Chris Pincher suspended by Tories

The string of sleaze scandals that have hit Mr Johnson’s Government in recent months have drawn comparisons to Sir John Major’s time in office.

Sir John’s campaign for Britain to go “back to basics” as he focussed on decency and morals would soon open up his administration to charges of hypocrisy as more revelations emerged.

Dominic Penna weighs up how the scandals under the Johnson and Major premierships compare.

This is not the first time Mr Pincher has been criticized for alleged unsolicited approaches to other men but Tom Harris argues that closing Parliament’s bars will not fix MPs’ toxic drinking culture.

Covid cases across UK arise more than 30pc in a week

Famed for her zero-Covid strategy, New Zealand’s leader Ms Ardern may be concerned at official data showing Covid infections have jumped by almost a third in a week in the UK, just as she has arrived for her official visit.

Around 2.3 million people across the country now have the virus, up by more than half a million – around 32pc – from the previous week.

Covid has not been this prevalent in the community since late April, but the current wave is still substantially less severe than the all-time peak of 4.9m infections during the omicron BA.2 wave earlier this year.

This graph shows how Covid cases in England have been on the rise.

Brexit not to blame for airport travel chaos, says HSBC

No doubt Ms Ardern will be grateful that she does not have to join the queues at Britain’s airports which are wrecking family holiday plans.

Yet HSBC has said that Brexit is unlikely to be blamed for travel chaos at airports, as a shortage of aviation workers is worse in America and “at least as intense elsewhere in Europe”.

Analysts at the bank noted that while it was “intuitive” to assume stricter immigration rules post-Brexit were the key driver of staffing shortages that have wreaked havoc on millions of British holidaymakers, it added that there was evidence to the contrary elsewhere in the world .

Meanwhile, British Airways has been forced to apologize over a “glitch” that bars women from using the title doctor when booking flights online. Read on for details of the complaint.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Sweden rebuffs Turkey’s threat

Sweden has warned it would not entertain further concessions to secure Nato membership after Turkey threatened to derail Stockholm’s hopes of accession. It came after Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, said Sweden must extradite 73 alleged terrorists to secure Turkey’s permission to join the military alliance. Sweden swiftly rebuffed the calls. Russia has confirmed it has begun shipping grain from occupied territory in Ukraine. A vessel carrying 7,000 tonnes of cereal left the Russian-occupied port city of Berdyansk on Thursday to go to “friendly countries,” a pro-Russian official said. It comes as it emerged Russia’s new “patriotic” 100 rouble banknote is impossible to withdraw at ATMs because Western firms that programmed them have quit the country.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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