A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.
Leading the week
As the government looks with trepidation towards a trio of coordinated strikes on 1 February, next week isn’t so much one leading issue as an extended needling at some of the biggest problems plaguing Rishi Sunak’s premiership…
NHS crisis headlines aren’t going anywhere as the service contends with yet more disruption on Monday (23 January), when Unite, Unison and GMB ambulance staff in England and Wales strike as part of an ongoing dispute over pay. The action comes after all unions representing health workers jointly declared a withdrawal from the NHS Pay Review Body process for 2023 in a bid to force a more direct form of negotiation with the government.
Some 4,000 Unite health and care workers in Northern Ireland take their turn on Thursday (26 January), joined by 4,200 NHS physiotherapists in England represented by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) as part of a dispute over pay and staffing.
The cabinet ministers on tour for yesterday’s levelling up fund announcement probably hoped for a better reception in some quarters, and Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison faces a tough assignment on Monday (23 January) when she’s questioned by MPs about the government’s allocation of resources for its one-time flagship policy.
The session comes after questions were raised about the fairness of allocating funds to wealthier areas in south east England and constituencies such as Richmond (MP: Rishi Sunak) while bids from authorities in less well-off parts of the country were unsuccessful.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove will want to continue pushing back against accusations of south-east favouritism when he addresses the Convention of the North on Wednesday (25 January) alongside his Labour shadow and towns advocate Lisa Nandy.
Meanwhile, the ongoing scrutiny of the government’s handling of the small boat migrant crisis and the workings of the UK’s asylum system as a whole are the focus on Wednesday (25 January), as Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick gives evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee.
The session focuses on equality in the UK asylum process, and comes just days after Home Office data revealed some 60,000 people have now been waiting more than three years for their cases to be resolved. The Office for National Statistics then releases new data from the 2021 census on Friday (27 January), detailing long-term international migration in England and Wales. A summary released at the end of November found one in six usual residents of England and Wales were born outside the UK, in a jump of almost 17% since 2011.
Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday (24 January) as speculation mounts as to who will receive the coveted nods.
Golden Globe winner The Banshees of Inisherin, Top Gun: Maverick, Everything Everywhere All at Once, All Quiet on the Western Front, Tár, The Fabelmans, and Elvis are likely nominees for Best Picture, while Best Director nominees could include Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin) and James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water)
Colin Farrell is a top contender for Best Actor for his performance in The Banshees of Inisherin, while Bill Nighy could nab a nomination for Living, as could Paul Mescal for Aftersun. Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh are Best Actress favourites for their respective roles in Tár and Everything Everywhere All at Once.
The business side of the entertainment industry will also be in the spotlight on Tuesday with the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing into the lack of competition in the ticketing industry, which follows on from the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster and the highly-publicised fiasco last November when Ticketmaster’s website repeatedly crashed as hundreds of thousands of fans tried to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. “Swifties” have already filed two lawsuits against the ticketseller alleging fraud, price-fixing and antitrust violations, while parent company Live Nation is reportedly facing a Justice Department investigation that pre-dates the Swift concert chaos.
With the war in Ukraine having dominated this year’s Davos gathering amid rows over Western military support in the run up to today’s Ramstein defence ministers’ meeting, EU foreign ministers will gather in Brussels on Monday (23 January) for their first meeting of the year, with the conflict again on the agenda.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, will be in South Africa that day for talks with his counterpart Naledi Pandor, and is likely to use the trip to suggest Russia’s isolation over its war in Ukraine is exaggerated by Western leaders threatened by a new multipolar world.
Lavrov’s visit, as it happens, comes shortly after South Africa announced planned navy drills with Russia and China next month. In related news, the European Court of Human Rights is set to announce on Wednesday (25 January) whether it will take up three cases against Russia brought by Ukraine and the Netherlands, related to the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the downing of flight MH17, respectively.
Also look out for:
- Bertie Ahern at select committee session on the Good Friday Agreement
- LSE hosts fireside chat with Angela Rayner
- IfG holds energy market briefing with Ofgem CEO
- Health Qs in the Commons
- Doomsday Clock press conference
- David Lammy Chatham House speech on Labour’s foreign policy
- Argentina hosts CELAC leaders’ summit
- Carabao Cup semi-final first legs
- Sunak and Starmer face off at PMQs
- IPPR State of the North report
- Amazon UK staff strike in Coventry
- Detention hearing for Lockerbie suspect Abu Agila Mas’ud
- University applications deadline
- Joseph Rowntree Foundation annual report on UK poverty
- HMRC at select committee session on pandemic and tax compliance
- Scottish budget debate and FMQs
- London Assembly session on 2023/24 budget
- WHO committee meets on COVID-19 emergency status
- UN experts on people of African descent hold briefing after UK fact-finding visit
- Czech Republic presidential election runoff
- Donald Trump holds campaign event in South Carolina
- Australian Open women’s final
- FA Cup fourth round
- Australian Open men’s final
- Detention deadline for Andrew Tate held in Romania
- Tunisia parliamentary elections runoff
Statistics, reports & surveys:
- Census data on ethnic group by age and sex
- National balance sheet (2022 estimates)
- Foreign direct investment stats (2021)
- Preliminary data on EU gas price cap
- Employment trends outside cities and towns (ONS)
- Monthly UK property transactions
- Global Report on Trafficking in Persons
- Results from: Microsoft, Associated British Foods, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Halliburton
- Household disposable income and inequality (2022)
- Census data on sexual orientation and gender identity by age and sex
- Police workforce statistics
- Results from: Tesla, Boeing, IBM, US Bancorp, Tata Motors
- US GDP (Q4)
- Quarterly figures on crime in England and Wales
- Drug-related deaths and suicide in prison custody (ONS)
- Social housing sales in England (2021/22)
- SMMT car production stats
- NHS Urgent and Emergency Care weekly situation report
- Results from: Diageo, Nokia, Banco Sabadell (TSB), Intel, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines
- Deaths registered in England and Wales (2021)
- Bank of England stats on capital issuance
- Results from: Chevron, H&M, American Express
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