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PM announces fresh help for self-employed during second lockdown

Self-employed workers will be able to claim government support worth 80% of trading profits as England prepares to enter a new lockdown, Boris Johnson has announced.

In a statement to the House of Commons to outline the new national measures, due to come into force on Thursday, the prime minister told MPs: “It’s now clear we must do more together.”

He added: “The government will continue to do everything possible to support jobs and livelihoods in the next four weeks, as we have throughout.

“We protected almost 10 million jobs and we’re now extending the scheme throughout November.

“We’ve already paid out £13.7bn to help the self-employed and I can announce today that, for November, we will double our support from 40% to 80% of trading profits.

“The chancellor will also extend the deadline for applications to COVID loan schemes from the end of this month to the end of the next, to ensure small businesses can have access to additional loans if required.”

The prime minister has faced backlash from within his own party over the decision to announce a new England-wide lockdown.

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Some senior Tory backbenchers have declared they will vote against the lockdown in a House of Commons vote on Wednesday ahead of the lockdown’s proposed start date of Thursday.

Sir Charles Walker told Sky News that 15 Conservative MPs would rebel against the government in the vote.

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has suggested it was a “mistake” for Mr Johnson to have previously rejected calls for an earlier national lockdown.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer used a speech at the Confederation of British Industry conference to blame Chancellor Rishi Sunak for delaying a second lockdown.

Earlier on Monday, ministers and officials from the UK government and the devolved administrations were given a scientific briefing at a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee, chaired by senior cabinet minister Michael Gove.

Wales is currently within its own 17-day “firebreak” lockdown, with First Minister Mark Drakeford setting out the new rules that will apply once the shutdown ends.

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Political News – International and UK Politics | Sky News

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