Political latest updates: Report on BBC chairman appointment 'forthcoming'; 130,000 civil servants and public sector workers on strike (2023)

Most important points
  • Get into politics today
  • Publication 'imminent' of report on appointment of BBC chairman in Johnson row
  • Ashish Joshi: Nurses would never win - why did the union take the strike case to court?
  • Tamara Cohen:How a minister hopes to change the debate on international aid
  • The front pages of today's newspaper
  • Live coverage by Ben Bloch


Watch live: Labour's Louise Haigh speaks to Sky News

Labour's shadow transport secretaryLouis Highspeaks with Sally Lockwood ahead of the expected publication of the report on the appointment of BBC chairman Richard Sharp.

Watch live here:


The ceasefire in Sudan was extended as the remaining British said they had to get to the airport 'quickly'

The ceasefire in Sudan has been extended by three days despite continued reports of heavy fighting in the capital Khartoum and the western region of Darfur.

The ceasefire between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudan's military was due to expire at midnight, but the US and Saudi Arabia have struck a new deal.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has urged the British in Sudan "to get to the airport as soon as possible to ensure their safety".

Britain's evacuation mission has rescued at least 897 people as the White House said it was concerned about ceasefire violations and warned the situation could "deteriorate at any time".

Eight British flights had departed Sudan by 4pm on Thursday, and the Foreign Office promised "further flights to come".

Read more here:

(Video) In full: BBC chairman questioned by Select Committee


What are the leading newspapers today?

A number of political stories are leading today's national newspapers, including the "imminent" publication of a report on the appointment of BBC chairman Richard Sharp, trade unions announcing strikes on key days, and the government planning to scrap all laws from the EU era to be revised or deleted by the end of 2023.

The timessays that report in BBC chairman Richard Sharp is "damn" ahead of publication.

Prior to the publication of the report, theDaily telegramsays BBC chairman Richard Sharp "broken rules" by allegedly helping to arrange an £800,000 loan for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Ofi papersays NHS doctors in Sudan have been stranded by the continued rescue efforts in the African country after the British government decided to bring back only British nationals.

OfDaily mailcalls striking railway workers "vengeful" on the front page and targets them for disrupting the FA Cup final, the Epsom Derby and the Eurovision Song Contest.

Railway strikes are in front of theDaily Express, asking "how cynical can railway unions be?", as they wage strikes over the FA Cup, Epsom Derby and Eurovision weekends.

"Spoil sports" is the headline on the front coverThe sun, covering the latest round of rail strikes that will hit the FA Cup, Epsom Derby and the Eurovision Song Contest.

OfFinancial timesleads the government to abandon plans to review or scrap all EU-era laws by the end of 2023 - a move sure to anger Eurosceptic MPs.


Rishi Sunak 'unaware of informal concerns over health secretary's conduct'

By Faye Brown, political reporter

Ministers should be able to "firmly challenge" officials, Downing Street stressed, as it denied that Rishi Sunak had been made aware of informal concerns about Steve Barclay's behaviour.

The health secretary has become the latest member of the prime minister's cabinet to face allegations of bullying, with officials in his department reportedly speaking privately about "bad behaviour".

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Mr Barclay has not publicly commented, but allies "deny" the claims outright.

And on Thursday, the prime minister's official spokesman said Sunak had not been made aware of complaints about the health minister's conduct.

Read more here:


Report BBC chairman Richard Sharp's appointment 'imminent'

A report on Richard Sharp's appointment as BBC chairman is expected "immediately", Sky News has been told.

The review, carried out by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, will look into whether Mr Sharp had correctly disclosed details of any alleged involvement in facilitating a loan of £800,000 to Boris Johnson when he was Prime Minister.

Mr Sharp has so far denied involvement in the case.

Onspolitical correspondent Rob Powellexplains who Mr Sharp is, what this report could contain and what it could mean for Mr Sharp's future in his role:


More than 3,000 Afghans eligible to come to the UK are in detention

By Jennifer Scott, political reporter

More than 3,000 people eligible to come to the UK are trapped in Afghanistan, the government has admitted.

In 2021, the UK staged a hasty evacuation to get vulnerable Afghans and British citizens out of the country after the Taliban took control of Kabul.

(Video) Former President Trump indicted by New York grand jury | full coverage

In response to a damning report from the House of Commons defense committee - which called the withdrawal "a dark chapter in British military history" - officials have now confirmed that 3,075 individuals eligible for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, or ARAP, plan stay there.

The British government has faced questions about removing diplomats and their families from the country before helping other Britons, and has been further criticized for taking longer than some other European countries to formulate a plan.

Read more here:


Good morning!

Welcome back to the Politics Hub for another Friday in Westminster. Parliament may not be sitting, but it's a busy day ahead.

Here's what's coming:

  • The publication of a report on the appointment ofRichard Sharpas BBC chairman is expected "soon", Sky News understands.
  • The report will look into whether Mr Sharp has disclosed details of any alleged involvement in facilitating a loan of £800,000 toBoris Johnsonwhen he was prime minister. So far he has denied involvement in the case.
  • About 130,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union went on strike today in a pay dispute. Officials, driving examiners and passport officers will all line up in protest.
  • Also, the ballots for the government's pay offer for NHS staff will close today for the last remaining unions.
  • We'll find out today whether NHS workers who are members of unions Unite, GMB and the British Diabetic Association have voted to accept a pay offer. Voting to accept the offer would put enormous pressure on the Royal College of Nursing to call off further strikes after members voted to reject the offer.
  • The ceasefire in Sudan has been extended for another 72 hours. The evacuation of Britons continues steadily today.
  • We're going to talk to LabourLouis High, secretary shadow transport, ataround 8:05 AMabout all this and more.
  • Rishi Soenakwill go on the campaign trail later in the run-up to local elections next week, addressing the Scottish Conservatives conference this morning and the Welsh Conservatives conference this afternoon.
  • And finally, Happy Ed Balls Day to everyone who celebrates! (More here.)


That was all for tonight

Thank you for staying with us for another day of updates from the heart of Westminster.

We'll be back from 6am, but before you leave, here are Thursday's highlights:

  • The publication of a report on the appointment of BBC chairman Richard Sharp is "imminent", Sky News understands;
  • Nearly 900 British countries have been evacuated from Sudan in eight flights, with more expected overnight. A ceasefire in the region has been extended;
  • The government announced a series of gambling reforms, including a new legal levy on big companies, in an effort to tackle online addiction;
  • The RMT union confirmed that new railway strikes will take place on May 13 - the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool;
  • The Supreme Court ruled that the Royal College of Nursing's planned strike action on 2 May was illegal.

Join us again tomorrow morning for the latest news.


New gambling reforms unveiled - what could the proposed changes mean?

The government has announced a series of gambling reforms, including a new legal levy on big companies, in an effort to tackle online addiction.

Other measures announced by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazerinclude maximum bets for online slots and checks to "better protect even those who cannot afford small losses".

But what do the plans entail?

  • Statutory gambling levy- ensuring that operators help fund treatment services and research. As things stand, the amount given is not mandatory and some betting firms have only paid £1;
  • New betting limits for online slot games- it will be between £2 and £15 per spin, but there will be consultation on measures to protect 18 to 24 year olds;
  • Player protection checks- protecting those most at risk before prohibitive losses are incurred;
  • Further powers of the Gaming Commission- so that the regulator can deal with black market operators through court orders and with internet service providers;
  • Bonus Offer Rules- to prevent them from harming vulnerable people. How free bets are put together needs to be looked at and targeted;
  • Loopholes closed to under 18s- to prevent them from gambling online or via slot machines;
  • New industry ombudsman- to handle disputes and decide on recourse when people suffer losses due to the operator's failure to protect players.
(Video) Lies, Politics and Democracy (full documentary) | FRONTLINE


UK welcomes extension of ceasefire in Sudan by 72 hours

The UK welcomes the 72-hour extension of the ceasefire agreed in Sudan.

In a joint statement from the UK and allies including the US and Saudi Arabia, they said they "welcome the announcement by the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces to extend the current ceasefire for a further 72 hours and call for its full implementation". .

"We also welcome their willingness to engage in dialogue to achieve a more sustainable cessation of hostilities and ensure unimpeded humanitarian access," they added.

The UK has flown nearly 900 nationals from Khartoum in the past three days, on about eight flights.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly tonight urged all British nationals wishing to flee to report "as soon as possible".

"The ceasefire in Sudan has just been extended. The UK is calling for full implementation by the generals," he said.

"British evacuation flights are underway. I am asking all British nationals wishing to depart to proceed to the airport as soon as possible to ensure their safety."


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