Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…
The week begins with the opening of tennis’s oldest and most prestigious Grand Slam, Wimbledon. Reigning men’s champion and top seed Roger Federer is the bookies’ favourite, and victory would net the 36-year-old his ninth Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam.
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- February 8, 2019
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In the women’s draw, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams and title holder Garbiñe Muguruza are favourites to be crowned champion. Williams, recently returned to the game after the birth of her first child, attracted controversy after being named 25th seed, despite being ranked 183rd in the world and only playing in three tournaments in the last year.
Monday also sees the Grenfell Tower inquiry continue, with the firefighters on the scene giving evidence to Sir Martin Moore-Bick. The London Fire Brigade has faced scrutiny over the “stay put” policy, which saw residents instructed to remain in their flats rather than evacuate.
Last week Michael Dowden, the officer who led the LFB response to the fire, said he had not been given proper training in tower evacuation and broke down when shown footage of the burning building.
World Cup watch: Round of 16 continues as Brazil play Mexico and Belgium take on Japan. There’s also some big football news across the pond worth tuning into on Monday, as Wayne Rooney is officially presented as a DC United player. His move to the MLS was confirmed on June 28, and he’ll debut on July 14. As you might expect, United have gone all out for his arrival.
On Tuesday, the UK’s Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire heads to Birmingham, where he will deliver a keynote speech to the Local Government Association’s (LGA) annual conference.
Also taking the stump are Brexit Minister Suella Braverman and Women’s Equality Party leader Sophie Walker.
Back in Westminster, the Home Office can expect yet more criticism of its “hostile environment” policy with the release of the second part of a major report on the Windrush scandal.
The Home Affairs Select Committee warned in its initial report that the Government had driven some members of the Windrush generation to destitution by wrongfully stripping them of their jobs or social security payments. The committee recommended the urgent creation of a hardship fund for those facing financial difficulty as a result of the Government’s errors.
It’s been a while, but England are back in the knockout stages of the World Cup as they take on Colombia for a place in the quarter final. The last time England won a knockout game at a World Cup was in 2006. The good news? It was also against South American opposition. If Gareth Southgate’s men can pull off a victory in Moscow, then a meeting with Switzerland or Sweden awaits in the next round (but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves).
On Wednesday, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Theresa May’s Europe Adviser Ollie Robbins will appear before the Exiting the European Union Committee, where they’ll give evidence on the progress of Brexit negotiations. It follows Theresa May’s (brief) update on negotiations at a working dinner last Thursday as part of the European Council leaders’ summit – a summit which Davis didn’t attend.
Last week, the Intelligence and Security Committee published its damning reports on rendition, where it was revealed that UK authorities were aware their American counterparts were mistreating detainees. The reports have led to call for an independent inquiry to be established, with committee chair Dominic Grieve saying agencies were aware of incidents that were “plainly unlawful”.
The issue will be thrust back into the spotlight on Wednesday as the Supreme Court hands down its judgment in the case of Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, who claims to have been unlawfully rendered to Libya in March 2004. Judges will rule whether there should be a disclosure as to why those who were allegedly involved in the rendition have not been prosecuted. His case resulted in the Prime Minister issuing an apology back in May.
The High Court also hears a case brought by the charity Plan B and a number of British citizens, who challenge the Government’s progress on tackling climate change. The claimants are suing the Government for failing to set a safe climate change target, a failure which they argue is a breach of their fundamental human rights. It’s likely the hearing will set a date for a full trial towards the end of this year.
The NHS celebrates its 70th birthday on Thursday, with events taking place across the country. There are services at both Westminster Abbey (NHS England Chief Simon Stevens attends) and York Minister (Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to attend), as well as various fundraisers for NHS charities.
The service received an early birthday present at the start of the month when it was announced it would be getting a £20bn shot in the arm – a figure which has since been criticised by the BMA as being “well short of what’s needed”.
Fresh from the European Council Summit, Theresa May heads to Chequers on Friday for a “Brexit away day”. It’s been a difficult few weeks for the PM, who is struggling to keep her fractured top team together.
In the last seven days alone, May has had to contend with disparaging comments on British business from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, an outspoken attack on Cabinet members by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, and accusations from back bencher Jacob Rees-Mogg that her Chancellor is colluding with business to push for a soft Brexit.
Far from being a relaxing country retreat, the meeting will instead be used to thrash out an agreement on a plan for the UK’s future relations with the EU. European leaders upped the ante this week, saying that the stalemate in negotiations was due to May’s divided top team.
World Cup watch: the quarter-finals kick off in Russia with a place in the semis up for grabs (matches TBC).
The capital falls silent on Saturday to mark the 13th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings. The attacks at Liverpool Street, Tavistock Square, King’s Cross, and Edgware Road claimed the lives of 52 people and injured more than 780, making them deadliest terrorist incident on British soil in the 21st century.
The 105th edition of the Tour de France gets underway with the Grand Depart. The opening stage sees competitors taking on a 189km route along the coast from Noirmoutier-en-l’ile to Fontenay-le-Comte. Britain’s Chris Froome is targeting a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey, though the Team Sky rider is currently the subject of an ongoing anti-doping investigation.
Just this week, Froome batted away criticisms over his place on the tour and insisted he has “every right” to compete in an event which he has dominated in recent years.
World Cup watch: The quarter-finals conclude as teams battle it out for a place in the final four (matches tbc).
Following his victory in the country’s recent Presidential and Parliamentary elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is sworn in for another term in office as Turkey’s leader on Sunday. Parliament meets for the first time since the June 24 vote, with Erdogan becoming the first leader to enjoy massively increased executive powers. With Erdogan also able to stand for another term, his swearing-in could be the start of a rule which would take him up to 2028.
The week closes with one of the biggest events on the UK sporting calendar as Silverstone hosts the British Grand Prix. A victory for Lewis Hamilton would be his sixth at Silverstone, and would see him overtake Alain Prost and Jim Clark as the circuit’s most successful driver. Hamilton currently leads the overall world championship standings ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: Reuters/Toby Melville