Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 July 2022

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

1. ‘Mud-slinging’ as Tory race hots up

Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid have joined the race to replace Boris Johnson. As the two former health secretaries announced their plans in the Sunday Telegraph, Hunt said that he was the “only major candidate” who did not serve in Johnson’s government. Meanwhile, said The Sunday Times, “mud-slinging” has begun in the wider leadership race, with at least two rival campaign teams passing the Labour Party a dossier containing allegations about their potential opponents. There are claims of tax dodges, drug taking and the use of prostitutes.

2. Sri Lankan president steps down

The Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced he will step down after protesters stormed his official residence and set the prime minister’s residence on fire. Hundreds of thousands descended on the capital Colombo, calling for Rajapaksa to resign after months of protests over economic mismanagement. Reuters said the protesters “swarmed into the whitewashed colonial-era residence” and “jumped into the swimming pool and sat on a four-poster bed”. The nation of 22m people is short of food and fuel, and inflation hit a record 54.6% in June.

3. Police admit flaws after Abe death

Police in Japan have admitted there were flaws in the security for former PM Shinzo Abe, who was shot dead in the southern city of Nara on Friday. “It is undeniable that there were problems in the security,” said local police chief Tomoaki Onizuka. Promising a “thorough investigation,” he said: “In all the years since I became a police officer in 1995 ... there is no greater remorse, no bigger regret than this.” Today’s elections for the upper house are going ahead as planned, with early turnout up on the last polls in 2019.

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4. Met officer charged with rape

A Metropolitan Police officer has appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court charged with rape. Special Constable Paul Hoile, 40, who was arrested in Essex on Wednesday, has been charged with three counts of rape and one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent in connection with an alleged incident in Shropshire on 5 July. Based in the Met Police’s North West Command Unit, Hoile has been suspended. He will appear at Shrewsbury crown court on 8 August.

5. Johnson lobbied for girlfriend

Boris Johnson advocated for a job for a young woman who claims he abused his power to have a sexual relationship with her. Then the London mayor, Johnson lobbied for her to get a job in City Hall weeks after meeting her and bringing her back to his parliamentary office. However, the appointment was blocked because the Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse said Johnson and the woman appeared to have an inappropriately close relationship. The Sunday Times said it is the latest example of Johnson “using his political influence to lobby for women with whom he has had undisclosed personal relationships”.

6. Activists call for new tennis code

Campaigners are calling on Wimbledon bosses to drop the tournament’s all-white dress code over concerns for female players who are menstruating. Activists wearing white skirts with red undershorts arrived at Wimbledon’s main gate yesterday, before the ladies’ singles final. They said they want Wimbledon to “amend” the traditional dress code so that women can decide if they want to wear colours that make them more comfortable. Last week, British doubles star Alicia Barnett spoke about having to compete in white on her period, saying: “I do think some traditions could be changed.”

7. Met advises wraparound sunglasses

The Met Office warns against “cheaper” sunglasses during the heat wave. With UV levels expected to peak at a “very high” level of eight for the next three days, a senior meteorologist at the Met Office said “People just think: ‘I’m wearing a pair of sunglasses, it’s fine’” but “they have to be UV-protective sunglasses - the cheaper ones are usually not”. He recommended “wraparound” sunglasses “the sun doesn’t usually come through the side”. The NHS also advises people to wear “sunglasses with wraparound lenses or wide arms”.

8. Dorries peerage on the cards

Boris Johnson is considering a peerage for Nadine Dorries as part of his resignation honours list. The Sunday Times said Dorries, the PM’s most loyal cabinet minister, is “expected” to go to the upper chamber and depart frontline politics for novel writing following Johnson’s fall. Other figures tipped to be honoured by the outgoing PM include Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail, billionaire Tory donor Michael Hintze, and Allegra Stratton, who quit as Johnson’s spokeswoman after she was filmed joking about a lockdown party.

9. Dog waste fines condemned

A council in Nottinghamshire will fine dog owners who “flout the rules” by not carrying bags to pick up dog waste. Council wardens will be allowed to approach and challenge owners on whether they have the “means to pick up” and can fine them £100 if they do not. A spokesman for Dogs Trust said: “We don’t believe punishing the masses for the actions of a few is the best approach.” The Kennel Club said it was concerned that the measures “could see otherwise conscientious owners penalised unfairly, for instance if they have already used the necessary bags”.

10. Take-away sales rise despite crisis

British consumers are spending more money on takeaways and fast food than ever, despite the cost of living crisis. The data, collated by Barclays, shows a 7.7% increase compared to last year. The inews site said the rise is “particularly significant” as it comes on top of the boom in takeaways during the Covid pandemic when “locked down Britons were getting everything from kebabs to Michelin star meals delivered to their door”.

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