Monday morning news briefing: Special Forces end ship standoff off Isle of Wight

Chris Price
·7-min read
Helicopters hover overhead and boats surround the ship before the rescue - Steve Parsons/PA
Helicopters hover overhead and boats surround the ship before the rescue - Steve Parsons/PA

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

Special Forces storm ship as 'hijackers' threaten crew

Special forces on Sunday night ended a ten-hour standoff in the Channel after a group of violent Nigerian "hijackers" threatened to kill the crew of an oil tanker bound for the UK. Troops from the Special Boat Service stormed the Nave Andromeda under cover of darkness and in a nine minute raid detained seven suspected migrants after they forced the giant vessel to drop anchor five miles off the Isle of Wight. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel praised the police and armed forces for bringing the situation under control. The Nigerian stowaways are understood to have turned violent after the crew found them hiding in the bowels of the 228 metre-long vessel, which had been due to dock in Southampton this morning. Jamie Johnson and Bill Gardner reconstruct how the dramatic standoff came to an end.

Boris Johnson faces Tory revolt over free school meals

Former ministers are leading a growing Tory revolt on free school meals as they told Boris Johnson to come up with "something better" or they would vote against the Government. Up to 100 Tory MPs were said to be sharing furious texts over the Government's handling of England footballer Marcus Rashford's campaign for free school meals in the holidays, and the way it handed a political coup to Labour. Sir Keir Starmer took advantage of the Tory disarray to pledge a second vote on Rashford's latest appeal. It comes as a London School of Economics study found only six in ten pupils are getting a full education despite schools going back, as researchers warn of "permanent scarring" to the Covid generation. Elsewhere, universities have been urged to allow students to go home amid fears mental health services are becoming overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, Tory MPs are moving to set up the coronavirus equivalent of the European Research Group (ERG) if the Government fails to come up with a "plan B" to tackle the pandemic. Steve Baker, a former chair of the ERG, which led the Brexit backbench rebellions, is being urged by as many as 90 Tory MPs to adopt the same approach to put the case for an alternative strategy to perpetual lockdowns. Read on for details.

Olivier Ward winner Tutty back living in family home

Winning your first Olivier Award at 22 years old should have meant a joyful night of champagne, celebration and singing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. But, instead of walking the red carpet, Sam Tutty is back in his childhood bedroom, having just watched the pre-recorded ceremony with his mother and younger brother, eating nibbles on the sofa in their West Sussex home. The actor has moved out of his North London flat, is relying on his savings, and does not know when he will be back on stage due to lockdown. Read how he and his colleagues are making ends meet.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

NHS staff's shame | Hospital food should be nutritious and served on china plates, rather than plastic microwaveable containers, to make eating more pleasurable for patients, a review has concluded. The review, led by celebrity chef and restaurateur Prue Leith, also found NHS staff feel "ashamed and humiliated" that they cannot serve good hospital food to patients. Read on for details of the recommendations.

Around the world: Biden's poll lead in pivotal Texas

Joe Biden with granddaughter Natalie as he leaves church in Delaware -  Drew Angerer/Getty Images 
Joe Biden with granddaughter Natalie as he leaves church in Delaware - Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden has edged into a three-point lead in the pivotal state of Texas according to the latest opinion poll, raising the possibility he could clinch the presidency on election night. With minimal mail-in voting, the fate of Texas - and its 38 electoral college votes - is expected to be declared on November 3, dealing Donald Trump's re-election chances a potentially fatal blow. To unpack the real state of play, The Telegraph has brought together a panel of experts who will discuss the latest with US Editor Ben Riley-SmithHere is how to join our US election webinar.

Comment and analysis

In case you missed it: Highlights from the weekend

Editor's choice: Features and arts

  1. Leaving a long shadow | The strange ways that coronavirus can affect the brain

  2. Nightly battles | The new rules for our children's lockdown screen time

  3. Giving up | How to hang onto your Sober October habits for life

Business and money briefing

Covid cash | Ministers struck a deal worth up to £119m with one of the world's biggest marketing companies for a coronavirus campaign three weeks before the country went into a national lockdown, official filings show. Read on for details of the tie-up with London-based OMD Group.

Sport briefing

Among greats | Tao Geoghegan Hart has made history at the Giro d'Italia, becoming only the second British rider to win the famous race. The 25-year-old, who rides for Ineos Grenadiers, finished the final day 39 seconds faster than Jai Hindley, his Australian rival. Tom Cary has the inside story on how the boy from Hackney in east London became an overnight sensation while Geraint Thomas analyses how Geoghegan Hart showed unbelievable composure as the race came to an end.

Tonight's dinner  

Dover sole with brown butter and watercress | An elegant and simple dish that takes minutes to make. James Martin adds brown butter to add a touch of bitterness. Read the recipe.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

Gloriously weird | Five minutes into her global livestream extravaganza, Billie Eilish froze – left arm aloft, one finger pointing – and remained there for the duration of an entire song. A message flashed on my screen, Page Unresponsive. It's not a problem you usually get at live gigs. But it was a temporary glitch in the boldest virtual concert since Covid brought the live scene to a grinding halt. Neil McCormick reviews the 18-year-old's art pop experience.