Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 2 October 2021

The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am

1

Army to deliver fuel from Monday

The government says that armed forces personnel will begin delivering petrol to garages across the UK from Monday. Ministers announced that almost 200 servicemen and women will provide “temporary” support to ease pressure on stations. The troops have been training with haulage firms this week, learning how to fill up tankers and petrol pumps. The government has again appealed to motorists to stop panic buying fuel.

2

Queen bankrolls Andrew’s legal fight

The Queen is privately funding the Duke of York’s legal fight against sex abuse allegations “to the tune of millions of pounds,” reported The Telegraph. Her Majesty agreed to pay for her son’s defence shortly after his Newsnight interview. Andrew has added new lawyers to his team from a renowned Los Angeles-based law firm “reputed for its ability to make celebrities’ legal problems ‘go away’ - and commanding the fees to do so,” added The Telegraph.

3

PM accused of climate ‘hypocrisy’

Boris Johnson has been accused of the “height of hypocrisy” for defending drilling for oil in Surrey in the month he will be hosting the Cop26 climate conference. Days after the Cop26 summit, where the prime minister will try and convince world leaders to sign up to more ambitious targets to reduce their fossil fuel emissions, the government will defend a decision by Surrey council to grant planning permission for six oil wells in the green belt.

4

China jets’ ‘show of strength’ in Taiwan

A total of 38 Chinese military jets crossed into Taiwan’s defence zone as Beijing marked the founding of the People’s Republic of China, reported The Guardian. Beijing has yet to comment on its latest show of force but it has previously said such flights were to protect the country’s sovereignty and aimed at “collusion” between Taiwan and the United States. Beijing has long claimed the self-ruled democratic island as part of its territory.

5

Morrisons goes to auction

Morrisons will go under the hammer today. Five rounds of sealed bids are expected to value the Bradford-based firm in excess of £10bn. Sir Terry Leahy, the former boss of Tesco, faces opposition from a consortium led by Fortress, the investment firm of Aston Villa owner Wes Edens. The Telegraph says the “rare auction” promises to be a “titanic battle”.

6

Charity boss steps down after racism claims

The head of Britain’s largest domestic abuse charity has stepped down following allegations of racism. Fiona Dwyer, who had been chief executive at Solace Women’s Aid for one year, left after dozens of complainants signed an open letter in July condemning the “consistent failings, racism and persecution of staff” by the organisation’s leaders. A source said “this has happened due to the courage of whistleblowers and others who have forced this accountability”.

7

Health chiefs suspicious of review

The Tories have ordered a shake-up of NHS leadership in England. Announcing the review, Sajid Javid said that with more funding must come “change for the better”. The health secretary has appointed a former vice-chief of the defence staff, Gen Sir Gordon Messenger, to lead the work. Some NHS bosses believe the review is a political move to shift blame on to trust, hospital and social care leaders as the health service struggles with a backlog in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

8

Malawi politician shoots himself in parliament

A former member of Malawi’s parliament killed himself inside the parliament building in the capital Lilongwe. Clement Chiwaya, an ex-deputy speaker, shot himself in the head after smuggling a firearm into the office of the parliament's clerk, CNN reported. He had served three consecutive terms as a member of the Malawian parliament from 2004 to 2019 and was a one-term deputy speaker between 2014 and 2019.

9

PM criticises ‘infuriating’ police

Boris Johnson says it is “infuriating” that police forces don't take violence against women seriously enough and are “not doing enough help victims”. However, speaking in the aftermath of the sentencing of former Met Police officer Wayne Couzens for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, the prime minister said: “Can you trust the police? Yes, you can.”

10

Met Office issues wind warning

Parts of the UK could see winds of up to 70mph and up to 40mm of rain this weekend. The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for the east and south of England and for the north east of Scotland over Aberdeenshire, Orkney, and Shetland. The forecaster added that the wet and windy conditions could continue into the new week, particularly in England and Wales on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

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