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July 14, 2023updated 07 Nov 2023 5:42am

News diary 17 – 23 July: Davie grilled on Edwards scandal, Barbenheimer released

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

By Foresight News

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

Leading the week

MPs may be breaking up for recess but there’s likely to be an absence of summer holiday vibes among Conservatives with the party braced for defeat in three by-elections being held on Thursday (20 July).

The pick of the bunch is former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge constituency, where the Labour Party is hoping for a symbolic victory despite Tory attempts to turn the vote into a referendum on the ULEZ scheme. In Somerset, the stage is set for the famous Lib Dem campaign machine to produce another by-election upset in what could be a marker for next year’s general election, while even a commanding 20,000 majority in Nigel Adams’ Selby is unlikely to be enough to save the party from the ignominy of a hat-trick of defeats. Results from all three will be announced on Friday (21 July)

Embattled BBC director general Tim Davie faces another grilling on his leadership in the wake of the Huw Edwards scandal when he appears before the Lords Communications Committee on Tuesday (18 July) alongside BBC director of policy Clare Sumner and acting chair Dame Elan Closs Stephens.

Davie has confirmed the BBC is conducting its own internal investigation into allegations made in The Sun that Edwards paid a teenager for explicit images, after the Met Police ruled no crime had been committed.

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Davie may also face questions on the culture at the BBC after further claims were made that Edwards had sent “inappropriate messages” to junior BBC staff who were reluctant to make formal complaints, prompting an investigation from fellow presenter Victoria Derbyshire.

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This isn’t the first scandal Davie has had to face off since being appointed to the role in 2020. There were calls in March for him to resign after suspending the corporation’s highest paid presenter, Gary Lineker, over remarks he made about Suella Braverman, only to reinstate him after a public backlash and boycott from BBC presenters. 

Two highly anticipated movies, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, are both out on Friday (21 July) in a cultural phenomenon that has been dubbed “Barbenheimer”.

Barbie, starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, sees Barbie set off into the real world after deciding she doesn’t fit into the utopian Barbieland, while Oppenheimer is a historical drama about J Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy), the scientist who led the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb. The internet is flush with memes comparing the duelling releases, with fans even sharing their opinions on the proper way and order in which they should be watched. AMC Theatres said more than 20,000 AMC Stubs members have already purchased tickets to see both films on the release date. 

Looking abroad

Following this week’s Ukraine-focused NATO leaders’ summit, the conflict is set to remain high on the news agenda next week as the agreement on facilitating grain exports via the Black Sea expires on Monday (17 July) unless Russia agrees to an extension.

Although Russia has previously threatened to block an extension only to relent at the last minute, there are fears this time could be different amid fresh tensions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who brokered the original deal. 

As it happens, Monday’s deadline coincides with a ministerial-level meeting at the UN Security Council on Ukraine, chaired by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (who will also chair the first-ever session on the threat posed by AI on Tuesday) and attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Kuleba is also due to take part in a General Assembly debate on Tuesday (18 July) on the situation in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.  

The conflict is also likely to loom large over this year’s Aspen Security Forum, which opens on Tuesday (18 July) with an address from US Ambassador to the UN Linda Greenfield-Thomas. The forum features a host of top-level speakers over the following days: Cleverly speaks on Wednesday (19 July), followed by CIA Director William Burns on Thursday (20 July), and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday (21 July).  

Voters in both Spain and Cambodia go to the polls on Sunday (23 July). In Spain, the elections are being held early after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the snap vote in the wake of a crushing defeat for his Socialist party in local and regional elections last month at the hands of the conversative PP and far-right Vox parties.

The election in Cambodia, meanwhile, follows a decision in May to ban the country’s sole opposition, the Candlelight Party, meaning Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party is guaranteed to win. For good measure, Hun announced in June that he was amending the country’s election laws to bar anyone who fails to vote from running as a candidate in future elections. 

Also look out for

July 17

  • Illegal Migration Bill “ping pong” in the Commons and Lords 
  • Interim report from the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry
  • ASLEF train drivers begin overtime ban
  • Trade union reps at Covid-19 inquiry hearing
  • Eli Lilly presents Alzheimer’s disease drug Donanemab at AAIC

July 18

  • Keir Starmer and Ben Wallace address Future of Britain Conference
  • Bereaved families at Covid-19 inquiry hearing
  • Simon Case at Lords committee on permanent secretaries and civil servants
  • Deadline for Microsoft-Activision merger
  • Pre-trial hearing for Ryan Giggs

July 19

  • UK inflation figures
  • Rishi Sunak expected to address 1922 Committee end of term meeting
  • Conservative Party announces London mayoral candidate
  • Tory MP Bob Stewart in court accused of public order offence
  • Fourth Ashes test begins
  • Israeli President addresses joint session of Congress
  • ICJ hearings begin in Canada/Netherlands case against Syria

July 20

  • FIFA Women’s World Cup begins in Australia and New Zealand
  • Strikes by RMT rail workers, NUJ BBC England journalists, and BMA hospital consultants
  • Teens in court charged with murder of Brianna Ghey
  • RFK Jr at US House committee on ‘weaponisation’ of Federal government
  • EU foreign ministers discuss Ukraine and Turkey
  • The Open begins

July 21

  • Public sector finances and retail sales figures released
  • Teen in court charged with stabbing teacher
  • Lionel Messi debut expected at Inter Miami

July 22

  • Opening World Cup match for the Lionesses
  • RMT rail strikes continue
  • Penultimate stage of the Tour de France
  • G20 energy ministers meet

July 23

  • RMT tube staff strike
  • Andrew Tate’s house arrest expires unless extended
  • F1 Hungarian Grand Prix
  • Final stage of the Tour de France
  • Diamond League London

Statistics, reports and results

July 17

  • FSB report on regulation of crypto-assets
  • NAO report on the New Hospital Programme
  • China GDP and quarterly economic data
  • IEA quarterly gas market report
  • Rightmove House Price Index
  • Annual ‘Swan Upping’ census begins

July 18

  • OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index
  • Results from: Ocado, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, BNY Mellon

July 19

  • Centre for Progressive Policy report on the cost of living
  • UK House Price Index
  • Private housing rental prices
  • EU inflation figures
  • IEA Electricity Market Report 2023
  • Results from: Goldman Sachs, Tesla, IBM, US Bancorp, Alcoa, Severn Trent

July 20

  • Quarterly update on crime in England and Wales
  • Quarterly CPS performance stats
  • Quarterly travel and tourism figures
  • Update to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • Results from: Johnson & Johnson, Nokia, Eurotunnel, United Airlines, American Airlines

July 21

  • OBR public finance release
  • Results from: American Express, Thales Group, Schlumberger

Anniversaries and awareness days

July 17

  • International Criminal Justice Day
  • World Emoji Day
  • 10 years ago: Same sex marriage bill received Royal Assent
  • Nine years ago: Eric Garner died after being placed in chokehold in New York

July 18

  • National Caviar Day 

July 19

  • One year ago: Highest ever temperature recorded in UK
  • National Hot Dog Day (US)
  • Liberation Day (Nicaragua)

July 20

  • Lollipop Day
  • Peace and Freedom Day (Northern Cyprus)

July 21

  • Belgium National Day 

July 22

  • Prince George of Cambridge turns 10
  • National Marine Week (to August 6)

July 23

  • 40 years ago: Black July (Sri Lanka) 

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