Boris Johnson latest news: PM joins police frontline as Liz Truss poised to enter No 10

Boris Johnson refuses to rule out returning as prime minister

Boris Johnson has defended his government’s track record on tackling crime as he also insisted Britain is “not broken” on his final week as prime minister.

The prime minister attended a raid with specialist officers near Lewisham, south London, on Wednesday morning where he spoke to staff from one of the 20 so-called “violence reduction units”.

“Look at neighbourhood crime, which is the thing that really affects the quality of life of most people in this country, and it’s down by about 38 per cent on 2019 since this government came in,” he said.

“I think that’s a great effort by the police, not just by the Metropolitan Police, by police up and down the country.”

Denying Britain is “broken”, Mr Johnson added that the country has an “incredible future” and is the place “people want to invest in”.

It comes ahead of the final leadership hustings at Wembley Arena on Wednesday evening, where Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will face off one last time before votes close on Friday.

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Britain ‘absolutely not’ broken, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson said Britain is “absolutely not” broken at the end of his premiership – claiming that “this country has got an incredible future and has everything going for it”.

Asked if the country was “broken” in the final days of his leadership, the prime minister responded: “Absolutely not.”“Look at the place that people want to invest in,” he said.

“Which is the country that attracts more venture capital investment now than China? It’s the United Kingdom … Why do people want to come here? Because it is the place to be.”

He added: “What we’re doing now, and what I’m proud that we’ve done over the last three years or so, is put in a lot of things that will make this country fit for the future.”

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Boris Johnson defends government’s track record on tackling crime- continued

Speaking outside a police station in Lewisham, Boris Johnson said: “Look at neighbourhood crime, which is the thing that really affects the quality of life of most people in this country, and it’s down by about 38 per cent on 2019 since this government came in.

“I think that’s a great effort by the police, not just by the Metropolitan Police, by police up and down the country.

“And what you’re seeing is 13,700-odd more police now on the streets. That helps, that makes a difference.”

He added: “What also makes a difference is giving the police the powers they need to give criminals the tough sentences that they deserve, and that’s what we put through in our legislation. I’m pleased to see it having an effect but I’m also pleased to see the activism and the energy of the police here in London.

“Yes, of course, we’ve got to make our society ever safer, but you look at what they’ve done: 38 per cent reduction in neighbourhood crime I think that’s a massive achievement.”

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Boris Johnson defends government’s track record on tackling crime

Boris Johnson has defended his government’s track record on tackling crime, as he praised the latest Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which he claims “is giving the police the powers they need to give criminals the tough sentences that they deserve”.

On Wednesday morning, the prime minister attended a raid with specialist officers near Lewisham, south London, where he spoke to staff from one of the 20 so-called “violence reduction units”, aimed at preventing crime with earlier intervention and closer working between health, education and policing organisations.

(PA)

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Energy firms ‘could may make £170bn in excess profits’

Britain’s gas producers and electricity generators could reportedly make excess profits of up to £170bn over the next two years.

Bloomberg News cited unpublished Treasury analysis showing the size of the potential excess profits. It is said to have showed that around 40 per cent of the excess profits would be attributable to the big power producers.

The Treasury responded: “We don’t recognise this analysis. The government has been clear that it wants to see the oil and gas sector reinvest its profits to support the economy, jobs, and the UK’s energy security.”

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Markets could lose faith in UK economy, warns Sunak

Rishi Sunak has warned that there is a risk of markets losing confidence in the British economy – as he said he struggled to see how his rival Liz Truss’s plans “add up”.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Sunak said it would be “complacent and irresponsible” for a prime minister and chancellor “not to be thinking about the risks to the public finances”.

Ahead of the final leadership hustings at Wembley Arena on Wednesday evening, Sunak has insisted he still believes he can cause an upset and win the Tory leadership contest.

The underdog said “a bunch of people I’ve spoken to say they still haven’t voted”.

(PA Wire)

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Government looking at rent rise cap for social housing tenants during cost of living crisis

The government is considering plans to cap rents for social housing tenants in England next year to ease some of the pain of the cost of living crisis.

Rent increases for people living in social homes could be capped at 3 per cent during the next financial year from April, the levelling up department has announced.

But council bosses and housing association chiefs said they were “very concerned” that a cap on rents would hamper their own ability to keep up with soaring costs and invest in new homes.

Politics writer Adam Forrest has more:

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New PM ‘must replace College of Policing’

The next prime minister should replace the College of Policing and commission an independent review into initial police training amid falling public confidence, according to a new proposal.

Think tank Policy Exchange said in a white paper that the new PM will be “faced with a police service which has, over the last decade, lost its way”.

The paper’s author, ex-Metropolitan Police detective chief inspector David Spencer, made 11 recommendations he said would help the government ensure “the safety of its citizens from those who would commit crime and disorder”.

The College of Policing, which had an annual budget of £71m in 2020-21, was established in December 2012 as the professional body for policing in England and Wales with locations in County Durham, Coventry, Harrogate and London.

“It is apparent from its own ‘Fundamental Review’, however, that the College of Policing has become synonymous to many within policing with a reduction in standards alongside a perceived lack of real-world relevance to the prevention of crime and disorder,” Mr Spencer wrote.

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Lib Dems prepare for possible ‘blue wall’ by-election if Michael Gove quits

The Liberal Democrats are scrambling to select a candidate for Tory MP Michael Gove’s seat in Surrey amid speculation that the senior figure is considering stepping down from parliament.

Sir Ed Davey’s party has set a selection deadline of this week in the “blue wall” south-east constituency of Surrey Heath in preparation for the former minister’s possible departure.

The Liberal Democrats are scrambling to select a candidate for Tory MP Michael Gove’s seat in Surrey amid speculation that the senior figure is considering stepping down from parliament.

Sir Ed Davey’s party has set a selection deadline of this week in the “blue wall” south-east constituency of Surrey Heath in preparation for the former minister’s possible departure.

Read the details in this report by Adam Forrest:

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Credit card debt soars as Britons ‘to borrow £100bn’ to cope with cost of living crisis

Credit card borrowing has risen at its fastest rate in 17 years as Britons are expected to borrow £100bn to cope with the cost of living crisis. The Bank of England monthly report showed annual growth of 13 per cent in credit card borrowing in July this year, its highest since October 2005.

It comes as a YouGov survey found that Britons expect to borrow a vast sum over the coming year, with 40 per cent saying that rising prices for fuel, food and energy will force them to seek credit in some form.

More than a fifth of those who expect to have to borrow – the equivalent of 8 per cent of the entire adult population, or 5.5 million people – said that they would do so to cover day-to-day expenses.

As Goldman Sachs warned that inflation could top 22 per cent, Boris Johnson acknowledged that Britain faces “tough” months ahead, but said he wanted to offer a “sense of hope and perspective”.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

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Explained: Liz Truss is running for office but also wants to hide

Liz Truss claims to be “ready” to unleash nuclear weapons against an unspecified enemy and thus risk the annihilation of all life in the British Isles, which is perhaps not what we would like her to “deliver”.

A steady, tungsten-carbide-tipped nerve is required in such a scenario and yet Ms Truss is running scared of Nick Robinson and Andrew Neil. She just doesn’t wish to be interviewed by them. It isn’t difficult to see why.

What, for example, would she be able to say about the cost of living crisis? Energy bills? War in Ukraine? The Northern Ireland protocol? The casual insults lobbed at friend and foe alike?

The concern is that, despite a decade in cabinet and weeks of opportunity for her and her team to formulate policy, she has said little about what she would actually do in office, writes our associate editor Sean O’Grady.

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