Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 July 2023


NatWest boss quits

NatWest boss Dame Alison Rose has stepped down as chief executive after she admitted to being the source of a contested story about Nigel Farage’s bank account. Her four-year reign as chief executive has “ended in ignominy” over her admission that she had discussed Farage’s bank details with a BBC journalist, said Sky News. Howard Davies, chairman of the NatWest Group Board, said her resignation was a “sad moment”.

Nigel Farage debanking row: NatWest chairman under pressure after BBC apology


Hunt tells firms to share

Jeremy Hunt has told some of Britain’s biggest businesses that they should use their bumper profits to help people. As banks and energy companies are about to report high earnings, the chancellor said he welcomes the profits, as they are “the business of capitalism”, but he also hopes “we hear about what they have done — and are doing — for their customers directly”. Writing for The Times, he said big companies have a “social contract” with customers and must treat them fairly.

Greedflation: the claim that businesses are making inflation worse


Ocean currents collapse

A crucial system of ocean currents is heading for a catastrophic collapse that would “affect every person on the planet”, said scientists. A study published in the journal Nature found that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current – could collapse around the middle of the century, or even as early as 2025. The likeliest point of collapse is somewhere between 2039 and 2070, said Peter Ditlevsen, a professor of climate physics at the University of Copenhagen and one of the authors of the report.


UFOs US military report

UFOs are seen so often they are an “open secret” among US fighter pilots, whistleblowers are expected to tell Congress. Testifying under oath, three high-ranking Air Force and intelligence veterans will speak of their first-hand knowledge about UFOs, said the Daily Mail, in a “first-of-its-kind hearing in DC”. The hearing will see the issue of UFOs go “from taboo to mainstream”, said Forbes.

The UFO fever gripping Washington


Government shelves second jobs plan

Boris Johnson’s plan to impose limits on MPs’ second jobs has been scrapped. Ministers will now not be pressing ahead with a proposal to enforce “reasonable” restrictions on outside work to prevent MPs neglecting their full “range of duties”. Johnson had proposed new limits on MPs’ second jobs during the Owen Paterson scandal, which “sparked a major row over standards in politics”, said The Telegraph. The Commons standards committee had argued that a rule imposing “reasonable limits” on other jobs would not be “practicable or enforceable”.

The MPs earning millions from second jobs


Biden threatened with impeachment

The Republican House Speaker has argued that Joe Biden’s family business dealings merit an impeachment inquiry. Kevin McCarthy accused the US president of stonewalling congressional investigations and claimed he would seek recourse, in the “strongest hint yet” his party is prepared to try and impeach the president. McCarthy said Biden’s administration had set out to “deny Congress” its powers, arguing this is “something we haven’t seen since Richard Nixon”.

Is Hunter Biden’s plea deal a gift to Republicans?


Ticket office closure backlash mounts

Plans to close almost every railway ticket office in England were “thrown into disarray” amid a “mounting backlash” as it emerged consultations could “run on all summer”, said The Mirror. A public consultation on the plan is due to end at just before midnight tomorrow, but the tabloid said the process could yet be extended following “crisis talks” between the Department for Transport and train operators. Ministers and train companies have been “spooked” over legal challenges to the plan, it added.

Ticket offices: on track for closure?


Tory accuses government on Rhodes

A senior Conservative has accused the government of leaving 30,000 British holidaymakers in limbo by failing to offer clear travel advice for Rhodes. Former cabinet minister Lord Young of Cookham is demanding more clarity from the Foreign Office on whether people with holidays booked for the Greek island should go ahead with their travel plans, as fires rage there. The deputy chief whip insisted the situation on Rhodes was now “stabilising” and it was up to holidaymakers to make their own decisions.

Your rights if your summer holiday is cancelled


Frost claims rising temperatures benefit Britain

Lord Frost has been criticised after he claimed that rising temperatures “are likely to be beneficial” for Britain because seven times more people in the UK die from cold than from heat. The Tory said the fall in deaths related to cold temperatures had “more than offset any increase in the number of deaths associated with warmer temperatures” since the start of the millennium. Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, a Green Party peer, accused the former Brexit negotiator of reading “right-wing conspiracy theories” and spreading “denialist tropes”.


Spurs owner charged

Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis has been charged with “orchestrating a brazen insider trader scheme”, said US attorney Damian Williams. The attorney accused the British billionaire of using inside information to “shower gifts on his friends and lovers”. However, Lewis’s lawyer, David Zornow, said the authorities had “made an egregious error in judgment” in charging Lewis, “an 86-year-old man of impeccable integrity and prodigious accomplishment”. Lewis now lives in the Bahamas, a “far cry from his humble beginnings in London’s East End”, said Sky News.



Cluster bomb controversy hangs over Biden’s ‘chilly’ visit to UK


‘Red Rishi’ no more: is Sunak shifting rightwards?


Daniel Penny: subway killing of Jordan Neely opens new front in culture war


Nigel Farage claims ‘serious political persecution’ after bank account closures