Politics LIVE: G7 leaders announce plan to ban imports of Russian gold

·35-min read
Politics LIVE: G7 leaders announce plan to ban imports of Russian gold

The leaders of the UK, US, Canada and Japan will ban imports of Russian gold in an effort to hit Moscow’s ability to fund the war in Ukraine.

The UK said the measure would “strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine”.

Boris Johnson and US president Joe Biden unveiled details of the ban as the G7 nations met in Bavaria on Sunday with the Russian war against Ukraine set to dominate the summit. Mr Biden suggested the other G7 nations - Germany, France and Italy - would also join the ban.

At the summit leaders will discuss strategies to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, aiming to keep the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine from splintering the global coalition working to punish Moscow.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba have urged the free world to ignore "defeatist voices" who propose a "sell out" for a "quick end to the unrelenting horror" of the war.

The pair insisted the Ukrainian people "do not have the luxury to feel fatigued", after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned pressure would grow to coerce the the nation to a "bad peace" due to economic stresses sparked by the Russian invasion.

It comes as Mr Johnson has suggested he is planning on staying in office until the 2030s despite pressures on him at home following two crushing by-election defeats and the resignation of party chairman Oliver Dowden.

Watch Boris Johnson joke about showing off his pecs to show he is stronger than Putin

19:43 , Barney Davis

PM implies he is prepared to breach international law to safeguard UK steel

19:23 , Barney Davis

The Prime Minister has suggested Britain may be prepared to breach international law to safeguard its steel industry.

Boris Johnson argued at the G7 summit in Germany it is reasonable for UK steel to enjoy the “same protections” as other European economies.

The Telegraph has reported the PM intends to impose sweeping new steel tariffs in a drive to win back support in traditional Labour heartlands.

It said ministers also plan to announce a two-year extension of steel tariffs already imposed on developed countries and China.

Ukraine politicians urge G7 for greater sanctions on Russia

18:08 , Barney Davis

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak urged G7 nations to use their navys to unlock Russian controlled ports and help the food crisis engulfing the country.

In a Tweet he wrote: “The G7 states should respond to new Russian terror attacks on cities. Sanctions should be more aggressive. We appreciate embargo on RF gold exports, but gas embargo should be included in the new sanctions package.”

He added: “Third parties’ navy convoys to unlock our ports are a feasible response to the food crisis. Russia designation as a state sponsor of terrorism is absolutely necessary. Heavy weapons are a way to defeat a foe who understands the force language only.”

Pictured: Carrie Johnson dines with G7 leaders’ wives

16:55 , Sami Quadri

G7 leaders’ wives (left to right) Christian Neureuther, Amelie Derbaudrenghien, Brigitte Macron, Carrie Johnson, Britta Ernst and Miriam Neureuther (PA)
G7 leaders’ wives (left to right) Christian Neureuther, Amelie Derbaudrenghien, Brigitte Macron, Carrie Johnson, Britta Ernst and Miriam Neureuther (PA)

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen says “team Europe” is investing €300bn on global infrastructure projects

16:36 , Matt Watts

Europe will mobilize 300 billion euros in private and public funds over five years to fund infrastructure in developing countries as part of the G7's drive to counter China's multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

"It is up to us to give a positive and powerful investment impulse to the world to show our partners in the developing world that they have a choice and that we intend to step up in solidarity to meet their development needs," von der Leyen said at a news conference alongside the leaders of Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States and Japan.

G7 nations launch $600bn infrastructure fund

16:33 , Sami Quadri

The G7 nations have launched a global infrastructure and investment partnership worth $600bn.

The White House says the initiative seeks to leverage $200 billion in US investment over the next five years, along with a similar amount from G7 allies, to boost infrastructure development in lower and middle-income nations.

It adds that most of the funding will come from the private sector, sovereign wealth and global development funds, rather than taxpayers.

The US says the G7-backed effort promotes responsible investments that aim to benefit the communities they are made in.

Among the first initiatives are a $2 billion solar farm investment in Angola in Southwest AFrica, $320 million for hospital construction in Ivory Coast, in West Africa, and $40 million to promote regional energy trade in Southeast Asia.

In a jab at China, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the G-7 is offering "sustainable, quality infrastructure" and will be "listening closely to the recipient countries."

Pictured: Boris Johnson and wife Carrie arriving for the official welcome ceremony during the G7 summit

16:26 , Sami Quadri

 (PA)
(PA)

UK able to provide more support for Ukraine because it is outside EU, says Johnson

15:36 , Sami Quadri

The UK would have not been able to be at the forefront of providing support for Ukraine if it was still in the EU, Boris Johnson has said.

When asked if the UK is better off than it was six years ago when it was still in the EU, the Prime Minister told CNN: “It is (better off). Let me give you an example. Thanks to the position that we took, we had an independent medical agency that was able to make sure that the first Covid vaccine in anybody’s … arms in the world was in the UK.”

He added: “Secondly, we have been able to do a lot of free trade deals around the world. And we are able to change some of our regulations to take back control of our borders. We are no longer spending shedloads of money on projects that we couldn’t control. And that was a good decision.”

Mr Johnson went on: “I don’t think that the UK within the European Union and within the kind of matrix of the common foreign policy and security policy that we then had, I don’t think that we would have been out in front, as the first European country to arm the Ukrainians, to give them the wherewithal to protect themselves.

“I think that speaks to a country that is thinking about things differently, that is thinking about the world with a more global perspective and is ambitious. It doesn’t mean we are less European. We are still European, but I think we have a more global approach.”

Boris Johnson gave up American citizenship because it was too expensive

15:34 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson has admitted he had to give up an American citizenship because it was “so expensive”.

When asked about former US President Donald Trump trying to “undo the election”, the Prime Minister told CNN: “I am going to take the fifth.”

When told he cannot take the fifth - a right guaranteed by the Fifth Ammendment - Mr Johnson said: “I was born in New York, but I had to give up my citizenship because it was so expensive.

“But, look, the fact is that we as friends and partners, and there are no two closer friends and partners than the US and in the UK, we don’t talk about domestic.

“In principle, we shouldn’t talk about each other’s domestic politics, that’s for the people of the US.”

Boat crossings not raised during talks between Johnson and Macron

15:14 , Sami Quadri

The issue of people making dangerous crossings of the English Channel from France to England was not raised during talks between Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron.

Downing Street said the two leaders focused on the subjects being considered at the G7 summit in Germany when they met on Sunday morning.

Asked why the issue of boat crossings were not raised, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “There are very significant issues of geopolitical concern to discuss, not least the crisis in Ukraine.

“They have talked about those issues previously and I’m sure they will again.

“But, obviously, on the eve of the G7, that’s pretty much, I’m sure, at the forefront of both of their minds.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It was a cordial meeting between two people who know each other very well.”

US remains ‘shining city on a hill’ despite abortion ruling, says Johnson

15:06 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson said the US remains a “shining city on a hill” when it comes to democracy and freedom, despite the overturning of Roe v Wade.

Asked if he thought the judgment hurt the country’s reputation as “a representative of rights and freedom”, the Prime Minister told CNN: “No, I want to be very clear about that.

“The United States is, for me, it remains, you know, a shining city on a hill and it’s an incredible guarantor of values, democracy, freedom around the world.

“If you look at what Joe Biden is doing to stick up for people’s rights in Ukraine, it’s quite extraordinary. So I don’t see it that way at all, but just on a woman’s right to choose, which I’ve always backed and which we back very much in the UK, it seems to me to be a step backwards.”

Johnson and G7 leaders make fun of Putin during official meeting

14:45 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson joked about Vladimir Putin with fellow world leaders as they met at the G7 summit in Germany.

The Prime Minister and Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau discussed the Russian leader and his history of being photographed without a shirt.

As the sun shone at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps, where the G7 leaders were meeting, Mr Johnson questioned whether they should keep their suit jackets on.

Warming to his theme, he then added “shall we take our clothes off?” before adding that “we all have to show that we’re tougher than Putin”.

Mr Trudeau joined in, referring to a “bare-chested horseback ride” – Mr Putin was pictured shirtless riding a horse in 2009.

Mr Johnson then said: “We’ve got to show our pecs.”

Olaf Scholz stresses importance of international unity following attack on Kyiv

14:23 , Sami Quadri

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says attacks by Russia on residential buildings in Kyiv show the importance of international unity in supporting Ukraine.

Russia launched missile strikes on at least two residential buildings in the Ukrainain capital on Sunday morning.

Scholz emphasized the unity so far of the Group of Seven industrial powers, the European Union and NATO in organising support for Ukraine.

After hosting the first session of the G-7 summit, he said: "We can say for sure that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin did not reckon with this and it is still giving him a headache - the great international support for Ukraine but of course also the Ukrainians' courage and bravery in defending their own country."

He added: "That this is a brutal war that Putin is waging, we have now once again seen with rocket attacks on houses in Kyiv - that shows it is right that we stand together and support Ukrainians to defend their country, their democracy, their freedom of self-determination."

Scholz said that he and U.S. President Joe Biden were of one mind about what needs to be done.

Scholz, who has faced criticism at home and abroad for perceived reluctance to send Ukraine heavy weapons, said that "Germany and the U.S. will always act together when it comes to questions of Ukraine's security."

Pictured: G7 leaders pose for photo in Bavarian Alps

13:58 , Sami Quadri

(left to right) European Union Council President Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, President of France Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, and European Union Council Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (PA)
(left to right) European Union Council President Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, President of France Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, and European Union Council Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (PA)

Pictured: Boris Johnson speaks to European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

13:56 , Sami Quadri

 (PA)
(PA)

US confident Nato will be ‘strong’ on China

13:40 , Sami Quadri

The US is confident that NATO's new strategy document will include "strong" language on China, a White House official said on Sunday, adding that negotiations on how to refer to Beijing were still underway.

The military alliance is at work preparing a new strategic concept - a strategy document setting out its aims and values - which is due to be unveiled at a summit in Madrid next week.

"They touched on China, which ... is going to be a broad theme for this trip," the official said after a meeting between President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies in Germany.

"The President expressed his trust in Chancellor Scholz and really there was very broad alignment on all of the issues that they discussed and all of the common challenges that our countries are working on together," the White House official said.

Asked if Washington was pressing Germany to increase its security assistance to Ukraine, the official said Biden had expressed appreciation for what Germany had already committed to doing, including plans to send the additional MLRS systems.

UK would be ‘honoured’ to host Zelensky for a state visit, Johnson says

13:01 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson said he would be “honoured” to host Volodymyr Zelensky for a state visit if the Ukrainian president felt able to leave his war-torn country.

The Prime Minister stressed the most important thing now for Ukraine was for western leaders at the G7 summit in Germany to remain united in support of President Zelensky.

“I think that Volodymyr Zelensky has done an absolutely amazing job of leading his country and leading world opinion in an appalling time,” Mr Johnson told ITV News at the summit in Bavaria.

Asked if he wanted to offer the Ukrainian leader a state visit, Mr Johnson said: “If he ever becomes free to leave and it makes sense for him to leave Ukraine, then obviously the UK would be only too honoured to host him.

“But the most important thing is for us to continue to be united here at the G7. And we are.”

Biden says Putin hopes West will ‘splinter’ as Ukraine war drags on

12:43 , Matt Watts

Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes the West will "splinter" as his invasion of Ukraine drags on, Joe Biden has warned

Speaking at the G7 summit in Germany, the US president praised the allies who have stuck together and stood up to the Kremlin during four months of war, applying sanctions on Russia while sending weaponry to Ukraine.

Greeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday, Mr Biden praised his counterpart for helping to sustain pressure on Russia and urged him to keep at it - a central message of his five-day trip to meet allies at summits in Germany and Spain.

Mr Biden warned: "We have to stay together, because Putin has been counting on from the beginning that somehow Nato and the G7 would splinter.

"But we haven't and we're not going to.

"We can't let this aggression take the form it has and get away with it."

 (AP)
(AP)

Mr Scholz, hosting the annual Group of Seven summit in the Bavarian alps, greeted Mr Biden on a balcony overlooking what the US president called a "magnificent" view of lush greenery and towering peaks.

Mr Biden credited Mr Scholz for helping to lead Europe in standing up to Russia, saying his tough response "had a great impact on the rest of Europe to move".

Meanwhile, EU leaders used the summit to reaffirm the bloc's "unwavering unity" in backing Ukraine.

European Council President Charles Michel said the EU is providing Kyiv with money and political support, adding: "Ukraine needs more and we are committed to providing more."

Attempts to settle Ukraine conflict will ‘cause enduring instability’

11:53 , Sami Quadri

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed to French president Emmanuel Macron that any attempt to settle the conflict in Ukraine now will “only cause enduring instability”.

The leaders discussed the crisis during a meeting at the G7 summit in Germany.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “They agreed this is a critical moment for the course of the conflict, and there is an opportunity to turn the tide in the war. Both the Prime Minister and President Macron stressed the need to support Ukraine to strengthen their hand in both the war and any future negotiations.

“President Macron praised the Prime Minister’s ongoing military support to Ukraine and the leaders agreed to step up this work. The Prime Minister stressed any attempt to settle the conflict now will only cause enduring instability and give (Vladimir) Putin licence to manipulate both sovereign countries and international markets in perpetuity.

“The leaders agreed to continue and enhance the close work between the UK and France on areas including defence and security.”

Johnson warns Ukraine is on a ‘knife-edge’

11:52 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson warned Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau that Ukraine is on a “knife-edge”.

During a meeting at the G7 summit in Germany, the UK Prime Minister said “we need to tip the balance of the war” in the Ukrainians’ favour at this “crucial moment”.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “On Ukraine, the Prime Minister said this is a crucial moment for us all.

“Ukraine is on a knife-edge and we need to tip the balance of the war in their favour. That means providing Ukraine with the defensive capabilities, training and intelligence they need to repel the Russian advance.”

The leaders also welcomed progress in negotiations since the launch of the UK-Canada Free Trade Agreement in March, and agreed to advance co-operation in areas such as security, Downing Street said.

France backs Russian gold ban, official confirms

11:45 , Sami Quadri

France backs banning Russian gold exports and the proposal now needs to be discussed among the European Union's 27 members, a French presidency official said on Sunday.

The official said Paris was not opposed to a cap on Russian oil prices, but wanted the G7 to discuss a price shield that would cap oil and gas prices to rein in inflation.

The official added that the G7 were fully united in supporting Ukraine after the intensification of the conflict in recent days.

Biden thanks Scholz for leadership on Ukraine crisis at G7 summit

11:22 , Sami Quadri

US President Joe Biden thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his leadership on the Ukraine crisis shortly after arriving for the G7 summit in a Bavarian mountain resort on Sunday.

Biden told Scholz that his leadership had been crucial in marshalling Europe's response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

"I want to compliment you on stepping up as you did when you became Chancellor," Biden told a beaming Scholz.

"Putin's been counting on it from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter, but we haven't and it's not going to," he said.

"It's a good message that we all managed to stay united, which, obviously, Putin never expected," Scholz said.

The two then moved to an open-air conference room where they held bilateral talks with a handful of close advisers.

French energy giants tell public to reduce fuel and electricity usage

11:13 , Sami Quadri

Leaders of three French energy companies on Sunday called on the French public to immediately reduce consumption of fuel, oil, electricity and gas amid shortages and soaring prices due to Russia's supply cuts and the war in Ukraine.

"The effort must be immediate, collective and massive," the leaders of the three companies, TotalEnergies, EDF and Engie said in a rare joint statement that was published in the French weekly Journal du Dimanche. "Every gesture counts," the statement said.

Russia has cut - and in some case shut off - gas supplies to several European Union countries in retaliation for the 27-member bloc's sanctions against Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.

"Taking action in the summer will prepare us for winter," the energy companies' leaders said.

In addition to the gas supply shortages linked to the war in Ukraine, there are pressures on electricity production capacities in Europe and reductions in hydroelectric production due to drought.

"The soaring energy prices are a result of these difficulties that threaten our social and political cohesion and have a heavy impact on purchasing power of families," the statement said.

Johnson and Trudeau compare sizes of jets

10:56 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson and Canada’s Justin Trudeau compared the relative sizes of their official jets as they met at the G7 summit.

The two leaders had both flown from Rwanda’s Commonwealth meeting to Germany for the G7 gathering.

Mr Johnson said he had seen “Canada Force One” on the Tarmac and Mr Trudeau joked that the Prime Minister’s plane was bigger.

Mr Johnson said his jet was “very modest”.

The Prime Minister also briefly spoke French during his exchanges with Mr Trudeau.

Johnson urges G7 allies to stand firm in support of Ukraine

10:55 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson has urged Western allies to stand firm over Ukraine as he sought to put his domestic political difficulties to one side.

Ahead of a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr Johnson was asked whether France and Germany are doing enough over Ukraine.

“Just look at what the Germans alone have done,” he said.

“I never believed in my lifetime that I would see a German chancellor stepping up in the way that Olaf Scholz has and sending weaponry to help the Ukrainians to protect themselves.

“He’s made huge, huge strides. We have 4% of our gas from Russia, in Germany it’s 40%.

“They’re facing real, real pressures, they’re having to source energy from elsewhere. But they’re doing it. They’re making the effort. They’re making the sacrifice.”

He said the Germans realise “the price of freedom is worth paying”, despite the domestic consequences.

Mr Johnson added: “The consequences of what’s happening for the world are tough, but the price of backing down, the price of allowing Putin to succeed, to hack off huge parts of Ukraine, to continue with his programme of conquest, that price will be far, far higher and everybody here understands that.”

Pictured: Boris Johnson holds a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G7 summit

10:54 , Sami Quadri

 (PA)
(PA)

Pictured: Boris Johnson greets French President Emmanuel Macron at G7 summit

10:50 , Sami Quadri

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Emmanuel Macron (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Emmanuel Macron (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

By-elections not ‘very good precursors' for a general election

10:44 , Sami Quadri

Local elections and by-elections are not “very good precursors” for a general election, Brandon Lewis has said.

Speaking to Times Radio, the Northern Ireland Secretary said: “We had a very good set of local elections in 2017 and had a very bad general election just a few weeks later.

“So, local elections and by-elections are not really very good precursors for a general election.

“We have got work to do. That doesn’t change that. Thursday was a very difficult, very bad set of results for us. We have got to make sure from now that we are giving those people a reason to come out and vote next time.”

Asked about Oliver Dowden’s decision to stand down as Conservative chairman, Mr Lewis said: “I don’t know the full details of why he took the decision to resign. As chairman, I went through some successful local elections and difficult elections, particularly the European elections in 2019, which were an absolute disaster for our party.

“We still went on and obviously had a much more successful general election that year.”

G7 must respond to missile strikes with more sanctions on Russia, says Ukraine foreign minister

10:19 , Sami Quadri

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said G7 countries must respond to new missile strikes against Ukraine on Sunday by imposing further sanctions on Russia.

"This 7 y.o. Ukrainian kid was sleeping peacefully in Kyiv until a Russian cruise missile blasted her home. Many more around Ukraine are under strikes. G7 summit must respond with more sanctions on Russia and more heavy arms for Ukraine," Kuleba said on Twitter.

UK ‘needs to renegotiate its trade deal with EU'

10:18 , Sami Quadri

The UK needs to renegotiate its trade deal with the European Union, the Liberal Democrat’s leader has said.

Refusing to answer if his party would campaign on re-entering the EU single market in the next general election, Sir Ed Davey told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “Before you can even think of that you need to improve our relations with Europe.

“Because actually, it’s a staged approach that you have to take. If you were coming in, you first of all have to make sure you can get around the table and have a proper discussion because the Europeans don’t trust Britain anymore because of Boris Johnson.

“Secondly, you then want to negotiate on the trade deal, and the trade deal has put up so many barriers, it’s raised costs, it’s raised prices.

“And so that will be the first thing you would have to tackle, and you’d have to tackle that with a plan for the wider economy.

“And that’s what liberal Democrats have got, the economy is stagnating at the moment.”

Sir Ed Davey says voters sent a ‘clear message’ to Boris

09:57 , Sami Quadri

Voters in Tiverton and Honiton have sent a clear message that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “got to go”, the Liberal Democrat leader has said.

Addressing his party’s by-election victory in the former Conservative seat, Sir Ed Davey told BBC News: “I think people were very upset about our Prime Minister.

“And they wanted to send a clear message to Conservative MPs that Boris Johnson has got to go.

“But there was also a really positive vote for the Liberal Democrats and our candidate Richard Foord, who lived locally, he’d served in the British Army as an officer for 10 years.

“I think a lot of people like what he was saying, they liked what the Liberal Democrats are saying, our proposal for a VAT cut to give the average household £600 to cut inflation.

“People liked that, so there was a really positive vote for the Liberal Democrats there.”

Labour does not want to ‘rejoin single market’

09:45 , Sami Quadri

David Lammy said Brexit has “now been determined” and that Labour will not go into the next general election pledging to go back into the EU.

Speaking to Sky News, the shadow foreign secretary said: “I’ve been absolutely clear we are not going into the next general election promising to rejoin the single market or go into the EU.

“The position is settled. You know that I took a very strong position – I was not for Brexit, I was what would be described as Remainer.

“But quite a lot has happened in those six years. We’ve had two general elections. We had the referendum in the first place and actually we’ve also got the withdrawal agreement.

“We stepped out of the European Union and I’m afraid the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again.

“The British people have made that decision. It has now been determined.”

Boris Johnson says cost of Russian victory is too high

09:35 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson has urged the West to maintain its unity in response to Russian aggression.

"In order to protect that unity, in order to make it work, you've got to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what's going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling," he told reporters.

"But the price of backing down, the price of allowing (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to succeed, to hack off huge parts of Ukraine, to continue with his programme of conquest, that price will be far, far higher. Everybody here understands that."

Boris Johnson says he is committed to ‘delivering for the people’

09:25 , Sami Quadri

Asked if he was being delusional by talking about being Prime Minister into the 2030s, Boris Johnson said: “What I’m saying is this is a Government that is getting on with delivering for the people of this country and we’ve got a huge amount to do.”

He told reporters at the G7 summit in Germany: “In the immediate future we’ve got to get people through the current global inflationary pressures, the post-Covid, Ukraine-exacerbated inflationary pressures that people have got, the energy price spikes that we have got.

“But at the same time we have got a massive agenda of reform and improvement, a plan for a stronger economy, whereby we have to reform our energy markets, our housing markets, the way our transport networks run, our public sector – we’ve got to cut the cost of Government.

“We’ve got to make sure we grow our economy by reducing the burden of taxation on business and on families and have better regulation.”

Boris Johnson said the “golden rule” was to “focus on what we are doing”.

This includes addressing the cost of living crisis, the “massive” plan for a stronger economy and “making sure that the UK continues to offer the kind of leadership around the world that I know our people want”.

Labour ‘unlikely to make a deal with the Lib Dems’

09:20 , Sami Quadri

David Lammy said he sees “no possibility” of Labour making a deal with the Liberal Democrats going into the next general election.

Speaking to Sky News, the shadow foreign secretary said: “I don’t think the voters of Britain want politicians to stitch up deals in the corridors of power.

“People expect to make their own judgment and decide who they want to vote for.

“In the end, in the 22 years that I’ve been in public life, it’s clear to me that we have two major political parties – those political parties actually a coalition in of themselves – and for the Labour Party to form the next government we have to pick up votes from people who are considering voting Conservative.

“That’s the basis on which will form the next government.

“I see no possibility of us forming the next government by picking up a few Lib Dem votes. I’ve got to be honest about – or indeed Green votes – and that is why I’m really pleased about what happened in Wakefield on Thursday.”

Labour ‘is on its way back’, says David Lammy

09:17 , Sami Quadri

David Lammy said “Labour is on its way back” after its by-election victory in Wakefield.

Speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, the shadow foreign secretary said: “We did well in the local elections.

“We did well in Wakefield, the Tories lost in Tiverton and yes, of course, there were Labour voters there that lent the Liberal Democrats their votes so that they could see the back of the Conservatives right across the story.”

He went on to say: “The story of the night was this is a very, very sorry night for the Government. Indeed, Labour is on its way back and it’s on its way back for two reasons.

“One because we are now the party of change in this country.

“And two because we are winning Tory votes – people who voted Tory now voting Labour. That’s what we need to do to form the next government. And that is what is happening.”

Brandon Lewis says Boris Johnson is still ‘right person’ to lead Tories

08:59 , Sami Quadri

Brandon Lewis said Boris Johnson is “the right person” to lead the Tories into the next general election.

The Northern Ireland Secretary told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “I think he’ll do that successfully.”

Mr Lewis said there had been a “difficult backdrop” in both by-election seats lost by the Tories on Thursday.

He added: “What we’ve got to do… is make sure that we are not just learning for those results, where of course what we saw was a lot of people who previously voted Conservative this time stayed home.

“We’ve got to make sure by the next general election we’re motivating those people to come out and vote for us.

“I do think Boris Johnson is the person who can do that. He’s proven that time and again, where people have written him off, both before London elections and before in the 2019 election, and then we’ve been able to come back and win, and win successfully. And I think he’s got the ability to do that.”

Brandon Lewis admits Tories suffered ‘a bad set of results’ in by-elections

08:54 , Sami Quadri

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis agreed that the Tories had taken a major beating in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election, saying the party suffered “a bad set of results”.

But he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme “that does happen sometimes mid-term” and it has been proven “time and again” that you cannot extrapolate a by-election outcome into a general election result.

Asked by Trevor Phillips, who is standing in for Ridge this week, if he agreed the Conservatives had taken a major beating in Tiverton and Honiton, Mr Lewis said: “Yeah, they were a bad set of results for us. That does happen sometimes mid-term. There’s no denying it was a set of results we’ve got to look carefully at and learn from.”

He added: “What we’ve got to do, as has happened before, where we’ve seen by-election results go one way and then a following general election go a very different way, you can’t extrapolate… a by-election result into a general election result.

“It’s been proven time and again to not work that way.”

US President Joe Biden announces ban on Russian gold

08:53 , Sami Quadri

Russia attacks residential buildings in Kyiv

08:50 , Sami Quadri

At least five people are wounded after Russia launched missile strikes on residential buildings in Kyiv on Sunday morning.

Ukraine Member of Parliament Oleksiy Goncharenko wrote on the Telegram messaging app that "according to prelim data 14 missiles were launched against Kyiv region and Kyiv."

Prior to the attack, Kyiv had not faced any such Russian airstrikes since June 5.

Government ‘misleading’ over role in rail strikes, legal advice suggests

08:11 , Sami Quadri

The Government is being accused of “misleading” the public by insisting it does not have a role in negotiations to resolve the bitter rail dispute.

The TUC said an independent legal opinion undermined the Government’s claims that the dispute is just between the train operators and unions.

The union organisation said the legal opinion it has received clarifies that the contracts between rail operators and Government allow the Government to apply financial sanctions if operators do not follow its directions in the current dispute.

The legal opinion, commissioned by the TUC from Michael Ford QC of Old Square Chambers, advises that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has “very extensive powers” over what can be agreed between rail operators and unions, and “very significant contractual power” to direct how industrial disputes are handled, the TUC said.

However, the Department for Transport said it was “misleading “ to say Mr Shapps should get involved in the talks.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “It’s extremely misleading to suggest the Transport Secretary should get involved in these negotiations.

“His role is to protect the public purse, ensuring value for money for the hardworking people of this country.

“As such, he’s required to set the limits of taxpayer support and ultimately sign off on any deal – not to be involved in negotiating one – and his contracts with operators allow him to do precisely that.

“The union knows full well that negotiations over pay and working practices don’t happen with the Government – they happen with the employers of the people they represent. In this case, that’s Network Rail and the train operating companies.

“We once again urge union representatives to get back round the negotiating table instead of calling further strikes which serve only to bring disruption to people across the country.”

Ban on Russian gold will ‘strike at heart of Putin’s war machine’, says Johnson

08:04 , Sami Quadri

The UK, US, Canada and Japan will ban imports of Russian gold in the latest stage of the effort to cripple Russia’s economy in response to the war in Ukraine.

Gold exports were worth £12.6 billion to Russia in 2021 and its importance has increased since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as oligarchs have rushed to buy bullion to avoid the impact of sanctions, Downing Street said.

Officials believe that because London is a major gold-trading hub, UK sanctions will have a huge impact on Mr Putin’s ability to raise funds to finance his war effort.

Boris Johnson confirmed the move as he arrived at the G7 summit in Bavaria, Germany.

He said: “The measures we have announced today will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine.

“Putin is squandering his dwindling resources on this pointless and barbaric war. He is bankrolling his ego at the expense of both the Ukrainian and Russian people.

“We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that.”

Legislation to implement the ban will be introduced in Parliament in the coming weeks.

Key G7 questions answered

07:58 , Sami Quadri

What is the G7?

The Group of Seven industrialised democracies are the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, with the European Union also represented at the talks.

The G7 summit is being held in Schloss Elmau, a luxury hotel in the German Alps from Sunday to Tuesday.

What is on the agenda?

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky will address the leaders remotely, and the G7 leaders will evaluate their response to the war and its impact on the global economy and food supplies.

But Germany, which holds the rotating G7 presidency, hopes the group’s talks will not be limited to the crisis in eastern Europe.

Mr Scholz said the war must not lead the G7 as he does not want to “neglect our responsibility for global challenges such as the climate crisis and the pandemic”.

He warned that if the G7 democracies do not support poorer countries “powers like Russia and China will take advantage”.

As well as the permanent G7 members, the leaders of Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa have been invited as guests.

What is the Prime Minister’s aim?

He wants to ensure the G7 is behind president Zelensky and that the group steps up measures to isolate Mr Putin.

That could mean showing support for Ukraine’s aim of driving Russia out of the territory it has occupied since February’s invasion and imposing further sanctions to weaken the Kremlin regime.

What else is on the agenda?

Finland and Sweden have applied for Nato membership following the Russian invasion.

Mr Johnson supports the Nordic countries joining, but there has been resistance from Turkey, citing their support for Kurdish separatist groups.

Boris Johnson to urge world leaders not to give up on Ukraine

07:54 , Sami Quadri

Boris Johnson will urge world leaders not to give up on Ukraine as he reiterates his support for the war-torn country.

Reports claim that the Prime Minister will pledge another half a billion dollars to the country at the first face-to-face gathering of G7 leaders since the Russian invasion.

The coalition backing Ukraine’s forces has shown signs of fracturing over arguments it should give up territory to Russia to enable a peace pact.

But others in the alliance want to repel Russian troops to their pre-2014 frontiers, before the original land grab in the eastern Donbas region and Crimea.

Talks between G7 leaders of the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan face being dominated by the war .

Mr Johnson said last night: “The UK will continue to back Ukraine. every step of the way, because we know that their security is our security, and their freedom is our freedom.”

Biden wants Putin to feel ‘constant consequences'

07:51 , Matt Watts

President Joe Biden and his Group of Seven allies will huddle Sunday on strategies to secure energy supplies and tackle inflation, aiming to keep the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine from splintering the global coalition working to punish Moscow.

Biden arrived in Germany's picturesque Bavarian alps early Sunday morning for the annual meeting of the leading democratic economies, where the reverberations from the brutal war in Ukraine will be front and center in the discussion. He and the allies aim to present a united front in support of Ukraine as the conflict enters its fourth month.

Biden will open his visit with a bilateral meeting with the summit's host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, before spending the afternoon in both formal and informal settings with the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union.

John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said the summit will address problems such as inflation and other "challenges in the global economy as a result of Vladimir Putin's war - but also how to continue to hold Putin “accountable" and subject to "constant consequences."