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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 30 June 2023

1

Sunak unveils NHS plan

A “historic” 15-year-plan to plug staffing shortages in the NHS will see a major expansion in training places for health staff in England, said the BBC. Rishi Sunak will promise £2.4 billion over five years for tens of thousands more staff in what he describes as “one of the most significant commitments I will make as prime minister”. The Times said that “after years of wrangling with the Treasury”, the NHS has “got almost everything it asked for in a plan that largely focuses on the next parliament and beyond”.

2

Braverman stands by boat vow

The home secretary said she is committed to ending cross-Channel migrant boats despite a court ruling that the government’s Rwanda policy is unlawful. Speaking to MPs, Suella Braverman said the judgement was “disappointing” and the government would be challenging it. Vowing to do “whatever it takes to stop the boats”, she said that the “abuse” of the asylum system was “unfair” on local communities, taxpayers and “those who play by the rules”.

Government to appeal ‘unlawful’ Rwanda deportation ruling

3

French shooting officer apologises

The lawyer of the policeman who shot a 17-year-old French-Algerian teenager in France said the officer has apologised to his family, and is “devastated”. More than 400 people were arrested overnight as clashes between police and protesters continued for a third evening. The violence was sparked on Tuesday after police shot dead the boy, named as Nahel M, as he drove away from a traffic stop. Religious leaders are “calling for appeasement” said Le Monde.

4

Sweetener links to cancer

The World Health Organization is set to declare that an artificial sweetener used in thousands of popular food and drink products including Diet Coke may cause cancer. In updated guidelines due next month, aspartame is expected to be classified as a “possible” carcinogen, meaning there is some limited evidence linking it to cancer in humans. The IARC has two more serious categories, “probably carcinogenic to humans” and “carcinogenic to humans”, noted Reuters.

Five good-news cancer breakthroughs in 2023

5

RAF positive discrimination row

An internal inquiry has found that initiatives to increase the numbers of women and people from ethnic minorities in the RAF led to unlawful positive discrimination. The review was sparked by the resignation of a female RAF Group Captain, who told her superiors the policy penalised white men. Conducted by the Ministry of Defence, it found the pressure to meet diversity targets led to unlawful, positive discrimination. The new head of the RAF, Richard Knighton, has admitted that some men were discriminated against, and apologised.

Is the RAF embracing ‘woke ideology’?

6

PM accused of ‘stealth tax’

Rishi Sunak is being accused of a “stealth tax” after official data showed that the number of higher-rate taxpayers has soared by 40% in the past three years. Almost 5.6 million people, or one in six taxpayers, will pay the higher rate this year after the prime minister froze the threshold at which people start paying it. This means that the higher rate is “increasingly hitting middle earners including teachers and nurses”, said The Times. “This is a stealth tax, pure and simple,” Michelle Denny-West, of accountancy firm Moore Kingston Smith, told the paper.

7

Anderson in trouble over film

Tory MP Lee Anderson faces a “telling off” for using a parliamentary rooftop to film a promotional video for his GB News TV show, said The Guardian. Unauthorised photography or filming is not permitted on the parliamentary estate. The serjeant at arms, who is responsible for upholding order in the Commons, will contact Anderson, the Conservative party deputy chairman, over the footage, which was shared on social media.

Lee Anderson: new deputy Tory party chair who backs the death penalty

8

Loneliness linked to heart issues

A new study has claimed that loneliness is worse for your heart than having a poor diet and not exercising. Researchers followed 18,509 adults in the UK with type 2 diabetes for a decade, during which time 3,247 of them, or 16%, developed heart disease or suffered a stroke. Those who reported feeling lonely and rarely having people to talk to were 26% more likely to develop heart disease than those who did not feel lonely and regularly saw friends and family.

Jan 18: How to combat the deadly problem of loneliness

9

Farage may leave Britain

Nigel Farage said he may be forced to leave Britain after his bank closed his accounts. Writing on Twitter, the controversial politician said “the establishment are trying to force me out of the UK by closing my bank accounts”. He claimed that other high street firms had refused to allow him to transfer his funds to them. Other prominent names on the right, including Richard Tice, the leader of Reform UK, and Toby Young, have claimed that their accounts had been closed or restricted.

10

Hotel ‘entitlement’ on the rise

The behaviour of hotel “guests from hell” have got worse, hospitality figures have told The Telegraph. Since the end of the Covid pandemic, and during the cost-of-living crisis, guest conduct has worsened said Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of membership trade association UKHospitality. Some staff have described the atmosphere of “petulant entitlement” as “going White Lotus”, said the paper, after the HBO comedy murder mystery series set in a Hawaii resort attracting demanding upper-crust guests.

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