Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 June 2022

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

1

Public ‘prefers Johnson to Starmer’

Keir Starmer would be a worse choice for prime minister than Boris Johnson, according the to a new poll. The study shows that the PM has a two-point lead over his opponent, despite Partygate, the cost of living crisis and the confidence vote in Johnson held by his own MPs. While 28% think Johnson would make the best prime minister, 26% opted for Starmer. Labour’s lead over the Tories has also narrowed to two points, compared with a three-point lead in the last poll a fortnight ago.

2

Meddling Charles ‘won’t be charming’

The Prince of Wales won’t be Prince Charming if he keeps on meddling, according to government ministers. After reports that the royal had branded the government’s policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda “appalling,” a senior cabinet minister told The Sunday Times that Charles is “an adornment to our public life,” but “will cease to be charming if he attempts to behave the same way when he is king”. Clarence House issued a statement yesterday insisting Prince Charles would remain “politically neutral” as monarch.

3

Hunt woos Leave MPs

Jeremy Hunt has been “wooing Brexiteer MPs” with a pledge that he would remove the Irish Sea border created by the Northern Ireland Protocol, reported The Telegraph. The Tory MP, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum, has been privately recruiting supporters for a potential leadership campaign. He has approached include members of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tories after working out “what side his bread is buttered,” said one MP.  The news comes after Hunt called on MPs to unseat Boris Johnson in last week’s confidence vote.

4

Forecourt thefts are rising

Soaring fuel prices have led to an increase in fuel thefts from petrol station forecourts, according to new industry data. Forecourt Eye, which works with 1,000 garages in the UK, said there was a 39% increase in non-payments since January. The incidents included motorists driving off without paying or claiming to have forgotten their wallet. A spokesman said: “This is not a good thing for anyone.” Petrol prices hit record highs last week, with the cost of filling a typical family car passing £100.

5

Iran ‘close’ to nuclear bomb

Iran is “dangerously” close to completing its nuclear weapons programme Israel’s prime minister has claimed. “Iran is enriching uranium at an unprecedented rate and moving dangerously close to getting their hands on nuclear weapons,” Naftali Bennett told The Telegraph. A report in Israeli media citing anonymous Israeli government sources claimed that Iran already had enough fissile material to make nuclear bombs, but a source familiar with the Iranian nuclear programme said this was likely to be an exaggeration.

6

PM retreats from green plans

Boris Johnson has scaled back plans to rewild the country as he retreats from the green agenda to focus on the cost of living crisis. The government announced last year that a post-Brexit scheme that would pay farmers up to £800m a year to transform agricultural land into nature-rich forests, coastal wetlands, peatlands and wildflower meadows. However, said The Sunday Times, the fund has been “quietly slashed” to just £50m over three years, less than 1% of the budget. Conservation groups described the U-turn as a “massive betrayal”.

7

China ‘will fight for Taiwan’

China will “fight to the very end” to stop Taiwan from declaring independence, the country’s defence minister has vowed, a day after the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, accused Beijing of “provocative, destabilising” military activity close to the island. “We will fight at all cost and we will fight to the very end. This is the only choice for China,” Wei Fenghe told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit, where he described the contested island as “first and foremost China’s Taiwan”. Beijing has long viewed Taiwan as a breakaway province.

8

Man dies rescuing children

A man has died after rescuing two children from the sea off the coast of Wales. Police were called to Poppit Sands, near St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire on Friday evening after a number of people got into difficulty. Officers said Hywel Morgan, 47, died after being recovered from the sea. The two children, who he had helped rescue from a rip current, were taken to hospital as a precaution. Morgan’s family said he was a “hero” and a “devoted and loving father”.

9

UK could swelter next week

Forecasters say that temperatures could rise above 30C in parts of the UK next week. Temperatures in the south could peak into the low 30s, but parts of the north could experience gusts in excess of 55mph, alongside frequent showers and possible thunder. The remnants of Tropical Storm Alex will bring a low-pressure system to our shores, meaning the country is going to be graced with a “mixed bag” of weather, said Sky News.

10

Judge throws out Ronaldo case

The federal civil case alleging that Cristiano Ronaldo raped a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 has been dismissed. A US district judge threw the case out of court, accusing the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, of “bad-faith conduct” and the use of leaked and stolen documents detailing discussions between Ronaldo and his lawyers. Kathryn Mayorga alleges that the Manchester United footballer raped her at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. He denies the allegations and has never been charged.

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