Friday morning UK news briefing: I flew home to save Britain from lockdown, says Rishi Sunak

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

Rishi Sunak claimed Britain was hours away from a national lockdown in December before he flew home to stop it.

The former chancellor said he stopped the country from "sleepwalking" into severe restrictions, as a major poll suggested almost two thirds of Tory members are set to vote for Liz Truss to be the party's new leader – leaving him with a mountain to climb.

His plans for the economy have been denounced as "ridiculous" by a Conservative donor, as it emerged he does not expect to cut personal taxes until at least autumn 2023 if he becomes prime minister.

Yet Mr Sunak claimed Ms Truss was misleading the public by promising an immediate giveaway.

The Foreign Secretary has vowed she will not make any cuts to public spending if she becomes prime minister, despite her radical tax-cutting agenda.

As both candidates style themselves on aspects of the Iron Lady, Tim Wallace analyses why Margaret Thatcher's tax cuts are so hard to repeat.

The Telegraph View is that our economic orthodoxies must be challenged.

As the Tory leadership campaign gets down to business, here are the attack lines that the final two will deploy.

Ask either candidate who would be in their Cabinet and they will insist they are not counting their chickens, but the truth is that in between hustings events it will occupy much of their thoughts.

The first task of the eventual winner will be to appoint a Cabinet, meaning they cannot leave it until day one of their premiership to start thinking about who they would like around the table.

Gordon Rayner analyses who are the favourites to be given jobs by each candidate.

Penny Mordaunt, who narrowly missed out on a place in the final two, should get a job either way, even after she used her first appearance at the despatch box since being eliminated to hit back at critics who questioned her suitability as prime minister.

Madeline Grant sketches how the international trade minister went for the jugular as Tory bloodshed spills into the House.

Alzheimer's data may have misled research for 16 years

The key theory of what causes Alzheimer's disease may be based on "manipulated" data which has misdirected dementia research for 16 years – potentially wasting billions of pounds – a major investigation suggests. A six-month probe by the journal Science reported "shockingly blatant" evidence of result tampering in a seminal research paper which proposed Alzheimer's is triggered by a build-up of amyloid beta plaques in the brain. In the 2006 article from the University of Minnesota, published in the journal Nature, scientists claimed to have discovered a type of amyloid beta which brought on dementia when injected into young rats. It became one of the most-cited scientific articles on Alzheimer's ever published, sparking a huge jump in global funding, but now it has led to allegations branded "extremely serious" by charities.

Dina Asher-Smith claims bronze in world 200m final

The colour of the medal was a downgrade from the gold of three years earlier, but the world 200 metres bronze hanging around Dina Asher-Smith's neck meant almost as much. Faced with one of the finest sprint performances in history up ahead of her, it was an achievement just to make the podium at all. Former 400m runner Shericka Jackson set a winning time of 21.45 seconds - the second fastest in history behind the late Florence Griffth-Joyner. Between her and Asher-Smith was the irrepressible 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, taking the 21st global medal of her glittering career. Read the story of the incredible final that Michael Johnson described as "the best we have ever seen".

Daily dose of Matt

Matt is away but look back at his cartoons this week. For a weekly behind-the-scenes look at his work, sign up for his newsletter.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

PM at risk of humiliation | Boris Johnson faces the embarrassment of fighting an autumn by-election to save his political career if he is found to have misled the House of Commons and is banned for 10 days. A committee investigating whether the Prime Minister lied to Parliament over lockdown-breaking parties in 10 Downing Street has been told that it only needs to prove that Mr Johnson "misled" the House, rather than that he "deliberately" did so. Read on for the implications.

Around the world: Russian army exhausted, says MI6

Russia's army is nearly exhausted and Ukraine will have an opportunity to counter attack in the coming weeks, Britain's spy chief has said. Richard Moore, the head of MI6, said intelligence showed Vladimir Putin's army "running out of steam" and suggested a successful Ukrainian counter strike could come in time to rally European support before the winter gas crisis. It comes as a long-awaited deal on a UN plan to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain is set to be signed today in Istanbul. On the ground, residents and local councillors in the Kyiv suburb of Borodyanka are divided over whether to rebuild their communities or leave them as a memorial to those who have died.

Residents of the Kyiv suburb are now caught between honouring the recent, bloody past and hoping to move on and rebuild - Paul Grover for The Telegraph
Residents of the Kyiv suburb are now caught between honouring the recent, bloody past and hoping to move on and rebuild - Paul Grover for The Telegraph

Comment and analysis

Sport briefing: England's rise to football superpower

The Lionesses were at the heart of a desperate scramble for tickets after their dramatic quarter-final victory at Euro 2022 was watched by more than seven million viewers. An extra 2,000 tickets for England's semi-final at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane next Tuesday were snapped up minutes after going on sale. Trafalgar Square is to host a giant screen for 5,000 supporters with councils across the country urged to host public events. Here is how you can watch. After years of underachieving, the emergence of the English national team as a force to be reckoned with in both the men's and women's game is astonishing to those not involved in putting the building blocks in place. In an exclusive interview with the FA's chief executive, Luke Edwards reveals the plan that transformed England from global laughing stock into a football superpower.

Editor's choice

  1. 'Everything went wrong' | The unbelievable truth behind the Notre-Dame fire

  2. G'day and goodnight | Why the sun finally set on Neighbours

  3. Lady Gaga review | Spectacular freak show from a superheroine of pop

Business briefing: Why rate hike will not save Europe

Mario Draghi might have been credited with saving the euro, but that did not stop the 74-year-old known as "Super Mario" being forced to resign on Thursday, after less than two years as Italy’s prime minister. The political crisis threatens a fresh phase of turmoil for the country's debt and casts doubt over its budget and reforms needed to unlock €200bn (£170bn) in EU aid. Yet Italy still acts as a microcosm for the wider problems facing the eurozone. The energy crisis triggered by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has sent inflation soaring and the threat of recession looms large. In a bid to stem the tide, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised interest rates by half a percentage point on Thursday – the first hike in more than a decade. It ended a prolonged period of negative rates and Simon Foy analyses why the end of the ECB's disastrous experiment with negative rates will not save Europe.

Tonight's dinner

Buttermilk chicken and potatoes with pineapple pico de gallo | A sweet twist on a Mexican flavour really shakes up this tasty chicken dish by Eleanor Steafel.

Gardening tips: Harness ragwort and other weeds

The fact is, "weeds", as many see them, have been creeping into our gardens, in some cases by stealth, for years. And we are all much better off for it. There are benefits of ushering in white deadnettle to dry shady patches, coaxing herb-Robert into the cracks between concrete steps and allowing yellow corydalis to brighten up drab corners. All sorts of things that some may have considered weeds can be allowed to prosperin flower beds. Alice Vincent reveals how ragwort and other weeds could transform the flower beds in your garden this summer.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Revenge by Tom Bower, review | This much-trailed account of the Duke and Duchess Sussex's split with the Royal family is a catalogue of awful behaviour – but it seems slanted and rehashed. Anita Singh reviews this portrait of Meghan as a "manipulative" diva.

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.