Wednesday morning news briefing: Boris Johnson's new Cabinet split

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

Boris Johnson is to issue a rallying cry to fellow world leaders today. The Prime Minister is attending a Nato summit at which he will call on other member nations to "dig deep" and increase defence spending targets beyond the current level of 2pc of GDP.

But his call threatens to be undermined by opposition from two senior Cabinet ministers over his refusal to increase Britain's own budget from 2.3pc – and concern he is planning to breach a manifesto commitment to link military spending to inflation.

Mr Johnson is resisting public pressure from his Defence Secretary and the head of the Army to increase military spending, amid a heated Cabinet split over future funding.

We can reveal that Downing Street intervened to water down calls for higher defence expenditure from Ben Wallace.

Political editor Ben Riley-Smith reports how No 10 was said to have been left "furious" by what was seen as attempts to bounce Mr Johnson into making an announcement. And Tom Rees explains how inflation leaves British military spending facing cuts.

Boris Johnson talks to the press on his flight to the Nato Summit in Madrid - Stefan Rousseau/PA
Boris Johnson talks to the press on his flight to the Nato Summit in Madrid - Stefan Rousseau/PA

At the gathering in Madrid, Nato leaders will agree to an international push into Eastern Europe to ward off the threat from Russia.

After Emmanuel Macron yesterday said that Vladimir Putin must not be allowed to win the war in Ukraine in a hardening of his stance against Moscow, Europe editor James Crisp examines if the rhetoric will match reality.

As time runs out to rescue victims of the Russian missile attack on a shopping centre in Kremenchuk, Colin Freeman speaks to people who fear they may never see familiar faces again.

PS: Asked if his plan to deal with Putin was to ridicule him, Mr Johnson claimed that he would not have invaded Ukraine if he was a woman.

'Meeting Epstein is my biggest regret', says Maxwell

Ghislaine Maxwell said meeting Jeffrey Epstein was the "biggest regret" of her life as a judge sentenced the disgraced British socialite to 20 years in prison for her role in a "horrific scheme" to abuse underage girls.

Approaching the New York courtroom podium with shackles around her feet, Maxwell told victims gathered in the public gallery that she was "sorry" for the pain that Epstein's sexual abuse had caused and hoped her imprisonment would bring them "some measure of peace and finality".

But Maxwell, 60, refused to take responsibility. These are the jail options as she starts her prison term.

US correspondent Josie Ensor was in court to witness the British heiress's irrefutable fall from grace.

'Bowel Babe' cancer campaigner dies at 40 – obituary

Dame Deborah James, the podcast host and campaigner, has died of bowel cancer aged 40.

The former deputy headteacher and mother of two received her honour last month from the Duke of Cambridge at her family home in Surrey.

Dame Deborah, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, raised more than £6.75million for cancer research after revealing in early May that she was receiving end-of-life care.

The Prime Minister described her as an "inspiration". The Telegraph's obituary of Dame Deborah tells how she worked to demystify bowel cancer.

Daily dose of Matt

In today's cartoon, Matt imagines how strike action might impact Wimbledon. For a weekly behind-the-scenes look at Matt's work, sign up for his newsletter.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Tax by the mile | Electric cars face being fitted with tracking devices under a pay-per-mile taxation plan put forward by the Government's climate advisers. The Climate Change Committee said the Government needed to find ways to cover the "significant hole" in public finances by the loss of fuel duty and other taxes when petrol and diesel cars are replaced. Rachel Millard explains how "road pricing" could work.

Around the world: Meghan takes fight to Washington

The Duchess of Sussex pledged to take her fight for equal rights to Washington DC, as she condemned the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Roe v Wade abortion precedent. She joined feminist campaigner Gloria Steinham to publicly criticise the decision as endangering women, warning of a "blueprint for reversing rights". Royal editor Hannah Furness reports on her "guttural" reaction to the ruling.

An abortion rights protest in Los Angeles yesterday - LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS
An abortion rights protest in Los Angeles yesterday - LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: Kyrgios spits at fan

Nick Kyrgios has admitted he deliberately spat towards a Wimbledon fan who was "disrespecting me" and railed against the tennis authorities for doing "nothing" about relentless "racism". Jeremy Wilson reports that, after a furious on-court display in which the Australian called a line judge "a snitch", he doubled down on his criticism of officials and fans. After Serena Williams bombed out of the tournament in the first round, Oliver Brown says it is time to say goodbye. Follow today's action.

Editor's choice

  1. 'I could have sorted Wagatha in 24 hours' | Meet the troll-hunting digitally savvy lawyer

  2. The Late Late Show with James Corden | 'He's heading home, whether you like it or not'

  3. 'Authentic, devastating and perfectly cast' | Why Sherwood is best BBC drama of the year

Business briefing: Sunak rejects tax cut

Rishi Sunak is resisting calls to scrap a scheduled rise in corporation tax in his autumn Budget despite pressure from Downing Street figures and Tory MPs. Boris Johnson is pushing for timely tax cuts to boost the economy and reportedly favours reversing the planned increase in corporation tax, which is set to rise from 19 per cent to 25 per cent next year. Tory MPs have also argued that such a sizeable tax increase would be ill-judged just as economic growth is set to flat-line. Russ Mould has the three market signs that tell us we are heading into a recession. And these are the five charts that show the housing market is set for disaster.

Tonight's dinner

Thyme-roasted lamb chops with potatoes, tomatoes, black olives and goat's cheese | A Mediterranean dish by Diana Henry that requires next to no prep.

Travel inspiration: Take an affordable adventure

Budget and bucket list sound like unlikely bedfellows. In fact, they sound like badly zipped-together sleeping bags, with "a million star" hotel in the shape of the night sky. But, even if you are not keen on camping, you can still see the world's wonders without spending luxurious amounts of money. A bit of planning goes a long way. Chris Moss has unearthed the cheapest ways to see the world's wonders.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Sad and ugly business of being a model | As a new documentary sheds light on the exploitation that was rife in the 1990s, Laura Craik explains why we must call out the catwalk criminals.

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