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SONIA FIX - 04/08/22

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UK

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is risking incurring the wrath of Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle over his decision to announce the expected delay of the end of COVID-19 restrictions in a televised press conference rather than in a speech to the Commons.

  • Responding to two points of order from backbench Conservatives criticising the gov'ts planned announcement on TV, Hoyle stated that "I find it totally unacceptable that, once again, we see Downing Street running roughshod over members of parliament. We're not accepting it, and I'm at the stage where I'm beginning to look for other avenues, if they're not going to treat this house seriously."
  • One area where the speaker could cause problems for the gov't is not on COVID-19 measures (the opposition Labour party has already offered its support to the extension of COVID-19 restrictions), but on planned cuts to foreign aid.
  • Last week, the gov't avoided potential defeat on an amendment to a bill that related to foreign aid spending. Despite being enshrined in law and a manifesto promise from the Conservatives, the gov't plans to cut foreign aid spending from 0.7% to 0.5% of GNI due to the pandemic.
  • Hoyle could seek to allow a 'meaningful vote' on a measure related to foreign aid spending, a vote the gov't could well lose in what would be a major blow to Johnson's authority in his own party.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com

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