Monday morning news briefing: 'Real sprint' to avoid NHS crisis

·6 min read
Monday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph
Monday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph

Britain is braced for another heatwave this week, but the thoughts of health bosses are firmly on colder weather.

The new Health Secretary today warns that the NHS is facing a winter emergency and it will be "too late" to avert a crisis if action is delayed until a new prime minister is in post.

In his first interview since taking up the job, Steve Barclay said hospitals face "very serious challenges coming down the track in the autumn".

He said his department was in a "real sprint to get ready for September" and that decisions, including on hiring more staff from overseas, could not wait for a new party leader. Political correspondent Nick Gutteridge explains how the NHS is facing threats on three fronts.

Mr Barclay is known as one of Boris Johnson's most loyal lieutenants and was one of those who hunkered down with him in No 10 as the walls closed in.

Tellingly, he will not rule out the most extraordinary of political comebacks for the man who will soon no longer be his boss.

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss face mounting pressure to explain how they will help households with the spiralling cost of living and the "financial timebomb" this autumn.

Ms Truss is under fire from Mr Sunak's allies for suggesting there would be no "handouts" – a comment one of her leading supporters said was misconstrued.

Associate editor Camilla Tominey will this week host an unmissable Telegraph hustings event with the two candidates. Sign up to watch in person or online.

Hosepipe bans ridiculed for slew of exceptions

In Britain's long, hot summer, millions of people have been barred from using hosepipes to wash cars or replenish gardens amid drought conditions.

Yet the rules have been described as "crazy" after it emerged that those with newly laid lawns could still use them to water their grass.

South East Water is enforcing a hosepipe ban from Friday, after a Southern Water ban came into force last week.

Environment correspondent Olivia Rudgard has learnt of a slew of exceptions to the rules, which experts have warned will lead to confusion and inconsistencies.

And while temperatures might make it seem like perfect barbecue weather, the public has been told that the risk of a blaze is too great for outdoor cooking after a garden fire in Essex spread to 15 homes.

A pond has dried up and conkers have started to fall at a park in Wanstead, east London - Jeff Moore
A pond has dried up and conkers have started to fall at a park in Wanstead, east London - Jeff Moore

Johnsons get away from it all at remote eco-hotel

It is billed as the last word in relaxation, with a "healing climate" and "soothing energies".

So it was perhaps ideal for the Prime Minister's final holiday before he leaves Downing Street, as well as a belated honeymoon.

It has emerged that Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie stayed at an eco-hotel in the remote Kokra Valley in Slovenia after their delayed wedding celebration.

Read about the features of the five-star boutique hotel, which promises to "harmonise your rhythm".

Today's political cartoon

The politics of water shortages inspired Camley's cartoon today. Matt is away, but you can view his latest work here.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

'Shocking' theft data | Police have failed to solve a single theft in more than eight out of 10 neighbourhoods in England and Wales over the past three years, a Telegraph investigation has found. Of nearly 21,000 neighbourhoods that suffered at least one theft, none had been solved in 84 per cent of them. Victims' watchdogs said the "shocking" data showed theft from the person had been "effectively decriminalised". Enter your postcode to see how many thefts are solved in your area.

Around the world: Kherson mayor 'poisoned by chef'

The Russian-appointed mayor of Kherson was poisoned by a chef brought into his household a day before he fell ill, it has been reported. Vladimir Saldo's mind is said to have "begun to cloud and his fingertips went numb" after he ate. Meanwhile, a Russian opposition website reported the Kremlin insider known as "Putin's chef" toured prisons to recruit 1,000 convicts for his Wagner mercenary group in Ukraine. It came as Russian forces continued to shell the Donbas region yesterday.

A woman lies injured in the village of Opytne in the Donbas region yesterday. CREDIT: ANADOLU - ANADOLU agency
A woman lies injured in the village of Opytne in the Donbas region yesterday. CREDIT: ANADOLU - ANADOLU agency

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: Ten Hag era off to a dismal start

Erik ten Hag claimed Manchester United lacked belief and blamed the problems of last season as they slumped to a shocking 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton in their first match of the new campaign. Matt Law has our match report and Jason Burt describes the febrile atmosphere at Old Trafford. At the Commonwealth Games, England's women's hockey team overcame some nerve-wracking moments to celebrate gold.

Editor's choice

  1. Time for the sober truth | The lies we tell ourselves about drinking

  2. The boxing vicar | Rev Richard Coles goes toe to toe with grief

  3. Thrifty buys expert | Xanthe Clay on why not all pasta is made equal

Business briefing: Bitter harvest for vegetables

Britain is on the brink of a vegetable shortage as crops are ravaged by the summer heatwave and the chaos at Dover makes importing supplies from Europe difficult. Shoppers will see fewer vegetables on the shelves after drought conditions and record-breaking temperatures ruined production, farmers have warned. Tom Rees reports on the items that are likely to be affected worst. In this in-depth piece, Tim Wallace explains why Europe is suffering a worse inflation crisis than Britain.

Tonight's dinner

Slow-cooked courgettes with mint, chilli and almonds | After eating this luxurious dish, you will never think ill of a courgette again.

Travel inspiration: Where to go as the Med heats up

If you have not enjoyed the exceptionally high temperatures of the British summer so far, you might want to think twice about the timing of future holidays to the Mediterranean. The heatwaves across much of southern Europe have been more intense and long lasting than anything in the UK. With climate change making summer in the Med almost too hot to handle, Nick Trend suggests where you should go instead.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Fighting fit | Even cricket star Ben Stokes says he is feeling his age at 31, after he quit one-day internationals because his body is "letting me down". So how can you turn back the clock and maintain your physical condition? Jessica Salter explains what happens to your fitness as you age – and what you can do about it.

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