Tory leadership, monkeypox and Brittney Griner: 5 things you should know this week

Boris Johnson speaks outside Number 10

Tory leadership candidates are following in Boris Johnson’s anti-trans footsteps in a desperate bid to emerge victorious as his successor.

Elsewhere, monkeypox is continuing its spread across the world – and experts are concerned governments haven’t learned any lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It might seem like there’s a lot going on in the world, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are five things you should know this week.

1. The Tory leadership race is heating up

Rishi Sunak leaves his home

Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, will allegedly launch a ‘manifesto for women’s rights’. (Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Since Boris Johnson resigned as leader of the Conservative Party, 11 Tories have put themselves forward as potential successors – and many are already attacking the LGBTQ+ community in a bid to shore up support.

Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid and Tom Tugendhat are among the senior Tories who have announced leadership bids in recent days. Some of those hoping to take Johnson’s place have spoken out against trans rights in the past, while others have just now adopted anti-trans talking points to win favour.

There was widespread disappointment among LGBTQ+ people when Penny Mordaunt, who has expressed support for the trans community in the past, spoke out against “trans orthodoxy” after launching her campaign.

As the days roll by, we’re likely to see much more fear-mongering from Tory leadership hopefuls about LGBTQ+ people.

2. The war in Ukraine continues, but support for refugees is dropping

A woman with two children and carrying bags walk on a street to leave Ukraine.

A woman with two children and carrying bags walk on a street to leave Ukraine. (PETER LAZAR/AFP via Getty)

Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine, unleashing chaos and devastation on ordinary people’s lives – but over in the UK, public support for refugees is dropping.

Polling by YouGov showed that three-quarters of the population supported resettling Ukrainians fleeing war in the UK, but that has now dropped to 71 per cent, according to The Independent

According to the research, the UK public is significantly more supportive of Ukrainian refugees than Afghans, Syrians and Somalians fleeing violence – a worrying indictment.

3. Monkeypox proves that vital lessons haven’t been learned, experts say

Microscope image of the monkeypox virus

Microscope image of the monkeypox virus. (Getty/ Gado/ Smith Collection)

Monkeypox continues to spread across the world, and experts are criticising the United States government for its sluggish pace at tackling the virus.

Speaking to The New York Times, experts questioned why the US government had failed to contain the outbreak when it was “a known pathogen”.

Dr Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said: “We’ve been hitting the snooze button on emerging diseases for decades. The alarm is going off, and it’s time to wake up.”

Monkeypox has sent a bolt of fear through LGBTQ+ communities around the world as it has been heavily detected among gay and bisexual men. Experts are increasingly critical of governments globally for failing to learn lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Chris Pincher fallout continues

Chris Pincher posing for a parliamentary portrait.

Chris Pincher. (Official parliamentary portrait)

The fallout surrounding Tory MP Chris Pincher looks likely to rumble on after the Conservatives denied trying to silence one of his alleged victims.

Daniel Cook, a Tamworth councillor who has accused Pincher of groping him, claimed local party members were contacted by Conservative headquarters and told that “everybody needs to shut up” about the MP’s conduct.

The party has said his claims are “categorically not true”. Pincher has denied Cook’s allegations.

5. Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson could intervene in Brittney Griner case

Brittney Griner looks over her shoulder as she wears a red basketball jersey with her hair styled in locks

Brittney Griner told a Russian court she “didn’t want to break the law” as she pleaded guilty to drug charges. (Getty/Christian Petersen)

WNBA star and Olympic gold medallist Brittney Griner is facing an uncertain future after pleading guilty to drug charges in Russia.

She was apprehended in Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow in February and accused of carrying vape cartridges that contained hashish oil. Griner told a Russian court on 7 July that she accidentally packed the cartridges in her luggage, and did not intend to break the law.

She faces up to a decade’s imprisonment. Efforts to bring Griner home to the United States have so far failed, but former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is now set to stage an intervention in the case, according to ABC News.

A source told the news outlet that Richardson will travel to Russia shortly with the aim of striking a deal with authorities to have Griner freed.