The UK recorded its highest temperature ever on Tuesday, exceeding 40C (104F), and prompting a refocus on climate change as the heatwave gripping Europe intensifies.

According to the Met Office a record temperature of 40.3C was recorded in Coningsby, in central England, with dozens of sites across the country experiencing temperatures in excess of the previous high of 38.7C recorded in 2019.

This followed the hottest night ever recorded, with temperatures failing to dip below 25C in some parts of the country.

Britain, which often struggles to maintain key transport services in extreme heat or snow, was put into a state of national emergency thanks to the record temperatures, while companies such as Network Rail issued advice not to travel unless essential.

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