Prime minister Liz Truss, Joe Lycett and 3 other essential things you need to know this week

Collage of Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak in front of No 10

The bitter, divisive Tory leadership race has finally come to an end, with Liz Truss beating Rishi Sunak to be named the UK’s next prime minister.

Truss was announced as the Conservative Party’s next leader on Monday (5 September) by Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbenchers.

Elsewhere, police in Canada are hunting for suspects after 10 people were killed in a stabbing, while the number of murdered Black trans women continues to rise.

It might seem like there’s a lot going on in the world, but we’ve got you covered. Here are five essential stories you need to know this week.

1. Tory leadership race finally draws to a close

Liz Truss (L) and Rishi Sunak, contenders to become the country's next prime minister, arrive to take part in the BBC's 'The UK's Next Prime Minister: The Debate'.

Liz Truss (L) and Rishi Sunak, contenders to become the country’s next prime minister (JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty)

After weeks of hustings, debates and anti-trans dogwhistles, the Tory leadership race has finally drawn to a close.

Liz Truss was was named as the next Conservative leader on Monday (5 September) after she picked up 81,326 votes from the party’s membership. Sunak finished with 60,399.

In her victory speech, Truss thanked Sunak and also paid tribute to outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson.

“Boris, you got Brexit done, you crushed Jeremy Corbyn, you rolled out the vaccine and you stood up to Vladimir Putin,” she said.

As minister for women and equalities, Truss failed to deliver on promises to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Her office also failed to ban conversion therapy, despite promising numerous times that she would do so.

2. Russia is planning a ‘decisive energy blow’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (AFP via Getty/ SERGEI SUPINSKY)

Russia is planning a “decisive energy blow”, according to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Fears over ever-spiralling energy prices continue to mount as Russia’s ruler, Vladimir Putin, who continues to wage his brutal war in Ukraine, blocks gas exports to Germany.

G7 countries have announced plans to put a price cap on Russian oil exports, which prompted Russia to say it would stop selling oil to those countries.

The cost-of-living crisis is likely to only worsen as the winter hits, with many forced to use electricity and heat that is now beyond their means.

3. Epidemic of violence against Black trans women continues

Dede Ricks

Dede Ricks was just 33 years old. (Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office)

The epidemic of violence against trans people is showing no sign of slowing down.

Dede Ricks, a Black trans woman, became the 28th trans or non-binary person violently killed in the United States this year so far when she died on 27 August.

The 33-year-old was discovered unresponsive with gunshot wounds to her chest and back. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

At least 47 trans people were murdered in the US in 2021, making it the deadliest year on record for the community.

4. Police hunt for suspects after stabbings in Canada

Damien Sanderson (L) and Myles Sanderson (R), two suspected attackers, as Canadian police launched a manhunt to track down after a series of stabbings in two communities that left multiple people dead and others wounded.

Canadian police launched a manhunt to track down Damien and Myles Sanderson. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty)

At least 10 people have been killed and 15 more injured in a series of stabbings in the Saskatchewan province in Canada.

Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of Damien and Myles Sanderson. They have been named as suspects in the case.

The attacks took place in what Reuters described as “a sparsely populated indigenous community” early on Sunday morning (4 September).

Prime minister Justin Trudeau said he was “shocked and devastated” by the “horrific attacks”.

Police believe some victims might have been specifically targeted, whereas others appeared to have been random attacks.

James Smith Cree Nation, where the attacks occurred, is an indigenous community with a population of just 3,400 people.

The attack is among the deadliest mass killings in modern Canadian history.

5. Joe Lycett dominates right-wing press over BBC skit

Joe Lycett. (BBC)

Joe Lycett on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg (BBC)

Queer comedian Joe Lycett has made headlines in the Daily Mail and other newspapers after he posed as a right-wing Liz Truss supporter on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. 

Lycett won praise from people watching at home when he described himself as “very right-wing”. He added that Truss had been “very clear” in an interview about her plans to combat the cost-of-living crisis.

“I think, you know, the haters will say we’ve had 12 years of the Tories and we’re sort of at the dregs of what they’ve got available and that Liz Truss is sort of like the backwash of the available MPs,” Lycett said.

“I wouldn’t say that because I’m incredibly right-wing, but some people might say that.”

Lycett managed to upset the Daily Mail. The newspaper’s front page on Monday (5 September) read: “Now BBC comic mocks Liz Truss.”

The story said the BBC was facing accusations of “anti-Tory bias” over Lycett’s skit.