Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 5 February 2022

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

1. PM told to sack Sunak

A “civil war” has erupted in cabinet, said The Times, as one cabinet minister called for Boris Johnson to dismiss Rishi Sunak, and two others accused the chancellor of being “on manoeuvres” after he criticised the PM for his remarks about Sir Keir Starmer. A cabinet minister told The Times: “Once the May elections are out the way there will be a reshuffle. Sunak has to go.” Meanwhile, the former minister Nick Gibb is the latest Tory MP to submit a letter of no confidence in the prime minister.

2. Online offences added to bill

Sending “genuinely threatening” messages are among new criminal offences being added to proposed online safety laws. People could receive jail sentences for joining digital ‘pile-ons,’ sending “knowingly false” social media posts and deliberately posting hoax bomb threats. The culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, said the proposals mean the government will be able to “bring the full weight of the law against those who use the internet as a weapon to ruin people’s lives and do so quicker and more effectively”.

3. Pence dismisses Trump claim

Former vice-president Mike Pence has said Donald Trump was wrong to suggest he had had the right to overturn the election result. Last week, Trump claimed that Pence could have overturned the election if he had wanted to. “President Trump is wrong,” said Pence, speaking in Florida. “I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone.” Pence added that Trump’s claim could be a problematic position if the Republicans win the 2024 election.

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4. Bailey criticised over pay rises

The governor of the Bank of England has come under fire for his comment that workers should not seek big pay rises. Andrew Bailey said: “We are looking to see quite clear restraint in the bargaining process, because otherwise it will get out of control.” But the Financial Times accused him of “hypocrisy” while the Daily Star said the “plank of England” earns £575,000 a year. A Downing Street spokesman said: “We obviously want a high-growth economy and we want people’s wages to increase.”

5. British Gas sorry for delays

British Gas has apologised to hundreds of thousands of customers over its failure to fix and service broken boilers this winter. Customers with broken boilers say they have faced weeks of delays and cancelled callouts despite paying for the company’s HomeCare scheme, which charges from £14 a month to provide breakdown cover and an annual service to around 3.4 million people. A spokesman said: “Our customers are the most important thing. We are sorry and trust us that we’ll improve.”

6. ‘Rape’ during BBC cooking show

A woman was raped during production of a new BBC cooking show, according to reports. City of London police are investigating the alleged attack, which is said to have happened in London in September, during filming of the programme Hungry For It. A source told The Sun the incident has made the crew “really nervous” and has sent “shockwaves” through the team. A police spokesperson said: “The evidence in the case is currently being reviewed and the female victim has been supported by specifically-trained officers.”

7. Covid ‘peaks’ among primary pupils

More than one in eight primary schoolchildren in England were infected with Covid during the last week of January. This was the highest prevalence for any age group at any stage during the pandemic but data from the Office for National Statistics suggested that infections have now peaked among primary schoolchildren. Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “There’s a strange disconnect between the lack of mitigations and restrictions.”

8. Carr criticised for Holocaust joke

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and the Auschwitz Memorial are among the groups to have criticised Jimmy Carr for his comments about the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community. During a Netflix show, Carr said when people talk about the Holocaust, they talk about “the tragedy and horror of six million Jewish lives being lost” but they “never mention the thousands of Gypsies that were killed by the Nazis” because “no one ever wants to talk about the positives”.

9. Shooting at Colorado church

A woman was killed and two men were injured in a shooting at a church in Colorado. Aurora Police said the incident occurred at the Iglesia Faro De Luz Church at around 8pm local time last night. The suspect fled before officers arrived at the scene, and police said they are working on identifying the shooter. However, officers said there is “some sort of a relationship” between the suspect and one of the victims.

10. Royal landmark ‘without fanfare’

This Sunday the Queen will become Britain’s first monarch to reign for 70 years but The Times said the day will “pass without fanfare”. Buckingham Palace has released new photos of Her Majesty viewing a collection of memorabilia from her numerous jubilees. Among the items on show were a fan given to Queen Victoria to mark her Golden Jubilee in 1887 by the then-Prince and Princess of Wales. “It’s very well preserved, isn’t it,” said Queen Elizabeth. “How extraordinary. And it still shuts!”

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