June 18, 2024

Welcome to your early morning news briefing from The Telegraph – a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Sunday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. Lord Frost quits the Cabinet as Boris Johnson considers Christmas Covid lockdown

Lord Frost quit the Cabinet on Saturday night over concerns about Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 curbs and the Government’s “direction of travel”, as the Prime Minister considered calls for a third national lockdown beginning as soon as this week.

The Cabinet Office minister, who was leading Mr Johnson’s post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union, resigned over the Government’s Plan B Covid measures, having held private concerns for months about coronavirus restrictions and the Government’s economic policy, including its planned National Insurance hike. Read the full story.

2. Former senior aide to Boris Johnson urges him to replace his chief of staff as part of major reset

A senior former aide to Boris Johnson has urged the Prime Minister to replace his chief of staff as part of a reset of his premiership being demanded by Conservative MPs.

Nikki da Costa, a highly regarded former director of legislative affairs under Mr Johnson and Theresa May, told The Telegraph that the “whole system” in No 10 “doesn’t work”, with “no weight given to advance sight” and an absence of work on “what ifs”. Read the full story.

3. The Queen’s Christmas in jeopardy as omicron wave could force her to cancel Sandringham family gathering

The Queen’s plans for her first Christmas without the Duke of Edinburgh are facing ruin, as rising Covid cases force her to reconsider the Royal Family’s traditional Sandringham church visit.

The Queen, who has been determined to return to Sandringham this Christmas after spending last year in a bubble at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh, is taking advice over the omicron surge. Read the full story

4. Prisoner serving life term who stabbed guard in terrorist attack ran Facebook account from jail

One of Britain’s most dangerous terrorists who is serving a life term for the attempted murder of a prison officer has been operating a Facebook site from jail, The Telegraph can reveal.

Baz Hockton, a Muslim convert who stabbed a prison officer inside the maximum security Whitemoor prison, has Facebook posts that mock his current incarceration in the high-security Strangeways jail, in defiance of a blanket ban on telephones and internet access. Read the full story.

5. After 67 years, Beano decides Spotty is really called Scotty

The Beano has changed the name of Spotty to Scotty, as the comic continues to remove politically incorrect labels,

As one of the Bash Street Kids, the pimpled youngster has been known as Spotty since his first appearance in 1954, but he has become the latest character to be reappraised by publishers. Read the full story.

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