Thursday evening UK news briefing: Boris Johnson's jibe at Rishi Sunak

Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines

America in recession | The US has plunged into recession as soaring inflation hammers the world’s largest economy. However, Joe Biden’s long-stalled economic agenda has received a surprise breakthrough after Democrats agreed a $369bn climate deal. Meanwhile, analysts at Yale have exposed Vladimir Putin’s cover-up over the Russian economy. Its experts have shown the country’s economy is being “catastrophically” crippled by Western sanctions despite the Kremlin’s efforts to hide it.

Truss’s £26bn rail pledge as Johnson jibes at Sunak

Liz Truss has got on the front foot ahead of the first Tory leadership hustings in Leeds tonight, after committing to spend another £26bn to build a high-speed railway through Red Wall seats.

The Foreign Secretary said she would build Northern Powerhouse Rail in full, marking a major climbdown on Boris Johnson’s piecemeal programme of upgrades.

Read on for details on the plans dubbed HS3.

Yet it comes as a new YouGov poll shows Rishi Sunak has the edge over Ms Truss with swing voters, although both are unpopular with the public overall.

Ms Truss is currently favourite to win the Conservative leadership contest due to her popularity with grassroots activists but Mr Sunak leads her among 2019 Tory voters who do not know how they will vote at the next election.

Another poll has suggested voters believe Sir Keir Starmer would be a better prime minister than both Tory candidates.

Follow tonight’s hustings event – and read analysis of it – in our live blog.

Mr Johnson told business leaders in Birmingham he will seamlessly pass the baton in the “next stage in the great relay race of politics” once his successor is chosen.

However, the outgoing Prime Minister could not resist taking a swipe at Mr Sunak over his high-profile U-turn on tax cuts this week. You can watch his thinly-veiled dig here.

Nadine Dorries accused Mr Sunak of helping to lead a “ruthless coup” against Mr Johnson to force the Prime Minister out of Downing Street.

The Culture Secretary’s comments came as she was forced to cut a TV interview short after a heckler threatened to call the police on the cameraman.

Tavistock transgender clinic shut down by NHS

The Tavistock transgender clinic is to be shut down by the NHS after a review found it is “not safe” for children. NHS England will move young people who believe that they are trans into regional centres which will take a more “holistic” approach to treatment and look at other mental health or medical issues they may have. The decision is a response to the interim Cass Review, which warned that medics at Tavistock had felt “under pressure to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach” to gender identity rather than going through the normal process of clinic assessment with young people. The review was commissioned amid concerns over “inconclusive evidence to support clinical decision making” which saw children as young as 10 given puberty blockers.

Comic actor Bernard Cribbins dies, aged 93

Bernard Cribbins, the children’s TV star who has died at the age of 93, made firm friends for life when he co-starred as the kindly station porter, Mr Perks, in Lionel Jeffries’ The Railway Children (1970). One such friend was Jenny Agutter, then 17 years old, in one of her earliest film roles. She has described her devastation at the news of his death. Cribbins was one of Britain’s most accomplished postwar practitioners of whimsical light comedy and farce, an unexpectedly skilful exponent of silly songs which inched into the pop charts, and a stalwart of British cinema throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Read his Telegraph obituary and take a look at this interview with him from 2020, when the Doctor Who star credited his working class upbringing for his longevity in life and work.

Comment and analysis

World news: Half of Russia’s forces dead or hurt in war

More than 75,000 Russians have been killed or injured in the war in Ukraine so far, according to classified estimates from the Biden administration. The briefing was provided to members of the House of Representatives. If it is accurate, it would mean about half the number of Russian troops committed to the war effort have been killed or injured during the conflict so far. Today, Russian forces have struck a military base north of the capital Kyiv, Ukraine said in a rare admission of a successful attack on its military infrastructure by Moscow. Meanwhile, the US could release a convicted Russian arms dealer, better known as “the Merchant of Death”, as part of a prisoner exchange to free an American basketball star and a ex-US Marine from Russian captivity.

Thursday interview

‘We need more comedy on TV – for the health of the country’

Master of laughter: John Lloyd - Rii Schroer

Master of laughter: John Lloyd – Rii Schroer

Star TV producer John Lloyd talks to Charlotte Lytton about famous egos, depression and the problem with modern satire

Read the interview

Sport briefing: Raducanu ‘will be propaganda tool’

Emma Raducanu will be used as a propaganda tool for Vladimir Putin after appointing a Russian coach, an influential MP has warned. The 19-year-old has been urged to abandon plans to team up with Dmitry Tursunov for her defence of her US Open crown by Chris Bryant MP, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Russia. In Formula One, Sebastian Vettel has announced he will retire at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Luke Donald is to be announced as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for next year’s match in Rome, replacing Henrik Stenson, who was dramatically sacked last week for joining the LIV Golf Series.

Editor’s choice

  1. ‘Soviet-style’ planning | Why heat pumps sum up all that is wrong with ‘net zero’

  2. Thorny issue | Why it’s terribly middle class to take your shoes off at the door

  3. TikTok’s old-school books boom | Why Gen Z fell in love with ‘dark academia’

Business briefing: BT to hit customers with price rises

BT is pushing ahead with planned broadband price rises estimated at 13pc next spring, in the latest sign the squeeze on household finances will continue long into 2023. Philip Jansen, the telecoms giant’s chief executive, said inflation-linked price rises would “absolutely” go ahead next April, blaming the “very, very challenging” economic environment and rising costs. One business facing much more favourable conditions is Shell, which reported a record-breaking quarterly profit of $11.5bn (£9.5bn) as families faced “terrible” financial pressure. The company’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, warned only a “miracle” can stop household energy bills from soaring this winter as Europe confronts a major gas crisis – adding soaring prices were a global problem.

Tonight starts now

Brilliant new British beers | When the weather is warm it is often simpler to reach for “the usual” – what the supermarkets have on offer, or what friends brought with them to your last barbecue (free drinks are always tastier). But why not shake off that comfort blanket of familiarity and branch out to something just a touch tastier? From lager to milk stout, these brews offer a rich reward that is worthy of a spot on any summer barbecue, or to enjoy on a quiet night in front of the TV.

Three things for you

And finally… for this evening’s downtime

Why diesel isn’t dead just yet | The fuel was once promoted by the Government before being demonised for its emissions. But should you still consider a diesel car? Andrew English investigates.