UK local elections 2022 – live: Minister insists Johnson is ‘an asset, not a liability’

Boris Johnson ‘out of touch’ with cost of living crisis, says Keir Starmer

Top Tories have come out in favor of Boris Johnson as projections predicted a loss of ‘hundreds’ of seats for the Tories.

Appearing on Sky News, Education Minister Michelle Donelan said Mr Johnson was ‘an asset, not a liability’ in the election.

Earlier, in an article for The Independent, Sir John Curtice warned the Tories were set to suffer major losses in the first big test of public opinion since the Partygate scandal hit the headlines.

Meanwhile, the leader of a grassroots Tory group said anger at the No 10 parties, complemented by fears over the rising cost of living, signaled party supporters were staying home today .

It follows claims by Angela Rayner that Tory candidates in the election are shamed for being linked to the PM, portraying themselves as ‘local Tories’ and imploring voters not to ‘punish’ them for the scandal of Partygate.

“It says a lot that Boris Johnson’s own Tory candidates are ashamed of being associated with him and trying to mislead voters,” said the Labor deputy leader.

In Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein is heading for a historic victory in the Assembly by 90 seats, with opinion polls projecting its emergence as the largest party.

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Scots set to head to the polls as local parties urge voters to ‘send a message’ to Westminster

Scots are expected to go to the polls in local elections dominated by national issues and the cost of living crisis, with parties north of the border urging voters to “send a message” to governments in Westminster.

The cost of living crisis, fueled by rising energy bills, national insurance contributions and inflation, dominated the Scottish party agenda throughout the campaign.

Scottish First Minister Sturgeon attends the local election campaign in Loanhead

(Reuters)

Polling stations open today at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. While overnight counts have been the norm, Scotland’s count will take place on Friday, with results expected in the evening.

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 6:30 a.m.

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Johnson “an asset, not a liability”

As Tory supporters eagerly watch local elections unfold in the UK, top Tories have come forward in support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Appearing on Sky News, Education Minister Michelle Donelan said Mr Johnson was ‘an asset, not a liability’ in the election.

She added that she could, however, ‘understand’ why candidates for councilor want to project that they are ‘going to work hard on all those things that impact daily life’ rather than what is happening in Westminster.

Environment Secretary George Eustice has acknowledged that ‘all prime ministers will always be very aware of the vibe of their parliamentary party’, in response to speculation that a poor showing on Thursday could lead to more letters of defiance from Conservative MPs.

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 05:53

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Voters head to polling stations across the UK

Voters are preparing to head to polling stations across the UK to elect their new local leaders.

The election is also seen as a referendum on the Partygate saga in Downing Street involving Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, as well as the rising cost of living in the country.

Conservative Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden arrives for a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street in London, Britain, April 26, 2022

(EPA)

Oliver Dowden, the chairman of the Conservative Party, however, underlined the impact of the local choices that voters make. “Today’s election is about one thing: who do you want to lead your council,” he said in a statement.



The choice couldn’t be tougher – between Tories cutting council taxes and providing good services, or opposition parties wasting money on political games and vain projects.

Olivier Dowden

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 05:41

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Sinn Fein en route to historic victory in Northern Ireland

Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein is likely to become the largest group in the 90-seat Northern Ireland Assembly, according to opinion polls.

This would give Sinn Fein the Premiership of Belfast Government for the first time.

It would be a feat for a party long linked to the Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary group that has used bombs and bullets to try to wrest Northern Ireland from British rule during decades of violence.

Read more in this report:

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 05:24

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Johnson suffers as grassroots conservatives revolt against Partygate

The Prime Minister also came under attack from two of his former advisers, who published letters urging voters to support other parties, accusing the Prime Minister of “spreading lies” and “taking us for fools”.

Our Deputy Political Editor Rob Merrick see you.

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 05:13

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Brexit to blame for ‘crazy’ chicken prices, says poultry industry

Brexit pressures are largely to blame for soaring chicken prices, the British Poultry Council (BPC) has said, dismissing Boris Johnson’s claim that global energy prices are falling.

The Prime Minister said the spike in supermarket prices was mainly due to international fuel supply problems on Tuesday, adding: ‘The cost of chickens is crazy.

But the BPC hit back at Mr Johnson on Wednesday, blaming post-Brexit trade barriers and skills shortages for soaring production costs.

“It’s not ‘mainly the fuel’ that is the problem, as the Prime Minister put it in his Hello Brittany interview. That’s all. Costs of inputs like water, labor, energy and food are all rising,” a BPC spokesperson said on Twitter.

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 05:05

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Local elections 2022: when to expect the results?

Millions of voters will be heading to the polls across the UK within hours, with local elections taking place in England, Scotland and Wales.

In England, more than 4,300 seats are contested – including all of London’s boroughs – while Scotland’s 32 councils and Welsh’s 22 councils are pending.

They will coincide with the Northern Ireland Assembly election, with voters deciding on 90 members, representing 18 constituencies, to be sent to Stormont.

The results will start coming in in the early hours of Friday morning, our political correspondent reports. Ashley Cowburn.

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 4:56 a.m.

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Labor set to make gains in key battleground, new forecast shows

Labor is expected to make gains in key electoral battlegrounds in England, but likely at a slower pace in its former northern heartlands, according to new forecasts.

According to a survey by YouGov, “they will make healthy seat gains [today] but council victories may be harder to come by.”

Soaring utility costs and Whitehall’s anti-lockdown parties are expected to be the issues at the forefront of voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

But what impact will they have on the outcome? My colleague Emily Atkinson explains in this report:

Namita Sing |May 5, 2022 4:31 a.m.

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UK and Japan set to strike ‘historic’ new defense deal

Boris Johnson will host the Japanese Prime Minister in London on Thursday as the two are set to agree a “historic” new defense deal.

Fumio Kishida’s first official visit at the invitation of the government is expected to be marked by a guard of honor and an RAF flyby over central London.

Downing Street said leaders should agree in principle to a ‘historic’ Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), which would allow Japanese and British forces to deploy together to carry out training, joint exercises and relief activities in the event of a disaster.

Emily AtkinsonMay 5, 2022 03:30

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Watch: George Eustice says Tories have done ‘what we can’ for cost of living crisis

George Eustice says Tories have done ‘what we can’ for cost of living crisis

Emily AtkinsonMay 5, 2022 2:30 a.m.

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