Friday evening UK news briefing: Rishi Sunak boasts about 'undoing rules' that put funds in 'deprived areas'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·7-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Hospice appeal rejected | Archie Battersbee cannot be moved to a hospice, the High Court has ruled, stating it is not in his best interests. The judgement from Mrs Justice Theis means Archie should remain in hospital until treatment is withdrawn. Read his family’s reaction.

The big story: Sunak 'took funds out of deprived areas'

Rishi Sunak told Tory members that he boosted funding for leafy countryside areas by "undoing" spending rules that "shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas", a leaked video shows.

He said that during his time in the Treasury he had overturned spending formulas inherited from Labour to make sure that more cash went to rural communities.

The remarks, which he made during a private hustings event in Tunbridge Wells last Friday, will prove awkward as the country faces a cost of living crisis.

It contrasts sharply with comments he made during a Sky TV debate on Thursday night, during which he said his record showed he was committed to helping the poorest in society.

Watch the clip of his address to Tory members.

The former chancellor is pitching himself to the party and members as the serious candidate on the economy, who can guide the country through a potential recession and warning against quick tax cuts.

Yet John Longworth warns that the Tories must dismiss Project Fear 2.0 if Britain is to beat recession.

Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail in Bexhill, East Sussex - Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail in Bexhill, East Sussex - Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Mr Sunak appeared to come out well from last night's Tory leadership debate but allies of Liz Truss have claimed the Sky News audience was stacked with supporters of the former chancellor.

They said the audience appeared hostile to the Foreign Secretary with one of the harshest critics identified as the former chief of staff to MP Anna Soubry, who quit the Conservative Party over Brexit.

Tom Harding, who previously worked for Ms Soubry, quizzed Ms Truss over her U-turn on regional pay for civil servants, urging her to apologise for the "offensive" policy.

Here is a reminder of where both candidates stand on the key issues.

Budget on day one

One of the reasons the cost of living crisis has dominated the Tory leadership campaign has been because of what is happening with house prices.

Property values have started to fall as the market takes a hit from people having less money to spend and higher interest rates aimed at combating inflation.

The average house price fell £365, or 0.1pc, in value over the last month after years of high growth.

House prices could fall by up to 10pc over the next year, according to industry forecasts.

Home buyers also face hitting a bottleneck in taking out new loans as lenders pull mortgages at the fastest rate since the pandemic-induced housing market shut down.

With interest rates raised to the highest level since the financial crisis of 2008, Matthew Lynn details why Ms Truss will need an emergency Budget on day one if she is to stop a recession.

Betraying Thatcher

Another topic raising its head in the campaign has been the candidates' commitment to Britain's target of reaching net zero by 2050.

"Our fields shouldn't be full of solar panels, and I will change the rules," said Ms Truss, to hearty applause, at least from one segment of her Tory audience, the clips now going viral on social media.

The latest polling from UK Onward shows that 51pc of committed Conservative voters wish to stay the course on net zero, against 34pc who wish to scrap it.

Yet that has not stopped both candidates bashing renewable energy at various points.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard sets out the reasons why the Tories are doomed if they betray Margaret Thatcher and retreat from net zero.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: China sends warships over border

Chinese warships and fighter jets crossed the unofficial border line in the Taiwan Strait today, prompting Taipei to blast its "evil neighbour next door" as Beijing conducted a second day of unprecedented military drills. The median line has been an unofficial buffer line between China and Taiwan for decades. Crossing it is sensitive because the Taiwan Strait is only 130-kilometre wide at its thinnest point, and military incursions raise the risks of accidents. This burst of belligerence is the most serious show of force by the Chinese since the 1995-6 Taiwan Strait Crisis. Read why Taiwan has once again become a flashpoint in global tensions, whether Chinese invasion is imminent and how their forces compare.

Friday interview

'Britain was nirvana for me. But now...'

‘It’s bothersome that jokes are no longer appreciated’: filmmaker and former Python, Terry Gilliam - Rii Schroer for the Telegraph
‘It’s bothersome that jokes are no longer appreciated’: filmmaker and former Python, Terry Gilliam - Rii Schroer for the Telegraph

Terry Gilliam's 'Into the Woods' was axed by the Old Vic – so the defiantly unwoke Python took it to Bath. Now he is ready to tell all

Read the full interview

Sport briefing: Premier League season kicks off

The 30th Premier League season kicks off tonight as Crystal Palace host Arsenal. Before the opening weekend in the Premier League, Sam Wallace casts a critical eye over each club's transfer dealings, and how squads have improved – or weakened – over the summer break, before predicting where each will finish in the table. Meanwhile, the BBC and Martin Tyler have been forced to apologise after the commentator appeared to link the Hillsborough disaster with hooliganism during an interview on the Today programme. At the Commonwealth Games, diver Jack Laugher has won his second gold medal in 24 hours.

Editor's choice

  1. Katie Morley Investigates | 'Barclays charged me £30k to cancel a mortgage I never agreed to'

  2. Rural getaways | 'We bought an old hut and now make thousands every year'

  3. Work policy that HR forgot | The message your out-of-office reply is really sending

Business briefing: Port workers plan eight-day strike

Almost 2,000 workers at Felixstowe port will strike for eight days later this month in a move that threatens to spark supply chain chaos ahead of Christmas. Workers will walk out from August 21 to 29, the Unite union said. Talks broke down after the port's owners did not improve an offer of a 7pc pay increase. Elsewhere, Elon Musk has been urged to bring a Tesla plant to the North East of England after the electric car company revealed its ambition to build a dozen "gigafactories" across the world. Also, Gordon Ramsay's restaurant empire shed 300 staff as lockdowns pushed losses at his restaurants to almost £7m. Yet read how Mr Ramsay still plans to continue expanding despite the downturn and losses.

Tonight starts now

The Sandman, review | Strictly speaking, Netflix's The Sandman is yet another super-hero adaptation churned out to feed the public's insatiable appetite for people in weird attire saving the world. But this DC Comics creation is no Thor or Iron Man. Instead of the Incredible Hulk, say hello to the Incredible Sulk. Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams – nobody actually refers to him as the Sandman – is a gloomy gadabout, who dresses like a depressive version of Cure's Robert Smith circa 1985. Ed Power reviews this gripping gothic romp that is the antidote to Marvel burn-out - and here is the rest of what you can enjoy on television this evening.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Fixing Hollywood's trans problem | Patti Harrison is on a one-woman mission. The scene-stealing comedian tells Charlotte Lytton why she will not just play trans characters – and her frustration with "social-media liberal self-back-patting".

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.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting