Thursday morning news briefing: ‘Summer of discontent’ looms

Liz Truss opposes cuts by demanding more staff

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is resisting attempts by Boris Johnson to cut the number of civil servants and has requested 1,000 extra staff to work on foreign affairs in Whitehall.

She has dismissed calls from No. 10 for civil service chiefs to downsize their departments – believing the war in Ukraine and tensions elsewhere in the world justify a hiring frenzy.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, Ms Truss fought calls for a 5 per cent reduction in her department’s headcount, calling for an increase instead.

The news came as Ms Truss – who has supported Mr Johnson during his recent leadership troubles – instructed her senior mandarin to sack fellow Tory Baroness Morrissey, who worked in her department, after calling for the Prime Minister’s resignation.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is set to unveil new help for people set to get mortgages today as he uses a speech to reset his leadership after the confidence vote and tell Brits ‘things are getting better’.

The Prime Minister will also announce an extension of Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy’ policy to housing associations.

Millions of households will be given the right to buy the properties they rent from housing associations, as is currently possible with social housing.

Political Editor Ben Riley Smith reports another idea seen as a key step in what the Prime Minister is calling turning “generational rent” into “generational purchase”.

The real reason behind Prince Louis’ cheeky antics

He won many hearts with his mischievous antics during the platinum anniversary celebrations, but it seems Prince Louis’ inability to sit still was fueled by something more than boyish energy.

Mike Tindall, whose wife Zara is the Duke of Cambridge’s cousin, says the young prince had “a complete sugar rush” during the pageant after consuming “a lot of sweets”. Victoria Ward Reports on what else Tindall revealed.

After the Jubilee presented a new “slimmed-down monarchy”, Guy Kelly selects the firm’s background members who may yet rise – and envisions the titles and responsibilities they may assume in the future.

Today’s political cartoon

In his latest cartoon fan focuses on the twin pains of strikes and rising fuel prices. Frosted is absent, but check out his latest work.

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Stand your ground against “religious mobs”. | The appeasement of the “religious mob” by the government and councils will undermine social cohesion, a high-ranking adviser warned today in the wake of the Islamic protests against a film. Dame Sara Khan, the government’s adviser on social cohesion and resilience, has criticized the failure of national and local politicians to fight back protests that have forced Cineworld to cancel all UK screenings of a film about the Prophet Mohammed’s daughter. Read her article for us.

Worldwide: The Ukrainian resistance strikes back

Ukrainian civilians living under Russian occupation in the city of Kherson blew up a cafe near the headquarters of the puppet government in what appears to be the resistance’s first terrorist attack in the occupied territories. At least four people were injured in the blast, which is frequented by Russian soldiers. It comes amid growing signs of a resistance movement in parts of Moscow-controlled Ukraine. Thursday morning news briefing: ‘Summer of discontent’ looms

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