Ed Miliband said the government should ban transgender conversion therapy.
Speaking to Sky News, he said:
I think there are strong views on lots of sides here but I’ll give you my perspective on this. I think that trans people face incredible barriers and stigma in our society.
I was talking to a trans person the other day about this. I think the way this debate has been conducted – these anatomical debates – I think it is really awful for so many trans people in our country.
Asked if transgender conversion therapy should be banned, he said “yes”.
He also spoke about transgender women taking part in female sport, saying there needs to be “fairness” and not a blanket ban.
I think that is a decision for the sporting bodies though… I think it’s different in different sports. I think the principle here is that we need fairness in sport.
Kwasi Kwarteng insisted chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, has not been “sheltering” herself from paying UK tax.
He told BBC Breakfast:
I was very interested in the transparency, it was very clear to me what’s happened.
I think the chancellor has been very honest, very clear, and she’s after all a private citizen, she’s not a politician, and I think her affairs were completely transparent, and there’s no hint of any wrongdoing at all. So, I think everything is in order in that way.
Asked if she was sheltering herself from tax, Kwarteng said:
I don’t think that’s true at all, sheltering sounds as if you’re evading things.
I think she’s been very clear, she’s been very transparent, the chancellor’s been very transparent, and this non-dom status has been part of the UK tax system for more than 200 years.
Ed Miliband said Rishi Sunak’s wife claiming non-dom status is “legal, but is it right?”
Speaking to Sky News, the shadow secretary of state for climate change and net zero, said:
Non-dom status is legal but I think we should be clear that non-dom status is used to… pay less tax than you otherwise would.
You don’t have to be a non-dom. You choose to do it… I think there are legitimate questions that need to be asked of Rishi Sunak about this.
Asked if the move is above board, he said:
I think it’s legal, but is it right?
He also added that the Chancellor should issue an “explanation” about his wife’s decision.
He is the UK chancellor asking people to pay more in taxes. Is it right that his immediate family is sheltering from UK taxes? I think Rishi Sunak and his family should reflect on that.
Rishi Sunak’s multi-millionaire wife claims non-domicile status, it has emerged, which allows her to save millions of pounds in tax on dividends collected from her family’s IT business empire.
Akshata Murthy, who receives about £11.5m in annual dividends from her stake in the Indian IT services company Infosys, declares non-dom status, a scheme that allows people to avoid tax on foreign earnings.
Murthy, the daughter of Infosys’s billionaire founder, owns a 0.93% stake in the tech firm worth approximately £690m. The company’s most recent accounts suggest that Murthy’s stake would have yielded her £11.6m in dividend payments in the last tax year.
Under UK tax laws, Murthy’s status as a non-dom would mean she would not have had to pay tax on the dividend payment from overseas companies. Infosys is headquartered in Bengaluru, India, and listed on the Indian and New York stock exchange. By contrast, UK resident taxpayers pay a 38.1% tax on dividend payouts.
A spokeswoman for Murthy said:
Akshata Murthy is a citizen of India, the country of her birth and parents’ home. India does not allow its citizens to hold the citizenship of another country simultaneously. So, according to British law, Ms Murthy is treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes. She has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all her UK income.
The Treasury declined to comment.
It comes a day after it was revealed that Sunak and Murthy donated more than £100,000 to the chancellor’s old private school, Winchester College.
It is understood that Sunak, the chancellor, declared his wife’s tax status to the Cabinet Office when he became a minister in 2018, and he had also made the Treasury “aware, so as to manage any potential conflicts”.
Tulip Siddiq, the shadow economic secretary to the treasury, said:
The chancellor has imposed tax hike after tax hike on the British people. It is staggering that – at the same time – his family may have been benefiting from tax reduction schemes. This is yet another example of the Tories thinking it is one rule for them, another for everyone else.
Rishi Sunak must now urgently explain how much he and his family have saved on their own tax bill at the same time he was putting taxes up for millions of working families and choosing to leave them £2,620 a year worse off.
Read more here:
Boris Johnson said “nuclear is coming home” as a result of the government’s energy strategy.
In a social media video to promote the plan, which is finally being released on Thursday after repeated delays and cabinet wrangling, the prime minister said:
In the country that was the first to split the atom, the first truly to harness its power to light our homes and drive our factories, we will once again lead the way. Nuclear is coming home.
So instead of a new reactor every decade we will have a new reactor every year.
For years, governments have dodged the big decisions on energy, but not this one.
We’ve got the ambition, we’ve got the plan and we are going to bring clean, affordable secure power to the people for generations to come.
The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said it was “completely unfair” to scrutinise the tax affairs of the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s non-domiciled wife, Akshata Murty.
He told Sky News:
It’s completely unfair to be bringing someone who is not a politician and essentially attacking them in a way that’s happening.
She made it very clear that as an Indian national she can’t have dual citizenship and she’s got non-dom status here in the UK.
Now, after 15 years staying here she will be domiciled, but for the moment she pays tax on UK income, as I understand, and on foreign income she pays tax outside the UK – that’s what non-domiciled status means.
But I’m not here to comment on her tax affairs.
I’m totally comfortable with people having businesses, people operating what they do as private citizens, I’m completely comfortable about that.
I’m not an expert on her financial arrangements but I think absolutely people have a right to pursue their own business arrangements.
I’ve just come here to say very clearly that I think her tax affairs are a matter for her.
A former chief executive of Ofgem said the government’s energy security strategy does little to solve the cost-of-living crisis now and fails to improve the efficiency of homes.
Dermot Nolan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
Frankly it’s not something that’s that radically new and different.
The disturbing thing to say at a time of rising energy prices is that there’s very little that can be done in the short run.
Most of these decisions will take a long time to have an impact and in the short run we will continue to be dependent on fossil fuels and the prices that consumers are going to pay will still depend on the price of gas.
One failure, that could’ve helped in the short to medium run, is a lack of focus on energy efficiency, on insulation, on improving the quality of people’s homes – I think that is an opportunity missed.
Ed Miliband has said that a few Tory backbenchers have been “holding the government’s energy policy to ransom”.
Speaking to the BBC, Labour’s shadow climate change and net zero secretary said:
Onshore wind is the cheapest, quickest form of energy we can get.
It’s been blocked since 2015 because of government rules, not because of the views of the population … but because a few Tory backbenchers are holding the government’s energy policy to ransom … and people are paying higher bills as a result.
Ministers have promised cleaner and more affordable energy to be made in the UK, aiming to make 95% of electricity low carbon by 2030.
The government wanted to have a target to double onshore wind … that is the equivalent of building five new nuclear power stations between now and 2030.
I’m in favour of new nuclear but stations that the government is talking about today won’t be built for at least a decade. That’s why this strategy is so deeply flawed.
The business secretary has admitted that the government’s energy security strategy will do little to help alleviate soaring fuel bills now, adding that it’s “more of a medium three, four, five year answer” ahead of its reveal later today.
Pressed on the impact it will have on energy bills now, Kwasi Kwarteng told Sky News:
You are right to say that the strategy is more of a medium term, three, four or five-year answer, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t address this.
It’s really important that we get an energy strategy, an energy policy, that means we can have more security and independence in the year ahead.
Kwarteng was asked if his department are deprioritising targets to reduce the climate crisis, which he dismissed:
I think that the net zero legislation is, after all, in law, we’re focused on that.
But, of course, given what’s happening around the world, given the pressure on energy prices, we’re also doing lots of other things to make sure we get energy independence back into the UK.
Welcome to today’s politics live blog. I’m Nicola Slawson and I’ll be taking the lead today. You can contact me on Twitter (@Nicola_Slawson) or via email (email@example.com) if you have any questions or think I’m missing something.
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