Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 6 June 2022
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Confidence vote ‘within days’
Speculation is growing that there will be a vote of confidence in Boris Johnson’s leadership as MPs return to Westminster. Some Tory MPs have told the BBC such a ballot could be triggered this week, as the PM continues to face calls to resign over lockdown parties. Meanwhile, government whips have been “scrambling to attack” Tory rebels with threats and blackmail in a desperate bid to save Johnson. The Sunday Times reported that up to 67 letters have been submitted.
Taser victim dies in hospital
A man who fell into the River Thames after police shot him with a Taser has died, the Independent Office for Police Conduct has said. Officers were called to reports of a man armed with a screwdriver and shouting in Chelsea on Saturday morning. A Met spokesman said the man “did not enable the officers to safely detain him” and he “subsequently entered the river”. He was rescued by the RNLI who took him to hospital, where he died. Police use of stun guns, known commonly as Tasers, has been the subject of numerous controversies in the past.
UK sends missiles to Ukraine
The UK is sending its first long-range missiles to Ukraine, the defence secretary has announced. Ben Wallace said the M270 multiple-launch rocket systems will help Ukraine defend itself against Russia. The systems can hit targets up to 50 miles away. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin told state television that Moscow would retaliate further if the US went through with the delivery of Himars rocket artillery that the White House promised last week.
Queen ‘humbled’ by jubilee weekend
The Queen has said she was “humbled and deeply touched” by the Platinum Jubilee celebrations held across the UK over the past four days. In a “thank you” letter, Her Majesty said despite not being at every event marking her 70-year reign, “my heart has been with you all”. Sky News said she “thrilled thousands of well-wishers” by appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the conclusion of the jubilee pageant as the extended bank holiday weekend drew to a close.
‘Storm’ of bankruptcies expected
Experts have warned that a “storm” of bankruptcies is on the horizon, The Telegraph reported. During the first three months of the year, around 137,000 businesses closed their doors for good in the UK, a jump of nearly a quarter on the same period in 2021, and there were also nearly 5,000 voluntary insolvencies in England and Wales – the highest level since the Insolvency Service launched its survey in 1960. “There is a storm coming,” said Simon Bonney, managing director of Quantuma, a restructuring firm based in the Square Mile.
Shooting at Nigerian church
Gunmen killed more than 50 people in an assault on a Catholic church in Ondo state in Nigeria during mass on Sunday. The attackers targeted the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the town of Owo as the worshippers gathered on Pentecost Sunday, gunning down parishioners and detonating an explosive device, local media reported. President Muhammadu Buhari said “only fiends from the nether region” could have performed this “dastardly act”.
Soaring City bonuses ‘obscene’
Unions say that bonuses paid to the UK’s bankers, insurance brokers and other financial sector workers have hit a record high and are rising more than six times faster than average wages in the UK. The TUC’s analysis of official data showed bonuses in the financial and insurance sector grew by 27.9% over the last year, while average wages in the same period grew by just 4.2%. Nearly £6bn was paid out in City bonuses in March alone. Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said the bonuses were “obscene”.
Pope fuels retirement rumours
Pope Francis will attend a ceremony founded by one of the few Pontiffs who stepped down from the role during their reign, fuelling speculation he is set to retire. Following rumours in the Italian and Catholic media, the Vatican announced that the Pope will visit the city of L’Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V. The Telegraph notes that although traditionally popes are expected to hold their post until death, there have been some exceptions, including Celestine V.
‘Ecstatic’ Wales reach World Cup
Wales have qualified for their first Fifa World Cup since 1958 after beating Ukraine on an emotional night in Cardiff. The BBC said that Wales’ opponents, Ukraine, were “deeply impressive”, but fell just short in their attempt to reach only a second World Cup in their history. Wales captain Gareth Bale said the result was “what dreams are made of”, adding it was the “greatest result” in the history of Welsh football. “We’re ecstatic – we’re going to a World Cup.”
Chippies hope for Norwegian salvation
Fish and chip shops are looking to Norway as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens their business, The Times reported. Bosses have warned that a third of chip shops may have to close if tariffs on fish from Russia add to the pressure they are under from shortages of sunflower oil, flour and potato fertiliser. The National Federation of Fish Friers and the Frozen at Sea Fillets Association will speak to the Norwegian Seafood Council at a conference this week at the port of Alesund.