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June 21, 2024

News diary 24 – 30 June: BBC hosts final UK debate, CNN hosts first US debate

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 

It’s fair to say this has not been a great week for Rishi Sunak, who cheered a fall in inflation on Wednesday before seeing his party predicted to suffer an extinction level event on July 4, with another betting scandal thrown in for good measure.

The prime minister will be hoping to change the narrative as we enter the final 10 days of campaigning, starting with a live interview with The Sun’s political editor Harry Cole on Monday (24 June). The paper’s readers, who continue to hold a huge amount of sway in UK elections, will put questions to Sunak and his would-be successor Keir Starmer before a Sun people’s cabinet issue a verdict on the pair’s performances.  

The Downing Street hopefuls then face off for the final head-to-head TV debate of the campaign, hosted by the BBC’s Mishal Husain in Nottingham on Wednesday (June 26).

In a packed media week for party leaders, Starmer also has an interview with ITV’s Paul Brand on Thursday (27 June), while Green co-leader Adrian Ramsay and Lib Dem photocall king Ed Davey have sit downs with Nick Robinson for Panorama on Monday and Friday (28 June), respectively, before a final leaders’ Question Time of the campaign on Friday featuring representatives from the Greens and Reform UK. 

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The damning revelations for former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells continued this week, with investigator Ian Henderson telling the Horizon inquiry that he suspected senior figures were involved in a cover-up and possible criminal conspiracy.

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The inquiry’s attention turns next week to Gareth Jenkins, whose position in the Horizon affair stands in contrast to the recently-knighted campaign figurehead Alan Bates. Jenkins is a former Fujitsu IT expert and one of the architects of the Horizon system, who has previously been accused of providing misleading and contradictory evidence to the inquiry. He’s finally giving evidence at a four-day session from Tuesday to Friday (25-28 June), after seeking immunity from police prosecution and having two scheduled appearances delayed at the last minute. Jenkins is likely to face questions on his past testimony about the faulty IT system and the timing of document releases before his two previous scheduled appearances. 

Looking abroad 

After Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s campaigns decided to shun the traditional Commission on Presidential Debates, the two men are set to hold their first head-to-head on Thursday (27 June) when they meet in Atlanta for a debate moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

In a departure from 2020, there will be no live audience or opening statements during the 90-minute debate, and the candidates’ microphones will be muted except when it’s their turn to speak. Despite these measures aimed at ensuring a ‘civilised discussion’, the debate has the potential to turn ugly. Trump has already suggested Biden may be planning to use drugs to boost his performance and accused him of being mentally unfit for the presidency. Meanwhile the Biden campaign, having initially shied away from leaning into Trump’s recent conviction, this week released a new ad describing Trump as a ‘convicted criminal’ as well as raising his civil sexual assault and fraud cases. The next debate, hosted by ABC, is scheduled for 10 September

Having spent over 450 days in pre-trial detention, Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich is scheduled to appear in court in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday (26 June) after Russia’s prosecutor general announced that a trial would go ahead on accusations Gershkovich was collecting secret information about a military facility on behalf of the CIA when he was detained last March.

News that proceedings will be held behind closed doors has reinforced widespread concerns of a sham trial, with the WSJ describing the charges as “repugnant, disgusting and based on calculated and transparent lies”. With Gershkovich facing a 20-year prison sentence, Russia has continued to signal openness to a prisoner swap that could potentially also see Paul Whelan, another US citizen held by Russia, returned. 

Iranians elect a new president on Friday (28 June) following the death of Ebrahim Raisi alongside foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several other senior officials in a helicopter crash last month. Former Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, who is associated with the violent suppression of student protests, is being viewed as the frontrunner, facing off against leading reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian and hardline former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili

In France, the first round of snap parliamentary elections takes place on Sunday (30 June) ahead of all-important run-offs on 7 July in the wake of European elections that saw the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) win over 30 per cent of the vote. Current Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, of Macron’s Renaissance party, will be hoping that the prospect of RN premiership under Jordan Bardella or a far-left government under the influence of Jean-Luc Mélenchon is enough to convince voters to back centrist candidates from the Ensemble pour la République bloc who broadly support Macron’s administration. Ahead of the vote, Attal, Bardella and Manuel Bompard of the leftist Nouveau Front Populaire alliance will take part in a televised debate on Tuesday (25 June)

Also look out for… 

June 24 

  • IFS and Greenpeace/Friends of the Earth publish manifesto analyses 
  • Trial begins in Holly Willoughby kidnap case  
  • EU foreign ministers discuss Ukraine and the Middle East 
  • Euro 2024: Croatia v Italy 

June 25 

  • Euro 2024: England v Slovenia 
  • UK state banquet for Emperor and Empress of Japan 
  • ECHR judgment in Ukraine case against Russia over Crimea seizure 
  • Ukraine and Moldova begin EU accession talks 
  • UN Security Council discusses Israel-Palestine conflict 
  • China’s Chang’e-6 lunar mission expected to return to Earth 
  • Michael Phelps at US House hearing on anti-doping 

June 26 

  • UK heatwave forecast 
  • Court hearing for man charged with throwing rocks at Nigel Farage 
  • Deadline to apply for UK general election proxy vote 
  • Guildhall banquet for Emperor and Empress of Japan 
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly 
  • ICC judgment for alleged Mali militant leader 
  • Boeing Starliner spacecraft planned return to Earth 
  • Euro 2024: Ukraine v Belgium 
  • Football League fixtures announced 

June 27 

  • Junior doctors begin five-day strike 
  • IMF publishes assessment of the US economy 
  • Ofcom publishes 2024 BBC Performance Tracker 
  • EU leaders meet to discuss top jobs 
  • Putin and Lukashenko speak at Forum of the Regions of Russia and Belarus 
  • PDC World Cup of Darts begins 
  • The Bear season 3 released 

June 28 

  • UK GDP National Accounts 
  • Glastonbury Festival begins 
  • Wimbledon draw 
  • Legislative election in Mongolia 

June 29 

  • Euro 2024 round of 16 begins 
  • Tour De France Grand Depart 
  • UK Athletics Championships: 100m finals 
  • Pride in London Parade 
  • Presidential election in Mauritania 

June 30 

  • Formula One: Austrian Grand Prix 
  • Premier League PSR accounts deadline day 
  • JAXA launches ALOS-4 satellite 

Statistics, reports and results 

June 24 

  • Israeli report due on ICJ measures in Gaza genocide case 
  • OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index  
  • CBI industrial trends survey 
  • Argentina Q1 GDP 

June 25 

  • OECD Economic Survey of the United States 
  • Resolution Foundation report on the labour market 
  • Recorded crime in Scotland, 2023-24 
  • Quarterly stats on cancer waiting times in Scotland  
  • Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance  
  • Results from: FedEx 

June 26 

  • UNODC World Drug Report 2024 
  • OECD/WTO report on Aid for Trade at a Glance 
  • BRC report on UK retail diversity and inclusion 
  • Nvidia annual meeting of stockholders 

June 27 

  • 2022 estimates for Local Authority greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Monthly A&E quality indicators and GP stats 
  • Graduate labour market in England 
  • OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2024 
  • OECD PISA report on students’ financial literacy 
  • 2023/24 statistics on firearm certificates in England and Wales 
  • US Q1 GDP (third estimate) 
  • UK Financial Policy Committee summary and record 
  • Bank of England capital issuance 
  • Results from: H&M, Currys, Nike 

June 28 

  • UK Economic Accounts 
  • Quarterly figures on consumer spending 
  • Property transactions in the UK 

June 30 

  • Bank for International Settlements annual report 

Anniversaries and awareness days 

June 24 

  • Small Charity Week (to June 28) 
  • Rabbit Awareness Week (to June 28) 
  • National Deafblind Awareness Week (to June 30) 
  • Co-operatives Fortnight (to July 7) 
  • Two years ago: US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade 

June 25 

  • 15 years ago: Michael Jackson died 

June 26 

  • Armed Forces: Reserves Day 
  • International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 
  • International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 
  • Nine years ago: US Supreme Court legalised gay marriage 

June 27 

  • National Sunglasses Day 

June 28 

  • Freedom of the Press Day (Maryland) 
  • Tau Day 
  • Elon Musk turns 53 

June 29 

  • Armed Forces Day 
  • World Industrial Design Day 
  • 10 years ago: ISIS declared creation of Islamic caliphate 

June 30 

  • Asteroid Day 
  • Social Media Day 
  • 90 years ago: Night of the Long Knives 

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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