A temperature of 38.7C was recorded on Thursday, which – if confirmed – would be a new all-time high for the UK.

Climate experts have warned the UK will suffer heatwaves like this week’s more regularly in future – with 40C becoming the “new normal”.

They blame the continuing rise in emissions of damaging greenhouse gases for the climate emergency, which is leading to more frequent extreme weather spells.

The Met Office announced the 38.7C figure was received from Cambridge Botanic Garden yesterday.

If validated, it will become the highest temperature officially recorded in the UK, outstripping the 38.5C seen in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.

Read more: Independent