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PMQs live: Boris Johnson faces Keir Starmer before Rishi Sunak delivers spring statement

Latest updates: PM questioned by Labour leader; chancellor urged to help alleviate cost of living crisis as inflation hits 6.2% in February

UK inflation hits 6.2%, highest rate in three decadesBusiness live: UK inflation soars ahead of spring statement

This is from Newsnight’s Ben Chu, on what is driving the inflation increase announced today.

According to a Sky News report, P&O Ferries did not need to give the government advance notice of its plans to sack 800 staff because of a change to employment law signed off by Chris Grayling when he was transport secretary in 2018. This meant ministers did not need to be notified about mass redundancies if vessels were registerd overseas. In a letter to the business department (pdf), released yesterday, the P&O Ferries chief executive, Peter Hebblethwaite, cited this as the reason why ministers did not get the usual notice; the ferries are all registered outside the UK.

The Conservatives have given the green light to rogue employers to act with impunity. This scandal is the consequence of a decade in which the Tories have taken an axe to workers’ rights.

Talk is cheap – Ministers must act now and stand up for these loyal British workers. A Labour government will strengthen employee protections and ban fire and rehire to give people the security they deserve for an honest day’s work.

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