Friday morning UK news briefing: Today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

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

1. The Queen exiles Prince Andrew from royal life over sex abuse scandal

The Duke of York has been stripped of all military titles and patronages by the Queen and has agreed no longer to use his HRH title, in an attempt to protect the Royal family from the fallout of his sexual abuse case.

The announcement was made after Prince Andrew, 61, was summoned to Windsor Castle for a 45-minute meeting with his mother, amid increasing speculation that he will have to pay off his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Read the full story.

2. Exclusive: Two parties held in Downing Street as Queen and country mourned death of Prince Philip

Downing Street staff drank alcohol into the early hours at two leaving events the night before Prince Philip’s socially distanced funeral, The Telegraph can reveal.

On the evening of Friday April 16 2021, Britain was in a period of public mourning. Union flags on Government buildings across Westminster hung at half mast to mark the passing of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, the previous week. Read the full story.

3. Labour MP Barry Gardiner accepted £425,000 in donations from Chinese spy

A Labour MP accepted more than £425,000 in donations from a Chinese spy, it emerged on Thursday, prompting demands for an urgent probe into her links with Westminster.

MI5 issued an interference alert to MPs about the activities of Christine Lee, a Chinese national who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to Barry Gardiner, a former shadow cabinet minister. She first began making financial contributions to British politicians 17 years ago. Read the full story.

4. Keir Starmer branded an ‘absolute hypocrite’ for drinking with staff during lockdown

Labour is facing its own “booze row” after Conservative figures pointed out that Sir Keir Starmer had been pictured drinking a beer when the country was still under Covid restrictions.

With Boris Johnson under mounting pressure over a series of gatherings in Downing Street, the Labour leader on Wednesday claimed that the public could see he was “lying through his teeth”. Read the full story.

5. New rules to crack down on adult migrants claiming to be children 

New rules to weed out adult migrants falsely claiming to be children in order to boost their asylum chances are to be introduced by ministers after a trebling in fake applications.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, will on Friday issue new guidance allowing immigration officials to crack down on anyone who appears to be over 18 seeking to pose as a child to fast track their application. Read the full story.

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