A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.
Leading the week
The race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister will become a two-horse affair by Wednesday (20 July) as candidates are eliminated each day this week until the final pair are left standing.
- August 12, 2022
- August 5, 2022
- July 29, 2022
The dramatic opening days of the contest saw bold promises to slash taxes, allegations of dirty tricks from competing campaigns and last-minute withdrawals before the first round of voting.
Early favourite Rishi Sunak topped the opening ballot, with Penny Mordaunt proving her credentials as the dark horse of the contest by finishing a strong second.
The five remaining hopefuls have a final hustings event for the parliamentary party on Monday (18 July) as well as the chance to make their pitch more publicly in a series of televised debates, beginning with Channel 4 this evening (15 July) and rounding off with Sky News on Tuesday (19 July).
While Conservative Party members will have the final say after the top two are chosen, MPs will be keeping an eye on the public response to the candidates as they pitch their visions for government to those outside of the Westminster bubble, hoping to get a feel for who might appeal most in the next general election.
Amid all the action, the man still in charge in Downing Street will take to the despatch box on Wednesday (20 July) for his final Prime Minister’s Questions. It’s unlikely to be a quiet send-off for Boris Johnson, with supporters sure to seize the opportunity to talk up his achievements and perhaps fire off a few sly digs at the men and women trying to succeed him.
Opposition leader Keir Starmer, meanwhile, will likely seek to continue Labour’s attacks on candidates’ spending and taxation promises as the party seeks to capitalise on its recent strong polling on economic issues.
As the race for the Tory leadership heats up, the country could also find itself sweltering in the hottest temperatures ever recorded during the early part of the week, as the current heatwave reaches its peak. The Met Office has issued its first-ever red extreme heat warning for Monday and Tuesday covering large parts of England, offering a 50% chance that temperatures could top 40C in some areas and an 80% chance of a new record.
The UK’s current hottest day on record came in July 2019, when a temperature of 38.7C was reported in Cambridgeshire. Forecasters warned of “widespread impacts on people and infrastructure” and urged people to consider changing routines to avoid risk of illness or loss of life.
Following Joe Biden’s travel to the Middle East this week, all eyes will be on Tehran next week for the summit taking place on Tuesday (19 July) between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian and Turkish counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The three countries, all of whom have significant interests in Syria, are co-guarantors of what is known as the Astana peace process, and the situation in the country will be a key topic in their discussions.
The gathering follows Russia’s ‘success’ last week at the United Nations in forcing through a resolution authorising aid to be delivered to Syria via Turkey for just six months, instead of a full year. Critics, including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, are concerned that alternative aid delivery routes would allow Moscow’s ally Bashar al-Assad to weaponise life-saving assistance.
Also look out for planned one-to-one meetings on the margins between Raisi and Putin, and Putin and Erdogan. Talks between the Russian and Iranian presidents, who met recently in Turkmenistan, will likely touch upon energy issues amid reports that increased Russian oil exports to China have come at the expense of Iran. Their meeting also follows warnings from the United States about potential deliveries of Iranian drones to Russia.
When Erdogan and Putin meet, they are likely to discuss ongoing efforts to create a Black Sea corridor for Ukrainian exports following four-way talks with the UN and Ukraine in Istanbul earlier this week. Turkey is also expected to reiterate its offer to host broader peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.
In Sri Lanka, lawmakers are due to elect a new president on Wednesday (20 July) after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country earlier this week, reportedly to Saudi Arabia.
The election, assuming it goes ahead, comes as the country faces an unprecedented economic and political crisis that has seen protesters storm key government buildings, including Rajapaksa’s residence.
Rajapaksa had been expected to formally tender his resignation on 13 July, but he instead announced he was making new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe acting president, prompting further demonstrations and the imposition of a curfew before his resignation was confirmed earlier today.
Wickremesinghe is said to be the ruling party’s favoured candidate for president, but he has also been heavily criticised by protestors, who may not quietly accept giving him power for the six to eight months it’s expected to take to hold general elections.
The US House Committee on the January 6 attack is widely expected to hold its final scheduled hearing on Thursday (21 July). The prime time hearing will focus on how the events of that day unfolded from the perspective of those inside the White House, and Donald Trump’s “supreme dereliction of duty” as he refused to act to stop the violence as it unfolded.
Also look out for…
- Prince Harry address to UNGA on Nelson Mandela International Day
- Steve Bannon’s contempt of Congress trial begins
- Petersberg Climate Dialogue
- Nadhim Zahawi speaks at Mansion House
- UK unemployment statistics
- Royal Mail strike ballot closes
- UK inflation figures
- Royal Mail strikes
- Mario Draghi faces vote of confidence
- Public sector finances
- Commons rises for summer recess
- WHO Emergency Committee meets on Monkeypox
- ECB interest rate decision
- ICJ preliminary judgment in Myanmar genocide case
- Twitter results
- Greater Anglia train drivers’ strike
- Pope Francis visits Canada
- Final stage of the Tour de France
Statistics, reports and results:
- Oxfam report on billionaires’ wealth and the hunger crisis
- ONS stats on household expenditure
- ONS stats on long COVID after Omicron infection
- Results from: Goldman Sachs, IBM
- Universal Credit statistics
- Register of Political Donations
- Coram Holiday Childcare Survey
- EU inflation statistics
- Results from: Netflix, Johnson and Johnson, Lockheed Martin
- UK House Price Index
- National Grid future energy scenarios
- IEA Electricity Market Report
- Results from: Tesla
- Quarterly crime statistics
- IUCN Red List update
- Results from: Ocado, SSE, United Airlines, American Airlines, Snap Inc.
- UK Retail Sales
- COVID-19 infection survey
Anniversaries and awareness days (Tom):
- National Hot Dog Day
- Peace and Freedom Day (Northern Cyprus)
- 10 years ago: Aurora theatre mass shooting
- Belgium National Day
- 10 years ago: Sir Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France
- Prince George turns nine
- One month ago: major earthquake in Afghanistan
- National Marine Week begins
- One month ago: US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade
- Five months ago: Russia invaded Ukraine
Picture: Reuters/Toby Melville