Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 29 May 2022

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

1

PM creating ‘toxic mix’

Boris Johnson is trashing the identity of the Conservative party, senior Tories have warned. Former leader Iain Duncan-Smith told The Observer his party had been left with an “enormous identity problem” because it had raised taxes instead of cutting them, undermining a core Tory message that had helped it win successive general elections. Party grandee Sir Bob Neill said collapsing trust in the PM, coupled with a lack of clarity over what the party stood for, had created a “toxic mix” in the minds of voters. 

2

Russia ‘won’t use nukes in Ukraine’

Russia’s ambassador to Britain has told the BBC he does not believe his country will use tactical nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine. Andrei Kelin said Moscow has very strict provision for their use, mainly when the state’s existence is threatened. “It has nothing to do with the current operation,” he told Sunday Morning. In February, Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert, a move that was widely perceived as a threat.

3

Harris calls for weapons ban

The US vice-president has called for a ban on assault weapons in the wake of two mass shootings in the US. Attending the funeral of Ruth Whitfield, 86, killed in a supermarket in Buffalo on 14 May, Kamala Harris said it was time to say “enough is enough”. In the wake of an attack on a Texas primary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead, she said “everybody’s got to stand up and agree that this should not be happening in our country and that we should have the courage to do something about it”.

4

Review into imperial measures

The government will hold a review on when and where imperial measurements can be used, to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee weekend. At the moment, explained the BBC, traders must use metric measurements when selling packaged or loose goods - but they can use imperial measurements alongside them. Labour MP Angela Eagle said the move was a “pathetic” attempt to “weaponise nostalgia”. Meanwhile, reported the Mail on Sunday, pint glasses will be adorned with a crown for the first time in nearly 20 years.

5

PM ‘in yellow card territory’

Rule-breaking and abuse of security staff exposed by a report into the lockdown party scandal is “shameful”, a senior minister has said. Penny Mordaunt, the trade minister, said she was “angry” at those in Downing Street who were ignoring Covid rules while blocking “reasonable requests to relax restrictions” during the pandemic. John Glen, the economic secretary to the Treasury, said Boris Johnson is “effectively” in “yellow card territory”.

6

Dozens killed in Nigeria stampede

More than 30 people were killed and many injured when a stampede broke out at a church event in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt. A local polo club was holding a gift donation event, organised by the nearby Kings Assembly Church. “During the process of distributing the gift items, there was a stampede due to overcrowding,” said Olufemi Ayodele, a regional spokesman for Nigeria’s Civil Defense Corps. “Casualties were children mostly.”

7

War of words in police race

Police chiefs are trading public barbs in the race to lead the National Crime Agency. Neil Basu, the country’s most senior non-white officer, said he was “disappointed” to miss out on the £223,000-a-year job after it was revealed that Boris Johnson wanted to shoehorn in his supporter Lord Hogan-Howe, a former Scotland Yard chief. Meanwhile, said The Sunday Times, Hogan-Howe issued an “extraordinary statement” defending his record and, in an “apparent dig” at Basu, said: “I also led a more diverse police service, with one in three recruits from minority backgrounds by 2017.”

8

Tensions high on Israeli march day

Thousands of Jewish Israelis are due to hold a march through Muslim areas in Jerusalem’s Old City today. The annual Flag March event follows months of deadly incidents in the region. Al Jazeera said that for Palestinians, the march is a “blatant provocation” and a “violation of one of the few places in the city, increasingly hemmed in by Jewish development and settlement, which retains a strong Arab flavour”. However, Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital.

9

Expensive yacht catches fire in Torquay

Torquay seafront was evacuated after an 85-foot long yacht caught fire in the harbour. The boat, an 85ft Princess that is thought to be worth £6m, drifted out into the harbour after the fire broke out onboard and the ropes securing it to the pier burnt through. Eight fire engines responded to the large fire in Torquay harbour at lunchtime and residents in the area were asked to keep their windows closed. The yacht has now sunk.

10

Liverpool calls for Paris inquiry

Liverpool FC has called for an investigation into tactics used against its fans before the Champions League final on Saturday night. Police outside the ground fired tear gas as a small number of supporters tried to climb over security barriers. “We are hugely disappointed at the stadium entry issues and breakdown of the security perimeter that Liverpool fans faced this evening at Stade de France,” the Anfield club said in a statement. The match was delayed for more than 30 minutes, with Real beating Liverpool 1-0.

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