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
After nearly eight weeks of campaign events, hustings, and even the odd interview, the Conservative Party leadership contest comes to an end on Monday (September 5) with the announcement of Boris Johnson’s successor. Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have spent the past two months criss-crossing the nation to woo the party faithful, and most polls show the Foreign Secretary enjoys a comfortable lead over the former chancellor. The winner is announced around lunchtime, kickstarting what will then be a hectic first week in power.
In a break with tradition, the newly anointed Tory leader and their soon-to-be predecessor both head to Balmoral on Tuesday (September 6) for separate audiences with The Queen. Boris Johnson is expected to make a farewell address at Downing Street before heading to Aberdeenshire to tender his resignation as prime minister, with Truss or Sunak then being invited to form a new government. Once installed, the new prime minister is likely to return to Westminster to address the nation on the steps of Number 10, before pressing on with key Cabinet and senior official appointments.
Once their first edition of Prime Minister’s Questions has been navigated on Wednesday (September 7), we could see the new administration rolling out a series of measures to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and spiralling energy bills, including a potential fiscal event within weeks. The prime minister may also make early moves to establish themselves on the international stage – the UN General Assembly debate in New York later this month looks like a likely first foreign visit, unless a trip to Ukraine can be squeezed in first to show continuity in the UK’s commitment.
One of the most pressing tasks for whoever emerges victorious will be getting to grips with inflation and the resulting pressures on household finances, so the new prime minister will likely be paying close attention to what Andrew Bailey has to say when he’s quizzed by MPs on the Treasury committee on Wednesday (September 7). The Bank of England governor’s appearance comes with UK inflation in double digits and forecast to hit 22% next year, and after consecutive interest rate increases took the bank rate to its highest level since 2008.
Bailey and senior colleagues including chief economist Huw Pill will face questions on those rate rises and the prospect of further hikes this year, along with the Bank’s most recent forecasts and the potential impact on budgets of continuing increases to energy prices. The governor may also take the opportunity to defend the Bank’s independence in the wake of potential Truss’s recent suggestions that she would seek to hold a review into the central bank’s mandate.
Monday (September 5) marks the 50th anniversary of Munich massacre, when 11 Israeli athletes and a West German police officer were killed after Palestinian militants affiliated with Black September group managed to enter the Olympic Village during the 1972 Summer Games, taking the athletes hostage before a botched rescue operation at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base led to a bloodbath. Israeli President Isaac Herzog is in Germany to mark the grim anniversary, which follows news this week that families of the victims have at last reached a €28 million compensation agreement with Germany. Herzog is due to attend a service at Fürstenfeldbruck on Monday afternoon alongside his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and will deliver an address in the German Bundestag on Tuesday morning. Herzog’s trip comes ahead of a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who is due to arrive in Germany on Sunday (September 11) before heading to New York for the UNGA debate.
Keep an eye out for an intervention next week from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who speaks at the Eastern Economic Forum on Wednesday (September 7) in Vladivostok. This year’s forum is themed On the Path to a Multipolar World, and Putin may well use his speech to expand on his framing of the conflict in Ukraine as the result of US efforts to maintain its global hegemony, which he has also tied to tensions over Taiwan and elsewhere.