Political latest: Car crashed into Downing Street towed as cordon lifted (2023)

key point
  • Car crashes into Downing Street gate - and man arrested
  • Video: Moments before silver car crashes in Whitehall
  • Witnesses describe 'panic and people running'
  • Full text: Metropolitan Police statement
  • Joe Parker: All peaceful outer doors that protect the heart of power
  • Cars towed as Whitehall returns to normal
  • Despite Tory manifesto promises record high net migration figures
  • Beth Rigby:"Take back control" is a slogan that is easy to create but extremely difficult to implement
  • Live reporting by Ben Bloch and (previously) James Robinson, Faith Ridler and Katie Williams


That's all for today

Thanks for joining us for a very busy day in politics.

Here's a roundup of what happened today:

  • A man has been arrested after a car crashed into a Downing Street gate, sparking a huge security response;
  • Figures released today show that net migration will hit a record high of 606,000 in 2022;
  • Energy price caps were slashed following falls in gas and electricity prices;
  • The government scrapped its flagship animal welfare bill in favor of smaller legislation to pass the measures;
  • Ministers fail to move motion to suspend MPs who breached COVID rules;
  • Woking council takes extraordinary measures over £2bn debt;
  • Tributes to former Conservative MP Karen Lumley who has died aged 59.

We'll be back from 6am with the latest news from Westminster city center - please join us!


Today's Tomorrow's Newspaper

Today has been another very busy day politically, and although Parliament is now adjourned for 10 days, government business never stops.

Let's take a look at the political stories on the front page tomorrow:

eraTens of thousands of patients are being signed up for clinical trials as ministers pledge better access to the NHS to pharmaceutical companies.

It also reported on the drama in Downing Street this afternoon.

Ministers have been accused of losing control of UK immigration after figures hit record highs last year,daily mirror.

"Is anyone going to stop these eco-clowns?" asksdaily mailBecause it covered demonstrations at the Chelsea Flower Show by Just Stop Oil and Animal Rising protesters. The newspaper slammed the authorities for not stopping the protests.

protectorMore than 3,000 asylum seekers could be detained and deported from the UK every month to enforce Suella Braverman's asylum bill, according to leaked documents.

thisdaily telegraphBringing borrowing costs to levels not seen since Liz Truss's mini-budget, threatening a new mortgage shock for homeowners.

It also reported fears that the WHO could be given powers to "force the UK into lockdown" as part of a new pandemic treaty.

Not long ago, government minister Andrew Mitchell told Sky News that the government supported the treaty being negotiated but it would "never" cede sovereign powers to the body (see post 22.52).

thisdaily expressLeading the way with an exclusive from the prime minister, he told the paper "we must and will reduce immigration to the UK".

According to the Financial Times, ministers are considering an overhaul of the fund to protect savers in company pension schemes.Financial Times.

thismy paperThe UK is on track to become Europe's second most populous country for the first time ever.

(Video) Downing Street: Video shows car crashed in front of the iconic gates


UK 'never will' allow WHO treaty to 'prevent UK from taking decisive action'

Reports tonight suggested the World Health Organization (WHO) may have the power to impose a lockdown on the UK as part of a new "pandemic treaty" currently being negotiated.

Ministers fear signatories will be forced to comply with the agency's directives in the event of a pandemic, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The newspaper reported that Conservative MPs had written to ministers warning that the WHO could become an international authority rather than a specialized advisory body.

The minister of state for development and African affairs told Sky News tonight that the government supported the treaty being negotiated but it would "never" cede sovereign powers to the body.

Andrew Mitchell told Sky News: "The UK supports the pandemic treaty that governments are currently negotiating, which could speed up the sharing of data on new pandemic threats so we can quickly respond to future pandemics. React.

"We are clear that we will never agree to anything that violates the principles of our sovereignty or prevents the UK from taking decisive action on future pandemics.

"I think that's what our constituents expect, and that's where we stand."


Chancellor: UK determined to fight green investment as battery announcement awaits

By Ed Conway, Economics and Data Editor

Britain is determined to join the global green investment race, the chancellor told Sky News, just days before Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata is expected to announce it will build a major new battery factory in the country.

Jeremy Hunt said he was ready to channel subsidy funds from the government's £1bn war chest to help support these big green projects, despite only warning last month of the dangers of new subsidies.

At the same time, he unveiled a series of new measures worth a total of £650m aimed at helping to encourage the UK's life sciences and pharmaceuticals industries.

The Tata chairman will visit Downing Street next week to confirm the Indian industrial giant has chosen Britain over Spain as the location for its new battery factory, which will service its UK and European car operations.

The competition between the countries is intense and it is understood the Tata package is worth around £500m and includes support for a range of issues, most notably energy costs.

"I can't talk about any commercial discussions," Mr Hunt said.

"But what I can say is that we understand - the Prime Minister and I - that we are in a global race to attract investment and we will always do everything we can to ensure the UK remains competitive."

Read the full story here:

(Video) Man arrested after car crashes into gates of Downing Street


Boris Johnson allies plan to stop Margaret Ferrier from being suspended, says opposition MP

Earlier today we reported that the government had yet to table a motion to suspend MP Margaret Ferrier from the House of Commons for 30 days (see post on 16.14).

You may recall that in the fall of 2020, despite testing positive for the virus, the then-SNP MP broke COVID rules by speaking in the House of Commons and taking public transport home.

Following an inquiry, the House of Commons Standards Select Committee recommended a 30-day suspension of her eligibility from Parliament, a motion that was supposed to have been voted in the House of Commons earlier today but was not moved by the government.

Opposition MPs tonight blamed the government's decision to cancel the vote as supporters of Boris Johnson planned to vote against it.

Presumably this was because of fears it would set a precedent for a vote on any punishment the Privileges Committee might recommend against Mr Johnson, who is currently under investigation for allegedly misleading the House of Commons.

Chris Bryant, the Labor chairman of the parliamentary privileges committee, said tonight: "The government apparently suddenly heard that Boris Johnson supporters were going to vote down the motion. So they suddenly withdrew it.

"I'm afraid that all this shenanigans will further discredit the House of Commons," he said.

Labour's shadow Scotland secretary, Ian Murray, said: "Dirty backroom dealings between Ferrier, nationalists and some Tories who don't want Boris Johnson to suffer the same fate are holding back the democratic process."

But Conservative MP Brendan Clarke-Smith, a hardline Boris Johnson ally, told Sky News tonight the claims were "ridiculous".

"Honestly, it's probably not fair to vote on such an important matter a day before adjournment, and most people have already left with a one-liner," he said.

Government sources said the vote had been called off because there was no quorum in the House of Commons - meaning not enough MPs were present for a valid vote on the motion.

It is understood the vote will be rescheduled after the adjournment.


Ministers put Woking council in special measures over £2bn debt

Woking Borough Council in Surrey has been given extraordinary measures by the government amid fears of a financial meltdown due to a series of nearly £2bn venture capital investments.

The government review showed that "the council's debt stood at £1.9bn as of December 2022 and plans to increase this to nearly £2.4bn by 2024/25".

It is now "the most indebted council in England compared to its financial size" and is in "the most challenging financial position of any local authority in England".

The Escalation Department ordered a review of the council and found it had failed to fulfill its duty under the Local Government Act 1999 to ensure that the council was functioning properly to provide essential services to residents.

The review described the scale of the problem as "unprecedented" and said there was "no realistic path for councils alone to restore financial sustainability."

"Councils will need to undertake a significant transformation of their services and consider their future operating model."

(Video) Car collides with gates of 10 Downing Street, 1 arrested | WION Pulse

As a result, the Escalation Division determined that the commission "failed to ensure that it was taking the necessary actions to fulfill its best value mandate and address the serious issues identified in the review."

It has decided to appoint commissioners "to oversee specific functions of the council", such as financial governance and business decision-making, as well as to review its operating model and ensure it is properly structured.

Local Government Minister Lee Rowley wrote in an update to parliament: "Urgent action by the government to protect the interests of Woking residents and ratepayers, and the public finances, is urgent."

Commissioners will therefore remain on for a year, or even longer if promotion secretary Michael Gove deems it necessary.


Farage claims net migration will be lower under his tenure

Nigel Farage has defended his claim during the Brexit referendum that net migration could fall to 50,000.

The former UKIP leader was interviewed on The Beth Rigby Show following the release of the latest net migration figures.

Mr Farage claimed that if he was in power he would reduce net migration to around 30,000.

Asked what specifically he would target to reduce net migration, Mr Farage took aim at the wage requirement for skilled worker visas - which he said was set at the "minimum wage".

According to the government website, people need to pay "at least £26,200 a year or £10.75 an hour" to be eligible to enter the UK this way - although you'll need to pay more if you're in an industry with higher average earnings.

Asked by Beth if that meant he would accept a shortage of workers to reduce immigration, Mr Farage said: "If it means people have a realistic chance of finding a place to live?

"Send their children to a school that locals can access to the NHS? Yes, of course."

You can read more about the interview below orWatch the full live broadcast now on Sky News.


How is the law and order in Downing Street?

Downing Street is one of the most heavily guarded places in the UK.

The barrier was first used to prevent access to the roadway in 1920 and was periodically removed and reintroduced over the next 69 years depending on the level of perceived threat.

Since 1989, however, there has been a security checkpoint marked by a black gate at each end of Downing Street amid fears of an IRA attack.

After the IRA mortar attack in 1991, security measures were further tightened.

Armed police from the Diplomatic Protection Unit regularly patrol the streets.

(Video) News At Ten: Man arrested after car hits Downing Street gates

There is usually at least one police officer stationed outside Gate 10 as well.

To pass through the gate, people must show their pass to one of the officers.

There is also an abundance of security equipment and cameras on the street.

Despite extensive security measures, protests are still allowed outside the gates because it is seen as an important part of British democracy.

However, full details of the protective measures in place around Downing Street and Number 10 have not been made public for security reasons.

In response to a freedom of information request about security around Downing Street, the Metropolitan Police said: "Disclosure of details of the number of officers deployed, particularly in relation to specific locations or times, would provide details of policing strategy and resources related to security and protection operations.

"This will allow those with criminal or extremist intent to gain operational advantage over the Ministry of Public Security, thereby undermining national security guarantees and compromising our law enforcement functions."


The latest from Downing Street: Coronation has been lifted and car that crashed into gate towed away

Back to the big story of a car crashing through the gates of Downing Street at around 4.20pm today.

sky newsCorrespondent Rachel VenablesReports from Downing Street say the cordon has now been lifted and Whitehall is open as normal.

The car was towed away from where it had come to a stop after crashing head-on into those iconic black gates shortly before 8pm, and police were at the scene for a forensic investigation.

Downing Street was closed to the media this evening - which normally has access to the famous road - as the police investigation continues.

Watch the latest updates fromRachel Venableshere:


"Take back control" is a slogan that is easy to create but extremely difficult to implement

Back in 2016, on the eve of the EU referendum, as Brexit campaigners pledged to "take back control of our borders", chief Brexit cheerleader Nigel Farage promised the British people that Brexit would allow the UK to reduce net migration Below 50,000, Sky News writespolitical editor beth rigby.

He's not the only one pledging to reduce immigration. David Cameron and Theresa May pledged to reduce net migration to "tens of thousands", while Boris Johnson pledged in 2019 to reduce net migration from 226,000 a year at the time.

In contrast, seven years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, net immigration hit a record high of 606,000 in the year to December 2022, while illegal immigration rose from just over 13,000 in 2018 to 52,000 last year People, quadrupled.

Out of control might be a better three-letter slogan for the current state of affairs, which has put enormous pressure on the Conservative government that now owns the mess.

Because it is easy to make a promise, but extremely difficult to keep it.

(Video) Hilarious moment Downing Street policeman knocks on Number 10 to let Larry cat in

Read Beth Rigby's full analysis here:


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