Friday morning news briefing: Tory whip's 'drunken groping'

Friday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph
Friday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph

He was responsible for maintaining discipline among Conservative MPs. Yet Boris Johnson's deputy chief whip has resigned after claims that he drunkenly groped two men at a private members club in London.

Chris Pincher said in a letter to the Prime Minister that he "drank far too much" and had "embarrassed myself and other people".

It is the second time Mr Pincher, the Tory MP for Tamworth, has quit the whips office over claims of sexual impropriety. But political editor Ben Riley-Smith understands he will be allowed to continue to sit as a Tory in the House of Commons.

The party was under pressure over the decision, with calls from Labour for Mr Pincher to be stripped of the whip.

If a by-election was triggered, it would heap fresh pressure on Mr Johnson, who faces renewed calls to stand down after losing two Tory-held seats last month.

Chris Pincher pictured in Downing Street earlier this year - Aaron Chown /PA
Chris Pincher pictured in Downing Street earlier this year - Aaron Chown /PA

Zahawi seeking 9 per cent pay rise for teachers

In an attempt to see off strike action, Nadhim Zahawi has become the first Cabinet minister known to have challenged the Chancellor over his calls for pay restraint.

The Education Secretary has asked the Treasury to give teachers pay rises of up to 9 per cent. He wants to give the increase to 130,000 teachers in England who are in the first five years of their careers, as part of moves to take starting salaries to £30,000.

He is also proposing a pay rise of 5 per cent for the remaining 380,000 teachers in England, instead of the 3 per cent figure planned by the Government.

Education editor Louisa Clarence-Smith reports on Mr Zahawi's request in a formal letter to Rishi Sunak. Strikes have already blighted the railways and walkouts have been threatened by doctors, nurses and council workers.

And holidaymakers face a weekend of travel chaos as airline staff at Europe's busiest destinations go on strike.

The Prime Minister is also under pressure over the UK's military budget. Boris Johnson yesterday announced that Britain will spend 2.5 per cent of its GDP on defence by 2030.

Mr Johnson said the UK would boost its spending in the wake of the war in Ukraine, as he warned of a "very different era" of insecurity in Europe.

However, just days after Mr Johnson said the UK did not need more troops, a new Army recruitment drive insists that robots cannot replace soldiers. See the campaign showing a robot running through a warzone.

PS: In the latest episode of Chopper's Politics podcast, one of the most prominent Red Wall Tory MPs says that Mr Johnson needs to learn from Margaret Thatcher and stop trying to please everybody. Listen here.

How Heinz provoked Tesco in battle of the beans

Beanz Meanz Heinz, or so the slogan says. But the company's products are harder to come by (at Tesco, at least) after the two sides went head to head in a pricing dispute.

Heinz has pulled its baked beans and ketchup from Tesco's shelves in the row over rising costs in the food supply chain. Hannah Boland has the inside story of the tricky relationship between suppliers and supermarkets.

If you find yourself branching out from Heinz products, Jack Rear did a taste test to find the best alternatives.

Daily dose of Matt

In today's cartoon, Matt imagines the extreme measures being taken inside the Bank of England. For a weekly behind-the-scenes look at Matt's work, sign up for his newsletter.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Longer ad breaks | Viewers could face more frequent, and longer, advert breaks as Ofcom reviews if to change its current advertising guidelines. The regulator will look at increasing the number of minutes per day and per hour that broadcasters are allowed to show adverts for. Ofcom will also review whether to allow more product placement as part of efforts to improve revenues. Will Bolton has more on the possible changes.

Around the world: Authorities vexxed by IS fighters

What to do with returning jihadi fighters is a problem that will not easily go away. With the collapse of the Islamic State, security services and counter-terrorism police have raised their concerns about battle-hardened Islamist fighters coming back to the UK. As an alleged member of the execution squad nicknamed "The Beatles" is being deported to the UK amid a growing row over why he has not been stripped of his British citizenship, chief reporter Robert Mendick explains how the fate of Islamist fighters continues to vex our authorities.

Aine Davis was allegedly part of the Islamic State terror group nicknamed 'The Beatles' - Enterprise News
Aine Davis was allegedly part of the Islamic State terror group nicknamed 'The Beatles' - Enterprise News

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: Boulter's family kept death secret

Britain's new Wimbledon hope dedicated her dramatic victory to her late grandmother, revealing that her family had kept news of her death a secret until after her first-round match. Katie Boulter paid a heartfelt tribute to Jill Gartshore, who died aged 83 on Tuesday, as she fought back tears on Centre Court. As Henry Bodkin reports, it followed an astonishing fightback yesterday against Karolina Pliskova, last year's Wimbledon runner-up, after Boulter lost the first set, which galvanised massive support from the crowd. Follow today's Wimbledon action.

Editor's choice

A bit of needle | The fight over Covid jabs for children

'Stay home' | Hollywood's message to cinemagoing families

Fashion | 18 genius buys on sale now – picked by our experts

Business briefing: Recession panic hits markets

The global market rout has wiped £10.7 trillion off stocks in the worst start to any year on record as business and consumer confidence collapsed amid surging inflation. The MSCI World Equity Index has shed more than 20 per cent so far this year in the steepest first-half decline since its creation. Meanwhile, UK house price growth has slowed to almost zero, marking an end to the latest property boom. As a recession screeches into view, read how to protect your money.

Tonight's dinner

Spicy chicken burgers with special sauce | A satisfyingly crunchy burger by Diana Henry with home-made sauce.

Gardening: Build a raised bed in one weekend

Warmer weather is a great opportunity to get stuck in with vegetable growing. Expert Huw Richards' step-by-step guide to building your very own raised bed – plus all the planting suggestions you need – is the perfect way to get started on the right path.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Seven famous winks that rocked the world | Of all the things you can do with your face, a wink is the most enigmatic. After Dominic Raab's sudden eye movement at Angela Rayner went viral, Ed Cumming rounds up the most infamous examples, from Ronaldo to the Duchess of Cornwall.

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