A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
It could be a make-or-break week for Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister, with the publication of the Sue Gray report suddenly thrown back into the spotlight. The Met Police announced the conclusion of its ‘partygate’ investigation yesterday, with more than 120 fixed penalty notices being issued. The full Gray report has been on hold pending the outcome of the Met’s investigation, and its conclusion raised expectations that the report could be released before the Commons rises for its Whitsun recess on Thursday (May 26).
It was never likely to be smooth sailing for the Conservative Party this week in any event, beginning with former Tory MP Imran Khan being sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Monday (May 23). Khan was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a party in Staffordshire back in 2008, and his subsequent resignation as Member of Parliament for Wakefield has now set the stage for two key by-elections next month.
It’s unlikely the government will be given an easy ride in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon either, as the hugely controversial Public Order Bill gets its second reading. Critics argue the proposed legislation, unveiled in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, would introduce draconian measures aimed at ‘criminalising the right to protest’, though the Home Secretary says the Bill helps police ‘prevent antisocial protests from disrupting people’s lives’.
Away from the dramas of Westminster and following the official royal opening of the long-awaited Crossrail project on May 17, members of the public can finally make their maiden commute on the Elizabeth Line on Tuesday (May 24). The project has been beset by political rows between management and City Hall and four years of delays, resulting in the line coming in at around £4 billion over budget. Transport for London have said the east-west line will ‘transform’ travel across the capital, contributing an estimated £42 billion to the UK economy.
Following a two-year hiatus, some of the world’s most powerful people descend on the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos-Klosters for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. The ramifications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will dominate discussions, starting on Monday (May 23) when President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a keynote address from Kyiv. Not a single Russian official or business leader has been invited this year in solidarity with Ukraine, despite the historically close ties between organisers and Russia. But there’s nevertheless plenty to watch on the subject.
Highlights on Tuesday (May 24) include special addresses from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, followed by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday. The closing day agenda on Thursday includes interventions from boxer-turned-Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Beyond Ukraine, keep an eye out for discussions with new Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (May 23), IAEA chief Rafael Grossi (May 24), Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin (May 25), and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (May 26).