Thursday morning news briefing: Secrecy of Meghan bullying inquiry

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

More than three years after the first complaint was filed, the Duchess of Sussex bullying row has ended just as it began: in silence.

Then, it was an email sent between two close colleagues, raising quiet concerns over the treatment of palace staff. Now, it is a secret report blocked not only from the public but even to those who took the time to contribute.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that an official investigation into the handling of bullying allegations made against the Duchess will be kept under wraps.

Royal editor Hannah Furness says Meghan is unscathed but unvindicated over the alleged bullying she has vehemently denied. And associate editor Camilla Tominey writes in her analysis that it suggests, for the Firm, family still comes first despite the claims of staff.

PS: It has emerged that the Prince of Wales took more than 20 private flights within the UK last year in order to avoid being stuck in traffic.

No 10 fears Prime Minister faces 'kangaroo court'

If you thought partygate was over, prepare for the next stage. The inquiry into whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament was launched yesterday, with Downing Street sources claiming that it risks becoming a "kangaroo court".

Allies of the Prime Minister accused the investigation by the House of Commons' privileges committee of relying on "hearsay evidence" after MPs ruled that witnesses will be granted anonymity.

By questioning the integrity of the investigation, associate editor Christopher Hope says it is likely that Downing Street is preparing to challenge any negative findings made by the committee – and raises the prospect that the Prime Minister would refuse to resign if found to have misled Parliament.

The news came as Mr Johnson refused three times to say whether he is planning a snap election this year, amid speculation a vote could be called if Sir Keir Starmer is forced to resign as Labour leader over a beer and curry evening during lockdown in Durham.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has announced an additional £1bn of military funding for Ukraine – drawn from savings that Cabinet ministers have been asked to find from departmental budgets.

But a pledge to increase the size of Nato's rapid response force from 40,000 to 300,000 troops was thrown into disarray as members of the alliance refused to commit their soldiers.

As world leaders discussed Nato's most significant defensive overhaul since the end of the Cold War, intense street battles continued on the outskirts of Lysychansk, the last bastion of resistance against the Russians in the Luhansk region. Our live blog has the latest.

Raducanu and Murray down and out at Wimbledon

That is it, then. Centre Court witnessed the early departures of the two biggest home stars at Wimbledon last night as Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray both crashed out in the second round. Raducanu branded suggestions that she is cracking under pressure as "a joke" after her defeat against Caroline Garcia. And Murray was non-committal about a return to Wimbledon after ending an eight-match winning streak against big-serving John Isner – his earliest defeat at the All England Club of his career. The two Britons might be out, but our live coverage continues.

Daily dose of Matt

In today's cartoon, Matt pokes fun at Vladimir Putin. For a weekly behind-the-scenes look at Matt's work, sign up for his newsletter.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Rail union 'spin' | Support for the national train strikes is "eroding" with almost one-in-three rail maintenance staff turning up for work, Grant Shapps is expected to claim today. Senior government sources said new figures showed 29 per cent of maintenance workers ignored picket lines on the second day of the national strike. As chief reporter Robert Mendick reports, the RMT will soon decide about its next walkouts.

Around the world: Paris attacks jihadist is jailed

The only surviving jihadist in the 2015 Paris terror attacks was last night found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, marking the end of the biggest trial in French history. Salah Abdeslam was found guilty of murder and attempted murder for his part in the attacks which saw Islamic State militants storm the French capital in November 2015, attacking the national sports stadium, bars and the Bataclan concert hall – leaving 130 people dead. As France correspondent Henry Samuel reports, Abdeslam has only a small chance of parole after 30 years.

130 people lost their lives and many more were injured in the attacks - GETTY
130 people lost their lives and many more were injured in the attacks - GETTY

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: Gatland eyes Europe coaching role

Aside from our Wimbledon coverage (above), we have an exclusive interview with Warren Gatland in which he opens the door to return to a high-profile coaching position in Europe. In a conversation with chief rugby correspondent Gavid Mairs to mark his signing for The Telegraph as a rugby columnist, Gatland says he may look for a position overseas when his contract with the Chiefs in New Zealand is up next summer – and has not ruled out a return to the UK. Read his first interview.

Editor's choice

  1. Tackling the big issues | 'Why I told my 10-year-old daughter about my abortion'

  2. Bowel Babe's legacy | 'Without Deborah James, I wouldn't have gone to the doctors'

  3. Dating secrets | This is what it is like being single in the county that is full of men

Business briefing: UK 'will fare worst in downturn'

The Bank of England Governor has warned that Britain faces a faster and steeper downturn than other rich countries as households are battered by a "very large national real income shock". Andrew Bailey said the UK economy is at a "turning point" after Covid, the energy price surge and the war in Ukraine combined to trigger spiralling inflation and the worst drop in disposable incomes for decades – opening the door to a bigger hike in interest rates to tame price pressures. Meanwhile, analysis reveals bereaved families are handing over an extra £154,400 to the Treasury as inheritance tax thresholds have been frozen for 13 years.

Tonight's dinner

Lamb scottadito | Grilled lamb chops are served with herby grains in this dish by Diana Henry.

Travel inspiration: The 'Louvre of the Desert'

Boasting one of the highest concentrations of rock art on the planet, this is not your typical Botswana holiday. Simon Parker visits a national park boasting a heritage site described by some as "the Louvre of the desert" to experience a trip with no queues, but plenty of elephants.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

'Russia's end game? Chaos' | From David Kelly to New Labour, writer-director Peter Kosminsky is used to telling uncomfortable truths. But his new drama, The Undeclared War, scared even him. He tells Chris Harvey about the very real threat behind the show.

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