Tory leadership contest: Next PM should 'turn on the spending taps'

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Media captionConservative MP Neil O'Brien talks to Newsnight ahead of his new report on future spending

The next Tory leader should "turn on the taps" to release an extra £190bn for spending increases and tax cuts, a former adviser to George Osborne has said.

In a break with a decade of austerity, Neil O'Brien calls for a "new era" in tax and spending to help less affluent households.

Funded by cutting government debt at a slower rate, the plans would increase incomes for some poorer families by £6,200 a year.

The Conservative MP for Harborough told Newsnight: "There is scope to really turn on the taps to increase living standards by cutting taxes for hard working people and at the same time really invest in our public services."

The report by O'Brien, 'Firing on all cylinders,' has been published by the centre right think tank Onward and has been welcomed by five of the Tory leadership contenders.

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Liam Fox: Cabinet ‘argument’ over customs union

Liam Fox
Image caption Liam Fox has said he's facing an "argument" in cabinet to prevent Theresa May conceding a customs union to the Labour party

Liam Fox is to raise concerns in cabinet at the failure of his party to highlight the "totemic" issue of an independent trade policy in a nationwide leaflet for the European elections.

The international trade secretary confirmed that he is facing an "argument" in cabinet to prevent Theresa May conceding a customs union to the Labour party.

Read full article Liam Fox: Cabinet ‘argument’ over customs union

Rudd: A no-deal PM would not command majority

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Media captionAmber Rudd tells Newsnight's Nick Watt the leadership contest "shouldn't be some Game of Thrones push for the Iron Throne".

The candidate who wins the Conservative leadership contest could fail to become prime minister if they back a no-deal Brexit, Amber Rudd has said.

The work and pensions secretary told BBC Newsnight "a no deal prime minister would not be able to command a majority in the House".

Read full article Rudd: A no-deal PM would not command majority

Jeremy Hunt: Tories may have to embrace no deal

Jeremy Hunt on Downing st Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has embarked upon a five-day five-nation tour of Africa

Jeremy Hunt's picture rich tour of Africa shows he will be a formidable candidate in the Conservative leadership contest.

Snapped taking the wheel of a Royal Marines rigid inflatable boat, he strikes the pose of a clear frontrunner among the cabinet contenders.

Read full article Jeremy Hunt: Tories may have to embrace no deal

Theresa May 'unlikely' to hold another Queen's speech

Queen Elizabeth queen's speech Image copyright Reuters

Theresa May has no plans to preside over another substantive Queen's speech, BBC Newsnight has learnt.

In a sign of how the prime minister believes her days in No 10 are numbered, Mrs May believes the next major Queen's speech should be left to her successor.

Read full article Theresa May 'unlikely' to hold another Queen's speech

Huawei leak row: PM advised to call in MI5 to investigate

Andrew Mitchell MP
Image caption Andrew Mitchell tells Newsnight security services may have to interview cabinet ministers sitting on the National Security Council

Theresa May has "no option" but to call in the security service MI5 to identify the source of a leak from the National Security Council, a founding member has said.

Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell told Newsnight MI5 and the cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill may have to interview cabinet ministers who sit on the council.

Read full article Huawei leak row: PM advised to call in MI5 to investigate

EU moving against long Brexit delay

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Image caption EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at a news conference after today's meeting on Article 50 in Brussels.

Opinion is hardening in the EU against a lengthy extension to Article 50, Newsnight has learned.

The EU is looking at making 22 May the definitive UK exit day with no further extension at that point, according to sources in Whitehall close to the talks.

Read full article EU moving against long Brexit delay

Liam Fox: I fear Brexit may never happen

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Media captionLiam Fox speaks to Newsnight

A cabinet Brexiteer has voiced fears that Remain supporters in parliament will seek to overturn the referendum result over the next week.

Liam Fox told BBC Newsnight that a large number of MPs want to keep the UK "locked in the EU", adding there needs to be an end to the "self-induced pessimism" which is denying the opportunities offered by Brexit.

Read full article Liam Fox: I fear Brexit may never happen

Brexit: Cox has Theresa May's fate in his hands

Geoffrey Cox Image copyright Reuters

The man who is arguably the most powerful force in the land at the moment was a stranger to many in Westminster until last summer.

Geoffrey Cox, a more familiar face at the Bar until his appointment as attorney general in July, now holds the fate of Theresa May's premiership in his hands.

Read full article Brexit: Cox has Theresa May's fate in his hands

Brexit: Theresa May, a lonely PM, nears the Article 50 endgame

Theresa May during her visit to Brussels on 20 February Image copyright Getty Images

Theresa May is a reserved figure who rarely betrays any emotions and certainly never likes to show any signs of weakness.

But the defection of Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen - three Conservative MPs from the One Nation wing of the party - may have struck a chord.

Read full article Brexit: Theresa May, a lonely PM, nears the Article 50 endgame