Intervening on the story of the day, Business Minister Paul Scully has confirmed before a Commons Select Committee that the government is not planning on arresting Elon Musk the next time he visits Britain. MP Nus Ghani asked the question in light of the DCMS Online Harms Bill, which “mandates that platforms have to remove content that emotionally distresses people – so are we going to be arresting Elon Musk when he arrives in the UK, or are we going to change the Online Safety Bill?”
Scully: “We won’t be arresting Elon Musk, I can leave that with you.”
On a more serious note, as the Institute for Economic Affairs’ Matthew Lesh pointed out last night, although Elon’s victory might herald the imminent return of free speech to the platform, he’s about to run into a major UK roadblock. Drop the plan, Nadine…
Try explaining this headline to somebody 24 hours ago. On LBC this morning small business minister Paul Scully was asked by Nick Ferrari about the Molly Mae libertarianism controversy that Guido reported on yesterday afternoon. In classic ministerial question spinning, Scully managed to turn the issue into espousing the need for ‘levelling up’, while also agreeing with the bikini-clad star that “an aspirational approach to life is no bad thing”. Odds on Molly making an appearance at this year Tory Party conference?
And we’ve still got another day of crime week to get through…
In this morning’s media round, government spokesperson Paul Scully tried to point the finger at journalists and blame them for all the bad press Owen and his sleazy mates have been receiving these past 12 days. He claimed:
“…as often happens, there are stories that are sitting within journalists pockets that they bring out at times like this”.
However, Kay Burley’s frosty response stopped Scully in his tracks:
“Are you saying it’s journalists fault that corrupt politicians are taking money when they shouldn’t be. I’m sure you’re not saying that for one second. Are you?”
After realising his error, Scully sheepishly retreated from blaming hacks. “A politician complaining about the media is like a sailor complaining about the sea….”
Paul Scully has admitted that the government has no plans to bail out businesses whose business models “cannot be sustained” following the energy crisis that has seen the price of wholesale gas spike, and a number of energy firms – including People’s Energy, Utility Point, and PfP Energy – collapse.
Scully did, however, promise to protect consumers. He told the BBC:
“We want to make sure they have continuity of supply. We want to make sure that we can keep their prices as keen as possible. We’re doing that through the price cap, through the warm homes discount and through cold wet weather payments as well.”
The price cap doesn’t alter the laws of supply and demand. Who could have predicted that trying to buck the market with price controls could result in this kind of situation…?
Amid reports the government plans to break its manifesto pledge not to raise national insurance contributions in order to plug the hole in social care funding, Small Business Minister Paul Scully appeared on Sky News this morning to try and dodge the claims:
“I’ve read about the speculation this morning, that’s not something I recognise, so we’ll see what happens in terms of…when we announce our details on social care.”
Pushed again by host Kay Burley to elaborate on the reports, Scully again said “it’s not something I recognise” and insisted that social care was an issue the government needed “to get to grips with“. “It’s not something I recognise” is usually code for “this is happening, we just don’t want to admit it yet”…