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Thursday 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 today. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. Boris Johnson likely to be among 50 Downing Street party goers to be questioned by police

Scotland Yard will this week contact more than 50 attendees of Downing Street parties, asking them to explain their involvement in the events before detectives begin issuing fines.

Boris Johnson is expected to be among those who will receive an email asking for an “account and explanation” of his participation in one of the 12 parties being investigated. Read the full story.

2. Energy ‘surge pricing’ to be offered to millions of households

Energy “surge pricing” is to be introduced for millions of British households for the first time after three of Britain’s largest suppliers threw their weight behind a revolutionary overhaul of the country’s power market.

Scottish Power, EDF and Octopus Energy said on Wednesday that they support radical new tariffs under which customers will be charged more for using energy during peak periods, and less in quieter ones. Read the full story.

3. Boris Johnson puts more troops on standby and tells Russia to show ‘real diplomacy’ over Ukraine

Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced that he was putting 1,000 more troops on standby to boost Nato’s presence in eastern Europe and urged Vladimir Putin to show “real diplomacy” over the Ukraine crisis.

Mr Johnson is on Thursday set to meet Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg, when he will offer the extra soldiers to counter Russia’s troop buildup and support a humanitarian response in Ukraine and neighbouring countries in the event of a conflict. Read the full story.

4. Early ‘lab-grown’ Covid virus found in sample lends weight to Wuhan theory

An early version of Covid-19 that appears to have been grown in a laboratory has been discovered in samples from a Chinese biotechnology firm.

The finding lends weight to claims that the virus may have started life as a lab experiment that accidentally leaked out. Read the full story.

5. Faceless painting worth £750k ruined after ‘bored’ security guard draws eyes on it

A security guard on his first day at work in an art gallery vandalised a £750,000 painting by a student of one of Russia’s greatest avant-garde painters by doodling eyes and a mouth onto a bare face.

Visitors spotted the additions scrawled in pen on the faceless subjects of Anna Leporskaya’s Three Figures (1932-34) while the painting was on loan to the Yeltsin Centre in the city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals. Read the full story.

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