Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 May 2022

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

1

Hoyle calls for Commons reform

“Radical” reform is required to working practices in the Commons, the Speaker of the House has said. In the wake of a series of bullying and sexual misconduct claims against MPs, Sir Lindsay Hoyle said that individual MPs should no longer be the employers of their staff. Writing in The Observer, he added that “it is time” a review of working practices is carried out. The Sunday Times said that former business secretary Andrea Leadsom may be working alongside the Speaker.

2

Zelensky says Ukraine will win

“Ukraine will be free,” said Volodymyr Zelensky. In a bullish statement, the president said all “temporarily occupied cities and communities in which the occupiers are now pretending to be ‘masters’ will be liberated”. Meanwhile, a group of civilians have become the first people to be evacuated from a steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol - but 1,000 people are still thought to be living underneath it.

3

‘Troll factory’ targeting UK

Russia is using a troll factory to spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine on social media and target British politicians, claimed the UK Foreign Office. London claimed that a Kremlin disinformation campaign was designed to manipulate international public opinion over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, boost support for it and recruit new sympathisers. “We cannot allow the Kremlin and its shady troll farms to invade our online spaces with their lies about Putin’s illegal war,” said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

4

Staff ‘knew parties broke law’

Civil servants and Downing Street staff knew they were breaking the law when they held lockdown-breaking parties, Sue Gray’s report will reveal. The Sunday Times said the long-awaited report will expose emails revealing widespread “premeditation” by Whitehall figures. Gray’s report, on hold until Scotland Yard has completed its investigations, is expected to be highly critical of Boris Johnson but a senior official familiar with the contents said the findings would be “difficult for everyone”.

5

Parish ‘may have broken law’

Labour has claimed that Neil Parish, the Tory MP who resigned his seat after admitting he had twice watched pornography in the House of Commons chamber, may have committed a criminal offence which carries a maximum two-year prison sentence. Jess Phillips, Labour’s shadow minister for domestic abuse and safeguarding, said that it appeared that Parish “of his own admission” had committed a criminal offence under the Indecent Displays (Control) Act of 1981.

6

Investors vote to keep Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have rejected proposals to have an independent chair replace Warren Buffett. Shareholders supported letting the 91-year-old keep both the chairman and chief executive roles by a nearly 6-to-1 margin, Berkshire said at its annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. Investors also rejected a plan to require the company to disclose more about its climate-related risks and efforts to improve diversity.

7

Fifth wave hits South Africa

South Africa may be entering a fifth Covid wave earlier than expected, reported The Observer. The country, that has recorded the most Covid cases and deaths on the African continent, has faced a sustained rise in infections over the past 14 days that seems to be driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants, health officials and scientists said. South Africa has reported more than 3.7m Covid cases and more than 100,000 deaths during the pandemic.

8

Biden jokes about Trump

Joe Biden has resumed the tradition of speaking at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The US president is the first leader to speak at the event, where the president faces joshing and light mockery in front of an audience of journalists, since 2016. At the event, which was cancelled for two years due to the pandemic and was boycotted by Donald Trump when he was in office, Biden quipped: “This is the first time a president has attended this dinner in six years. It's understandable, we had a horrible plague followed by two years of Covid.”

9

Murray speaks about filming delay

Bill Murray has admitted that his conduct on set led to a complaint from a woman and the suspension of filming on his latest movie. In his first comments about the shutdown of Being Mortal, the actor described the incident as a “difference of opinion”. He said: “I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way. The movie studio wanted to do the right thing so they wanted to check it all out, investigate it and so they stopped the production.”

10

PM ‘incapable of governing’

Chicken could become as expensive as beef because of the spiralling cost of bird feed, according an industry boss. Steve Murrells, the chief executive of Co-op supermarket, said: “The chicken industry has particular challenges because of the feed costs. The majority of cattle raised in this country are fed grass and it is not required to have high-dense feed. Chicken, which was incredibly cheap and great value for money, is rising quicker than any other protein.”

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