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January 19, 2024

News diary 22-28 January: Telegraph Ofcom/CMA deadline, Oscar noms, Adam Johnson inquest opens

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

After some tough talk at yesterday’s press conference, Rishi Sunak can now look forward to a Rwanda-free week in the House of Commons as scrutiny of his plans moves over the second chamber, with the Lords scheduled to debate a motion on Monday (January 22) that could delay the UK-Rwanda treaty from being approved. While this first attempt to stymie the prime minister in the upper house may become a headache in the longer-term, Sunak can at least look forward to a week without backbench machinations as he works on rallying the party troops before peers reportedly begin the debate proper on January 29.

Following jury selection this week, the prosecution in the highly-publicised trial of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon gets underway on Wednesday (January 24). The pair made national headlines when they were reported missing by Marten’s father on January 5 last year, after their abandoned car was found alight near Bolton. After reported sightings up and down the country, the couple were found and arrested on February 27. The body of their baby daughter, Victoria, was found in an allotment shed near Brighton days later. The pair deny charges of manslaughter, concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice. Much has been made of Marten’s privileged upbringing, growing up on the £100m estate of Crichel House in Dorset with parents connected to the royal family.

This week’s hearings into the Post Office Horizon scandal were difficult for Fujitsu: European chief Paul Patterson apologised to MPs for its role and said the company has a ‘moral obligation’ to contribute to compensation payments, which led to a $1bn overnight fall in the Japanese firm’s share value. Questions over the company’s culpability and ongoing involvement in UK public sector contracts aren’t going away, but next week the inquiry at the heart of the scandal will turn its attention to Post Office probes into those accused of embezzling money. Three days of hearings featuring investigators involved in the prosecution of Scottish sub-postmaster William Quarm start on Tuesday (January 23), followed by a session focusing on Northern Irish victims Alan McLaughlin and Maureen McKelvey on Friday (January 26). The sessions will likely follow up on claims of investigator bonuses and the suggestion that Post Office executives’ remuneration may have included money wrongly taken from branch managers.

Round two of the Barbenheimer battle heats up on Tuesday (January 23) with the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations. The two blockbuster films, released on the same week in July, are joined by Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster, Killers of the Flower Moon, as the films most likely to win the coveted Best Picture award. Unlike at the box office, critics predict Oppenheimer will claim the crown, as well as the best actor gong for the Irish Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy. British attention will be on the best actress category, where Emily Blunt could receive a nomination for her role in Oppenheimer, as well as the best animated feature category, which could see a nod for the team at Aardman Animations for Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel presents the awards for the fourth time.

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Looking abroad

All eyes will be on New Hampshire on Tuesday (January 23) for the Granite State’s presidential primaries, with much attention likely focused on Nikki Haley’s performance. Haley came in third in Iowa, where former president Donald Trump secured a dominant victory that some are already arguing shows the race for the GOP nomination is effectively over. If under-pressure Haley fails to at least come close to Trump on Tuesday, expect many more voices to declare Trump the party’s presumptive nominee. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is a distant third in New Hampshire polls, returns to South Carolina over the weekend, though he’s due back in New Hampshire next week ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who used his annual press conference this week to announce Moscow had rejected proposals to resume nuclear arms control talks because of Washington’s support for Ukraine, will be in New York on Monday (January 22) to attend a Security Council meeting expected that day on the conflict. On Tuesday (January 23), he’ll participate in the Council’s quarterly debate on the situation in the Middle East, likely dominated by the conflict in Gaza but now almost certain to also include a discussion on US-led strikes on Yemen’s Houthis in response to attacks on ships in Red Sea. All three conflicts will also be on the agenda at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday (January 22), who will be joined by counterparts from Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well as Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Following his visit to Davos earlier this week, firebrand Argentinian president Javier Milei will face the first major challenge to his radical policy prescription for the ailing Latin American country when unions hold a general strike and major protest on Wednesday (January 24). The shows of opposition are timed to take place the day before a planned vote on Milei’s omnibus legislation, with a modified version of the bill due before the National Congress on Thursday (January 25) following committee sessions earlier in the week.

Amid tensions with Moscow, new NATO member Finland votes on its next president on Sunday (January 28). With popular president Sauli Niinistö, once dubbed the ‘Putin whisperer’ for his contacts with the Russian leader prior to the invasion, stepping down after two six-year terms in office, polls suggest a close race between right-leaning triathlete Alexander Stubb and Pekka Haavisto, the main left-leaning candidate who would make history by becoming the country’s first gay president. The Finnish president has considerable powers, notably when it comes to foreign and security policy, but unfortunately for Russia there’s little daylight between Stubb and Haavisto when it comes to the threat posed by Moscow. A runoff, if needed, takes place on February 11 and the winner will take office at the start of March.

Also look out for

January 22

  • Scottish health chiefs appear at Covid-19 inquiry
  • Trial of former British Virgin Islands premier on drugs charges
  • MPs debate offshore licensing bill
  • Donald Trump may testify in E. Jean Carroll damages trial
  • Narendra Modi attends Shri Ram Temple Ayodhya opening
  • Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron meet in Berlin

January 23

  • Wes Streeting and Sajid Javid address IfG Government 2024 conference
  • BMA referendum on NHS consultants pay offer closes
  • CAT hearing in class action case against Mastercard
  • Ukraine Defense Contact Group meets
  • Nicholas Rossi appears in court in Utah
  • Doomsday Clock press conference
  • Carabao Cup semi final: Chelsea v Middlesbrough

January 24

  • Rishi Sunak faces Keir Starmer at PMQs
  • Parole hearing for Gary Glitter
  • Gillian Keegan at opening morning of BETT
  • Chief of the General Staff at International Armoured Vehicles conference
  • Carabao Cup semi final: Fulham v Liverpool

January 25

  • Humza Yousaf and Alister Jack at Covid-19 inquiry
  • Strike by Amazon staff at Birmingham fulfilment centre
  • London Assembly session on draft 2024/25 budget
  • Lucy Frazer speech at Onward event on philanthropy in the UK
  • Mark Drakeford in conversation at the IfG
  • Alabama inmate due to be executed using nitrogen gas
  • French Constitutional Court rules on controversial new immigration law
  • US Q4 GDP
  • Tuvalu elections

January 26

  • Ofcom/CMA deadline for report on Telegraph acquisition
  • Inquest opens into death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson
  • Family of Sara Sharif appear in court
  • Donald Trump addresses Arizona Freedom Fest
  • Nicholas Rossi back in court on separate rape charge
  • China and Saudi Arabia reports adopted at UN Human Rights Council UPR session
  • Emmanuel Macron in India to mark 75th Republic Day

January 27

  • Australian Open women’s final
  • FA Cup fourth round
  • Joe Biden visits South Carolina

January 28

  • Australian Open men’s final
  • Annual Bloody Sunday commemoration march
  • NFL Conference championship games

Statistics, reports and results

January 22

  • Centre for Cities Cities Outlook
  • FSB Small Business Index

January 23

  • Public sector finances
  • JRF annual report on poverty in the UK
  • HPV vaccine coverage in England 2022/23
  • IEA Electricity Market Report 2024
  • Japan interest rate decision
  • Results from: Netflix, Johnson and Johnson, General Electric, Halliburton, Associated British Foods, Raytheon, Verizon, Visa, Procter and Gamble, United Airlines, Ericsson

January 24

  • Biannual police workforce statistics
  • DWP cold weather payment statistics
  • NAO report on government support for biomass
  • CBI Industrial Trends Survey
  • Flash UK PMI
  • Bank of Canada interest rate announcement
  • Results from: Tesla Motors, IBM, AT&T, Freeport McMoRan

January 25

  • Quarterly stats on crime in England and Wales
  • Population estimates by marital status and living arrangements
  • NHS sickness absence and workforce statistics
  • SMMT automotive production
  • CBI Monthly Survey of Distributive Trades
  • ECB, Turkey and South Africa interest rate decisions
  • South Korea Q4 GDP
  • Results from: Dow, Capital One, Union Pacific, Nokia, Southwest Airlines, Comcast, Eurotunnel, Halfords

January 26

  • IEA quarterly gas market report
  • GfK UK consumer confidence barometer
  • Results from: American Express, Colgate-Palmolive, WHSmith

Anniversaries and awareness days

January 22

  • 100 years ago: first Labour government formed
  • Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
  • Franco-German Day

January 23

  • 100 years ago: first female minister appointed
  • National Pie Day
  • National Handwriting Day

January 24

  • National Peanut Butter Day

January 25

  • Burns Night
  • NASA Day of Remembrance ceremony

January 26

  • Australia Day
  • India’s Republic Day
  • Big Garden Birdwatch

January 27

  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • National Storytelling Week

January 28

  • 20 years ago: Hutton Inquiry findings published
  • Data Privacy Day
  • World Leprosy Day

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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