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Rishi’s farewell tour reveals the true meaning of futility | John Crace
Much more of this and I might begin to feel sorry for Rishi Sunak. One week in and there’s no sign of anyone from the cabinet. While Keir Starmer has been touring the country with guest appearances from Rachel Reeves and Wes Streeting, poor Rish! has been forced to go it alone. Maybe he thinks it’s safer that way.Jeremy Hunt has been left to post leaflets through letterboxes in an uphill struggle to save his own seat
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Angela Rayner cleared by HMRC over tax on sale of former home

HM Revenue and Customs has confirmed that Angela Rayner owes no capital gains tax for the sale of her former council house and that no further action will be taken, according to a document seen by the Guardian.The tax authority said two weeks ago it had considered the evidence and had concluded the house in Stockport was the Labour deputy leader’s principal residence the whole time she owned it, meaning no tax would be due.Greater Manchester police said on Tuesday that Rayner had been cleared of wrongdoing over claims she wrongly declared her permanent address on the electoral register, which would have been a criminal offence.The force said it was taking no further action but that because matters involving personal tax or council tax did not fall under its jurisdiction it had shared information from its six-week investigation with HMRC and Stockport council.A spokesperson for the council said it had “reviewed and responded to all correspondence” on the matter, adding: “We have also concluded that no further action will be taken on behalf of the council

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Suspension for ex-minister who claimed £11,000 roaming bill on expenses

Scotland’s former health secretary has been suspended as an MSP and docked 54 days’ pay for wrongly claiming an £11,000 iPad bill on expenses, after a bitter row at Holyrood.MSPs voted by a large margin to suspend Michael Matheson for 27 days, as well as having his pay docked, after Scottish National party ministers and backbenchers abstained on the orders of John Swinney, the first minister and SNP leader.Swinney had previously angrily lashed out about the proposed sanctions by arguing that Matheson, a close friend of his, had already been punished enough for wrongly claiming expenses to cover his sons’ use of a parliamentary iPad.After heated exchanges between Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, and Kate Forbes, the deputy first minister, the SNP pushed through an amendment with Scottish Green party support that attacked the process used to sanction Matheson.But the SNP’s 63 MSPs then abstained on the final vote on the amended motion, to avoid the embarrassment of voting for or against Matheson’s punishment

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Rishi Sunak holds Q&A in Devon – as it happened

You will be able to watch Rishi Sunak’s Q&A in Devon here …Keir Starmer has denied that Diane Abbott has been banned from standing as a Labour MP at the next election, as the saga over the potential end to her 40-year career in the party risked descending into chaos. The Labour leader’s comments directly contradicted newspaper briefings that the Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, who was suspended from the party in April 2023 for comments she made about racism, was being barred from standing againScotland’s former health secretary has been suspended as an MSP and docked 54 days’ pay for wrongly claiming an £11,000 iPad bill on expenses. MSPs voted by a large margin to suspend Matheson for 27 days, as well as having his pay docked, after SNP ministers and backbenchers abstained on the orders of John Swinney, the first minister and SNP leaderThe British Medical Association said junior doctors would walk out from 7am on 27 June until 7am on 2 July. Rishi Sunak said it was hard not to draw the conclusion that the timing of the strikes was political. Starmer said he did not want the strikes to go ahead and that the government has effectively kicked resolving the dispute to the other side of the general election when it “should have resolved it and negotiated a settlement”Labour said it has no plans to change rules that bar health and care workers from bringing families on their visas, despite a plummeting number of healthcare staff since the change to the rules this year

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Labour needs dreamers and idealists like Jeremy Corbyn | Letters

A thoughtful article by Andy Beckett (It’s Corbyn’s last stand. But can he beat Labour’s Starmerite machine?, 24 May). The Labour party has always had idealists who have been important to the heart of the movement. They have also often been problematic to their party leaders. Think Clement Attlee and Nye Bevan, Harold Wilson and Tony Benn

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Rishi Sunak will for ever be significant | Letters

John Crace referred to Rishi Sunak as “a prime minister of almost no significance” (The politics sketch, 22 May). That seems to ignore Sunak’s position as the first ever British prime minister of colour. I think this historic first needs to be recognised, whatever else you think of his time in office.Darren HallWatford, Hertfordshire I know we’re all in the grip of election fever, but there’s no need to let standards slip. Rishi Sunak didn’t have a “podium disaster” (Is Rishi Sunak actively trying to lose the election? Let’s consider the mounting evidence, 27 May), because he wasn’t on a podium