Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are preparing for a Tory leadership hustings hosted by The Telegraph from 7pm. You can watch live here – and read on for details of how you can get involved. But first, the headlines…
Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines
Tinderbox Britain | A regional drought in southern England is expected to be announced tomorrow, The Telegraph understands.
The official status means the Environment Agency will more closely monitor water companies’ plans to protect supply and add to pressure for hosepipe bans.
It came after warnings of an “exceptional” wildfires risk amid an amber heat warning . With highs of 36C forecast this weekend, these are six ways high temperatures can affect your health – and this is what Britons can learn from their continental cousins about keeping cool .
- Twickenham | Trans activists crash England Women’s training
- Isle of Skye | Father killed ‘trying to save others from gunman’
- Travel | Post-Brexit EU rules about to become very different
- Brainpower | Very simple task that might keep dementia at bay
- Pictured | Car thief caught by police hiding inside 5ft teddy bear
The big story: Camilla Tominey hosts our hustings
It is the halfway point in the race to Number 10 – a decisive moment in the process to decide who becomes Britain’s next prime minister.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will go head-to-head in a crunch Tory leadership hustings tonight hosted by The Telegraph .
Join associate editor Camilla Tominey live as she grills the pair from 7-9pm – and Telegraph subscribers can vote “like” or “dislike” as the debate unfolds.
Mr Sunak and Ms Truss will square off at the sold-out event in Cheltenham, with more than 1,800 party members due to attend to see the contenders in person.
It will be the sixth official hustings, with six more to go. With less than four weeks until Boris Johnson’s replacement is announced on September 5, Ms Truss is viewed as the firm frontrunner – but Mr Sunak will know a strong performance tonight could help him to gain ground on the Foreign Secretary.
The candidates have exchanged many heated words, but their actions as MPs have often spoken louder. To whet your appetite for tonight’s debate, our interactive analysis lets you explore their voting records to learn where they stand on the key issues.
With the cost-of-living crisis one of the key leadership battlegrounds, a grim new forecast today predicted that average household energy bills will soar to more than £5,000 a year next April.
Ministers held crisis talks with utility bosses this morning to discuss how to help ease the pressure.
But the meeting failed to produce any immediate concrete help for struggling consumers, with Boris Johnson acknowledging any “significant fiscal decisions” would be a matter for his successor. Instead, the Prime Minister urged the companies to act “in the national interest” .
European oil demand
Meanwhile, experts warned that oil giants including Saudi Arabia will be boosted by a rise in European oil demand as Vladimir Putin shuts off the continent’s gas taps.
World oil consumption is set to jump by 2.1m barrels a day this year as factories and power generators try to dodge rocketing gas prices, the International Energy Agency said.
It warned the rise in oil demand would emerge against a backdrop of tighter supply, with Russia cutting down on production as the EU prepares sanctions on its oil.
Experts said Russian oil production will drop by a fifth in the early months of next year. Louis Ashworth explains the likely ramifications .
‘Micro-charges’ on the rise
Free products and services have rarely been so valuable in keeping household budgets under control, yet they are disappearing quickly.
Anaya Suresh, a 24-year-old from London, was shocked to find she and her family were denied tap water at a restaurant this summer. “We had to pay £4 instead,” she said. “But it came out in jugs and was clearly from the taps.”
It is an example of a rising number of “micro-charges” that have proliferated since the pandemic.
Martyn James, a consumer rights campaigner, lifts the lid on other areas where consumers are expected to pay more for services that come at no extra cost to businesses.
Comment and analysis
- Con Coughlin | Vladimir Putin’s military cupboard is bare
- Ben Marlow | At least the Lib Dems have an energy crisis plan
- Kara Kennedy | Drakeford turned Wales into terrible ideas lab
- Neil McCormick | Why rock’s old guard lost to the ‘bedwetters’
- Telegraph View | Vindictive inquiry into outgoing Prime Minister
Around the world: ‘Explosions’ at Belarus airbase
Unexplained explosions were heard early today at a military airbase in Belarus that Russia has been using as one of the launchpads for its invasion of Ukraine. Locals reported seeing at least eight flashes in the sky and feeling a powerful blast wave . The Zyabrouka base reportedly hosts large numbers of Russian tanks and long-range artillery. Overnight, new satellite images revealed the extensive damage to another Russian base in Crimea after it was targeted in an attack suspected to have been carried out by Ukraine. Follow our live coverage .
Thursday interview: ‘I was finding it difficult to have proper, intimate relationships with women’
The actor James Purefoy talks to Bryony Gordon , in the latest episode of her Mad World podcast, about love, grief, therapy, family and fishing. Read the interview
Sport briefing: How good can Draper become?
Jack Draper recorded the biggest win of his fledgling career today, beating world No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Canadian Open. This year has already been a tale of rapid progression for the 20-year-old Briton, but how good can he become? Uche Amako examines his likely progression . And, after Manchester United took a gamble on signing Frenkie de Jong, Jason Burt imagines what happens if he does not join .
- Gallery | Winners of the Nature Photographer of the Year Awards – pictured
- Death clutches | The age of manual cars is over – here is what you need to know
- The most offensive film ever made? | Why Jerry Lewis buried The Day the Clown Cried
Business briefing: Property market heads for disaster
House price falls are imminent as soaring mortgage rates and spiralling living costs finally catch up with the housing market, experts have warned. The crunch point will hit at the end of this year and bring a year-long downturn in 2023, with prices falling by 4pc, according to analytics firm the Centre for Economics and Business Research. But, as Melissa Lawford reports, the hit could be far worse if the looming recession brings soaring unemployment, while ever-increasing inflation pushes the Bank of England to continue raising interest rates.
Tonight starts now
Last-minute holiday inspiration | If you are yet to plan a summer break, consider avoiding the south west and head north instead for a seaside getaway without the crowds. Northumberland has a character that is uniquely different from any other English county and its 70-mile stretch of coast – with dolphins and golden beaches, but hardly any tourists – is the jewel in its crown. Steve Newman has your guide to a blissful trip .
Three things for you
- Watch | Football Dreams: The Academy, Channel 4, 9pm – and more
- Listen | Planet Normal: UK is ‘captainless ship heading to iceberg’
- PlusWord | Try the Telegraph’s exciting puzzle game for free
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
‘He was always desperate to avoid being schmoozed at parties’ | After the death of acclaimed author Raymond Briggs at 88 this week, award-winning children’s illustrator Helen Oxenbury remembers her cynical, brilliant, kind friend. Read her recollections .
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