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Being filthy rich does not disqualify someone from being prime minister any more than being dirt poor should.

Honesty, integrity and competence – all lacking in Boris Johnson – are the virtues most needed in our next head of government.

But there are two others. Understanding and empathy with ordinary people whose lives depend on the decisions a PM makes. And it is in that department that Rishi Sunak falls down woefully.

Today we reveal how soaring energy costs mean his Richmond, North Yorkshire constituents could lose the public baths they rely on for leisure and exercise.

Meanwhile, their MP is able to afford to build his own 12x5m private pool and cough up the £13,000-a-year needed to run it.

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While Mr Sunak and his family can take the plunge any day they like, 700 children a week could be deprived of the opportunity to learn to swim. And this is not just happening in Yorkshire.

Without government help, nearly eight in 10 public baths face closure across the country.

Mr Sunak should promise that if he gets the top job, he will stop that happening. And he should take another dip – into his own copious pocket to help his local swimming pool out.

A body blow

It’s a fact that some people are born in the wrong body and it causes untold anguish. But they can change their gender, and transitioning may be the answer.

It is a huge, life-changing decision, however, and it must be approached with the maximum of medical support to ensure that step is right for them.

Sam Wise says she only had two-and-a-half hours of therapy at a private clinic before being prescribed hormones to make her more male.

That led to surgery to remove her breasts. The tragedy for Sam is that she now regrets it and has chosen to live as a woman again.

Anyone thinking of transitioning should read Sam’s story. It highlights the need for careful medical and psychological checks, and the time required to carry them out.

We hope Sam finds the peace she is searching for and discovers the gender identity which makes her happy – and that others in a similar position get the care, support and expertise they deserve before embarking on such a journey.

You go, girls!

Up to 20 million of us are expected to tune in later to watch the Lionesses get their claws into Germany.

To come so far in this contest is fantastic. To win this evening would be historic – our first victory in a major international football tournament since 1966.

We will all be roaring the Lionesses on. They are truly the pride of our nation

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