Monday morning news briefing: New Zealand volcano erupts on tourists

Volcano erupts: At least one killed, with more missing

At least one person has been killed and more fatalities are "likely" after a volcano erupted at a New Zealand tourist spot. Twenty-six people are missing. Some of them were inside the rim of the crater when it began blowing massive plumes of smoke and debris into the air early today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said foreign holidaymakers were among those unaccounted for on White Island. Watch dramatic video of the moment of eruption. Our picture gallery has the latest images. At the same time, nearly 1,000 tourists are stranded in Franz Josef after landslides and flooding cut off access to the small New Zealand town.

Johnson takes election fight to Labour’s heartlands

Three days to go. Boris Johnson today begins his final push for Labour votes by urging those in Leave-supporting constituencies to reject Jeremy Corbyn’s "great betrayal" of Brexit. The Prime Minister will visit every region of England and Wales to tell voters their instruction to leave the EU will be reversed by Islington-based Labour politicians "who sneer at your values and ignore your votes". Meanwhile, an ex-Labour member has revealed that it took just five minutes for party conference delegates to decide Jews were "subhuman" and should be forced to eat bacon.

The Conservatives have claimed a Corbyn government would lead to 52 more murders a year and an epidemic of violent crime. Read Home Secretary Priti Patel‘s article for The Telegraph arguing that Labour’s opposition to the police using stop and search would lead to fewer criminals being caught and more weapons on the streets. And Sir Keir Starmer, one of Labour’s most prominent frontbenchers, has been accused of presiding over a "sweetheart" deal that eventually led to the early release from jail of the London Bridge terrorist. 

PS: Telegraph Money explains which party to vote for – by age group.

BBC chops down Christmas tree amid security fears

A good festive mystery is normally a BBC staple at Christmas time. But this one perhaps owes more to spoof sitcom W1A than Agatha Christie: who chopped down the corporation’s Christmas tree? A fully decorated tree stood at the door of new Broadcasting House, the BBC’s HQ, for just one week before it was cut down, sliced into small pieces and carted off on Saturday. Craig Simpson has pictures – and reports some members of staff were left perplexed after being told the tree was a "security risk".

News digest

  • Prince Andrew | Doubt cast on new claims he danced with ‘sex slave’
  • Winter crisis | Patients in 12-hour A&E waits as NHS in ‘worst state’
  • Harrods stabbing | King’s College student was ‘entirely blameless’
  • David Attenborough | New show will use robotics to explore plants
  • Strictly Come Dancing | Fans’ anger as result leaked in online spoiler

Gallery: The big picture

Polar express | One-year-old Ivy Goodall looks out from a window of the Santa Steam Special train at Oxenhope station, West Yorkshire. View our picture editor’s choice of more striking world images.


  • Nick Timothy | Tories’ task is getting voters to focus on Corbyn
  • Tim Stanley | My plea to soft-socialists: give Johnson a chance
  • Tom Welsh | Fleeing the country entirely rational if Labour wins
  • Jane Shilling | Small acts of courtesy dispel unmannerliness
  • Allison Pearson | Christmas gift anxiety? Give the perfect books

Editor’s choice

  1. Christmas hangovers | I’ve hired a drinking coach to get me through the party season
  2. Cyrano de Bergerac review | Dominic Cavendish: James McAvoy left me speechless
  3. No need for Bank of Mum and Dad | ‘I earned £17k at 18 – then bought my first home by 21’

Business and money briefing

Going digital | Greeks will have to pay a hefty fine if they do not spend almost a third of their income electronically in an attempt by the government to reduce rampant tax evasion. Tom Rees explains how it is a radical bid to shine a light on Greece’s huge shadow economy – ranked as the world’s largest – where only cash changes hands.

  • Trouble in store | Perfect storm threatens a fragile energy sector
  • Investment tip | Computer games firm looks cheap – keep buying
  • On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day  

Sport briefing

Aston Villa 1 Leicester City 4 | Jamie Vardy’s brace helped provide a record eighth consecutive top-flight win that keeps Leicester within eight points of Premier League leaders Liverpool. As John Percy reports from Villa Park, the title race is alive and kicking.  

  • ‘I was putting hands in my pants’ | Fan arrested over ‘racist gestures’
  • Spared total exile | Russia to avoid blanket ban on world sport
  • Anthony Joshua | Fighter has discipline to move back on track

And finally…

Residents left tut-tutting | Plans by the Saatchi Gallery to erect a giant statue of Tutankhamun to drive more tourists to its latest exhibition have enraged wealthy residents nearby. Millionaire homeowners in Chelsea, west London, have criticised an application for the 25ft bronze depiction of the Egyptian pharaoh. Read on for more details and to see how the planned statue would look.

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