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The Telegraph
The Telegraph
Chris Price

Thursday evening UK news briefing: Some male MPs act 'like animals', says minister

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

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Ukraine war | A British man who was killed fighting in Ukraine has been named as armed forces veteran Scott Sibley. A second British man has also been reported missing. Our live blog will keep you updated. Read more on the conflict in the Around the World section below.

The big story: Some MPs 'like animals', says minister

It would be fair to call this a low point for standards in Westminster. 

The Attorney General, no less, has said some men in Parliament "behave like animals", albeit a "very small minority," amid growing calls for a Tory MP accused of watching pornography in the Commons to be stripped of the whip. 

Suella Braverman, the Government's chief legal adviser, said she wants to see the "most severe reprimand" if the pornography allegations are proven to be true. 

Yet there have been a string of new revelations today calling into question the conduct of members of the Houses of Parliament. 

This also comes in the week when a newspaper article sparked uproar after it included accusations that Labour's deputy leader had tried to put the Prime Minister "off his stride" by crossing and uncrossing her legs. 

The difficult thing is to work out where to begin.

Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, walks outside 10 Downing Street on March 23 this year - JOHN SIBLEY/REUTERS
Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, walks outside 10 Downing Street on March 23 this year - JOHN SIBLEY/REUTERS

A female MP has accused a member of Sir Keir Starmer's shadow cabinet of making inappropriate comments by claiming she is a "secret weapon" because men want to sleep with her

The Labour leader said he was "deeply concerned" about the claims that an MP in his party was described as a "vote winner" because "women want to be her friend" and men want to sleep with her. 

Then there is the matter of bullying. A disciplinary panel has found the Labour MP Liam Byrne should be suspended from the Commons for two days for bullying a staff member. 

Mr Byrne said he had apologised to the complainant and the situation had been a "valuable lesson for me and one I am determined to learn".

Lockdown beer

The conduct of politicians away from Westminster is also under scrutiny. 

Sources have told the Telegraph that Sir Keir will not be given a fine even if he is found to have breached lockdown rules, as Durham Constabulary has a policy of not taking retrospective action against Covid lawbreakers. 

The Labour leader has been accused of breaking coronavirus regulations by drinking beer with colleagues in the office of Mary Foy, the City of Durham MP, on April 30 last year. 

Tom Harris thinks Sir Keir was naive to believe the partygate row would not touch him.

Meanwhile, the Tory MP Jamie Wallis has been charged with failing to stop after a car crash last November. 

Mr Wallis, who last month became the first MP to come out as transgender, has also been charged with failing to report the crash, careless driving and leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position.

Local elections

All this comes a week before voters are due to go to the polls in the local elections, with Labour hoping to cash in on recent gains in the polls, while the Conservatives will be looking to control the fallout from the partygate scandal and recent criticism of their handling of the cost of living crisis. 

Over 6,000 councillors across 200 councils will be elected across England, Scotland and Wales on May 5. 

Here is a guide to the key seats to watch and graphs showing where Labour and the Conservatives are most likely to have success. 

In our latest Planet Normal podcast, former Labour MP Baroness Hoey believes that despite recent scandals, Boris Johnson is a "survivor" and capable of weathering the storm.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: UK to send anti-ship missiles to Kyiv

Britain is expected to start sending anti-ship missiles to Ukraine after the Defence Secretary warned any blockade of the Black Sea could see increased food prices. On the ground, a puppet government in Russia-occupied Kherson said today it would switch the region's payments to the ruble from May, in the strongest indication to date that Moscow is planning to occupy parts of Ukraine for the long-term. Meanwhile, a £259 million superyacht thought to belong to a sanctioned oligarch sailed for 18 days across the Pacific Ocean, but faces being seized in Fiji.

Thursday interview

'The war will stay with Ukraine's children their whole lives'

Local boy Faddei plays in a destroyed Russian military truck in the village of Kolychivka - Reuters
Local boy Faddei plays in a destroyed Russian military truck in the village of Kolychivka - Reuters

Holocaust survivor Dr Alfred Garwood tells Colin Freeman how the sight of terrified mothers arriving at a Polish railway station evoked memories of his own family's horrific plight

Read the full interview

Sport briefing: Agent Mino Raiola insists he is not dead

Mino Raiola, the high-profile football agent, has been forced to debunk "fake news" that he is dead due to misinformation spreading on social media after he fell ill. Inaccurate reports in Italy that he had died led the agent for Erling Haaland and Paul Pogba to issue a clarification. Jurgen Klopp has ended speculation about his long-term Anfield future by signing a new deal that will keep him at Liverpool for another four years. Jason Burt sets out why Klopp and Pep Guardiola committing to the Liverpool-Manchester City rivalry is bad news for every club in Europe. In Formula One, Sir Lewis Hamilton has delivered a thinly-veiled riposte to those suggesting he is finished as the sport's dominant driver in a message seemingly aimed at Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

Editor's choice

  1. Red tape | 'I built a £35,000 extension then the council told me to pull it down'
  2. Scheme revived | I was a Ten Pound Pom in the Sixties, and it changed the course of my life
  3. Guns and roses | The violent, romantic delights of Grosse Pointe Blank

Business briefing: US economy shrinks

The US economy shrank unexpectedly at the start of the year, piling pressure on Joe Biden and fuelling fears of a slowdown in global growth. GDP fell 1.4pc in the first quarter after growing 6.9pc in the last three months of last year. It is the first contraction since the height of the pandemic in 2020 and a dramatic miss on the 1pc growth expected by economists. In Britain, economic concerns are growing around property. You have probably heard a million times that "house prices are about to crash" even as prices increased during the pandemic. Yet there are now reasons to think that the market is beginning to turn, and they are founded on something rather more solid than a gut feeling. Tim Wallace reveals why home owners are braced for years of falling prices.

Tonight starts now

Prima Facie, review | West End debuts do not come much more astonishing than this solo tour de force by Jodie Comer. In Prima Facie, she plays a London criminal barrister complacently expert in sexual assault cases, who unravels after she’s raped by a work-colleague, and during the pitiless ensuing trial. Her performance, running a full-pelt 100 minutes, propels her into the front rank of stage stars. Dominic Cavendish reviews the production that feels like a punch to the guts.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

Kia EV6 Air, review | This most affordable version of the European Car of the Year packs in all the equipment you could need. Alex Robbins reveals why this entry-level EV is the best of the best.

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.

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