The Telegraph 2022 July 18 – July 24

July 18

We will soon discover the two Tory leadership hopefuls facing a head-to-head in the race for Number 10. With time running out for the candidates to make their pitches, the gloves were off in last night’s televised debate. Five of our writers give their verdicts on who they think came out on top.

Chris

Monday morning news briefing: UK heatwave meltdown

Also from this morning’s Front Page newsletter: Our verdicts on Tory leadership debate & how to keep your mind sharp in old.

As temperatures build to record levels, the UK is slowing down. Britain will grind to a virtual standstill today as trains across the country are cancelled and the public is told to consider staying at home in the heatwave.

Blanket speed restrictions will be imposed on all railway lines, with both train operators and Highways England warning people not to travel.

The Met Office said that “in general” it would be safer to stay indoors if possible. Some GP surgeries and operating theatres have already closed. Schools in several counties confirmed they will shut for two days.

In Europe, a heatwave is said to have already killed more than 300 people. Firefighters are battling to control huge wildfires in Spain, Greece and France.

Temperatures hit 45.7C degrees in Spain, with firefighters supported by the armed forces trying to stamp out more than 30 fires blazing in forests. See the latest pictures and video.

Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat and Penny Mordaunt with presenter Julie Etchingham during Britain's Next Prime Minister: The ITV DebateTory leadership debate: Who won? Read our writers’ verdicts.

The Tory leadership race is entering its final stages, with three knockout rounds this week.

Contenders will be whittled down to four today as MPs cast their votes in the third stage of the contest to find a successor to Boris Johnson.

The remaining five candidates had a series of bad-tempered exchanges in the latest TV debate last night, with Rishi Sunak accused of plunging Britain into a recession as his rivals turned on him one by one to attack his record as chancellor.

He was singled out for criticism by Liz Truss, who is attempting to position herself as the only one who can effectively challenge him on the economy.

Political editor Ben Riley-Smith examines how each of the candidates fared and five of our writers give their verdicts on who came out on top.

The evening rush hour was thrown into chaos as Britain’s railways buckled under the record-breaking “red-alert” heatwave.

Commuters faced swathes of cancellations and delays at major stations, with huge crowds piling up at London St Pancras, trains axed at most London terminals and hold-ups of more than an hour in Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Some 2,000 services out of 12,800 across the UK were either more than 30 minutes late or axed entirely on Monday, official figures seen by The Telegraph show. Just 67 per cent were within ten minutes of being on time.

Meanwhile, 11 out of London’s 15 Tube lines faced minor or severe delays or suspensions from 6pm.

All flights were halted for two hours at London Luton Airport after a “runway defect” in the sweltering weather, sparking delays of up to four hours and diversions to Stansted.

Flights at RAF Brize Norton, the RAF’s largest air base, were also grounded after the Tarmac melted.

Britain’s hottest day of the year saw 38.1C recorded in Suffolk, and forecasters are predicting up to 43C on Tuesday, which would be an all-time UK record.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, sacked the head of the country’s secret service and its chief prosecutor over collaboration with the Russians alleged to have taken place in their departments. As Moscow stepped up shelling across Ukraine, Mr Zelensky fired Ivan Bakanov, the head of the powerful domestic security agency, and Iryna Venediktova, the prosecutor general. James Kilner reports on the cases of treason. It came as fresh missile attacks were reported in Kharkiv.

July 19

UK heatwave: Record highs, travel chaos, schools close … and it’s going to get hotter

After a day when runways melted, railway lines buckled and even lidos were out of bounds, weather forecasters delivered the news some people will be dreading – Tuesday will be even hotter.

Some regions of the UK experienced their highest temperatures on record on Monday as the heatwave caused disruption to travel, schools, hospitals and workplaces across much of the country. Read the full story.

Prince Charles: ‘Record temperatures’ prove I’m right about climate change

The Prince of Wales said on Monday that the “alarming, record temperatures” had proved him right on the climate change “emergency”.

Prince Charles has waged a decades-long campaign on the environment but has frequently expressed frustration that it has prompted little change. Read the full story.

Boris Johnson’s Government survives confidence vote to give him seven more weeks in Downing Street

Boris Johnson survived a confidence vote in his Government on Monday, giving him seven more weeks in Downing Street before his successor takes charge.

MPs voted by 349 to 238 in favour of the motion, which was tabled by the Government as a response to a Labour attempt last week to hold another vote on Mr Johnson. Read the full story.

July 20

Liz Truss has moved into prime position to reach the last two in the Tory leadership contest after closing the gap on Penny Mordaunt.

The Foreign Secretary is seeking to win over supporters of Kemi Badenoch, her main rival on the Right of the party, who was knocked out of the race.

Rishi Sunak, the ex-chancellor, seems all but certain to reach the final two. In an article for The Telegraph, Ms Truss hints at possible Cabinet jobs for newer Tory MPs like Mrs Badenoch as she promises a “government of all the talents”.

Supreme Court refuses to throw out Nicola Sturgeon’s request for IndyRef2 ruling

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of focusing “seven days a week, sometimes what feels like 24 hours a day” on her new push for Scottish independence as her political opponents claimed she is neglecting domestic issues.

Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, pointed to cancer care waiting times in Scotland as he suggested Ms Sturgeon is prioritising the wrong things.

Ms Sturgeon rejected the criticism and claimed Mr Sarwar “wants to back up the Conservatives” by opposing independence.

She said: “I want to free Scotland from the Conservatives because the worst thing that could ever happen to our NHS is to continue to have Conservative governments cutting the budget of this government and this parliament. That is why having the powers of independence is good for our country, including our national health service.”

Lord Stewart of Dirleton QC, the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser on Scots law, last week told the court that the request was “premature” as the First Minister has yet to even introduce a Referendum Bill to the Scottish Parliament.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Whether the reference is accepted, how long it takes to determine, which matters the court considers and when and what judgment is arrived at are all for the court to determine.

Getting tough | France and Germany have piled pressure on Brussels to take a hard line over the Northern Ireland Protocol with the UK’s next prime minister. Paris and Berlin have warned the European Commission that EU member states will not agree to any concessions granted to whoever replaces Boris Johnson as Tory leader. Their tough approach heightens the risk of a trade war breaking out this autumn.

Around the world: Ayatollah to strengthen Russia ties

Iran’s supreme leader has called for strengthened long-term co-operation with Vladimir Putin, as the Russian president made his second overseas trip since his forces invaded Ukraine. Campbell MacDiarmid reports how Mr Putin received a red carpet welcome in Tehran, which, like Moscow, is suffering under Western sanctions. In his analysis, Con Coughlin outlines the common cause of this “unholy alliance”.

July 21

Tory leadership races are rarely known for their gentility. Yet due to a toxic combination of factors, including some personal animosity between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, Associate Editor Gordon Rayner suggests we’re gearing up for the “nastiest” battle in the party’s history.

Chris

Liz Truss and Rishi SunakInside Truss and Sunak’s battle to be PM: ‘It’s got nasty because the race is so tight.’

A combination of ingredients, including a disconnect between MPs and party members, a win or bust scenario for both contenders and personal animosity between them, have cooked up a noxious stew that will be brought to the boil over the next six weeks.

Ms Truss, aware of her own shortcomings, has already felt the need to say she is not the slickest performer. Without the charisma of a Boris Johnson or even a Rory Stewart, she has no choice but to attack her opponent’s record and compare his policies to socialism.

One source in the Truss camp said: “Both of them have quite a few problems when it comes to winning over the membership.

July 22

Boris Johnson faces by-election humiliation as MPs try to ‘dance on his political grave’

Boris Johnson faces the embarrassment of fighting an autumn by-election to save his political career if he is found to have misled the House of Commons and is banned for 10 days.

A committee investigating whether the Prime Minister lied to Parliament over lockdown-breaking parties in 10 Downing Street has been told that it only needs to prove that Mr Johnson “misled” the House, rather than that he “deliberately” did so.

This makes it much easier for the MPs on the privileges committee – which is chaired by Harriet Harman, the Labour MP – to find him guilty and suspend him from the Commons when it reports as expected later this year.

On the final day before MPs leave Westminster for the summer break, the Prime Minister issued a 2,568-word statement outlining his administration’s achievements, including getting Brexit done and resolving a “deadlocked parliament and a paralysed government”.

He hailed his Government’s handling of the Covid pandemic, which he described as the “greatest challenge since the Second World War”, and listed a series of levelling up achievements – from making streets safer, to fixing the broken social care system.

And referencing his successor in No 10, Mr Johnson added: “I know that the Conservative government that follows after us will do what its predecessors have always done and meet the challenges of the day by serving the British people.”

Policy watch: Where Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak stand on the key issues
Big Oil v the World, review: an incomplete picture of Big Oil’s contribution to ‘climate chaos’

July 23

Stay up to date with the stories that are shaping our world. Explore our hand-picked articles below, from the litany of errors that surrounded the Notre-Dame fire to the money-making myth about electric cars.

Liz Truss: I’m the insurgent candidate in the Tory leadership race

Unlike Rishi Sunak, the moment Liz Truss found out she had made the final two in the race to be the next prime minister was not captured on camera and released. But by the sounds of it, the celebrations were no less restrained than her rival’s fist pump and cheer.

“I yelped with delight,” recalled the Foreign Secretary, looking back to 4pm on Wednesday. “There was lots of hugging and back-slapping.” Someone opened the chilled white wine. A celebratory photograph of the team was taken. Then more cheer on the House of Commons terrace. Read the full story.

Liz Truss demands France resolves ‘entirely avoidable and unacceptable’ chaos in Dover

Liz Truss has told France it must stop the “avoidable and unacceptable” situation at the border that threatens to ruin British summer holidays.

The Foreign Secretary blamed the “awful situation” at Dover, where ferry passengers were on Friday left stuck in six-hour queues, squarely on Paris for failing to man border posts. Read the full story.

July 24

Rishi Sunak vows to cap refugee numbers under ‘common sense’ asylum system

Rishi Sunak vows to introduce a cap on refugee numbers if he becomes prime minister, as he promises to “inject a healthy dose of common sense” into the asylum system.

Laying out a 10-point plan to secure Britain’s borders if he wins the Tory leadership contest on Sunday, the former chancellor also promises to curb the power of the European Court of Human Rights; withhold aid money if countries refuse to take back failed asylum seekers and criminals; and use cruise ships to house illegal migrants. Read the full story.

‘Distortion of democracy’: Fury over new rule that allows Tory members to change their leadership vote
Boris Johnson ‘believes he’ll be back as prime minister next year’

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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