Monday evening news briefing: Scottish independence drive 'into fifth gear'

·6-min read
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Good evening. Humza Yousaf has won the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and become the next first minister of Scotland. And Prince Harry makes a surprise appearance at the High Court.

Humza Yousaf to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader

Humza Yousaf has won the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader, despite widespread doubts about his competence and polls indicating he is deeply unpopular with the public. Mr Yousaf defeated Kate Forbes and Ash Regan in the race to succeed Nicola Sturgeon and he will now become the next first minister of Scotland. The former Scottish health secretary positioned himself as the Sturgeon continuity candidate, pledging to continue her "progressive" agenda, including taking the UK Government to court over its veto of her self-ID gender reforms. Mr Yousaf also stated this afternoon that under his leadership the SNP will put the "independence drive into fifth gear". However, Gordon Rayner argues that Yousaf’s victory will make Scottish independence even less likely. Our Scottish correspondent Daniel Sanderson has a profile on the man who has vowed to break up Britain by 'any means necessary'. You can follow updates on our live blog here.

Prince Harry makes surprise appearance at Daily Mail court hearing

The Duke of Sussex has made a surprise appearance at the High Court this morning as he wanted to show his “support” for a legal claim against the publisher of the Daily Mail over alleged phone hacking and misuse of private information. Prince Harry is one of seven high profile figures, including singer Sir Elton John and actress Elizabeth Hurley, who are suing Associated Newspapers Limited. Arriving at court with a small team of staff, the Duke smiled at the press and bumped into a photographer as he walked into the building shortly before 10.30am. The Prince is not expected to see his father during his visit, despite making contact, as he was told the King was “busy”. King Charles was scheduled to be undertaking engagements on a state visit to France today, before the trip was cancelled due to widespread unrest. With the monarch set for a second European state visit later this week, this time to Germany, our Associate Editor Camilla Tominey questions Prince Harry’s timing.

Lineker: My BBC deal lets me tweet about refugees

Gary Lineker has claimed he agreed a deal with BBC director-general Tim Davie that would leave him free to share his views on refugees and climate change without being in breach of BBC rules on being non-partisan. The Telegraph previously revealed that freelance presenters working for the BBC enjoy "arrangements" allowing them to share political views without breaching impartiality rules, depending on how closely associated they are with the corporation. It was understood that in Lineker’s case, as a weekly presenter for much of the year, he was too close to the broadcaster to stray from these rules, although the former striker himself believed his comments would be allowed. Mr Lineker, speaking on The Rest Is Politics podcast, claimed he did not think he had said anything particularly controversial. However, his comparison of Suella Braverman’s rhetoric on small boats to that heard in "Germany in the 30s” saw him temporarily taken off air amid an impartiality row with executives.

Evening Briefing: Today's essential headlines

Royals | The late Queen asked for gifts of horses worth £52k during a state visit to Germany in the 1970s. Officials called the demands ‘excessive’ but West German president Walter Scheel agreed. The value of the gift, £52,800 in today's money, was the largest ever given by the Bonn republic to a foreign dignitary. Germany’s auditing office had “serious reservations”, released archives show.

Comment and analysis

World news: Serial sperm donor who fathered 550 children sued for increasing incest risk

The Netherlands’ Donorkind Foundation is suing Jonathan Jacob Meijer to stop him making sperm donations amid accusations his prolific activity increases the risk of accidental incest. Mr Meijer, 41, a musician who now lives in Kenya, is on a Dutch donor blacklist, but has continued to donate in other countries. Meijer, who is thought to have fathered 550 children, is also accused of lying about the extent of his donations. Dutch sperm clinic guidelines say donors should donate a maximum of 25 children or to 12 women to prevent inbreeding, incest or psychological problems for donor children.

Interview of the day

Michael Portillo: ‘I tried to make a film of Macbeth with Diane Abbott as Lady Macduff’

The journalist, broadcaster and former politician shares his memories of Harrow County School for Boys

Read the interview

Business news: Homeowners to benefit from faster fall in interest rates next year

Millions of homeowners will benefit from a whole percentage point drop in interest rates next year, according to City forecasters. The Bank of England will raise the Bank Rate once more this year, but will bring it down more quickly than expected in 2024, analysts at Barclays predict. This suggests that mortgage borrowers could be better off sticking with a tracker loan rather than switching to a more expensive fixed-rate deal. Meanwhile, the chairman of Credit Suisse's largest shareholder has quit after his comments helped trigger the slump in its shares that led to its rescue.

Editor's choice

Travel | Inside the ‘superyacht in the sky’ that’s coming in 2026

World | On the ground in Turkey’s ‘little Afghanistan’, the refuge from the Taliban that lies in ruins

Culture | Do real bohemians still exist?

Sport news: Stuart Hogg announces plan to walk away from rugby

Stuart Hogg, the former Scotland captain and British and Irish Lions full-back, has announced that he will retire from all rugby after the World Cup. Hogg, 30, had an option to extend his contract with Exeter Chiefs for a further season following the 2022-23 campaign, but has opted to hang up his boots. A Gallagher Premiership and Champions Cup winner with Exeter in 2020, Hogg has won 100 caps for Scotland and is his country's record try scorer with 27. Hogg had openly discussed the possibility of walking away from the game back in October, admitting that external criticism had affected him away from the field.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

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