Boris Johnson latest: PM fails to secure promise of more Saudi oil as new moves target Russian oligarchs
Boris Johnson’s government plans to stop the rich and powerful from ‘abusing’ the court to silence journalists and activists as part of a series of reforms to protect free speech and target people Russian oligarchs and other corrupt elites.
Mr Johnson has vowed to tackle the “chilling effect” of a “new kind of law” used by wealthy individuals to intimidate journalists through lengthy and costly legal proceedings.
The move comes days after Britain pushed through new legislation to crack down on “dirty money” passing through London, as part of moves to target those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab will present proposals aimed at the so-called strategic lawsuits against public participation. These will range from considering measures to change defamation laws, to strengthening public interest defenses, to capping the legal costs plaintiffs could recover and requiring them to prove a ” actual malice”.
Meanwhile, the prime minister failed to secure pledges from Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to ease cost-of-living pressures, during a visit that was overshadowed by the announcement of three new executions in the desert kingdom.
Government unveils plan to tackle racial inequality
The government has set out an action plan to tackle inequality based on recommendations from a commission which concluded there was no systemic racism in Britain.
The Inclusion Britain strategyreleased Wednesday evening, was developed in response to a controversial report by the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) last year.
Lack of opportunity should not be seen ‘solely through the lens of ethnic minority disadvantage’, Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said in an introduction to the 97-page plan which aims to ‘counter the prevailing pessimism often in debates about race in the UK”. .
Our race correspondent, Nadine White reports.
Namita SingMarch 17, 2022 05:22
PM fails to secure promise of more Saudi oil
Boris Johnson failed to secure pledges from Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to ease cost-of-living pressures during a visit that was overshadowed by news of three new executions in the desert kingdom.
The prime minister said he got an “understanding” from the Saudis that instability in world markets due to a spike in energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine was not in their interest.
But when asked if he had secured assurances that the oil-rich Gulf state would turn on the taps, he could only say it was their decision.
“I think there is certainly an understanding that there is an interest for Saudi Arabia – for all oil-producing and oil-exporting countries – to ensure that the global economy is not damaged by the current peaks, we’re not getting the kind of inflation that we saw in the 1970s, we’re not seeing stagflation,” he said.
“So it was a very productive conversation.”
Our political editor Andre Bécasse has the details.
Namita SingMarch 17, 2022 05:10
What is the range of proposals to limit the abuse of Slapps?
The government will explore a range of options to prevent the misuse of Slapps. These are:
* Strengthen the ‘public interest defence’ in the Libel Act 2013 – to protect publishers of private information from prosecution if it is for the public good
* Capping the costs plaintiffs can recover – to prevent the super rich, including Russian oligarchs, from “weaponizing” high litigation costs to stifle free speech
* Introducing a specific requirement for plaintiffs to prove a defendant’s “actual malice” in defamation cases – to deter false claims
* Allow courts to dismiss claims earlier in the process and impose civil restraining orders – to prevent people from bringing repeated legal challenges
Namita SingMarch 17, 2022 05:10
UK journalists’ and editors’ unions welcome Slapps legal reform
The government’s announcement to prevent wealthy individuals or large corporations from using “strategic public participation lawsuits” (Slapps) – a threat of costly and lengthy lawsuits using defamation or protective laws of privacy to intimidate critics – was welcomed by the National Union of British Journalists and the Society of Editors.
Namita SingMarch 17, 2022 05:08
Prime Minister vows to clamp down on the ‘lawfare’ of oligarchs and elites
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backed plans to stop Britain’s elites abusing the country’s courts as he vowed to tackle the ‘chilling effect’ of a ‘new breed of law’ that is being used by wealthy people to intimidate journalists with long and costly legal proceedings. .
“For the oligarchs and super-rich who can afford these exorbitant costs, the threat of legal action has become a new kind of right. We must end its chilling effect.
Namita SingMarch 17, 2022 04:43
Crackdown to stop Russian oligarchs using UK courts to ‘muzzle’ critics
A crackdown aimed at preventing Russian oligarchs from using the British justice system to “muzzle” critics is promised by the government, after years of delay.
The move follows criticism that Vladimir Putin’s “rich cronies” are using UK courts to prevent disclosure of their activities by targeting opponents with crippling costs.
Read the details in this report from our Deputy Political Editor Rob Merrick.
Namita SingMarch 17, 2022 04:36
welcome to The Independents UK Politics coverage Thursday 17th March 2022.
Namita SingMarch 17, 2022 04:16