In the headlines
A multibillion-pound plan to reduce NHS backlogs has been blocked by the Chancellor, amid rising tensions between the Treasury and No 10. A record six million people are currently on waiting lists for non-urgent operations in England. It’s surely no coincidence, says Politico, that Rishi Sunak is delaying such an important policy announcement at a time when Boris Johnson is “desperate for good news stories”. Tennis star Peng Shuai has announced her retirement and said her claim she was sexually assaulted by China’s former vice premier was a “huge misunderstanding”. Shuai, 36, made the announcement in a heavily stage-managed interview in which a Chinese Olympic Committee member acted as her translator. Neighbours is being axed by Channel 5, likely ending its 35-year run on UK television. At its peak, the Melbourne-based soap was regularly watched by 16 million Brits – roughly equivalent to Australia’s entire population at the time.