Boris Johnson visits Rwanda as voting gets under way in crucial byelections – UK politics live


Latest updates: PM in Kigali amid heavy criticism of deportation policy to east African country; ballots open in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton

Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, said he wished Boris Johnson would stop making “factually incorrect statements”.

Speaking six years after the EU referendum, at an event held by the think tank UK in a Changing Europe, he claimed that Brexit was working but called on Brexit supporters to be “honest” about the trade-offs of leaving the EU.

I wish he would not say things like that which are obviously not true, making factually incorrect statements.

But in the end it’s for the Prime Minister’s own party and MPs to decide is that how they want to do things or is it not.

The task now is to devise a meaningful programme of supply-side reform, focused on boosting the productive capacity of the economy, and to drive it through.

I think it would be much better to be honest about these things and show where the possibility for doing things better really exist instead of pretending nothing is going on.

They then went next door to the president’s meeting room where they sat in white armchairs in front of a Union flag and a Rwandan flag.

Mr Johnson said: “How are you? Very good to see you. What an exciting time to be here in Rwanda. Congratulations on taking over as chair of office. This will be absolutely superb.”

The byelections were called after the respective MPs resigned in disgrace. Imran Ahmad Khan stepped down in Wakefield having been convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy, while Neil Parish quit in Tiverton and Honiton after watching pornography in the Commons.

The West Yorkshire seat had been safely Labour before Khan took it for the Conservatives in 2019, and Labour is the clear favourite to win on Thursday. The Devon constituency, in contrast, is seen as neck-and-neck between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, despite the seat in its various forms having been strongly Tory for more than a century.

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