Thursday morning UK news briefing: Advantage Liz Truss in the race to be prime minister

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

Liz Truss is the front-runner to be the next prime minister, after Tory MPs voted her into the final two of the leadership contest alongside Rishi Sunak.

The Foreign Secretary picked up more new votes than any rival on Wednesday, as she leapfrogged Penny Mordaunt, the trade minister, who was knocked out of the contest.

Mr Sunak, the former chancellor, has now softened his critique of Ms Truss, writing in the Telegraph that he respects his opponent and that tax cuts ultimately are needed for growth - also describing himself as the heir to Margaret Thatcher.

Ms Truss launched an attack on Mr Sunak's record, saying the Government has been "going in the wrong direction on tax".

The Conservative Party will hold 12 in-person hustings in every part of the UK to allow its 200,000 members to grill the candidates for themselves.

Yet in a blow to Mr Sunak's campaign, members may have already voted by the time he gets to speak to them.

Even if Ms Truss gets the keys to Downing Street, Camilla Tominey analyses why the victory could be short-lived.

Liz Truss is applauded by her campaign team in Westminster after picking up enough votes to make the final two of the Tory leadership contest - Frank Augstein/AP
Liz Truss is applauded by her campaign team in Westminster after picking up enough votes to make the final two of the Tory leadership contest - Frank Augstein/AP

Ms Mordaunt's allies have suggested she narrowly failed to make the final two because of a "vicious personal smear campaign" against her.

On Wednesday, Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, launched an inquiry into leaks apparently designed to damage Ms Mordaunt's campaign.

So what are we to make of the final two candidates?

Ruth Davidson, the former leader of the Scottish Tories, warns this is no time to gamble, which is why she is backing Mr Sunak.

Matt Ridley argues that Liz Truss is the unconventional Tory radical Britain needs.

The Telegraph View is that we face a clash of visions for the country's future.

Here is a timetable for what happens now and see how the odds on the winner have changed.

White House corrects suggestion Biden has cancer

Joe Biden mistakenly referred to Glasgow as part of England and appeared to suggest he currently has cancer, forcing a swift White House clarification, in the US president's latest public gaffe. Mr Biden caused immediate confusion as he appeared to say "That’s why I, and so damn many other people I grew up with, have cancer" during a speech on climate change on Wednesday. While Mr Biden used the present tense, White House officials said the president was referring to his past treatment for skin cancer. However, Mr Biden's comments were widely mocked by Republicans who have seized on each of the 79-year-old's regular verbal missteps as evidence of his ailing mental acuity. This video analyses how the President's gaffes are hurting his image.

Harry and Meghan's public display of affection at UN

For followers of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, seeing the pair hand in hand is nothing new. Since they were first pictured together back in 2016, Harry and Meghan have been glued together at the hand, arm, upper body, cheek and even foot, whenever they are out in public. Head to head, elbow to elbow, it seems there is not a body part that has remained uninhibitedly bumped. It is still going strong now, four years into their marriage, the point when most of us are wearing pyjamas and arguing about how to stack the dishwasher. Footage from the UN in New York this week, taken just after Harry had delivered his Nelson Mandela Day speech, showed them doing the same. Lucy Foster analyses the hidden meaning behind Harry and Meghan’s public display of affection.

Daily dose of Matt

The fires that raged across Britain during the record heatwave inspired Matt's latest cartoon. For a weekly behind-the-scenes look at his work, sign up for his newsletter. Here is Blower's newest cartoon on the Tory race.

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Russia's ambitions | Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said harsher sanctions must be imposed on Russia if there is any chance of reaching peace. Speaking in his nightly video address, Mr Zelensky said the EU's seventh sanctions package it did not go far enough. Europeans have been urged by Brussels to switch off the lights and turn down their air-conditioning this summer amid mounting fears of a "likely" cut-off of Russian gas supplies to the continent. It came as Sergei Lavrov, the Kremlin's foreign minister, announced fresh plans to seize more of Ukraine, beyond the eastern Donbas region, in an expanded war effort.

Around the world: Trumps gather for Ivana’s funeral

Ivana Trump, the 1980s style icon and ex-wife of Donald Trump, was remembered as a "trailblazer" by the former president's children at her funeral in Manhattan on Wednesday. The Trump family were joined by roughly 100 mourners at the private service at St Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church on the city's Upper East Side. Mr Trump had three children - Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka - with his first wife, who died aged 73 after a fall down stairs at her New York City home on July 15. Former First Daughter Ivanka Trump gave an emotional speech.

The Trump family at Ivana’s funeral - Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The Trump family at Ivana’s funeral - Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Comment and analysis

Today's PlusWord – and yesterday's solution

Try today's PlusWord, which our deputy puzzles editor Michael Baker solved in 1min 27sec. Can you beat him? Yesterday's solution: FRUIT.

Sport briefing: Stanway stunner seals Euros comeback

Spirited England fought back to propel themselves into the Euro 2022 semi-finals and into the hearts of a nation thanks to an extra-time rocket from Georgia Stanway as they survived an enormous scare to edge past Spain in Brighton. The hosts had been just six minutes from a calamitously early elimination before Ella Toone volleyed in an equaliser to send the game into an additional 30 minutes. Read our match report while Luke Edwards dissects the Stanway thunderbolt that powered the Lionesses into the Euro 2022 last four. In rugby union, the blueprint for a new 'Club World Cup' is understood to have been agreed with a tournament involving the top 16 sides from the northern and southern hemispheres scheduled to start in 2025, the Telegraph can reveal.

Editor's choice

  1. Holiday like Logan Roy | How to stay in TV's most dramatic homes

  2. Anti-Semitic harassment | I tracked down my Corbynite troll – and now he’s in prison

  3. Bryony Gordon | I'll never regret taking Prozac – whatever scientists are saying now

Business briefing: Tesla profits hit by China shutdowns

Tesla has fallen victim to supply chain chaos in China and a damaging bet on Bitcoin, bringing a record run of profits at Elon Musk’s car company to a sudden end. The electric vehicle maker also sold off a chunk of its Bitcoin holdings, the company said on Wednesday, as its bet on the cryptocurrency soured. Revenues at Tesla dropped by 9pc between the second and first quarter to $16.9bn (£14.1bn), though were still 42pc higher than a year earlier. Read how rivals in China have proved challenging and Mr Musk’s fears for the wider economy. In the UK, as prices rises surged to a fresh 40-year high, Ben Wright analyses how Britain's economy is uniquely exposed to the inflation tidal wave.

Tonight's dinner

Grilled harissa sardines | Whole sardines are inexpensive, quick and as delicious charred on the barbecue as from the pan. View Angela Hartnett's recipe.

Travel advice: Trail that put Austria on the map

In winter, Saalbach-Hinterglemm is associated with skiing and Jagerbombs – but summer belongs to trail runners, bikers and a "cool" hikers. Nick Redmayne has your guide to the Austrian destination.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Bling it up | Bigger and bolder gold jewellery is making a comeback as the high street and fine jewellers channel the hip-hop vibe. Laura Craik reveals how to pile it on for the chunky maximalist look.

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