• Mon. Oct 25th, 2021

Tensions build in Whitehall feud

ByAmeerah O'Connor

Oct 11, 2021
Tensions build in Whitehall feud

Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines

Brexit row | Unionists do not care about the European Court of Justice’s oversight of post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland, Dublin claimed today – prompting a furious backlash from Belfast and London. Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, intensified his war of words with Lord Frost. In his analysis, Europe Editor James Crisp says it is wise to ignore the chest-beating over red lines from the UK and EU.

The big story: No 10 backs Kwarteng in Treasury row

With warnings of a tough winter, feuding government departments are continuing to generate their own heat.

Tensions in Whitehall over the energy crisis appeared to build today. Downing Street backed Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, as a briefing war between his department and the Treasury rumbled on.

After sources claimed Mr Kwarteng had exaggerated plans for emergency support for energy-dependent industries and “made things up” (read our full story), the Prime Minister’s spokesman threw his weight behind the Cabinet minister and confirmed that work is ongoing to deliver support.

As Politics Live Editor Catherine Neilan reports, Mr Kwarteng is said to have now submitted a formal request to the Treasury to unlock support for energy-dependent businesses struggling with soaring prices.

As Britain faces a winter energy crisis, Whitehall departments are bickering - Getty

As Britain faces a winter energy crisis, Whitehall departments are bickering – Getty

Meanwhile, the Government has brokered a deal between industry and a fertiliser giant to cover the cost of carbon dioxide to ensure a sustainable supply as energy prices spike.

With warnings that annual household bills could climb to £2,000, what can you do to insulate your finances? Follow our tips to stop your energy costs rising out of control.

Interest rate rise

As higher inflation and ballooning energy bills squeeze households and businesses, the Bank of England is entering a difficult moment for policy. International investors have warned that Britain’s economic recovery risks being derailed by a potential policy misstep if Threadneedle Street chooses to increase interest rates too quickly. Tom Rees explains growing worries of stagflation. It comes as mortgage rates are predicted to rise to the highest they have been in 13 years, which Roger Bootle says could deliver a serious blow to housing market optimism.

PM keeping warm

One Briton unlikely to be considering turning on the heating this week is Boris Johnson, who is on holiday with his family in Spain – reportedly at the Marbella villa of Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park. Gareth Stace, the director general of UK Steel, said the midst of an energy crisis was “not the time” for the Prime Minister to be on a foreign break. What do you think? Have your say in our poll.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: ‘Street flooded with victims’ blood’

Mali’s leaders and the West are accused of “abandoning” villagers to the mercy of Islamist insurgents. Now British soldiers are bringing relative peace to a region shocked by a bloodbath that shook even veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Read our dispatch from Matteo Maillard in Ouatagouna, where children are scarred by the jihadist massacre.

Monday interview: David Haig – ‘Expressing your view is a perilous thing these days’

Much-loved character actor David Haig talks to Benji Wilson about Kipling, taking offence and wretched times at Rugby. Read the interview.

David Haig, the actor, pictured in London - Rii Schroer for The Telegraph

David Haig, the actor, pictured in London – Rii Schroer for The Telegraph

Sport briefing: Murray’s career-first serve

Andy Murray showed he is not ready to surrender to his sport’s next generation after battling past Carlos Alcaraz in the second round at Indian Wells. Tennis Correspondent Simon Briggs says Murray introduced a new stroke at this late stage of his career. In football, the shortlist of potential replacements for Steve Bruce at Newcastle United is not finalised – but these two names will definitely be on it.

Editor’s choice

  1. Tabloid feeding frenzy | How Darling Buds of May unleashed hell on Catherine Zeta-Jones

  2. The truth about trauma | Why we are tougher than we think – a psychologist’s guide

  3. Fantasy Fund Manager | It is back – with 10 chances to win £15,000 in prizes!

Business briefing: Asos boss quits

The boss of Asos has left the fast-fashion chain with immediate effect. As Nick Beighton stepped down, the retailer warned higher shipping costs and delays would continue to hamper trading until February. Shares fell by 21pc to £23 after the announcement. In the latest Ask a Lawyer, a reader asks: “Can I sue my son’s university for doing lectures online?”

Tonight starts now

Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution | This documentary series arrived with a BBC Two synopsis that begged to be read by the voice man who does Hollywood trailers. On the face of it, a series about internecine struggles in the Labour Party does not sound like something you would settle down to with a glass of wine. But, as the second part airs tonight, Anita Singh explains why it is incredibly interesting.

Three things for you

And finally… for this evening’s downtime

Stately homes | The National Trust might have lost its way, but private owners are bringing new life to old traditions of power, wealth and status. Eilidh Hargreaves looks at life inside Britain’s grandest country houses to see how aristocrats are adapting.

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