Bitesized Blighty: July 26, 2019

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  • Boris Johnson is continuing to appoint more new ministers during his second full day as prime minister. Nick Hurd becomes a Northern Ireland minister, while George Freeman has been given a transport brief. Michael Ellis becomes the new solicitor general, replacing Lucy Frazer, whom Mr Johnson made a justice minister on Thursday. The new PM is making changes to lower-ranked jobs, following a radical overhaul of his cabinet on Wednesday. Mr Johnson also confirmed he would change his own official title to include "minister for the Union" - a pledge he made during his leadership campaign. A Downing Street spokesperson said this was a "statement of his commitment" to strengthening ties between the constituent parts of the UK.
  • The recruitment of 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales will begin within weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. The College of Policing welcomed the pledge but warned of "logistical challenges", partly because of concerns of a lack of instructors for training. It is "not just getting people through the doors", its chief executive said. Home Office figures show that forces in England and Wales lost 20,564 officers between March 2010 and March 2019. Mr Johnson said he wanted the recruitment - which will be overseen by a new national policing board - to be completed over the next three years. Downing Street said a recruitment campaign would begin in September, with forces held to account for meeting the target by a new board, bringing together police leaders and led by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
  • UK Heatwave: Air and rail passengers are being hit by travel disruption even as temperatures cool after the hottest July day on record yesterday. Flights from London airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick, have been delayed and cancelled due to heatwave-related issues technical problems with the UK’s air traffic control system. It comes as the Met Office received a new provisional recording of 38.7C in Cambridge on Thursday, which – if confirmed – would be a new temperature record for the UK. 

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