Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs 9.37am GMT As the BBC reports, the government’s decision to offer a rescue package to the regional airline company Flybe has been criticised by the British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh. In a private letter to Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, Walsh said Flybe did not need government support. According to the BBC, Walsh said:Prior to the acquisition of Flybe by the consortium which includes Virgin/Delta, Flybe argued for tax payers to fund its operations by subsidising regional routes.Virgin/Delta now want the taxpayer to pick up the tab for their mismanagement of the airline. This is a blatant misuse of public funds.The government isn’t in the market to bail out private companies. What we do on a case by case basis is look to see whether a business is viable. In the case of Flybe, it is a viable business. There are structural challenges … The regional connectivity role that it provides for the UK means that there are some routes that are very tricky, and what we have agreed to do as a government is a review of regional connectivity that takes into account, for example, our net zero carbon emissions. And what that will do is it will continue to create a level playing field for all airlines.Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom says the government assesses ‘on a case-by-case basis whether the business is viable’ and for #Flybe it has agreed to assist to safeguard UK regional connectivity. Latest on @BBCBreakfast pic.twitter.com/x9IdJGOn5y 9.20am GMT Ostensibly Boris Johnson is a close ally of Donald Trump’s, but on matters of substance the Johnson government has shown some willingness to keep its distance from Washington and how the relationship will end up remains to be seen. On Huawei, Johnson is so far refusing to adopt the Washington line. As my colleague Dan Sabbagh reports, the UK is rejecting some of the warnings coming from the Trump administration and the Times today (paywall) says opinion in government is “leaning towards rejecting US demands to ban the company on security grounds”. And on Iran, although the UK did not criticise the decision to assassinate the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, its support wasn’t unequivocal and full-throated.It is hard to know where the relationship will end up, but yesterday there was an interesting development when Johnson used his BBC interview to urge Trump to come up with a replacement to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Obama-era deal to stop Iran developing a nuclear weapon that Trump has rejected. Johnson said this even though Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, later told MPs that the UK had still not given up on the JCPOA. Trump has welcomed Johnson’s comments. Overnight he tweeted this.Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, @BorisJohnson, stated, “We should replace the Iran deal with the Trump deal.” I agree!This Mr Prime Minister in London, I don’t know how he thinks. He says let’s put aside the nuclear deal and put the Trump plan in action.If you take the wrong step, it will be to your detriment. Pick the right path. The right path is to return to the nuclear deal. Continue reading…
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/jan/15/pmqs-boris-johnson-corbyn-labour-trump-praises-boris-johnson-for-suggesting-us-should-draft-new-iran-deal-live-news
Author : Andrew Sparrow
Publish date : 2020-01-15 09:37:12
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