We feel helpless, says Bank of England Governor

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Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines

Northern Ireland | A power-sharing Executive at Stormont may not be formed for months after the DUP signalled it intends to play hardball over demands to change the Northern Ireland Protocol. Read the fallout after Boris Johnson visited Belfast today for crunch talks with political leaders amid a standoff at the Assembly over post-Brexit border checks.

The big story: Helpless feeling at the Bank of England

When the Governor of the Bank of England says he is going to sound “apocalyptic” about the threat to food supplies, something is very wrong.

Andrew Bailey admitted he and fellow monetary policymakers have felt helpless over the inflation shock sweeping Britain, 80pc of which he suggested was down to external factors out of his remit of control.

Mr Bailey described the outlook for food prices as a “major worry” as he was grilled by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee over the Bank of England’s response to surging inflation.

Its chairman Mel Stride has accused the Bank of being “slow off the mark” to raise interest rates, while Cabinet ministers have also pointed the finger at Threadneedle Street.

Here is a summary of what Mr Bailey told MPs, while economist Gerard Lyons warns that groupthink plagues the Bank of England.

One of those external factors Mr Bailey was talking about was the war in Ukraine, which has contributed to surging energy prices.

The EU has warned that Vladimir Putin’s war will slam the brakes on Europe’s recovery as surging energy prices risk causing the economy to grind to a halt.

In a bid to combat the crisis, the UK’s energy regulator is considering plans to reset household gas and electricity bills more frequently.

Ofgem says setting the energy price cap every three months rather than twice a year will help suppliers to manage their costs and help households benefit more quickly from any falling prices.

Yet experts have warned that households face “significant rises” in their bills if the plans go ahead. Read what the price cap changes mean for you.

Get another job

Motorists are also under growing pressure today as diesel prices hit a new record high.

The Chancellor’s 5p cut to fuel duty has failed to stop carnage in global markets from hitting drivers in the pocket.

What can you do in the battle against rising prices?

A government minister has suggested that people who are struggling with the cost of living should work more hours or move to a better-paid job.

Watch Rachel Maclean, the safeguarding minister, admitting the idea would not work for all households, as she said those with extra capacity could visit job centres to apply for either more hours or better rewarded employment.

Where to invest

While sky-high inflation will affect everyone this year, those who hold much of their wealth in cash are most at risk.

Indeed, just eight small banks and building societies have put up savings rates since this month’s rise in interest rates, despite high street lenders pushing up the cost of borrowing.

Douglas Graham, 61, from Aberdeenshire, hopes to retire in the next two years after his children graduate from university and private school.

However, he holds £345,000 in cash and has just £20,000 invested, which is solely in shares in Halfords, the car and bike parts retailer.

Read advice from financial planners on what to do with the money.

If you are interested in investing in the buy-to-let market, our tracker shows the areas of the UK with the best rental yields.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Putin threatens ‘response’ to Nato

Deployment of Nato military infrastructure in Finland and Sweden will trigger a response from Moscow, Vladimir Putin warned as the two Nordic nations took steps to join the alliance after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The expansion of Nato’s “military infrastructure to these territories will certainly provoke our response,” Putin said. On the ground, Ukraine said troops defending its second-largest city have pushed Russian units back to their borders, as Kyiv warned Moscow is reinforcing its supply chains into the country. Belarus will deploy special operations troops along its border with Ukraine and send air defence, artillery and missile units to training ranges, Britain’s MoD has said.

Monday big-read

12 simple ways you can have more sex

Don’t bother to go on a sexy hotel minibreak if you want to have sex - PeopleImages

Don’t bother to go on a sexy hotel minibreak if you want to have sex – PeopleImages

Over-60s were the last generation to prioritise getting frisky. Shane Watson says they are the ones who can save everyone else’s libido

Read the full story

Sport briefing: Haskell blunders over women’s rugby

James Haskell, the former England flanker, has been accused of “disrespecting” women’s rugby, after telling Bristol Bears player Simi Pam to “have a day off” when she corrected an Instagram post that failed to recognise the achievements of England’s women players. Pam, who plays in the Premier 15s, took issue with a post about Haskell’s podcast. Eddie Jones names an England training squad on Tuesday and, as ever, there will be plenty of intrigue. Here are the four key issues that need addressing and our Inside Line column sets out how Stuart Lancaster has Leinster attacking the way Jones wants England to play. Meanwhile, former teenage star Laura Robson has announced her retirement from tennis following three hip operations. Also, Daniil Medvedev has not given up hope of a ban on him playing at Wimbledon being overturned.

Editor’s choice

  1. ‘Overnight mountaineers’ | The shocking reality of climbing Everest in 2022

  2. Midlife Fitness Files | ‘Eating more protein helped me lose two stone’

  3. Making things worse | Are you taking the wrong painkillers?

Business briefing: Russian cable threat prompts move

A US tech company behind the NHS vaccine rollout has moved its UK security operations to Britain amid growing fears of a Russian attack on internet cables under the Atlantic. Palantir has switched its security operations for UK customers from the United States, allowing it to monitor threats and issue critical software updates from British soil. Read why it made the change. It comes as McDonald’s announces it is pulling out of Russia after more than 30 years of selling milkshakes and hamburgers in the country, taking a $1.4bn (£1.1bn) hit from the decision.

Tonight starts now

The Breach, review | The first part of a trilogy set in blue-collar America, this new play by Yorkshire-based, Kentucky-born Naomi Wallace, flashes back and forth through the lives of four teenagers – Jude, her brother Acton, and their two male friends, Frayne and Hoke – jumping between 1977 and the older versions of themselves in 1991. It leavens its shocking central event with wit and politics.

Three things for you

And finally… for this evening’s downtime

Ten houseplants to take outside this summer | If you prefer foliage to flowers, many indoor plants will appreciate a few months on the patio. Read a guide to the plants that will look good inside in winter and decorate an outdoor space during the summer.

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