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25 July 2023

TfL removes fake Barbie posters slamming Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman and Jacob Rees-Mogg

25 July 2023

Transport for London (TfL) has ordered the removal of "offensive" Barbie-themed posters, portraying Tory MPs in a derogatory manner, from several London bus stops. It is believed the posters were placed by anti-government protesters. TfL is investigating how the individuals were able to access the panels without damage. The posters were brought to attention on Twitter by campaign group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants. The government has defended its controversial Immigration Bill, while the Home Office claims the UK asylum system is "broken". TfL stated the offensive adverts were not authorised and directed contractors to remove them immediately.

Despite division within the Cabinet, Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are contemplating granting significant pay increases to specific groups of striking public sector workers in a bid to deter further strikes. The proposal, backed by five cabinet ministers, could potentially fuel inflation. The Prime Minister has stated that pay rises must not be funded through further borrowing or tax hikes. Independent bodies have suggested pay rises ranging from 5-6.5% for different sectors, with junior doctors demanding a 35% increase. The final response to these suggestions is expected in two weeks.

Rishi Sunak has erroneously referred to Birmingham City as a Premier League team, seemingly 'promoting' the Blues. The Prime Minister made the mistake while discussing football, mistakenly naming Birmingham among teams that had made a fast comeback. In reality, he meant to reference Burnley, who concluded the Championship season with 101 points. The error has prompted fans to joke about an 'official' promotion on Twitter. Despite the blunder, Birmingham City are not yet contending at the top.

Old Oak Common, set to be the UK's largest and most well-connected new railway station, is part of a wider regeneration project expected to support approximately 65,000 jobs and 25,500 new homes. Amid concerns over delays, it will serve as the terminus for HS2 travellers entering the capital until work on Euston is finalised. Expected to open in the early 2030s, the 'super-hub' station will offer key connections for passengers travelling countrywide. Other developments include a new public square, road and cycleway, with a new public area and commercial developments also planned.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reportedly earmarked autumn 2024 for the next UK general election, according to a national newspaper. This gives the Conservative party about 18 months to improve their standing in the polls, with Labour currently leading. The UK must hold a general election every five years, with the last one taking place in December 2019. As per the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022, the monarchy can dissolve Parliament, after which the government decides the election date. The current parliamentary term will automatically dissolve on 17 December 2024 unless an earlier date is determined.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has criticised London Mayor Sadiq Khan's decision to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across Greater London, despite 80% opposition in affected areas. Due to commence in August 2023, the scheme would compel drivers of high-polluting vehicles to pay £12.50 daily. Critics argue that the scheme will disproportionately impact low-income individuals and small businesses. However, supporters contend it will combat air pollution, benefiting health outcomes for five million Londoners. The mayor's office maintains the expansion is necessary, as toxic air contributes to 4,000 early deaths annually.

The Sunday Times Rich List for 2022 has revealed the wealthiest people in the UK, including Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. The list also indicates that the ten billionaires in Scotland have seen their wealth increase over the past year. The richest people or families in London are Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family, David and Simon Reuben and family, Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Guillaume Pousaz, Lakshmi Mittal and family, the Weston family, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho, Michael Platt, the Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family, and the Rausing family. The wealthiest in the UK are Sri and Gopi Hinduja.

Rishi Sunak has announced an expansion of the Household Support Fund from £500 million to £1 billion to tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK. The fund will be distributed to local councils, including the Liverpool City Council, to provide small grants for struggling families. Half of the fund will be reserved for households with children, £421 million for the most vulnerable, and £80 million for devolved administrations. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts the worst drop in UK living standards since records began in 1956, and does not anticipate recovery until 2024-25.

The Sunday Times Rich List 2022 reveals that despite Britain experiencing a severe cost of living crisis, the ultra wealthy have accrued more wealth. Among those listed are Rishi Sunak, the richest serving MP, and ex-Chelsea FC owner Roman Abrahmovic, who lost around £6 billion in the last year. The updated list, usually released in April, reveals Tom Morris, the founder of discount retailer Home Bargains, as the fourth wealthiest individual in the North West, with a net worth of £5.127 billion. The wealthiest family in the UK is Sri and Gopi Hinduja, with an estimated net worth of £28.72 billion.

UK citizens face significant cost of living increases due to inflation. The Chancellor revealed an extra £500m allocation for local authorities in the Spring Statement, doubling the Household Support Fund to £1bn. £41m of this will fund a Scottish equivalent, the Scottish Welfare Fund. This aids vulnerable households, offering two grants for emergency assistance and community care. Those aged 16 and over on low income may be eligible. Applications can be made via telephone or an online form from Glasgow council's website.

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