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The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022/10/28

Davey's take on Jeremy Hunt's search for spending power
Chris Price By Chris Price
Good morning. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor’s efforts to balance the books could see them target energy firms again. Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover could allow Donald Trump to return.

Rishi Sunak plans to expand windfall tax grab

Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans to expand the windfall tax on energy giants as he attempts to raise billions to help balance the books. The Prime Minister is understood to be considering a range of proposals including increasing the levy, extending the deadline and expanding its remit to include renewable energy generators such as wind farms. On Thursday, Mr Sunak held a meeting with Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, at which they agreed that despite the improvement in the markets there was still a “massive fiscal black hole to fill” and billions in headroom was needed. Yet Matthew Lynn outlines why we need to rule out extra windfall taxes. Although Mr Sunak and Mr Hunt are understood to be preparing spending cuts, government insiders have pointed to warnings that the NHS backlog could continue to rise past 2024 without extra investment. It comes as the NHS could be put under the direct control of the Health Secretary under proposals being discussed in Whitehall.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunak wants to cut a new Channel deal with France that will include targets on stopping boats reaching Britain, according to a report. The Cabinet and Whitehall will review a draft deal that was close to being signed with Paris to make it “more ambitious”, government sources reportedly said. They want it to include a minimum number of French officers patrolling France’s northern beaches. David Frost says the Tories face electoral disaster if they fail to get a grip on migration.

Police solve less crime than ever, even as offences soar

Police are solving the lowest proportion of crimes on record – as overall offences have hit a new high. Only 5.4 per cent of all crimes resulted in a charge in the year to June, equivalent to just over one in 20 offences being solved, according to Home Office figures. That represents a fall from 6.5pc in the previous year and is just a third of the charging rate of 15.5pc seven years ago, when records began. It comes as recorded crime has hit a historic high of 6.5 million offences, up seven per cent since before the pandemic. The biggest increases are in sexual offences. The Telegraph View is that the police must get their priorities right.

Elon Musk takes over Twitter and ‘sacks top executives’

Elon Musk has become Twitter Inc’s new owner and reportedly fired top executives he had accused of misleading him. Mr Musk terminated Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde, several media outlets reported early today, citing anonymous sources who were familiar with the matter. Mr Agrawal and Mr Segal were in Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters when the deal closed and were escorted out, according to reports. No one immediately responded to requests for comment by news organisations. But Mr Musk tweeted “the bird is freed” after taking control of the company. The deal means Donald Trump could make a Twitter comeback as Mr Musk prepares to scrap permanent bans.

Also in the news this morning

Gender recognition reform | Nicola Sturgeon suffered the largest SNP rebellion in the party’s 15 years in power, after her community safety minister dramatically quit to vote against an overhaul of transgender laws. Ash Regan, who has held ministerial office since 2018, became the first nationalist minister in the history of devolution to resign on a matter of principle. Alan Cochrane says Ms Sturgeon had better get used to it.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: US to send nuclear weapons to Nato

America is to bring forward the delivery of dozens of highly accurate guided tactical nuclear weapons to Europe amid escalating tensions with Moscow. The new B61-12 thermonuclear bombs are “dial-a-yield” devices, meaning their payload can be changed. They are expected to be sent to Nato bases within weeks. It comes as Russia is throwing soldiers forward in a “crazy” wave of attacks on Donbas towns in eastern Ukraine, according to Volodymyr Zelensky, while Joe Biden has expressed scepticism about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s comment that he had no intention of using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is among the aircraft able to drop the sophisticated bombs

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is able to drop the bombs. Credit: Zuma Press

Editor’s choice

Veronica Carlson and Christopher Lee in Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
In our cultural bloodstream | How Dracula inspired 100 years of sinister, seductive cinema
Triangle of Sadness studies inequality, class and the peccadilloes of the super wealthy
Is it really all luxury? | What billionaires really get up to on their superyachts
Kanye West in Paris, October 2022
Is Kanye West finished? | Can the troubled rap mogul ever recover from his anti-Semitic rants?

Business briefing: Amazon sheds $200bn in tech rout

Sky Group logo 2020.svgAmazon shares collapsed by 18pc on Thursday night, wiping $202bn (£175bn) off its valuation in one of the biggest one-day sell-offs of all time. The tech giant warned of weaker consumer spending in the run up to Christmas. The plunge in its valuation left Amazon valued at around $930bn, the lowest level since the onset of the Covid crisis in March 2020. Meanwhile, the US owner of Sky has written off a quarter of its valuation over a gloomy outlook for Britain and Europe, just four years after winning a bidding war for the broadcaster in a $39bn deal.

And finally… for this morning’s downtime

The art of the perfect hedge | Vital to our landscape and wildlife, the ancient craft of hedgelaying dates back to Roman times. Joe Shute learned about its revival from the man who taught the King.

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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