Boris Johnson news – live: PM says climate summit ‘turning point for humanity’ as Starmer unveils 14,000 essay
Boris Johnson has told leaders at the UN the world is not “indestructible” and that the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow is “the turning point for humanity”.
The prime minister was addressing the General Assembly in the early hours on Thursday in the final act of his US visit, where he also discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and trade.
Mr Johnson said it was time for humanity to “grow up” and that we are currently doing “irreversible damage” to the planet. He conceded a rise in temperatures was inevitable but said we can hope to “restrain that growth”.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer released a 14,000-word essay as he prepares for a pivotal make-or-break party conference this weekend.
The missive unveils “10 key simple principles” that include to “put hard-working families first” and that “if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be rewarded fairly.”
However former shadow chancellor John McDonnell told The Independent the lengthy pamphlet was filled with “platitudes” and did not have any information on “what a Labour government would actually do.”
Sadiq Khan calls for climate action as London faces heat and floods
The climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing London with millions already at risk from soaring temperatures and worsening floods, Sadiq Khan will say today.
In a major address ahead of Cop26, the pivotal summit taking place in Glasgow, the London mayor will warn that “time is running out” to get the world on track for meeting the Paris Agreement goals and urge the government to show climate leadership.
Nearly half of London’s hospitals, one in five schools and a quarter of the city’s rail stations are already at risk of flooding, according to City Hall analysis.
The Independent’s climate correspondent Daisy Dunne reports.
Minister says Government aims to scrap PCR tests for travelling abroad
Business minister Paul Scully said the Government could scrap the need to take departure and arrival PCR tests when travelling abroad, from as early as the October half-term holiday.
Asked on Sky News whether PCR tests would be scrapped in time for half-term, the minister said: “That’s absolutely the aim.
“We’ve got to get the systems in place because we want to move to lateral flow tests to make it easier and cheaper for people to be able to enjoy those holidays at half-term.
“The aim is later on in October.
“We know that half-term is looming, we know people want to get away, but we also want to encourage business travel as well, because that is investment in the UK, it is investment in jobs and creates opportunities for people.”
‘We have an epidemic when it comes to violence against women and girls’ – Sadiq Khan
London mayor Sadiq Khan has called violence against women and girls an “epidemic”, urged men to be “allies” and said that misogyny should be made a hate crime.
It comes amid a national outcry over violence against women following a number of high-profile crimes including the murder of Sarah Everard, who was abducted from the street in Clapham, south London, and the recent murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa, who was attacked while walking in a park in Kidbrooke, south-east London.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mr Khan said misogyny should be made a hate crime, and harassment in a public space against women should be a criminal offence.
He said: “Between last year’s International Women’s Day and this year’s International Women’s Day, 180 women were killed at the hands of men across the country.
“We do have an epidemic when it comes to violence against women and girls.
“I think us men have got to be allies in addressing this issue.”
Keir Starmer faces defeat over Labour rule changes after frosty reception from unions
Keir Starmer is facing the prospect of defeat or a humiliating U-turn over his plans to change Labour leadership election rules, after he failed to secure the backing of trade unions at a crucial meeting.
A rejection or backtrack over the controversial plans would be a major blow to Sir Keir’s authority ahead of his first in-person party conference as leader, which is due to kick off in Brighton at the weekend. Critics have even raised the possibility of a fresh leadership election if he presses ahead with the proposals.
The Labour leader met with union chiefs at the party’s trade union liaison committee on Wednesday, and was hoping to secure their votes for the changes on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and at conference next week.
But The Independent understands that all unions in the room were either hesitant or outright opposed to the rule change, leaving Sir Keir with the choice of either shelving the changes or pressing ahead and potentially losing the vote.
Minister says taxes would need to rise to keep £20 UC uplift
Business minister Paul Scully has said taxes would need to rise to keep the £20 weekly Universal Credit uplift.
He told Sky News: “The Chancellor… will look at the whole aspect of public finances in the Budget and the Spending Review that is coming up.
“But if you were to reverse the Universal Credit as it is, you would have to put up income tax by the equivalent of a penny and 3p on fuel.
“You have to find £6 billion from somewhere.”
Put to him that “most people would accept putting a penny on income tax” to pay to keep the uplift, he added: “What I’m saying is you have to find £6 billion from somewhere and what you don’t want to be doing, for the lowest paid in particular, is giving with one hand and taking and increasing taxes with the other.”
Liz Truss set to push for Mexico’s support for UK to join international trade pact
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will push for Mexico’s support for the UK to join an international trade pact as she visits the country on Thursday.
She will travel to Mexico from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where she has represented the UK with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It comes after Mr Johnson conceded an agreement with the US was not about to be struck, following meetings with President Joe Biden.
But Ms Truss will focus on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and discuss plans to develop a new and updated deal between the UK and Mexico.
The CPTPP is a free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The UK applied to join in February, and in June the CPTPP announced that the accession process would begin.
Ms Truss said: “Closer ties with Mexico are a key part of our plan to strengthen economic, security and diplomatic links with like-minded allies who share our belief in free enterprise and free trade.”
Keir Starmer’s ‘10 principles’ for power leave out pledges that won him Labour leadership
Keir Starmer has unveiled “10 key principles” behind his pitch for power, but omitted many of the left-wing pledges that helped win him the Labour leadership.
Promises to pursue “economic justice”, “common ownership”, “equality” and to “defend migrants’ rights” are not mentioned in a 14,000-word essay released ahead of a make-or-break party conference.
Instead, the Labour leader’s “10 simple key principles” include to “put hard-working families first”, to reward people who “work hard and play by the rules”, and to restore “honesty, decency and transparency in public life”.
The Independent’s deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports.
Boris Johnson says Glasgow climate summit a ‘turning point for humanity’
Boris Johnson has called on world leaders to be “awesome” at November’s climate change summit in Glasgow, as he completed a US visit which has heightened expectations of a deal to curb global warming.
The prime minister said he had upgraded his assessment of the chances of success in Glasgow from six out of 10, following a $5bn (£3.7bn) climate finance pledge from Joe Biden and a Chinese promise to stop building coal-fired power stations overseas, writes The Independent’s political editor Andrew Woodcock.
But he stepped up pressure on Beijing to follow up its initiative by also swearing off investment in the fossil fuel domestically, at a time when 43 new coal-fired power plants and 18 blast furnaces are slated for construction in China.
In a keynote speech to the United Nations general assembly in New York, Mr Johnson said that Glasgow must mark “a turning point for humanity”, when countries come together to throw off the adolescent belief that they can continue trashing their home planet for their own gratification without reaping the consequences.