Good morning. Ministers were hoping last night to be able to finally bury the Owen Paterson issue, with MPs set to nod through a motion finally approving the standards committee report saying he broke the rules on paid lobbying, which Boris Johnson originally ordered his MPs to object to. But, as my colleagues Aubrey Allegretti and Rowena Mason report, the embarrassment was extended for another day when the maverick and reactionary Tory backbencher Sir Christopher Chope blocked the approval of the report.
This means that MPs will instead debate the motion for an hour today, before voting on it in the early afternoon.
Chope does not seem to have given a public explanation for what he did yet, but he has a long record of objecting to parliament approving measures without proper scrutiny. That is one of the reasons why he devotes much energy to slaughtering private members’ bills.
As Aubrey reports, Tory MPs are livid with their off-message colleague, whose behaviour last night allowed allowed opposition parties to say “after two weeks of this scandal, the government couldn’t even perform their sleaze U-turn successfully”. (That was the SNP, but Labour said much the same.)
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: Boris Johnson chairs cabinet.
10.30am: Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, speaks at an Institute for Government event.
11.30am: Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
After 12.45pm: MPs begin a one-hour debate on the standards committee report into Owen Paterson.
2.20pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, makes a statement to MSPs on Covid.
2.30pm: George Eustice, the environment secretary, gives evidence to the Commons environment committee on labour shortages in food and farming.
2.30pm: Lord Burnett of Maldon, the lord chief justice, gives evidence to the Commons justice committee.
4.15pm: Amanda Pritchard, the NHS England chief executive, speaks at the NHS Providers conference.
Also, at some point today, Johnson is meeting the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in No 10.
There is also what is likely to be a riveting select committee hearing this morning on Yorkshire’s county cricket club’s response to the racism allegations made by Azeem Rafiq. Rafiq is giving evidence at 9.30am, and my colleague John Ashdown is covering it on a separate live blog here.
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