Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 29 October 2022

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

1. Sunak urged to ‘banish Tory right’

Rishi Sunak allies are urging the PM to crack down on the right-wing of the party and “banish the influence of Boris Johnson”, reported the inews site. Although Sunak has chosen a unity approach to government, a number of Tories who backed his leadership campaign want him to sack Suella Braverman as Home Secretary and ensure Johnson can never regain power in future. “We can get rid of these shits now,” one said.

2. Sharma calls for wider windfall tax

Alok Sharma said the UK’s windfall tax on oil and gas profits must be changed to raise billions more and to stop companies using loopholes to invest in more fossil fuel extraction. “These are excessive profits, and they have to be treated in the appropriate way when it comes to taxation,” said Sharma, the outgoing president of the Cop26 UN climate summit. “We ought to be going further and seeing what more can be done in terms of raising additional finance.” He added that “so far, at least, the level of money raised is obviously not significant”.

3. Navy orders investigation into bullying

The head of the Royal Navy has ordered an inquiry into allegations of bullying and sexual harassment against women in the Submarine Service. The Daily Mail has published “abhorrent claims” include a woman being punched by male colleagues. It is also alleged that male crew members compiled a list, setting out the order in which women would be assaulted in the event of a catastrophic episode. The paper says the claims go back more than a decade, after the fleet lifted its ban on female recruits in 2011.

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4. Trump hails Musk’s Twitter takeover

Donald Trump has said Twitter is back in “sane hands” as its new owner Elon Musk paved the way for his ban from the site to be lifted. Musk said on Friday that he would form a “content moderation council” with the power to lift lifetime bans after taking control of Twitter in a $44bn (£33bn) deal. The former US president, who was banned from Twitter after his supporters attacked the US Capitol in 2021, said he was delighted that Twitter had been liberated from the grip of “radical left lunatics”.

5. More power cuts in Ukraine

Authorities in Ukraine have warned people in the capital Kyiv to expect longer power cuts because of Russian attacks on energy infrastructure. Rolling blackouts are hitting the capital and central regions of the country, including the city of Dnipro. Agence Frence-Presse quoted energy company DTEK, the operator for the Kyiv area, as saying it would have to introduce “unprecedented” power cuts to avoid a complete blackout.

6. Sunak ‘upholds Charles Cop27 ban’

Rishi Sunak is standing by Liz Truss’s decision to stop the King attending the Cop27 climate conference, even though Charles is said to be desperate go. “He will be champing at the bit but knows it would need government blessing,” a source told The Times. “The PM has reversed the fracking decision so this could be another smart environmentally focused move.” Sunak has also faced criticism over his own decision to skip the event, which starts in Egypt next weekend.

7. Pelosi suspect posted about Capitol attack

Paul Pelosi, the husband of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is recovering after being attacked by a hammer-wielding intruder. The 82-year-old was left with a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. The attacker is said to have demanded to see Mrs Pelosi after breaking into the San Francisco home. The suspect had posted memes and conspiracy theories on social media about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, said CNN.

8. More aid budget spent in UK

The government spends more of the foreign aid budget at home than on direct help for poor countries overseas, according to experts. More than £4bn meant for development aid will be spent in Britain this year, said the BBC, mostly to support rising numbers of asylum seekers and refugees. This means less money can be spent elsewhere and aid charities say the changing allocations amount to a further squeeze on the aid budget, which has already been cut in absolute terms since 2020.

9. Diesel costs rise again

The price of diesel at UK pumps has risen above £1.90 for the first time in nearly three months. Data from Experian showed that a litre of diesel now costs 190.12p on average and petrol costs 166.17p. A spokesman for the AA said: “This is not only bad news but bad timing. The clocks going back this weekend will soon move the evening rush-hour into darkness. More use of lights, wipers and heaters in the winter months makes vehicle engines work harder and use more fuel.”

10. Jerry Lee Lewis dies

Jerry Lee Lewis has died aged 87, his agent has confirmed. Although famous for the hit Great Balls of Fire, his life was also tainted by scandals. At the age of 22, he married his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale Brown. He also accidentally shot his bass player, Norman “Butch” Owens, in the chest. "Controversy dogged Lewis most of his life”, said The Telegraph, adding that he had “a reputation for drunkenness, drug addiction, womanising and worse”. The news of his passing comes days after a hoax announcement of his death was reported by TMZ.

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