How Scotland played politics with the pandemic – and lost

Welcome to your early morning news briefing from The Telegraph – a round-up of the top stories we are covering today. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. Boris Johnson’s senior aide watched cricket as Kabul fell

Boris Johnson’s most senior aide spent the day at a cricket match three days before the fall of Kabul, The Telegraph can disclose.

Dan Rosenfield, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, accepted hospitality tickets to a weekday match at Lord’s on Aug 12, a day before a senior Number 10 figure – said to have been Mr Rosenfield – ordered Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, to return from a holiday in Cyprus. Read the full story.

2. Britain ramps up firepower to deter Russian invasion

Britain is preparing to double the number of its troops deployed to Estonia and dispatch warships and jets to Nato’s eastern flank to “send a clear message” to Moscow amid warnings Russia could be days away from invading Ukraine.

On Saturday night, Boris Johnson – due to hold crisis talks with Vladimir Putin on Monday – ordered the Armed Forces to “prepare to deploy across Europe” in a bid to deter an attack and reassure Nato’s eastern members. Read the full story.

3. Treasury ‘stopped Britain’s FBI from investigating Covid loans fraud’

Treasury officials have been accused of rebuffing an attempt by the National Crime Agency (NCA), known as Britain’s FBI, to launch a sweeping investigation into fraudulent use of taxpayer-funded Covid handouts.

The NCA is said to have  outlined its investigative capabilities and “what we can do to help”, but a source said: “The Treasury effectively said: ‘Butt out of this.'” Read the full story.

4. Children aged seven to be taught that they are not ‘racially innocent’

Children as young as seven are to be told they are not “racially innocent” because they view “white at the top of the hierarchy” as part of diversity training for teachers.

Brighton and Hove City Council has been accused of “indoctrinating” children though its five-year plan for an anti-racist education system, which endorses critical race theory and white privilege – contentious ideologies that have sparked protests. Read the full story.

5. Queen’s decision to cut official ties with Prince Andrew ‘could be used against him in court’

The Queen’s decision to sever all official ties with the Duke of York and cast him adrift as a “private citizen” could be used against him in court, friends fear.

Buckingham Palace announced earlier this month that it had stripped Prince Andrew of all military titles and patronages, ordered the 61-year-old not to use his HRH title and ruled out any return to public duties. Read the full story.

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