OG No 10 denies PM intervened in Afghan animal evacuation – follow live

Dominic Raab responds to claim he sent back information on Afghanistan evacuation

Boris Johnson is urging Vladimir Putin to deescalate tensions with Ukraine amid fears that Russia is planning to invade its neighbour.

The prime minister was among several Western leaders – including US President Joe Biden – who last night backed Kyiv against Moscow as Russia builds up troops on the border.

The UK, US, France, Germany and Italy all agreed to use “all the tools at their disposal” to tackle aggression by the Kremlin.

Elsewhere Dominic Raab, the former foreign secretary, rejected claims by a whistleblower that the UK’s chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan earlier this year led to a failure to allocate resources and critical delays that ultimately resulted in death.


Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live politics coverage.

We’ll be bringing you live updates from Westminster and elsewhere as the day progresses.

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 09:20


Whistleblower left to process thousands of pleas for help sheds light on chaos of UK’s Afghan evacuation

Former foreign secretary Dominic Raab has been out on the broadcast round this morning defending claims by a whisteblower about the chaotic nature of the UK’s evacuation of Afghanistan.

Kim Sengupta, our diplomatic editor, has the full report on what has been alleged here:

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 09:23


Dominic Raab rejects claims of chaotic Afghan evacuation from ‘junior desk officer’ and insists it was success

Dominic Raab has dismissed a whistleblower’s revelations about the chaotic Afghan evacuation as coming from a “junior desk officer” and insisted it was a success.

Our deputy politics editor Rob Merrick reports:

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 09:32


Johnson joins Western leaders in calling for Russia to cool Russia tensions

A Whitehouse readout of last night’s call said: “The leaders discussed their shared concern about the Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders and Russia’s increasingly harsh rhetoric … They called on Russia to de-escalate tensions and agreed that diplomacy, especially through the Normandy Format, is the only way forward to resolve the conflict in Donbas through the implementation of the Minsk Agreements … They agreed that their teams will stay in close touch, including in consultation with NATO allies and EU partners, on a coordinated and comprehensive approach.”

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 09:38


‘Very unwise for No 10 to lie’ about lockdown Christmas party, says Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings has implied that Downing Street is covering up Christmas parties during lockdown last year, saying it is “very unwise for No 10 to lie” after the prime minister’s spokesperson explicitly told reporters “there was not a party”.

My colleague Celine Wadhera has more details below:

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 09:40


Government’s plan to cut crime with prisons drugs crackdown branded ‘simplistic and short-sighted’

The government has announced a £100m crackdown on drugs in prisons which it says will “tackle the scourge of reoffending and cut crime” – but the plan has been branded “simplistic and short-sighted”.

Our social affairs correspondent May Bulman reports:

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 10:04


Veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman to stand down at next election

Labour MP and former minister Harriet Harman has announced that she will stand down at the next general election.

She confirmed the news on Tuesday morning by publishing her email to Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party members on social media. In it, she wrote that it had been an “overwhelming honour” to be an MP “representing and working for the people of Camberwell and Peckham for nearly 40 years”.

My colleague Holly Bancroft has more details below:

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 10:15


Misogyny should not be made a hate crime, official review finds

An official review has stopped short of calling for misogyny to be made a hate crime, despite mounting calls for change following the murder of Sarah Everard.

Our home affairs and security correspondent Lizzie Dearden has the story:

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 10:35


‘We’ve got a prime minister who thinks he’s Julius Caesar’

Members of Boris Johnson’s government believe the rules don’t apply to them, Emily Thornberry has claimed.

The Labour MP and shadow attorney general was responding to a move by Downing Street to give ministers more power to ignore court decisions.

Appearing on LBC radio, Mr Thornberry said “we’ve got a prime minister who thinks he’s Julius Caesar and can do whatever he wants!”

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 10:45


Ofsted to lead inspection of all child protection services in Solihull in wake of Arthur murder

Education watchdog Ofsted has been asked to lead an inspection into all child protection services in Solihull, Birmingham after the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted chief inspector, said the probe would take in everything from education and health to police and probation services.

Ms Spielman said the investigation will not specifically address the case of Arthur but will be “looking at how these services deal jointly with child protection”.

Matt Mathers7 December 2021 11:00

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