Few incoming occupants of Number 10 know what the defining issue of their premiership will be before they enter office. This is an exception.
Britain’s new prime minister faces multiple and overlapping crises but none more urgent than the cost of living. The energy price cap rises next month from £1,971 to £3,549. It could hit £6,000 by the spring. Without direct support, millions of households, even those relatively high up the income ladder, are set to fall into fuel poverty.
Then there is the broader economic situation. Inflation is already at double-digits, with some analysts predicting it will hit 18 per cent. Interest rates are rising, borrowing is growing dearer, industrial action is rife and the Bank of England is predicting a prolonged recession.
That post-Covid bounce did not last long, Indeed, London’s vibrant night-time sector warns today that its businesses are facing a “bigger crisis than the pandemic” as a consequence of soaring energy bills.
At last, after a month of political paralysis, Britain knows its next prime minister. It needs a bold plan to support households, businesses and charities to get through winter. — a long-term plan to reinvigorate growth and unshackle the capital so we can lead the recovery must follow.
New man at the Met
Speaking of nightmare in-trays, Sir Mark Rowley, the next Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, takes up his duties next week. Mayor Sadiq Khan today set out his demands, including calls for a “step change” in the force’s culture and effectiveness
This weekend was one of bloodshed in the capital. One teenager was stabbed to death, and another left in a critical condition, while a man in his twenties was shot and killed. It follows 2021 that was the worst year on record for teen homicides, with a total of 30 teenagers murdered in London.
Then there are the deep-rooted cultural issues that necessitate urgent change, brought to light by the Independent Office for Police Conduct report into Charing Cross Station, which uncovered a culture of misogyny, racism, homophobia and bullying. And all the while, trust in the Met has been shaken following the kidnap, rape and murder last year of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.
Sir Mark must navigate the often conflicting demands of a Tory home secretary and a Labour mayor, himself fresh off a rebuke from the former chief inspector of constabulary over his handling of Cressida Dick being forced out.
He will start with our support and that of all Londoners who want a Met they can again trust, one underpinned by professionalism and integrity in the pursuit of justice.
Adele on another level
She’s already a legend and now Adele is just a Tony Award away from the EGOT — artists who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
That places her in line with the likes of Paul McCartney, Eminem and one ahead of Barack Obama, who recently picked up an Emmy win for his narration on a Netflix documentary series on national parks.
Unlike the former president, you wouldn’t put it past Adele to complete the set. Though a Nobel win is a decent consolation prize.