News diary 16-22 May: New Assange extradition defence, Dorries before DCMS committee, five years since Manchester Arena bombing - Press Gazette

News diary 16-22 May: New Assange extradition defence, Dorries before DCMS committee, five years since Manchester Arena bombing

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A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.

Leading the Week 

The elephant in the room during last week’s Queen’s Speech was the absence of any specific announcement on how the government plans to address the cost of living, with Labour leader Keir Starmer branding its response “pathetic” and Lib Dem leader Ed Davey suggesting households would be “bitterly disappointed”. MPs have an opportunity to continue the conversation in the Queen’s Speech debate on Tuesday (17 May) focusing on the cost of living increases, when opposition parties are likely to echo business groups’ calls for an emergency budget from Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to suggest in the post-Speech debate that some form of assistance was imminent, though the Treasury immediately briefed out a rebuttal that means households may be kept waiting until the autumn for further help. 

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill arrives for a press conference with Finance Minister Conor Murphy and Sinn Fein MP John Finucane, at Stormont parliament buildings after a meeting with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to form a power-sharing government, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

New legislation is expected to be unveiled this week bringing sweeping changes to the current Northern Ireland Protocol Arrangements with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss reportedly preparing new regulations which would remove the current checks on goods travelling between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The Attorney General’s office has released new legal advice ahead of the anticipated changes, claiming that over-riding parts of the post-Brexit treaty would be lawful to avoid the potential of civil unrest. The country’s ever choppy political waters were further stirred by 5 May’s local elections, when Sinn Fein became the largest party in the Stormont Assembly for the first time. The DUP continues to refuse to join Sinn Fein in a governing Executive, however, until its concerns over the Protocol arrangements are addressed.  

Looking abroad 

Australians vote in federal elections on Saturday (21 May), with Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeking a fourth term in office as leader of the Liberal–National Coalition. Morrison is trailing in the polls behind Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese, a former prominent figure among the left of his party who has since moved towards the centre and now promises ‘renewal, not revolution’. The news in mid-April that China had signed an agreement with the Solomon Islands in that many fear could lead to the deployment of Chinese military to the region has brought into question Morrison’s national security credentials, with Albanese describing the development as ‘a massive foreign policy failure’. 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attends the G7 foreign ministers’ summit in Weissenhaeuser Strand, Germany, May 13, 2022. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via REUTERS

This week is once again jam-packed when it comes to developments related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Monday (9 May) sees EU foreign ministers gather in Brussels as negotiations on the controversial sixth sanctions package against Russia continue, with Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba participating in person. In Finland, meanwhile, the country’s parliament considers the now all-but-inevitable move to join NATO, while in Sweden there is a debate on the subject and a rumoured government meeting to sign off on a parallel move. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin is hosting a CSTO summit that is expected to involve a one-on-one with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö begins a two-day state visit to Sweden (10 May), while Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov delivers a speech on Russia’s role in the world. The European Union is expected to launch its RePowerEU plan to diversify gas supplies on 11 May, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is in Denmark for a summit focusing on offshore wind in the North Sea. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts a UN Security Council meeting (12 May) on the impact of the conflict on global food supplies, while NATO military chiefs gather in Brussels.  

Also look out for: 


May 16 

  • Andrew Bailey at Treasury Committee session 
  • Nicola Sturgeon addresses Brookings Institution in Washington DC 
  • NATO allies military exercise 
  • GCSE exams begin 

May 17 

  • Julian Assange defence team files further submissions over proposed US extradition 
  • NUJ president at committee session on local journalism 
  • Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall visit Canada 
  • Cannes festival 
  • US primary elections in five states 

May 18 

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg speech to Reform think tank 
  • UEFA Europa League Final 
  • Ministerial address at CBI annual dinner 

May 19 

  • Nadine Dorries at committee session on DCMS work 
  • Boeing Starliner test flight 
  • USPGA Championship begins 

May 20 

  • Joe Biden begins visits to South Korea and Japan 

May 21 

  • UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 
  • Scottish Cup Final 

May 22 

  • F1 Spanish Grand Prix 
  • French Open begins 
  • Premier League season ends 

Statistics, reports and results


May 16 

  • Deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status 
  • Rightmove House Price Index 
  • China GDP 
  • Results from: Ryanair 

May 17 

  • Universal Credit 
  • UK unemployment 
  • EU and Euro area GDP 
  • Results from: Vodafone 

May 18 

  • UK inflation 
  • Japan GDP 

May 19 

  • UK knife crime 
  • CBI Industrial Trends Survey 
  • Results from: easyJet, Royal Mail 

May 20 

  • UK Retail Sales 
  • GfK consumer confidence index 

Anniversaries and awareness days


May 17  

  • International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 

May 18 

  • AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate 

May 20 

  • World Bee Day 
  • Endangered Species Day 
  • National Work From Home Day 

May 21 

  • World Day for Cultural Diversity  
  • World Whisky Day 

May 22 

  • Five years ago: Manchester Arena bombings 

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Featured image: Rob Pinney/Getty Images, via Reuters

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