Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 July 2022

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

1

Tory leadership race ‘turns nasty’

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clashed bitterly during their first head-to-head TV debate last night. During the hour of “testy exchanges”, as The Times described it, Sunak told Truss that her tax cut plan would “tip millions of people into misery”, while Truss argued that tax rises ushered in by the former chancellor would lead to a recession. The BBC said the two contenders to be the next PM “did not hold back from ‘blue-on-blue’ attacks”. The i news site said the “gloves are off”, with the contest “turning nasty”.

2

Hosepipe ban ‘on the cards’

A hosepipe ban is on the cards after a study showed that the first six months of this year were the driest since 1976. With fears of a drought within weeks, government and water companies will hold an emergency meeting to discuss potential hosepipe bans which could be enforced within days. England and Wales recorded 330.9mm of rain from January to June, the least since the summer of 1976 and the 12th lowest rainfall in the period since 1900, according to analysis by The Times. 

3

Johnson ‘wants to stay on’

Boris Johnson does not want to resign and has discussed launching a campaign calling for a vote among Conservative Party members to confirm whether or not they want him to stand down. “He definitely does not want to resign,” Tory peer Peter Cruddas told The Telegraph. “He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can.” However, a different Tory source told the paper that Johnson “does not support any campaign to put him on the leadership ballot and will back whoever is the next leader”.

4

Biden: Trump ‘lacked courage’

Joe Biden has criticised Donald Trump for sitting by for 187 minutes while a mob attacked police officers during the 6 January attack on the US Capitol. In pre-recorded remarks delivered to the National Organisation of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the president criticised Trump for lacking “the courage to act” as police defending the US Capitol suffered through “medieval hell”. NBC News said the two men “may be on a collision course for a rematch of their hard-fought 2020 election”.

5

‘Bullying’ claim against Westwood

The Guardian reported that a former BBC staffer raised concerns about “unacceptable bullying” by Tim Westwood when he was a Radio 1 DJ but felt they were warned against taking further action. After the employee emailed a BBC executive, warning about “duty of care” issues, they were spoken to by a different senior executive and told to be “really careful about saying the words ‘duty of care’”. Westwood is accused of sexual misconduct by 17 women and has previously denied all allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

6

Human remains found after fire

Police have declared a major incident after human remains were found at a mill in Greater Manchester following a fire. Officers say four Vietnamese people are missing and may have been involved in the blaze at the site two months ago. At the time of the fire, it was thought that no one was inside Bismark House Mill, Bower Street, in Oldham. It took firefighters four days to put out the blaze, which started on 7 May. “Victims and the bereaved are at the forefront of our investigations into deaths,” said assistant chief constable Rob Potts.

7

Police didn’t send PM questionnaire

Scotland Yard has confirmed that it did not send questionnaires to Boris Johnson before deciding not to fine him for attending two Downing Street lockdown gatherings. Although fines were issued to other attendees at the gatherings in 2020, Johnson escaped without being issued with a penalty. The Good Law Project, which has brought a judicial review over accusations that the Met failed to thoroughly investigate Johnson’s presence at illegal parties, said the revelation has “raised grave concerns about the deferential way in which they are policing those in power”.

8

Maxwell moved to Florida jail

Ghislaine Maxwell has been moved to a low-security prison to serve her 20-year prison sentence. The Daily Mail said the former socialite, 60, who was convicted of helping sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein abuse underage girls, has been moved to FCI Tallahassee, in Florida. When she was held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, New York, Maxwell said she shared her tiny cell with rats, was served food infested with maggots and was abused by guards. Her relatives had filed a complaint with the United Nations over her treatment.

9

Harry’s book ‘ready by Christmas’

Prince Harry’s “bombshell” memoir has been written and is expected to be on shelves by Christmas, reported The Sun. The Duke of Sussex’s book, which he promises will tell the truth about his unusual upbringing in the Royal family, has been given the legal all-clear ahead of the “biggest day in the publishing calendar”, added The Telegraph. Harry’s book is described as a “literary memoir” in which he will “share, for the very first time, the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses, and life lessons that have helped shape him”.

10

‘Giant’ Trimble dies at 77

Tributes have been paid to David Trimble, the former first minister of Northern Ireland and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader, who has died at the age of 77. Trimble led the UUP between 1995 and 2005, and was instrumental in the negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement, winning the Nobel Peace Prize along with SDLP leader John Hume. Boris Johnson described Trimble as “a giant of British and international politics”, while the Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he played a “crucial and courageous role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland”.

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