Tuesday evening UK news briefing: Budget briefings show 'utter contempt'

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Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Budget briefings show 'utter contempt', claim MPs

Cross-party MPs have lined up to attack the Government for showing Parliament "utter contempt" by briefing many of the details of tomorrow's Budget ahead of time.

The Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle had implied Rishi Sunak should resign over the repeated announcements made ahead of Wednesday's statement, but Treasury officials ignored this to push out further measures.

Dame Angela Eagle, the veteran Labour MP, accused the Government of treating "parliamentary democracy with utter contempt" by announcing measures that cannot be scrutinised because they are not accompanied with the OBR forecasts.

Why has this situation come about?

Kate Andrews points out that the Chancellor, and those in his inner circles, have realised for a long time that coming out of the pandemic would be more difficult, politically, than coping with Covid-19 in the first place and analyses how his spending spree is not quite what some might frame it to be.

The Chancellor does a final run-through of his Budget speech - Simon Walker HM Treasury
The Chancellor does a final run-through of his Budget speech - Simon Walker HM Treasury

The spending plans that have been trailed are not being met with universal approval either.

A think tank has suggested the public sector pay rises could be taken out of funding for education and prisons, while Matthew Lesh argues that a public sector pay rise will cost taxpayers billions without any improvement in services.

The Chancellor is also under pressure to scrap "dangerous and confusing" plans to block savers from accessing their pension until age 57.

Here is a roundup of what to expect from the Budget and what it will mean for house prices.

Paterson: Watchdog probe played part in wife's suicide

Whatever happens tomorrow, Mr Sunak's career is unlikely to be left on the line. That is not the case for Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, who Parliament's standards watchdog has recommended be suspended for 30 days for lobbying on behalf of two companies. The Tory MP claimed the investigation contributed to his wife's suicide after claiming the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards did not "comply with natural justice". He said the manner in which the investigation had been conducted had "undoubtedly played a role" in his wife's death in September. Charles Moore outlines why he thinks Mr Paterson is the latest pro-Brexit MP to fall victim to a flawed, unjust system.

Animal rights protesters demand UK goes vegan

Once the Budget is done and dusted, the Government's firm aim will be on securing pledges during the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow but animal rights protesters have scaled a government building to demand ministers go even further. The activists from Animal Rebellion want the UK to switch to a fully vegan diet. See pictures and video of them after climbing the Defra building, where they plan to stay "indefinitely". Meanwhile, coal-rich Australia has unveiled a much-delayed 2050 net zero emissions target, although the plan pointedly dodges thorny details or near-term goals ahead of the landmark UN climate summit. Sir David Attenborough has issued a warning to world leaders ahead of the event.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Sudan coup an act of defiance to UK

Roads were blocked, shops were shut, phones were down and people queued for bread in Sudan today, a day after the army seized power in a coup that triggered unrest in which at least seven people were killed. Life came to a halt in the capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman across the Nile, with roads blocked either by soldiers or by barricades erected by protesters. Calls for a general strike could be heard blaring from mosque loudspeakers. Read why it was a slap to the face towards the UK and US when Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan launched the coup. Mutaz Ahmed analyses why it exposes Britain's strategic ineptitude.

Tuesday interview

Rob Halford on booing Thatcher and those 'death pact' accusations

 Singer-songwriter Rob Halford of Judas Priest - WireImage
Singer-songwriter Rob Halford of Judas Priest - WireImage

The heavy-metal singer and Judas Priest frontman, now 70, talks to Ian Winwood about 'subliminal messaging' and why even arteries rupturing on stage can't bring his band down

Read the full interview

Sport briefing: Solskjaer's deadline - Walter Smith dies

First off, the sad news that former Scotland, Rangers and Everton manager Walter Smith has died aged 73. Read Roddy Forsyth's tribute to the man who always stayed humble. Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been given three games to save his job at Manchester United manager, after Sir Alex Ferguson attended their Carrington training base today. Read why United's board are reluctant to sack him. Jason Burt analyses how the hands-off manager and his raw assistants are leaving a coaching blind spot at the club and here is a player-by-player verdict on their squad. In cricket, Quinton de Kock has withdrawn from a South Africa T20 World Cup match after refusing a team order to take the knee.

Editor's choice

  1. Wartime lover | 'I took a DNA test and discovered the truth about my family secret'

  2. Vogue shake-up | Is Anna Wintour starting a woke war with the French?

  3. Life savings | 'Dogecoin started out as a joke, but it's made me a millionaire'

Business briefing: HS2 steel row - Bezos space station

HS2 is facing a backlash from the steel industry after a non-UK approved company from France was handed a crucial contract to prop up the train line's tunnels. Industry leaders said they were "concerned and disappointed" at the decision to award a French fabricator, Sendin, with the contract to provide steel panelling for HS2's tunnels. This graph shows the original HS2 proposals. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin has announced it wants to launch a space station that will house up to 10 people in the second half of the decade, as the race to commercialise the cosmos heats up. Here is an artist's impression of what it would look like.

Tonight starts now

Stath Lets Flats, Channel 4, 10.15pm | We do love a dimwit, don't we? Jamie Demetriou's three-time Bafta-winning comedy (often acclaimed as the funniest show on television) about an incompetent but well-meaning English-Cypriot lettings agent, returns for an eagerly awaited third series as Stath (Demetriou) is about to become a parent for the first time.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

London's best restaurants | London's restaurant scene changes by the week, with restaurants opening and closing on a regular basis; sometimes, it's hard to keep up. To help you whittle down the options, these are the restaurants given a four- or five-star rating by Telegraph food critic William Sitwell over the last year.

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