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. Education Secretary condemns threats to Batley teacher amid Prophet Mohammed cartoon row

The Education Secretary on Thursday night condemned the “threats and intimidation” that a teacher has faced after he was suspended for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in class.

Gavin Williamson said that the protests outside a West Yorkshire school on Thursday were “completely unacceptable”, adding that teachers are allowed to expose pupils to “challenging or controversial” issues. Read the full story.

2. Macron backs EU Covid vaccine export ban but is overruled

Emmanuel Macron on Thursday night backed EU export bans on AstraZeneca vaccines to Britain, saying that no company that broke contracts with Brussels should be allowed to ship jabs out of the bloc.

Despite the French president’s support, EU leaders refused to jointly back Ursula von der Leyen’s plans for tougher export controls on vaccines on Thursday night amid fears of sparking a vaccine trade war. Read the full story.

3. Exclusive: Covid passport checks could be needed to go to work, the theatre or a sports event

Covid passport checks could be introduced at theatres, football matches, business conferences, wedding venues and even some workplaces, The Telegraph understands.

People would have to show proof of getting a Covid jab, recently testing negative or having antibodies after recovering from the virus to gain admittance under the plans. Read the full story.

4. Two-star general guilty of swindling £48,000 to pay for children’s private school fees

A senior officer in the British Army has become the highest-ranking soldier to be convicted at a court martial since 1815 after he was found guilty of fraud.

Major General Nick Welch was found guilty of dishonestly claiming £48,000 in allowances to pay for his children’s boarding school fees and will be sentenced on Friday following a four-week trial at Bulford Military Court. Read the full story.

5. Duncan Smith among those sanctioned by China for criticism over Xinjiang human rights abuses

China has sanctioned nine individuals and four organisations in the UK in retaliation after Britain imposed sanctions earlier this week on Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

The Chinese foreign ministry said it sanctioned Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative Party leader, along with MPs Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Neil O’Brien, Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani. Read the full story.

Stay up-to-date with breaking news and the latest politics from The Telegraph throughout the day.