Boris Johnson in talks to break Stormont’s deadlock

B oris Johnson will later hold emergency talks with Northern Ireland’s political leaders in an effort to break a deadlock in Stormont caused by post-Brexit trade arrangements. The power-sharing institutions have been plunged into crisis in the wake of the recent Assembly elections, in which the DUP refused to rejoin devolved government in protest at … Read more

Omicron strains labeled as ‘variants of concern’ by health officials

t Two strains of Omicron have been labeled “variants of concern” that could dominate Covid-19 cases in Europe this summer, health officials warned. A report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warns that variants BA.4 and BA.5 could lead to a surge in cases across the continent in the coming months. … Read more

PM and German Chancellor to hold talks on reducing dependence on Russian gas

B oris Johnson is set to meet the German Chancellor as they look to discuss how to help European countries wean themselves off Russian gas following the attack on Ukraine. The Prime Minister will host Olaf Scholz at Downing Street on Friday, with a press conference planned for the afternoon. Mr Johnson is expected to … Read more

White House forced to row back on Biden’s Russia regime change remarks

t he White House scrambled to row back Joe Biden’s declaration that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”, insisting he was not calling for a regime change. In an impassioned speech in Warsaw, the US president appealed to Russian people directly, with comparisons between the invasion of Ukraine and the horrors of the Second World … Read more

Tens of thousands register interest as Homes for Ukraine scheme launches

m ore than 150,000 people had registered their interest in the UK’s Homes for Ukraine scheme ahead of its launch on Friday, but concerns have been raised about how it will work in practice. The program aims to match refugees with individuals, charities and other organizations who can provide accommodation for at least six months, … Read more

What the papers say – March 14

a “significant escalation” by Russian forces in Ukraine, as fears mount over Moscow’s intentions, leads many of the national papers. The Sun says 35 people were killed when Russia struck a Ukrainian military base close to Nato-member Poland’s border, in a story also covered by The Independent† The strike prompted a warning from the European-American … Read more

UK will pursue more options to bolster Ukraine’s self-defence, says PM

T he UK will “continue to pursue more options for bolstering Ukraine’s self-defence”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, as he commended the country’s people on their “fortitude” in the face of Russian aggression. In a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, Mr Johnson said the UK would “continue to stand behind Ukraine in … Read more

Queen donates to Ukraine refugee charity appeal

The charity expressed its thanks to the monarch on Twitter for “continuing to support” its work. The palace has declined to disclose the the amount given, but the DEC described it as a “generous donation”. The organisation, made up of 15 charities, launched its Ukraine appeal on Thursday to provide emergency relief to those who … Read more

Plan for living with Covid-19 to bring country ‘towards a return to normality’

t he Prime Minister has said his “living with Covid” plan will bring the country “towards a return to normality” as he intends to scrap the requirement to self-isolate in England. Boris Johnson will meet with his Cabinet on Monday morning before updating MPs in the afternoon on his blueprint for moving out of the … Read more

Conservative MP Robert Jenrick asks whether Liz Truss’s visit to Moscow is ‘unwise’

C Conservative MP Robert Jenrick has questioned the Secretary of State’s planned trip to Moscow this week amid the crisis in Ukraine. Liz Truss has planned a trip to the Russian capital to meet her counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour programme, the former housing minister said: “I’m not sure … Read more