Key events

Manston asylum centre not operating legally, concedes minister

The government has conceded that the asylum processing centre at Manston in Kent is not operating legally, my colleague Peter Walker reports. His full story is here.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen faces five-day suspension for breaking lobbying rules and for smearing standards commissioner

The Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen faces being suspended from the Commons for five days after a report found he broke the rules on lobbying.

In a report, the Commons standards committee says Bridgen broke the rules on registration, declaration and paid lobbying “on multiple occasions and in multiple ways”. It says:

Mr Bridgen has demonstrated a very cavalier attitude to the House’s rules on registration and declaration of interests, including repeatedly saying that he did not check his own entry in the register.

The report says Bridgen should be suspended from the Commons for two days for breaches of two sections of the MPs’ Code of Conduct and a further three sitting days for an “unacceptable attack upon the integrity” of the standards commissioner.

During the investigation Bridgen sent an email to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone. It said:

I was distressed to hear on a number of occasions an unsubstantiated rumour that your contract as parliamentary standards commissioner is due to end in the coming months and that there are advanced plans to offer you a peerage, potentially as soon as the prime minister’s resignation honours list. There is also some suggestion amongst colleagues that those plans are dependent upon arriving at the ‘right’ outcomes when conducting parliamentary standards investigation […] I do apologise if you find the contents of this letter offensive, it is certainly not my intention, but I would be grateful if you would provide me reassurance that you are not about to be offered an honour or peerage and that the rumours are indeed malicious and baseless.

The report said the email was “an attempt to place wholly inappropriate pressure on the commissioner” and that “this was completely unacceptable behaviour”.

Home Office denies it is to blame for asylum seekers being left stranded in London

Good morning. As my colleague Amelia Gentleman reports in our overnight splash, the Home Office abandoned 11 asylum seekers from the Manston migration processing centre in central London on Tuesday, without accommodation or warm clothing. Here is the story.

On the Today programme this morning Danial Abbas, a volunteer with Under One Sky, a homelessness charity that helped the asylum seekers, said that someone from the Home Office told him a “massive error” had been made. Abbas said:

I personally was in touch with a gentleman from the Home Office that whole evening. Very quickly a solution was found. He immediately, you know, put his hands up on behalf of the Home Office and said, ‘This has been a massive error, let’s get this sorted ASAP’.

The Home Office did not provide a comment for our story last night, but this morning it has issued a statement. It says that the 11 asylum seekers who were left stranded had originally told staff they would have somewhere to stay in London, and that it is therefore wrong to say the Home Office made a mistake. A spokesperson said:

The individuals were transported to Victoria coach station, London, because they said they had accommodation in that location which would not leave them destitute. They told us they had accommodation with friends of family available to them.

Any suggestion there was an error in transporting the individuals to Victoria is wrong.

The Home Office worked at pace to find accommodation for the individuals when we were notified that 11 of them did not in fact have a place to stay.

The Home Office also says the group were only in London for a few hours before accommodation was found for them.

This is unlikely to be the last word on the matter. Suella Braverman, the home secretary, is visiting Dover today (although she is not planning media interviews), and there is a good chance we may get an urgent question on this in the Commons.

In other developments, Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, has said the government is facing legal action over the conditions in which people have been held at Manston, and four Commons select committee chairs (two Tories, one from Labour and one from the SNP) have written an open letter to Braverman demanding answers to a series of questions about the “dire conditions” at Manston.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: Kemi Badenoch, the international trade secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

10.30am: Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the Commons, makes a statement in the Commons on next week’s business.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

12pm: The Bank of England announces its interest rate decision, and holds a press conference.

3pm: Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, gives a speech at the Anthropy conference at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

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