Still on the morning broadcast round, immigration minister Robert Jenrick batted away questions on whether people across the country could face tax rises for years to come as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak looks to address a black hole of up to £50 billion in the public finances.
He told BBC Breakfast:
I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait for the chancellor’s statement in just a couple of weeks.
That will be the moment where he will set out the tax changes that he needs to make to ensure that we command the confidence of the financial markets, we get the public finances back into good order.
Without that kind of economic stability, we can’t do any of the other things we want to do as a country.
We can’t invest in our public services. We can’t ensure that people have financial security so their mortgages don’t rise or their pensions be diminished by inflation. And we can’t tackle major challenges, like illegal migration, that require investment.
Here is Suella Braverman leaving her home in London this morning on what is shaping up to be a difficult day for her.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said that reports of diphtheria at Manston had been “exaggerated”.
Asked about reports of outbreaks of disease including cases of diphtheria, MRSA and scabies at the site, he told BBC Breakfast:
Well, those reports are not correct. They’ve been exaggerated. I spoke to the doctors who are on site and there is a very good medical centre there with – when I was there – three doctors plus paramedics supporting people with medical conditions.
There have been four cases of diphtheria in a population of around 4,000. But those are all individuals who came into the site with that condition.
They didn’t pick it up there as far as we’re aware. They’ve been isolated and they’re being treated appropriately.
But that’s not to say that I’m content with the condition of the site. I’m not.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak is set to meet with cabinet ministers this morning, as doubts mount over his judgment in returning Suella Braverman to the post of home secretary.
Braverman is facing a fresh backlash today after she referred to small boat Channel crossings as an “invasion” and concern grows about overcrowding at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent.
This morning, the immigration minister Robert Jenrick was doing the broadcast rounds in a bid to reassure the public that Braverman was the right fit for the job. He told Sky News she had apologised for the emails sent from her personal device – which had led to her resignation under Liz Truss – and in any case they hadn’t been “top secret”.
You can’t say this was a serious breach of security. It was not the correct thing to do, she’s apologised for that and now she’s got a big job to do as home secretary.
He said instead she was focusing on developing a system “which welcomes best and brightest but clamps down on people coming here illegally”, because “that is not what British people want to see”, and argued that social housing shouldn’t be taken up by economic migrants, citing Albanians.
He argued that the “root cause” of what is happening at the Manston migrant processing centre was not the fault of the government.
Conditions are poor. They are improving. We are trying to ensure that as many people as possible leave the site to better accommodation, mostly in hotels, as quickly as possible.
It is not designed to be somewhere where people stay for a prolonged period of time. It is, by necessity, relatively austere. The task now is to ensure it gets back to its normal working pattern.
He admitted that people had been staying there for more than 24 hours and had been sleeping on the floor on mats.
This is not a satisfactory situation. I’m not here to defend that. I would just say that the root cause of what we’re seeing at Manston is not the government. It’s certainly not the brilliant Border Force staff who are managing the site, the contractors, the catering staff. The problem is that thousands of people are crossing the channel illegally every day.
9.00am: Cabinet meeting
10.30am: Judicial review over right of residence of “pre-settled” EU citizens in UK, brought by The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) against the Home Office over the treatment of EU citizens who have been awarded pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme. The hearing is expected to last two days with judgment at a later date.
11.00am: The Northern Ireland secretary will hold talks with Stormont leaders amid calls for an election in the region.
2.30pm: Defence secretary Ben Wallace to appear before the Lords international relations and defence committee on defence concepts and capabilities.
2.30pm: Former Russian political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky appears at the foreign affairs committee, which is into looking proxy private military companies.
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