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Morning news for Thursday 2022/10/27

Blower's take on the OBR's forecasts
Chris Price By Chris Price
Good morning.

The Prime Minister will look again at plans to raise taxes as new figures out today show that the delay to the Hallowe’en fiscal statement is set to allow the economic picture to improve significantly.

Sunak rethinks tax rises as budget delay saves £15bn

Rishi Sunak is reconsidering tax rises and major public spending cuts after a dramatic improvement in the state of the nation’s finances. The new Prime Minister has delayed the medium term fiscal statement from next Monday to November 17 to allow Jeremy Hunt to rework the plans. An analysis to be published today shows the fortnight delay is expected to shrink the size of the black hole in the public finances by up to £15 billion. Tim Wallace and Charlotte Gifford analyses how the economic stars are aligning to reduce the budget black hole. The Telegraph View hails the fiscal breathing space and sets out what the Prime Minister should do. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says Mr Sunak is the providential Prime Minister for a dangerous economic world. Madeline Grant sketches how, after his debut Prime Minister’s Questions, the Tory Party is once again at ease with itself and united around its melty-eyed leader.

However, Suella Braverman has faced a backlash from civil servants after it emerged that the Cabinet Secretary raised concerns with Mr Sunak about her reappointment as Home Secretary. The First Division Association (FDA) which represents senior civil servants claimed her appointment smacked of “political expediency” when any civil servant acting like the Home Secretary would have lost their security clearance. No 10 said Mrs Braverman had the “requisite” security clearance to do the job. Gordon Rayner sets out why there’s no such thing as bad publicity for Ms Braverman, the new queen of the Right. Meanwhile:

  • Liz Truss’s sacked allies are being urged to turn down redundancy pay;
    Allies of Liz Truss who were sacked from the Cabinet by Rishi Sunak are being urged to turn down £17,000 redundancy payouts.Opposition politicians said ministers who were only in their jobs for seven weeks should not accept the severance cash.

    Members of the former prime minister’s top team who were booted out in Tuesday’s reshuffle are automatically entitled to the money.

    Eight of them had only served in the Cabinet since the start of September and most had no opportunity to enact any real policies.

  • Mr Sunak reimposed the ban on fracking as one of his first acts as PM;
    Downing Street confirmed on Wednesday that he was bringing back the moratorium on any new drilling sites.It reverses the decision made by Liz Truss, his predecessor, to end the embargo.

    She had promised to ramp up fracking across the UK to help make Britain energy self-sufficient.

    But the move angered many Tory MPs who represent constituencies where locals are opposed to drilling.

    In the end it was one of the many controversies that brought Ms Truss down.

  • He stands by plans to fine people for missing doctors appointments.

King moves to avoid Harry and Andrew headache

The King will extend the number of royals who can act as counsellors of state rather than replace the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York, the Telegraph understands. In a move that will help keep the family peace, the Regency Act is expected to be amended to allow the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal to take on the roles. By opting to create additional counsellors rather than relieve Prince Harry and Prince Andrew of their duties, the King will deftly solve a problem that had threatened to dog the early part of his reign and prevent further family discord. It comes as Prince Harry’s long anticipated memoir has reportedly been delayed to January 10 after he got “cold feet” in the wake of the Queen’s death. Meanwhile, the King’s visit to The Repair Shop was perfect feelgood TV.

Vets having kittens over dressed-up Hallowe’en pets

Using Hallowe’en as a chance to dress up a beloved pet as a spooky bat or creepy spider might be regarded as harmless fun, even if questionable on grounds of good taste alone. But now vets have put the frighteners on pet owners, warning them they could be putting their animals at risk by adorning them with wings, extra legs and other “witching hour” accessories. Read why vets have issued warnings about forcing animals to wear costumes, a trend that has been popularised on social media.

Also in the news this morning

‘Marshal plan for Ukraine’ | Boris Johnson is considering setting up a new organisation to help support Ukraine and rebuild the war-torn country as he seeks to build a new career on the international stage, the Telegraph can disclose. The former prime minister has set up an office in Westminster from which he hopes to start a new foundation which his friends say could raise millions to reconstruct the war-torn country.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Iranian police fire on protesters

Iranian security forces opened fire at the graveside of Mahsa Amini in her hometown of Saqez, witnesses said, after thousands of people gathered to mark 40 days since the 22-year-old died in police custody. Iranian authorities did not immediately comment and details were scarce after internet access was cut to the city when clashes began. Separately the protest-wracked country was struck by what authorities said was a terrorist attack in the city of Shiraz that killed at least 15.
An unveiled woman standing on top of a vehicle as thousands make their way towards a cemetery in Mahsa Amini's home town in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan

An unveiled woman heads towards a cemetery in Mahsa Amini’s home town. Credit: UGC/AFP

Editor’s choice

Salim Nanded, 45, had his eye removed to save his life
Beware the new Disease X | WHO warns of ‘fungal threat’ to humanity
Public health messaging has historically focused on two classes of pathogen – bacteria and viruses. But as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday, the risk that fungal attack poses to humans is skyrocketing. The surge has been driven by Covid, mounting resistance to drugs and an increase of immunocompromised patients.

In an echo of 2018 when it released its priority pathogens list, including “Disease X”,  the UN agency has published what it regards as the 19 most dangerous fungus.

Thriftiness relies on squeezing out the value in every ingredient
Food hacks | The seven old-school cooking skills we all need to learn
Sonny West at home in Kent
Italian cardigans and gun repairs | Saving a rock star’s legacy from oblivion

Business briefing: Net zero to hand Opec control of oil

Net zero restrictions on oil drilling are tightening Saudi Arabia’s grip over the global market for crude and will deepen tensions with the West, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned. Green rules which limit new oil fields mean that the Saudi-led Opec cartel will come to control 52pc of the market, the agency said, compared to just over a third now. In its annual energy outlook published today, the IEA said that “geopolitical tensions” are overshadowing energy markets. However, it added that Vladimir Putin had squandered Russia’s role as an energy superpower by cutting gas flows following the invasion of Ukraine.

And finally… for this morning’s downtime

Rise and demise of world’s biggest plane | The A380 was considered the future of aviation when it arrived 15 years ago.

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