very hard to make sure parents are aware of the symptoms they need to look out for because it is treatable appropriately with antibiotics.

“There is currently no shortage of drugs available to treat it and there are well-established procedures to ensure that this remains the case and the UKHSA are monitoring the situation closely and what they have confirmed is that it is not a new strain of Strep A, so people should be reassured about that.

“There is no reason to believe that it has become more lethal and more resistant to antibiotics, so the most important thing for parents to do is to be aware of the symptoms and get the treatment available to them.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 12:37 p.m

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Rishi Sunak is the “confused” prime minister who sold out aspiring homeowners, says Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has accused Rishi Sonk of being a “black” prime minister who was “swayed” by a Tory rebellion over mandatory house-building targets.

The Labor leader said the Prime Minister had “sold out” ambitious homeowners after the Government launched local targets to avoid the first major defeat of the Commons.

Sir Keir used PMQs to ask why Mr Sonke would rather “dirty up housebuilding” than get Labor’s support to build more houses.

“His back benches threatened him, and as always the prime minister swayed,” he said. “He made a dirty deal with a handful of MPs… ambitions of those who want to own their own home have run out.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 1:00 p.m

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Prime Minister urged to support Labor MP’s amendment to Financial Services and Markets Bill

Rishi Sunak has been called to support a Labor MP’s amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which has cross-party support, which would ensure “everyone has free access to their hard-earned money”.

Labour’s Siobhan McDonough (Mitcham and Morden) told the Commons: “Friends across this House know the devastating impact bank branch closures have on our communities. But as banks flee the high street, our free cash machines disappear with them, cutting out the most vulnerable. There is no doubt That it is not true that a quarter of ATMs charge people to access their money.

“So, will the Prime Minister today join dozens of his backbenchers in supporting my cross-party amendment and ensure that everyone has free access to their hard-earned money?”

The Prime Minister replied: “This government is indeed legislating to maintain access to cash and that is what the Financial Services and Markets Bill will do this afternoon through a very significant intervention.

“I’m also pleased that we’ve launched initiatives with industry to subsidize free-to-use ATMs in disadvantaged areas and almost 50 communities are benefiting from our new shared cash facilities, because access to cash is important. That’s what our new law will deliver.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 13:20

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The former Tory minister cheered as he stood up at PMQs

Former Conservative minister Conor Burns was cheered by Tory MPs when he stood up to address Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Burns was sacked as Trade Secretary by Liz Truss and lost the whip, but was recently reinstated after being cleared of misconduct.

He told the public: “Mr. Speaker, may I thank you and colleagues across the House for your kindness and encouragement in recent weeks.

“May I ask my right friend, the Prime Minister, this afternoon to recommit to the Government that he is leading our ambition to bring communities up in every part of our great United Kingdom?

“To that end, may I invite my honorable friend to come and visit my constituency of Bournemouth West and see the recent school rebuild, the multi-million pound rebuild of Oak Academy, which will stand as a lasting tribute to the opportunities for the people I have the privilege of serving in this House “.

Rishi Sunak replied: “You can say that it is very nice to hear from my honorable friend today and he is absolutely right. There is no better way to spread opportunities throughout the country than by investing in the future of our children.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 1:40 p.m

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Tory MP claims mRNA vaccines are ‘experimental’

A Conservative MP has claimed mRNA vaccines are “experimental” and called on the Prime Minister to overturn the health regulator’s decision to approve the vaccines for six-month-old babies.

Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, said: “More deaths and adverse reactions have been reported following mRNA vaccination in 18 months than with any conventional vaccine given worldwide in the last 50 years.

“Given the fact that mRNA vaccines are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women, will my hon. friend reverse the recent recommendation by the big pharma-funded MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) that these experimental vaccines be given to children as young as six months of age?”

Rishi Sunak replied: “Let me first say that I believe that covid vaccines are indeed safe and effective. But no vaccine, covid or otherwise, will be approved unless it meets the UK regulator’s standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

“We have an independent body that the JCVI (Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunizations) determines in which age groups the vaccine is recommended for use as part of the immunization program and as part of it. And of course, the final decision will be the parents’.”

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 2:00 p.m

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Albania’s ambassador criticizes a “campaign of discrimination” among small boaters

Albania’s ambassador to Britain has called for a “campaign of discrimination” to stop amid a political row over small boat crossings.

The Minister of the Interior is considering new measures to reduce the number of Albanians crossing the English Channel, after they became the largest nationality arriving by boat.

National Crime Agency officials said the route had become a means of manning the “criminal market” after it replaced other forms of clandestine entry.

Giving evidence to Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, Ambassador Kirjeko Kirko said Albanians have contributed to British society and should not be portrayed unfairly.

Our face editor Lizzie Dearden reports:

Miriam Zakir-HusseinDecember 7, 2022 2:20 p.m

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