Thursday evening UK news briefing: Today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

The chancellor’s statement came hours after the Bank of England confirmed Britain is in recession as it raised interest rates by 0.5 percentage points. 

The central bank raised rates to 2.25pc as policymakers warned the UK economy was suffering from weak economic activity in the three months to September. 

This was partly due to shops shutting their doors and people staying at home for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral. 

Official data show the economy shrank 0.1pc in the three months to June and Bank policymakers now believe the economy continued to shrink by 0.1pc in the quarter to September, which would push the UK into the mildest of technical recessions.

House prices

The Bank’s decision is a blow to the property market, making mortgages even more expensive. 

That pressure is likely to continue as soaring inflation means further rate rises are in the pipeline, with forecasters expecting it will hit 3pc in 2023. 

Read what rocketing interest rates mean for your house price and here is a guide to what you need to do now to cut your mortgage costs

How, then, should households protect themselves, and is there a way to profit? 

Switching to the best savings rates, investing in companies that can prosper as the cost of borrowing rises, and locking in cheap mortgage rates while they last could have a big impact. 

Read how to protect your wealth from rising rates.

Fracking ban lifted

As the chancellor announces his immediate measures to tackle inflation, part of the long-term plan to give Britain greater control over its energy costs was announced today by Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

The business secretary scrapped the ban on fracking as he said tremors in Britain’s countryside should be tolerated in the “national interest”. 

“Much has changed,” he said, since the Conservatives introduced the moratorium on fracking in 2019, including the energy crisis caused by war in Ukraine. 

He said the country will need to “explore all avenues available to us” as he also confirmed plans to issue a wave of new oil and gas licences in the North Sea. 

Read how potential fracking sites span the Tory seats in the red wall.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Putin could send 1m men to fight

Vladimir Putin has secretly approved a law that will send a further one million men to fight in Ukraine, a Russian newspaper reported today. If true, the target is more than three times higher than the 300,000 number that had previously been circulated and is likely to exacerbate fears of conscription among ordinary Russians that have sparked mass protests. It comes as former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that strategic nuclear weapons could be used to defend new territories incorporated into Russia. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said talk of nuclear conflict is “totally unacceptable”. Five Britons detained by Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine have landed at Heathrow after the biggest prisoner swap in the war to date. Yet Russian nationalists have accused their government of “treason” over the release.

Thursday interview

‘It’s not too soon to make jokes about the King’

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