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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 June 2023

1

Avoidable deaths more likely in UK

People in the UK are more likely to die from treatable conditions, such as breast cancer, than those in other rich nations, a study has found. The report by The King’s Fund think tank noted that below-average spending on the NHS led to fewer staff and equipment than systems elsewhere. The researchers compared the UK’s health service with the performance of 18 other health systems, including those in Europe, Japan and the US. The government said the NHS is one of the most efficiently run healthcare systems.

2

William campaign risks criticism

Prince William risks being accused of “straying into politics” as he launches a major five-year campaign to end homelessness, said the BBC. The royal’s charitable foundation is putting in £3m of start-up funding to try and make homelessness “rare, brief and unrepeated”, arguing that it should not exist in a “modern and progressive society”. Six locations across the UK will be used to test ideas to cut homelessness. Few causes have “such a profound impact” on the Prince of Wales as “those championed by his late mother”, said The Telegraph.

3

Outburst sparks BBC bias claim

The BBC has come under fire after the comedian Ben Elton accused Rishi Sunak of being a “mendacious narcissistic sociopath”. Appearing on “Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg” to discuss her interview with the prime minister, Elton said that it was an “extraordinary Orwellian, meaningless, evasive word salad”. He added that Sunak “owes us honesty but we got nothing but mendacity, evasion and vanity, just dripping with vanity”. Claire Bullivant, of the Conservative Democratic Organisation, told The Independent that the BBC “seems like one long party political broadcast for the Labour Party”.

Is the BBC biased?

4

Netanyahu warns settlers

Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Jewish settlers not to “grab land illegally” in the occupied West Bank, after humanitarian bodies raised the alarm over deadly attacks on Palestinian villagers. The Israeli prime minister said that “calls to grab land illegally and actions of grabbing land illegally, are unacceptable to me” adding that “they undermine law and order” in the West Bank and “must stop immediately”. The comments come days after Israeli settlers attacked the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya in the occupied West Bank.

5

New suspect named in Stephen Lawrence murder

A major suspect in the Stephen Lawrence murder has been publicly named for the first time. An investigation by the BBC found that the Met Police “seriously mishandled” key inquiries related to Matthew White, who died in 2021 aged 50. In response to the findings, the Met has taken the “almost unprecedented step” of naming White as a suspect, said the corporation. “Unfortunately, too many mistakes were made in the initial investigation,” said Scotland Yard. The murder of Stephen Lawrence in April 1993, and the botched investigation that followed, is one of the UK’s most notorious racist murder cases.

6

Queen declined to block Lebedev peerage

The Queen was asked to block Evgeny Lebedev’s peerage, according to a new documentary airing on Channel 4 tomorrow. “Boris, the Lord & the Russian Spy: Dispatches” will claim that government officials asked whether the late monarch would block the peerage because of concerns that he could be a national security risk due to his father’s links to the Putin regime. The Palace is understood to have refused, said The Guardian, fearing that the “irregular request” would drag the Queen into “controversial political matters”.

The pros and cons of the House of Lords

7

Labour accuses PM of ‘culture war’

A Labour frontbencher has accused Rishi Sunak of weaponising trans issues in a cynical bid to win votes. Writing for The Independent, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said the prime minister was using the trans debate “as a ‘wedge issue’ in an ugly culture war” as “hate crimes against LGBT+ people are on the rise once again”. However, former Tory cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised the “surprising” comments and insisted that Sunak was only trying to ensure the protection of children.

8

St Paul’s triggers Nelson row

St Paul’s Cathedral has sparked anger after claiming that Admiral Lord Nelson had a “personal commitment” to slavery. A profile of the naval war hero on the cathedral’s website states that “over time, aspects of his character and behaviour have been assessed more critically, particularly his personal commitment to the system of slavery”. However, historian and Nelson biographer Dr Roger Knight told The Telegraph he could “see no evidence” for the claim.

9

UK to feel ‘much fresher’ this week

The UK equalled its hottest day of the year yesterday as temperatures reached 32.2C in Coningsby, Lincolnshire – matching this year’s record which was recorded on 10 June in Chertsey, Surrey. However, the Met Office said that from today, temperatures are expected to go down to the average for this time of year. It also said there will be “a much fresher feel” through the first half of the week. Highs are expected to be around 24C, with lows of around 14C or 15C.

10

Duchess has cancer operation

Sarah Ferguson has had a “successful” operation after being diagnosed with breast cancer, The Sun reported. The Duchess of York, 63, was given the cancer news after a recent routine mammogram and was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, London, on Tuesday. Friends reported the operation was “successful” and one said that the ex-wife of Prince Andrew has been told that the “prognosis is good” thanks to the “early detection”.

The rise and fall of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

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