Politics

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle has seen a Lincolnshire MP sacked from his role as a minister.

Matt Warman has been the member of parliament for Boston and Skegness since May 2015, and was given the role of parliamentary under-secretary of state for digital infrastructure in July 2019.

Mr Warman served in that role for just over two years before the PM announced his reshuffle on Wednesday, in a bid to “build back better” from the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of his role was to expand broadband options for people across the country, as part of a government goal to have 4G coverage in 95% of the UK by 2025.

The Boston and Skegness MP took to Twitter to confirm the news, saying it was an “honour” to hold the position.

He said: “Ministers have a huge opportunity to change our great country for the better. It’s been an honour to serve the government as a whip and to improve our broadband, address cyber threats and grow the digital economy.

“I look forward to doing all I can on that, and more, from the backbenches.”

There was also a move for Louth and Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins, who was appointed as minister of state at the ministry of justice, alongside her current role as minister for the Afghan resettlement scheme.

Mr Warman was one of many to lose his job in the reshuffle, including education secretary Gavin Williamson, who was replaced by vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, and foreign secretary Dominic Raab who was sacked and replaced by Liz Truss.

It is the second major government reshuffle in Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister, with the last one taking place in February 2020, and the PM is promising his new cabinet will “work tirelessly to unite and level up the whole country”.

All ten Greater Lincolnshire MPs have voted to pass a new health and social care tax which will increase National Insurance payments to aid NHS recovery post-COVID.

Parliament voted on the Health and Social Care Levy on Wednesday, September 8, which seeked to introduce an extra tax to fund social care in England and help the NHS recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plans would see employees, employers and the self-employed pay 1.25% more for National Insurance from April 2022, with employees paying NI on wages, employers paying extra for staff and the self-employed paying NI on profits.

People who earn below £9,564 don’t have to pay National Insurance and won’t have to contribute to the new levy, and it will then become its own separate tax on earned income from 2023.

The plans have come under scrutiny and the government has been accused of making it unfair for people on lower incomes, as well as the younger generation.

At the moment, workers pay 12% NI on earnings up to £50,268, but anything above that amount demands a rate of just 2%, meaning the more you earn, the lower the proportion of National Insurance is.

In total, 317 MPs, all Conservative, voted in favour of the motion, while 248, of whom five were Conservatives, voted against the move.

All ten of Greater Lincolnshire’s MPs, seven in Lincolnshire and three in the Humberside region, supported the tax, leaning on the side of their party as the bill was passed through parliament.

They are:

  • Victoria Atkins, Louth and Horncastle – Conservative
  • Gareth Davies, Grantham and Stamford – Conservative
  • Rt Hon Sir John Hayes, South Holland and The Deepings – Conservative
  • Dr Caroline Johnson, Sleaford and North Hykeham – Conservative
  • Rt Hon Sir Edward Leigh, Gainsborough – Conservative
  • Karl McCartney, Lincoln – Conservative
  • Matt Warman, Boston and Skegness – Conservative
  • Martin Vickers, Cleethorpes – Conservative
  • Lia Nici, Great Grimsby – Conservative
  • Holly Mumby-Croft, Scunthorpe – Conservative

The ultimate long-term aim of the tax increase is to raise £12 billion a year, which will initially go towards the NHS, before a percentage is moved into the social care system to help with people who require high levels of care.

From October 2023, it is hoped that people in England will pay no more than £86,000 in care costs, excluding accommodation and food.


Read more: What’s the new Health and Social Care tax and how will it affect me? (BBC)

Member of Parliament for Lincoln Karl McCartney failed to publicly declare that one of his campaign donors – Anagallis Communications – was the recipient of £10,000 of parliamentary expenses.

McCartney did not wish to comment in response to reports first published in Business Insider when The Lincolnite asked why the full name of the company was not disclosed.

In describing the company as ‘A’ only in his expenses, McCartney did not appear to break any existing rules, however opposition politicians have questioned the move. MPs must adhere to a Code of Conduct including principles of “accountability and openness.”

In May, a Freedom of Information Request revealed that McCartney had claimed £21,600 “for administrative services” to Anagallis Communications, founded by donor Nigel Szembel – sole director, shareholder and CEO of the Cambridgeshire-based company.

Szembel gave McCartney £4,000 in early 2010 before his successful campaign saw him take the seat from his Labour rival at the time Gillian Merron.

Business Insider wrote that expenses claims published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) show claims to a company registered as ‘A’ in October and November 2020, for “Provision of Professional and Administrative Services.”

Previous claims had provided the name of the company.

An additional Freedom of Information Request by Insider showed that ‘A’ is Agnallis Communications.

“The total of £31,200 spent in bought-in staffing services by McCartney with Anagallis is nearly a third of McCartney’s total amount claimed on expenses for bought-in services – £101,290 – in 2020 according to IPSA records,” Insider reports.

When The Lincolnite contacted Karl McCartney directly he did not provide a comment on the record.

The Lincolnite also contacted Nigel Szembel for comment, but have yet to revive a response.

Karl ousted Karen Lee to gain the Lincoln seat in 2019 – his business costs are publicly available to view here.

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