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PM's spokesman: 'No plans for levy on energy firms'

Downing Street has said the Government had "no plans" for a windfall tax of the type proposed by Sir John Major.

David Cameron's official spokesman told a regular Westminster media briefing: "The Prime Minister's view on this is that this is an interesting contribution. We have no plans for this."

"What the Government is doing is legislating around forcing energy companies to put customers on their lowest tariffs and more competition in energy markets."

Asked about Sir John's concerns about people having to choose between eating and heating this winter, he said:

"There are a number of initiatives that the Government has to support vulnerable people, such as the cold weather payments.

"We have a range of ways in which support is given and those are the right ones."

Miliband: Major 'makes Labour's argument' on energy

Labour leader Ed Miliband said former Prime Minister Sir John Major was making "Labour's argument" by calling for energy companies to face an excess profits tax.

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Major 'calls for excess profits tax on energy firms'

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has reportedly called for energy companies to pay an excess profits tax if the Government is forced to make winter fuel payments due to the rise in bills.

Bloomberg's political correspondent Kitty Donaldson wrote on Twitter:

Former PMs claim £115,000 allowance

Tony Blair claimed the maximum £115,000 allowance for public duty costs Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Sir John Major both claimed the maximum allowance in public duty costs in the last financial year.

Government figures show Gordon Brown was just a few pence short of the £115,000 limit.

The payment is to reimburse ex-PMs for continuing to fulfil public duties.

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Miliband: Something 'went very wrong'

Labour leader Ed Miliband told the Leveson Inquiry into press standards that something went "very wrong" with the way some journalists dealt with individuals. He said police had "not investigated properly" and politicians had not spoken out.

There is clearly something which has gone very wrong with the way parts of the press dealt with individuals. A failure to get to grips with these issues ... by the press, the police, who did not investigate properly, and I think politicians, who were aware of some of what was going on and did not speak out.

Organisations like News International had huge power and I think politicians were reticent to speak about some of these practices that were exposed. I include myself in that."

Leveson Inquiry hears from Ed Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice to attend the Leveson Inquiry. Credit: Press Association

Labour leader Ed Miliband is giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards. He was one of the people who called for the inquiry to be established in a last year in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Miliband started his evidence by saying he recognised the important role the media plays in "holding politicians to account."

Sir John Major: Murdoch asked me to change our European policies

Just before the 1997 election it was suggested to me that I ought to have got closer to the Murdoch press...I invited him to dinner, in February 1997.

(The dinner) would have contained the usual amount of political gossip, then in the dinner, Mr Murdoch said that he really didn't like our European policies and he wished me to change our European policies, and if we didn't, then his papers could not and would not support this Government.

– Sir John Major

The former Prime Minister then told the Leveson Inquiry "there was no question of me changing our policies".

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