Surge in Government Borrowing Surprises Markets

Sajid Javid

The Government has confirmed that borrowing has increased sharply this financial year, with £16 billion borrowed since April, an increase of £6 billion on the 2018 figures. The budget surplus in July also slumped to £1.3 billion in 2019, against a surplus of £2.7 billion in 2018. Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will now face a choice between cutting back on public spending or seeing Government borrowing increase by higher levels than in previous years.

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said:

“With the Conservatives only interested in forcing through a No Deal Brexit, nine years of economic mismanagement have left our public services in a terrible state ahead of the Spending Review.

Instead of borrowing yet more money to fund their failed programme of tax cuts, the priority has to be reversing the damage done to schools and social care, and stopping the rollout of Universal Credit which is causing so much hardship. Labour in government will deliver the radical transformation to our economy that is desperately needed to boost living standards and eliminate in-work poverty.”

UK Economy Shrinks for First Time in Seven Years

Sajid Javid

The UK economy shrank in size between April and June 2019, the first fall since 2012. The news came as a surprise to the markets and if a second quarterly fall is confirmed later in the year then the UK economy would technically be in a recession.

Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,  rejected any notion of a second quarterly fall, saying:

“I am not expecting a recession at all. And in fact, don’t take my word for it. There’s not a single leading forecaster out there that is expecting a recession, the independent Bank of England is not expecting a recession. And that’s because they know that the fundamentals remain strong.”

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“Today’s dismal economic figures are a direct result of Tory incompetence. The Tories’ Brexit bungling, including Boris Johnson now taking us towards no-deal, is breaking the economy. The Tories are responsible for tumbling business investment and stagnating productivity – and that, along with nine years of austerity, has contributed to GDP contracting today.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Confirms Additional £2.1 Billion for No-Deal Brexit

Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has confirmed that £2.1 billion of additional funding will be made available to help with the preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The money will consist of £1.1 billion immediately to deal with critical areas relating to the UK’s departure from the EU, with a further £1 billion earmarked to enhance operational preparedness at the time of departure.

Javid said in a statement:

“With 92 days until the UK leaves the European Union it’s vital that we intensify our planning to ensure we are ready. We want to get a good deal that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop. But if we can’t get a good deal, we’ll have to leave without one. This additional £2.1 billion will ensure we are ready to leave on 31 October – deal or no deal.”

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in a statement:

“This is an appalling waste of taxpayers’ cash, all for the sake of Boris Johnson’s drive towards a totally avoidable No Deal. This government could have ruled out No Deal, and spent these billions on our schools, hospitals, and people. “Labour is a party for the whole of the UK, so we’ll do all we can to block a No Deal, crash-out Brexit – and we’ll deliver a transformative economic policy that delivers for the many, not the few.”

Sterling Continues to Slide in Mounting Economic Crisis

The pound has continued to slide in the international monetary markets as the economic crisis worsens for the Government. After heavy falls last week, the pound has fallen again to $1.2122 against the US dollar in what is becoming a mounting economic crisis. Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is now expected to take economic action to prevent the slide in the pound.

Sajid Javid on Visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, has started on a trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. He will use his week-long trip to discuss security in the region and how to most effectively tackle extremism.

Javid said in a statement:

“It was an honour to meet our friends in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to discuss our continued commitment to security and the pursuit of peace.

The importance of the political progress needed to unlock a just and lasting peace is inescapable in the Old City of Jerusalem. With sites sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews, all believers need to be able to practise their faith freely, peacefully and without fear.

As Home Secretary, I’m committed to working with friends at home and abroad to tackle all forms of religious hatred – including antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred, and the persecution of Christians.”

Speaking before a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, Javid added:

“Freedom of religion and belief is a non-negotiable right for all peoples, and the UK government is committed to tackling anti-Muslim hatred, antisemitism, the persecution of Christians and any other impediments to this right both in the UK and around the world.”

Sajid Javid Eliminated in Tory Leadership Contest

Sajid Javid has been eliminated in the fourth round of the Conservative Party’s leadership contest. Boris Johnson again topped the poll and there will be another round of voting held today to select the final two candidates that will go forward to party members.

Boris Johnson – 157 votes

Michael Gove – 61 votes

Jeremy Hunt – 59 votes

Sajid Javid – 34 votes

Dominic Raab Eliminated in Tory Leadership Contest

Dominic Raab has been knocked out following the second round of voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest. Boris Johnson secured the most votes, but Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Rory Stewart and Sajid Javid have all made it through to the next round.

Boris Johnson – 126 votes

Jeremy Hunt – 46 votes

Michael Gove – 41 votes

Rory Stewart – 37 votes

Sajid Javid – 33 votes

Dominic Raab – 30 votes

Mark Harper Becomes Latest Conservative to Stand for Leadership

Mark Harper, the Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean, has become the twelfth candidate to put his name forwards for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

The current candidates are now:

James Cleverley
Michael Gove
Matt Hancock
Mark Harper
Jeremy Hunt
Sajid Javid
Boris Johnson
Andrea Leadsom
Kit Malthouse
Esther McVey
Dominic Raab
Rory Stewart

Hizballah Group Banned in the UK

Sajid Javid

The measures introduced by the Government to ban the terrorist groups of Hizballah, Ansaroul Islam and Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin (JNIM) have come into force today. It will now be an offence under the 2000 Terrorism Act to either be a member of these groups or to canvass support for the groups.

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, said in a statement:

“My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.

Hizballah is continuing in its attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”