Search for:
kralbetz.com1xbit güncelTipobet365Anadolu Casino GirişMariobet GirişSupertotobet mobil girişBetistbahis.comSahabetTarafbetMatadorbethack forumBetturkeyXumabet GirişrestbetbetpasGonebetBetticketTrendbetistanbulbahisbetixirtwinplaymegaparifixbetzbahisalobetaspercasino1winorisbetbetkom
Rishi Sunak announces £500m military aid package to Ukraine | Politics News

Rishi Sunak is to announce a £500m military aid package to Ukraine in its war against Russia alongside the UK’s largest provision of munitions so far.

Some 400 vehicles, 60 boats, 1,600 strike and air defence missiles, and four million rounds of ammunition are included in the package.

The announcement comes during a downswing for Ukraine as Russian forces have been gaining the upper hand in recent weeks.

Read the latest updates on Ukraine-Russia war

Moscow took the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka on 17 February and has been progressing ever since, occupying other villages.

Last month, Russia launched an airstrike into Ukraine’s western region of Lviv, near Poland’s border, which saw one cruise missile briefly fly into Polish airspace, according to Warsaw.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

The prime minister will travel to Poland on Tuesday to make the announcement, which takes the UK to £3bn in military aid to Ukraine this financial year.

Mr Sunak said: “Defending Ukraine against Russia’s brutal ambitions is vital for our security and for all of Europe. If Putin is allowed to succeed in this war of aggression, he will not stop at the Polish border.

“Ukraine’s armed forces continue to fight bravely, but they need our support – and they need it now.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps reiterated the UK was “the first” to provide NLAW anti-tank missiles, modern tanks and long-range missiles to Ukraine.

Read more:
Man arrested over alleged Russian plot to assassinate Zelenskyy
Government criticised after accepting Russian and Belarusian athletes at Olympics
Zelenskyy ‘grateful’ after $60.8bn Ukraine aid package approved by US

The crisis in the Middle East has also turned global attention away from the conflict in Ukraine, as Israel continues to bombard Gaza.

However, in a major win for Ukraine, a $60.8bn (£49bn) bill was passed by the US House of Representatives to which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his thanks saying American lawmakers moved to keep “history on the right track”.

During his visit, Mr Sunak will also meet with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk before heading to Germany to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The government will offer to deploy an RAF Typhoon Squadron to carry out NATO monitoring over Poland next year with the aim of strengthening the two country’s ties.

Boris Johnson warned he could lose public legal aid for COVID inquiry | Politics News

Boris Johnson has been warned he could lose public funding for legal advice if he tries to “frustrate or undermine” the government’s position on the COVID inquiry.

Cabinet Office lawyers have told the former prime minister that public money would “cease to be available” if he breaks conditions such as releasing evidence without permission, the Sunday Times reported.

Mr Johnson confirmed on Friday he had sent unredacted WhatsApps directly to the COVID inquiry which is being led by the retired judge Baroness Hallett.

This was in opposition to the position of the Cabinet Office, which has launched a legal challenge against the request from the inquiry to hand over such material in unredacted form.

The Cabinet Office said there were “important principles at stake” – such as the issue of privacy.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak visit the headquarters of Octopus Energy, in London, Britain October 5, 2020. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
The row over submitting messages to the COVID inquiry has set Prime Minister Rishi Sunak against his predecessor

But in a letter to Baroness Hallett, Mr Johnson said: “While I understand the government’s position, I am not willing to let my material become a test case for others when I am perfectly content for the inquiry to see it.”

The Sunday Times detailed a letter sent by Cabinet Office lawyers to Mr Johnson last week which suggests that his actions could see him lose public funding for his legal defence.

“The funding offer will cease to be available to you if you knowingly seek to frustrate or undermine, either through your own actions or the actions of others, the government’s position in relation to the inquiry unless there is a clear and irreconcilable conflict of interest on a particular point at issue,” it said.

Read more:
Johnson to hand over unredacted messages directly to inquiry
Government seeks legal challenge over order to hand over Johnson WhatsApps

MPs could be banned from parliament while under investigation

They added that funding would “only remain available” if he complied with conditions such as sending the Cabinet Office “any witness statement or exhibit which you intend to provide to the inquiry so that it can be security checked by appropriate officials”.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Boris Johnson denies fresh lockdown claims

The Cabinet Office said the letter was “intended to protect public funds” so taxpayer-funded lawyers are not used for any other purpose than aiding the inquiry.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries, a staunch ally of Mr Johnson, said it was “not a good look for the government”.

“All evidence provided should be unfettered and not restricted by gov censorship – whatever form that may take,” she tweeted.

Tory donor Lord Cruddas, an outspoken backer of Mr Johnson, who handed him his peerage, urged former prime minister not to be “held to ransom” by the threat.

“Don’t worry @BorisJohnson I can easily get your legal fees funded by supporters and crowdfunding, it’s easy,” he tweeted.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “This letter from officials simply reiterates that taxpayer-funded lawyers must be used to aid the Covid inquiry and for no other purpose.

“The letter makes clear Mr Johnson has a duty to provide sincere witness to the inquiry independently and without reference to the views of the current government.

“This letter was intended to protect public funds. It in no way prevents Mr Johnson from providing whatever evidence he wants to.”

Pub trade warns of 2,000 closures without budget aid | Business News

A further 2,000 pubs are at risk of closure, threatening 25,000 jobs, unless the chancellor comes to the sector’s aid in this month’s budget, according to an industry body.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) cited research by Oxford Economics which forecast 288 million fewer pints would be sold in the next financial year as the cost of living crisis facing punters combines with the cost of doing business crisis.

Sales volumes have already slipped as the squeeze on household budgets forces more people to drink and eat at home.

The BBPA told Sky News that 450 sites closed last year alone as energy-driven inflation accelerated, despite government support.

It builds on a significant decline since 2000, with a quarter of pubs – 13,000 – being lost.

The BBPA used a submission to chancellor Jeremy Hunt, in advance of his budget on 15 March, to declare that financial support for publicans, breweries and staff training to retain workers were vital, arguing that the pub is at the core of British society.

It pointed to rising energy, food and employment bills among the reasons why costs are unsustainable.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Farmers plead for government aid

“With cost pressures and slowing consumer spend, combined with a further duty increase in August, there are significant fears of widespread closures, with a worrying 2,000 pubs estimated to be at risk,” its statement said.

“And with the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme support ending on 31st of March, many pubs and breweries will again be subject to rocketing bills that threaten them to declare last orders once and for all.”

It said that one pound in every three spent in pubs currently made its way to the Treasury.

The BBPA’s wishlist included a freeze to duty rates and a “significant increase” in the discount for draft beer sold in pubs.

Publican Emma Shepherd, who runs the Blue Ball Inn in Worrall near Sheffield with her husband, has campaigned for more financial aid for the hospitality sector.

She described how soaring energy prices had already forced the closure of its kitchen on two days per week despite government support for energy costs.

The Blue Ball Inn belongs to Admiral Taverns and is run by Emma and Carl Shepherd. Pic: Blue Ball Inn
Image:
The Blue Ball Inn belongs to Admiral Taverns and is run by Emma and Carl Shepherd. Pic: Blue Ball Inn

She warned that the prospect of any easing from April could mean they have to let staff go and shut the kitchen.

“We’re in a perfect storm… working harder for less,” she explained, describing how beer, food and local regulations had added to their expenses.

“20% VAT on everything is a huge cost to small businesses that are working on small margins and the margins are getting smaller,” she said.

“The government hailed a reduction for beer tax but we don’t see a reduction at our end because the beer producers are facing the same energy costs as we are.”

Emma McClarkin, the chief executive of the BBPA, said pubs in rural areas were at particular risk, leaving more communities facing the prospect of being without a local.

“This really is a make or break moment for our pubs and our brewers,” she said.

“With everything that’s hitting them at the moment post pandemic, recovery has been really, really difficult and with cost inflation biting, labour shortages as well as those high energy costs, we’re really struggling to find our feet again as an industry… without that intervention (from the government) we could lose 2,000 pubs and 25,000 jobs.”