Anglia Late Edition - January 2022

  • Watch the latest Anglia Late Edition - the regional politics programme covering issues affecting the East of England presented by Political Correspondent Emma HutchinsonThis programme was transmitted in the ITV Anglia region on Thursday 20 January 2022

Anglia Late Edition reports on the pressure facing the Prime Minister, the lifting of Plan B coronavirus restrictions and levelling up in the East of England.

Boris Johnson's future as PM is far from certain as he waits for investigation into Downing Street parties by senior civil servant Sue Gray to land on his desk. The contents of the report are likely to be key to whether Mr Johnson remains as Prime Minister.

The pressure is mounting on several fronts after on one of his MP's defected to Labour and the former Brexit Secretary David David directly told the PM to go during a dramatic intervention in the House of Commons at Prime Minister's Questions.

On Thursday, Boris Johnson had to confront further claims that Tory critics are facing “intimidation” which could amount to blackmail as part of an effort to prevent him being ousted from office.

The Prime Minister insisted he had “seen no evidence” to support the incendiary claim made by senior Conservative William Wragg amid anger over allegations of rule-breaking parties in No 10.

Mr Wragg said he had received reports of conduct including “members of staff at 10 Downing Street, special advisers, government ministers and others encouraging the publication of stories in the press seeking to embarrass those who they suspect of lacking confidence in the Prime Minister”.

Boris Johnson is still facing pressure to resign as Prime Minister Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Many people resumed commuting on Thursday after guidance to work from home in England was lifted as Plan B measures to curb the spread of Omicron are axed.

The government said that work-from-home guidance would be dropped along with rules on face coverings in school classrooms being scrapped in England.

Other measures, including the requirement to wear face masks on public transport and in shops, will end next Thursday.

The legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

Emma Hutchinson was joined on Anglia Late Edition by Adrian Ramsay (Green), Richard Fuller MP (Con) and Daniel Zeichner MP (Lab) Credit: ITV Late Edition

ITV News Anglia's Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson was joined on the programme by three politicians to debate the issues affecting the East of England:

  • Richard Fuller MP has been the Conservative MP for North Bedfordshire since 2019 and was the MP for Bedford from 2010-17

  • Daniel Zeichner MP has been the Labour MP for Cambridge since 2015 and is on opposition frontbench as shadow minister for Food, Farming & Fisheries

  • Adrian Ramsay is the co-leader of the Green Party and served as a councillor on Norwich City Council from 2003-11

This week MPs from the East of England held a special debate in parliament on the impact of the government's levelling up agenda in the region. There are fears the region is not getting its fair share of funding for projects in the area.

MPs fear that the East of England may not be getting its fair share of levelling-up funding Credit: ITV News Anglia

Leading the debate was the Conservative MP for Waveney is Suffolk Peter Aldous who told fellow MPs: "Although we have yet to see the detail of the Government's levelling-up policy, there are some early signs that the east of England might be overlooked."

"At the moment a net contributor to the Treasury, and if we do not invest in the east, there is a risk that we will destroy the goose that lays that golden egg."

The Bedford MP Mohammad Yasin (Lab) said: "The region has been disadvantaged from the outset of the Governments levelling-up programme, and it is not receiving its fair share."

In the autumn Comprehensive Spending Review, the East was allocated £92 per head - the national average was £184 per person.  It the second lowest of any UK region, only London got less.In the first distribution from of the Levelling Up Fund, the East of England region got £87 million working out at £13.88 per person while the neighbouring East Midlands region got three times that with £41.72.  In the East, it went to just five of the 105 projects announced nationally.