Thursday morning news briefing: The strike fightback

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·6-min read
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boris johnson train strikes teachers delays joe biden brexit rwanda prince charles polio
boris johnson train strikes teachers delays joe biden brexit rwanda prince charles polio

For the second time in a week, the rail network has again been brought to a standstill today by the biggest industrial action in decades.

As passengers face more travel chaos, the Government is fighting back against unions. It will today unveil plans to change the law to allow businesses to use skilled agency workers to cover striking staff.

Whitehall sources said the legislation, which is expected to be in place by the autumn, will allow supply teachers to keep schools open after the UK's largest teaching union threatened to ballot for a strike.

The Education Secretary today warns that a teachers' strike would be "unforgivable" in the wake of Covid. Read Nadhim Zahawi's article for The Telegraph in which he argues that young people have already suffered "more disruption than any generation that's gone before them".

On the railways, commuters were warned to avoid using trains today and on Saturday amid walkouts by the RMT union. Only around one in five trains will run today.

Use our interactive tool to check if they are running from your station. And rail chiefs are braced for a fresh wave of strikes in just two weeks after talks to reach a deal with unions failed.

Cartoonist Blower's take on Boris Johnson's approach to inflation
Cartoonist Blower's take on Boris Johnson's approach to inflation

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister faces fresh Tory criticism of his economic approach to inflation, which underpins rail worker pay negotiations.

The decision to increase the state pension and benefits by inflation but reject calls to grant public sector pay rises in line with prices was called "crazy" by one ex-minister.

Associate editor Camilla Tominey says that, in trying to please the masses, the PM leaves hard-working taxpayers with the crumbs.

Mr Johnson faces a further test of his leadership today in the Tiverton and Wakefield by-elections.

Johnson to tell Charles he is proud of migrant plan

Boris Johnson is prepared to declare he is "proud" of his Rwanda migrant policy during talks with the Prince of Wales in the East African country tomorrow, The Telegraph understands.

The pair will meet for the first time since it emerged that the Prince privately described the planned deportation of asylum seekers to the country as "appalling".

Rwanda is hosting this year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which both men are attending. The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall yesterday toured the children's room at the Kigali Genocide Memorial – calling for the world to learn from the atrocity.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Secretary General has been accused of suppressing a report that criticises her administration as a toxic row flared on the eve of the organisation's most important summit in years.

Murdoch and Hall 'calling time on their marriage'

Rupert Murdoch declared himself the "happiest man in the world" when he married Jerry Hall. Six years on, the media mogul and the former model are reportedly to split.

It would be the fourth divorce for Mr Murdoch, 91, after his wedding to 65-year-old Ms Hall, who was previously in a long-term relationship with Sir Mick Jagger, in London in March 2016.

Nick Allen reports on what we know about their break-up.

Daily dose of Matt

In today's cartoon, Matt finds a joke in both the rail strikes and inflation. For a weekly behind-the-scenes look at his work, sign up for Matt's newsletter.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

'Butt out, Biden' | Nikki Haley, the potential Republican presidential candidate, has warned that Brexit is none of Joe Biden's business, and that he should not weigh in on the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In a speech in London, she lambasted Democrats in the US for trying to undermine Britain's attempts to overhaul the protocol – after Mr Biden's allies threatened to block a trade deal with the UK.

Around the world: Russia gains key territory

Russia has taken several villages in the last few days, raising fears its forces will soon be in a position to seize the strategically important cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. As senior foreign correspondent Roland Oliphant reports, the Russian advances have led to "hellish battles". In a lighter take, Ed Cumming explores how Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky became the latest celebrity accessory.

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: McIlroy attacks defector

Rory McIlroy has accused Brooks Koepka of being "duplicitous" for joining the Saudi rebel circuit after the PGA Tour announced a radical revamp to stop the exodus, with commissioner Jay Monahan calling the LIV Series "an irrational threat". McIlroy said he was not impressed with the American after his previously vocal opposition to the breakaway league. In cricket, Michael Vaughan says Ben Stokes' cricketing nous and aggressive tactics are key to England's turnaround.

Editor's choice

  1. Feeling the heat | Why Britain's swimming pools are under threat this summer

  2. 'Best friends forever' | The cult as damaging for women as waiting for a fairy prince

  3. Alternative timepieces | No Rolex? Here are the luxury watches you CAN buy

Business briefing: 'Recession is looming'

Britain is "definitely" tumbling into recession, the outgoing president of the CBI has warned as inflation surged to a 40-year high. Lord Bilimoria said families were "tightening their belts" as the Office for National Statistics reported inflation of 9.1 per cent in May, driven by a significant increase in food costs. Meanwhile, an influential Lords committee accused Brussels of holding the City of London to a higher standard than communist China in granting it access to financial markets.

Tonight's dinner

Ceviche of salmon, dill and celery | A sharp, refreshing dish by Mitch Tonks that is perfect for a summer evening.

Travel: The other side of the Med

When it comes to holidays, no track is more beaten than the short hop south to the sun-soaked Med. But it is a lopsided migration – half of this storied sea remains largely ignored. Like its European counterpart, the African side offers golden sands, history-filled cities and exceptional food. SJ Armstrong has your guide to holidaying without the crowds.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Sapphire and Steel | Before The Lazarus Project or The Matrix, Joanna Lumley and David McCallum bent reality and terrified the nation – at a fraction of the cost. Forty years on, Ed Powers argues why the cheap as chips chills will forever haunt viewers.

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

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