In today’s newsletter: Rishi Sunak has a plan to tackle so-called ‘rip-off’ degrees – but what is the new policy, and how will it work?

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Good morning. The Conservatives have announced crackdowns on many things during their time in power: unions, antisocial behaviour, asylum seekers, people who claim benefits, protests – you name it, this government has promised to get tough on it. Now, the prime minister is promising to crack down on “rip-off” degrees, to “widen access”, “boost jobs” and “grow the economy”.

The government insists that what it pejoratively describes as “low value” degrees offer little in the way of job prospects and earning potential but still leave students saddled with debt.

HealthThe final results from a landmark study confirmed that donanemab slowed cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients by 35%. Trial results of a second drug, lecanemab, reduced the rate by 27%. After this stunning trial data, health regulators are being urged to rapidly approve the two dementia drugs in order to ensure millions of people who could benefit are not “left in limbo”.

Housing | Private landlords in England have seen their assets grow in value by £400bn from rising house prices in the last three decades, which is enough money to build at least 3m council homes, research suggests.

Public sector pay | In a report undermining Rishi Sunak’s central argument against larger wage settlements, a leading thinktank has said raising pay by 10% on average for public sector workers would not add significantly to inflation.

LabourJamie Driscoll, a leftwing regional mayor who has been blocked from standing as a Labour candidate to contest the north-east mayoralty, has announced that he is resigning from the party to run as an independent candidate. Labour has become embroiled in a factionalism row since Driscoll was excluded from the race because of an onstage appearance with Ken Loach, the film director and expelled Labour member.

Water industrySouth East Water has reported a pre-tax loss of nearly £75m, which it blamed in part on the cost of dealing with last year’s “extreme weather events” including the record-breaking heatwave.

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