Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 30 May 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
UK blackouts could hit millions
Ministers have been warned that six million households could face blackouts this winter because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The government’s “reasonable” worst-case scenario, which has been drawn up by officials from across Whitehall, said there could be widespread gas shortages if Moscow goes further in cutting off supplies to the EU. Under the scenario there would be rationing for more than a month, causing energy prices to rise again and leaving GDP lower than forecast for years to come.
Racist laws caused Windrush
The Windrush scandal was caused by three decades of racist immigration laws, according to a leaked government report. Officials have repeatedly tried to suppress the 52-page analysis by an unnamed historian, which has been seen by The Guardian. The document concludes that “during the period 1950-1981, every single piece of immigration or citizenship legislation was designed at least in part to reduce the number of people with black or brown skin who were permitted to live and work in the UK”.
Review to probe Texas response
Investigators in the US will hold a “critical incident review” of the response to the school shooting in Texas, after officers delayed confronting the gunman. The investigation will focus on the police response, including the delay in confronting Salvador Ramos after he locked himself in a classroom for more than an hour, killing pupils and staff at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Meanwhile, said CNN, local funeral homes are so overwhelmed it will take weeks to bury some of the 19 children and two teachers killed in the shooting.
Labour calls for Carrie questions
Labour has called for an investigation into evidence there was a second gathering in Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat during lockdown, held by his wife, Carrie, on his birthday. Sue Gray’s inquiry was made aware of the existence of text messages pointing to a gathering, but the event was not investigated. Parliament’s privileges committee, which is investigating whether the PM knowingly misled the Commons over “partygate”, is set to consider making a request to his wife for evidence.
Paris reaction compared to Hillsborough
Liverpool fans have compared their “terrifying” treatment at the Champions League final to the Hillsborough disaster. Some described seeing people scared for their lives, with children “trembling with fear”, as French police fired tear gas into crowds outside the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday night. Uefa, European football’s governing body, initially blamed the late arrival of Liverpool supporters for the kick-off delay. David Hughes, a Liverpool supporter who lost his father in the 1989 disaster, said: “The first thing they do is blame the fans.”
Trump questions ‘insurrection hoax’
Donald Trump has described the attack on the Capitol as an “insurrection hoax”. In a rally in Wyoming he described Congresswoman Liz Cheney as “one of the nation’s leading proponents of the insurrection hoax” and said she had “pushed a grotesquely false, fabricated, hysterical partisan narrative”. He added: “Look at the so-called word insurrection, 6 January – what a lot of crap.” The House committee investigating the Capitol attack by extremist supporters of Donald Trump is preparing to start public hearings.
‘Bonfire’ of EU laws planned
Dozens of EU laws are expected to be scrapped within months as Boris Johnson scrambles to win back the support of Tory MPs after the “partygate” scandal. The inews site said that the bulk of the regulations are likely to be related to the environment, workplaces, transport, tax and health and safety. This week, the PM will also formally announce plans to allow all goods to be sold in imperial measures instead of metric, in a move described by critics as an attempt to “weaponise nostalgia”.
Depp-Heard deliberations continue
Jury deliberations in the high-profile defamation battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard continue this week following a six-week trial in Virginia. Depp sued his ex-wife for $50m (£40m) for writing an article in which she claimed to be an abuse victim. Heard counter-sued for $100m. A top Hollywood publicist told CNN that neither party has emerged well from the trial. “Both are highly dysfunctional,” the publicist said. “Money is toxic and greed destroys. No one wins here.”
House prices pass milestone
The average price of a UK home has passed £250,000 for the first time, but the pace of price growth is slowing. In its latest market index, Zoopla also found that the proportion of sellers reducing their asking price and the time taken to sell a home have increased. Vincent Dennington, director at estate agent John D Wood & Co, said the market “remains buoyant enough that should a property come to market competitively priced, it is likely to create a multi-bid scenario, resulting in final offers going over the guide price”.
Eurovision trophy sold for drones
The Ukrainian band that won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, has sold their trophy for $900,000 (£712,000) with the aim of buying drones for Ukraine’s military. Ukrainian TV has reported that the money raised from the sale of the trophy would be used to purchase three Ukrainian-made PD-2 drones. Kalush Orchestra, who were given special permission to leave the war-torn country to compete in Eurovision, handsomely won the contest with 631 points.