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
The work begins in earnest for Rishi Sunak next week following his coronation in the Conservative Party leadership contest and appointment as Prime Minister on October 25. Sunak’s path to power was made smooth by the withdrawals of Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt from the contest, and the first order of business after being asked by King Charles to form a government was appointing a brand-new Cabinet team. A brief first meeting for Sunak’s top team on Wednesday morning was followed by confirmation that the medium-term fiscal plan would be delayed until next month, with the task of figuring out how to fill the estimated £35 billion black hole in the public finances apparently saved for a longer sit down around the Cabinet table on Tuesday (November 1).
A first face-off against Keir Starmer at PMQs was either a triumph or a disaster, depending on who you ask, though Sunak will have been heartened by the reaction of Tory MPs in the chamber and the all-important #PMQs socials. But the challenges for Sunak remain broadly the same as those faced by his predecessor, and while Labour’s attack lines for the next session on Wednesday (November 2) and beyond may be easy enough to prepare, especially with continued revelations about the conduct of controversial Home Secretary re-appointee Suella Braverman, the new prime minister will need to do more than rehashing Boris Johnson’s greatest hits to fully unite the Conservative Party behind him and narrow the yawning polling gap built up by Labour over recent weeks.
The Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services publishes its report on vetting, misconduct, and misogyny in the police service on Wednesday (November 2). The report was commissioned by then-Home Secretary Priti Patel in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder and examines the ability of police forces to detect and tackle misogynistic and predatory behaviour by officers and staff. The release comes at a difficult time for the Metropolitan Police in particular, whose failings were lambasted in a report by Dame Louise Casey earlier this month for allowing racist, corrupt, and misogynistic officers to remain in the ranks. New Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has vowed to be ‘ruthless’ in tackling the problem since taking on the top job at New Scotland Yard last month. The report comes a day after Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens appears in court on indecent exposure charges, and on the same day two Met officers are sentenced for sharing racist and misogynistic messages in a WhatsApp group that included Couzens.
Trade unions and cost-of-living crisis campaigners make their voices heard next week as a series of protests take place in London. A strike ballot for hundreds of thousands of teachers and support staff in the National Education Union opens on Monday (October 31), while we could have news of the first ever nursing strike in England when a Royal College of Nursing ballot for 300,000 nurses closes on Wednesday (November 2), the same day the TUC carries out a lobby of parliament on against the ongoing cost-of-living crisis with a demonstration outside the Palace of Westminster. On Saturday (November 5), as RMT workers undertake another national rail strike, the People’s Assembly anti-austerity campaign – supported by a number of leading trade unions – will descend on Central London to proclaim ‘Britain is Broken’ and demand a general election. Protestors will convene at Embankment and march through Westminster towards Trafalgar Square for a rally, where speakers include RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
With Tuesday (November 1) ushering in the final week of campaigning ahead of the November 8 midterm elections in the US, next week will see a flurry of surrogate activity as candidates hope to boost their numbers in the final stretch of their campaigns. President Joe Biden heads to Florida on Tuesday before visiting New Mexico on Thursday (November 3). He’s also reportedly in Pennsylvania on Saturday (November 5) alongside his old boss Barack Obama, who will be in Nevada earlier in the week, holding a rally on Tuesday in Las Vegas. On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump has announced a series of rallies, supporting MAGA candidates in Iowa on Thursday, Pennsylvania on Saturday, and Florida on Sunday (November 6). Big-name supporters on both sides, including Bernie Sanders, Mike Pence and Ted Cruz, are also on the road.
Israel holds its fifth parliamentary elections in less than four years on Tuesday (November 1) as former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who is currently on trial on corruption charges – seeks to make a political comeback by unseating interim leader Yair Lapid, with Defence Minister Benny Gantz also in the running. Polling suggests Netanyahu’s coalition may fall just shy of the threshold required to form a government, meaning another election in the spring of next year is a very real possibility.
Danes are also headed to the polls on Tuesday (November 1) after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called early elections amid an ongoing controversy over the grim cull of Denmark’s mink population due to COVID-19 fears. Frederiksen, who leads the Social Democrat party, is hoping to form a grand coalition to stave off the threat posed by the right, in particular from the new Denmark Democrats. The election is likely to be closely watched in European capitals given the recent victories for far-right figures in Sweden and Italy.