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No 10 rules out starting Commons summer recess before new PM takes office – live news | Politics






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Afternoon summary





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16:39

No 10 slaps down Hammond over £1tr cost claim about cutting net emissions to zero

Downing Street has very firmly, if indirectly, reprimanded Philip Hammond for arguing that a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 would cost the country £1tn, money which could otherwise have been spent on public services.

In a letter to Theresa May, leaked to the Financial Times, the chancellor argued that the target could see some industries become “economically uncompetitive”.

In a robust response, May’s spokeswoman dismissed Hammond’s line of argument, while officially insisting this was a general point, and not directed particularly at the chancellor.

No 10 believe Hammond is, in economic terms, comparing apples and oranges by both treating an all-economy cost as if it was just a government spend, and failing to take account the benefits such a policy would bring, or accounting for the costs of failing to act. Downing Street also says any predicted cost would be bound to fall over time.

The spokeswoman said:


Obviously, I’m not getting into the contents of the letter, but broadly there are a lot of figures out there on this issue that don’t factor in the benefits or consider the costs of not doing this. I would add that the costs related to meeting this target are whole-of-the-economy costs, not a fiscal cost, and so it’s not really right to frame it as a trade-off for public spending. I think that’s important to set out.

Asked if Hammond was thus being misleading, she added:


I just set out the way we believe this should be framed. I’m not going to talk about the specifics of a leak, but I think I’ve been pretty clear in the position from the PM.

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16:24

This is what the Downing Street spokeswoman said about how the government has ruled out starting the summer recess before the new prime minister has been elected. She said:


I fully expect that the house will ensure it is sitting when a new prime minister is appointed. Then it’s a matter for the house, after that, what activity or action it chooses to take.





16:08

No 10 rules out starting Commons summer recess before new PM takes offce





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15:24

No 10 retracts suggestion May could delay resignation until she is sure her successor has confidence of Commons

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15:09

Brexit – ‘It’ll all work out,’ says Trump





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