• MP reveals difficulty getting breast cancer scans during pandemic
    on July 14, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Labour MP Barbara Keeley says two scans were delayed until she insisted on treatment English hospitals urgently need more scanners and staff to clear backlog An MP undergoing treatment for breast cancer has spoken about the anguish of delays after being told that a CT scan needed in March would be put off until September while a cancelled mammogram was not rescheduled.Barbara Keeley, 67, the MP for Worsley and Eccles South in Greater Manchester, said she eventually had her scans done after insisting and speaking to her oncologist, but that many patients did not have the confidence to challenge decisions to halt treatment.Hospital trusts across England urgently need more equipment, staff and space to deal with the backlog of scans for cancer and other conditions, with more than 600,000 people waiting for CT, MRI and other scans amid the coronavirus crisis. Continue reading…

  • How many Hongkongers will want to come to Britain is unclear
    by Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor on July 14, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    There are 3 million eligible for citizenship, but many factors will determine if it taken upThe Foreign Office claim that 200,000 Hong Kong citizens will want to come to the UK over the next five years to take up Britain’s offer of citizenship is a very broad estimate and not a forecast, diplomats admit.The figure suggests less than 10% of the 3 million Hongkongers eligible for a British National Overseas passport will be attracted to a new life in Britain. Continue reading…

  • UK coronavirus live: masks to be compulsory in shops in England; UK death toll rises by 138
    by Lucy Campbell (now) and Matthew Weaver (earlier) on July 14, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Face coverings will be mandatory from 24 July with £100 fines for non-compliance and shops can call police to enforceShops and police must help enforce English mask rules, says ministerMask plan will help tackle high death rate for shop staff, says HancockWhat are the rules over face masks in English shops?Preparations to avoid second wave worst-case scenario ‘must start now’Global coronavirus updates – live 5.20pm BSTThe Department of Health and Social Care said 44,968 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Sunday – up by 138 from 44,830 the previous day.The figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which are thought to have passed 55,500. 5.02pm BSTBanksy has sprayed the inside of a London Underground train carriage with messages about the spread of the coronavirus. Related: Banksy creates mask-themed work on London Underground . . If you don’t mask – you don’t get. Continue reading…

  • Virgin Atlantic agrees £1.2bn rescue deal amid coronavirus slump
    by Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent on July 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Investors pump in funds, loans and deferrals alongside Branson’s £200m injectionCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageVirgin Atlantic has announced a £1.2bn rescue deal to allow Sir Richard Branson’s grounded passenger airline to survive another 18 months of turmoil and aim to return to profit in 2022, after four months without scheduled flights.The privately funded recapitalisation package, a combination of cash injections, loans, and deferrals, was finally confirmed on Tuesday after weeks of talks with potential investors, after Virgin’s attempts to garner state support were rebuffed. Continue reading…

  • British Airways to sell art collection to ease Covid-19 pressures
    by Lanre Bakare and Gwyn Topham on July 14, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Multimillion-pound collection features work by Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst and Marc QuinnBritish Airways is selling its multimillion-pound art collection, including work by Bridget Riley and Damien Hirst, as it attempts to raise funds while the Covid-19 crisis continues to devastate the aviation sector.The Sotheby’s sale will include several artworks that could fetch six-figure sums and have previously decorated BA’s executive lounges and company headquarters. Continue reading…

  • Hancock: anti-vaccine myths on Facebook ‘put lives at risk’
    by Alex Hern on July 14, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    UK health secretary to meet Nick Clegg to discuss further action to tackle anti-vaccination propagandaMatt Hancock will increase pressure on Facebook to tackle anti-vaccination propaganda after a report showed that almost 60 million people across the UK and US subscribe to such content on the social network.The UK health secretary will meet Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs and communications, this week. Continue reading…

  • Banksy creates mask-themed work on London Underground
    by Lanre Bakare Arts and culture correspondent on July 14, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Coronavirus-inspired stencils on tube train feature rats with surgical face masks and hand sanitiserCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBanksy has entered the mask debate with his latest typically playful work: a series of stencils on the London Underground that feature his trademark rats struggling to come to terms with surgical masks.In a video posted on his Instagram page, the street artist is seen entering an underground train carriage while dressed as a member of the cleanup crew before stencilling the rats, which are depicted as using the masks as parachutes and dispensing hand sanitiser. Continue reading…

  • UK’s growth figures dim hopes of V-shaped recovery from Covid-19
    by Phillip Inman on July 14, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    There was nothing inevitable about a weak bounce back – the UK government has delayed the recovery by its ditheringCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain’s recovery from the worst slump in three centuries is going to be long and painful.That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from figures showing the economy barely spluttered back to life in May and predictions by the Treasury’s independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, that the recovery will take until the end of 2022 at best. Continue reading…

  • Chichester Festival theatre boss to join musical stars in outdoor concert
    by Chris Wiegand on July 14, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Daniel Evans will perform with Omid Djalili, Gabrielle Brooks and Giles Terera in summer show previewing postponed South PacificChichester Festival theatre cancelled its scheduled summer productions for the first time in its history as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The theatre’s traditional big musical is now rescheduled for 2021 but three of the stars of that South Pacific revival will perform in an outdoor August bank holiday concert also featuring Omid Djalili, Gabrielle Brooks, Giles Terera – who played Aaron Burr in Hamilton – and Chichester’s artistic director himself, Daniel Evans. Related: Donmar Warehouse to reopen with José Saramago installation Blindness Continue reading…

  • Amber Heard shouted insults at Johnny Depp, high court told
    by Ben Quinn on July 14, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Ex-wife called actor ‘washed up’ and was physically aggressive towards him, says estate managerAmber Heard shouted insults at Johnny Depp, calling him “washed up” and “fat”, and was physically aggressive towards him during a Christmas visit to the Caribbean, it has been alleged at the high court in London.The claims were made by Tara Roberts, the estate manager at Depp’s home in the Bahamas, who was giving evidence at his libel trial via a video link from the actor’s private island. Continue reading…

  • British woman with newborn in Grenada turns to crowd funding for fare back to UK
    by Diane Taylor on July 14, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    New mother among thousands of travelling Britons waylaid by Covid-19 measures globallyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA British woman who went to a Caribbean island for a short trip in March when she was six months’ pregnant is stranded there with her new baby four months after the start of the country’s lockdown. Jaydee Haines-Narayan, 32, went to Grenada on 11 March with her mother, Karen McQueen, and her mother’s partner. Continue reading…

  • Jonathan Ashworth says UK government ‘in slow lane’ on face masks – video
    on July 14, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    The shadow health secretary has responded to the government’s decision to make wearing face masks mandatory for shoppers in England, saying that ‘after days of ministerial muddle, we finally have a decision’. Ashworth accused the government of being ‘in the slow lane’ as he questioned the health secretary, Matt Hancock, on why the measure – which will become mandatory from 24 July – was not implemented earlier and why it would take another 11 days to come into placeEnglish mask plan will help tackle high Covid death rate for shop staff – Matt HancockUK coronavirus updates – live Continue reading…

  • Car tyres are major source of ocean microplastics – study
    by Damian Carrington Environment editor on July 14, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Wind-borne microplastics are a bigger source of ocean pollution than rivers, say scientistsMore than 200,000 tonnes of tiny plastic particles are blown from roads into the oceans every year, according to research.The study suggests wind-borne microplastics are a bigger source of ocean pollution than rivers, the route that has attracted most attention to date. The analysis focused on the tiny particles produced by tyres and brake pads as they wear down. Continue reading…

  • Health minister admits he first read findings of government pandemic report in the Guardian – video
    on July 14, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Edward Argar, a health minister, has told MPs at the public administration and constitutional affairs committee that he first read the findings of Exercise Cygnus in a Guardian reportUK health minister did not see 2017 pandemic report until Guardian storyContinue reading…

  • Australian papers reveal Queen’s thoughts on Charles as governor-general
    by Caroline Davies on July 14, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Queen would not favour prince taking role until he was married, private secretary saidRead all 1,200 pages of the palace letters‘Better for Her Majesty not to know’The Queen would not have approved of Prince Charles becoming governor-general of Australia at least until he managed to find himself a wife, a release of Australian documents has revealed.Talk of Charles as a possible contender, following the dismissal in 1975 of prime minister Gough Whitlam’s government, was addressed by the Queen’s private secretary, Sir Martin Charteris, in a 1976 letter to then governor general, Sir John Kerr. Continue reading…

  • Face masks to be mandatory in shops in England, says Hancock – video
    on July 14, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Face coverings protect workers and give the public greater confidence to shop, Matt Hancock has said. The health secretary confirmed in a statement to the House of Commons that shoppers would be required to wear masks while in shops and supermarkets. Those who do not will face fines of up to £100UK coronavirus live: Hancock confirms masks to be compulsory in shops and supermarkets in EnglandCoronavirus: shoppers in England must wear face masks from 24 JulyContinue reading…

  • Flood strategy ‘at odds with Boris Johnson push for mass housing’
    by Josh Halliday North of England correspondent on July 14, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Experts decry Tory policy that fails to ban new-builds in UK areas at high risk of floodingThe government’s long-awaited strategy for tackling floods in England does not go far enough and appears to conflict with Boris Johnson’s “build, build, build” plan for more housing, experts have said.Billed by ministers as the most comprehensive flood defence plan in a decade, the fresh approach will mean more money spent on natural solutions to counter floods, such as capturing water on fields. Continue reading…

  • Big three London museums to reopen in August
    by Mark Brown Arts correspondent on July 14, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    People will have to book to visit V&A, Science Museum and Natural History MuseumCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe V&A, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum have announced plans to have a staggered reopening in which they anticipate 80% fewer visitors.The three museums, all neighbours in South Kensington, will reopen on different days in August to avoid pressure on public transport. Visitors will have to book time slots. Continue reading…

  • English hospitals in urgent need of more scanners and staff to deal with backlog
    by Sarah Marsh, Anushka Asthana and Caelainn Barr on July 14, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Exclusive: more than half of NHS patients referred for imaging diagnostics are waiting six weeks or moreCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHospital trusts across England urgently need more equipment, staff and space to deal with a huge backlog of scans for cancer and other conditions, as more than 600,000 people await CT, MRI and other scans amid the coronavirus crisis.More than half of all patients in England referred for imaging diagnostics are waiting for six weeks or more, official data shows, with that number ballooning from 20,898 in May 2019 to 326,525 in May 2020. Continue reading…

  • Priti Patel is wrong, modern slavery in Leicester is built on her government’s failures | Emily Kenway
    by Emily Kenway on July 14, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    ‘Cultural sensitivities’ aren’t the issue: we need proper labour inspection, migrant workers’ safety and strong unionisationThe Covid-19 pandemic has ensured that the conditions in garment sweatshops in Leicester are no longer an open secret shared by those in the know, but a nationally recognised shame. The government should be seizing this opportunity and taking action to rid these factories and many other workplaces around the country of exploitation. Instead, the weekend brought us reports of Priti Patel comparing the situation in Leicester to the Rotherham grooming scandal, suggesting that “cultural sensitivities” were the reason why the endemic abuse had not been tackled. This sounds like an attempt to distract us from the policy failures that have led us here, to a country in which more than 10,000 potential victims of modern slavery were identified in 2019, and everyday products have exploitation in their supply chains. Continue reading…

  • Care costs in England should be capped, says social care adviser
    by Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent on July 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Sir Andrew Dilnot says uncapped care costs leave families at risk of losing assetsCare costs should be capped at £45,000 a year in England and more cash ploughed into provision for the poorest in society, according to Sir Andrew Dilnot, who has advised successive Conservative governments on reform.The measures to bring care funding closer into line with the NHS would cost an extra £3.1bn a year – a 14% increase on councils’ social care budget – Dilnot said in evidence on Tuesday to the House of Commons health and social care committee. Continue reading…

  • Police ability to detain EU suspects ‘slower’ without Brexit deal
    by Lisa O’Carroll Brexit correspondent on July 14, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Senior officer says powers less effective if UK forces are denied access to criminal databasesThe ability of UK police forces to detain criminal suspects from the EU will become slower and less effective if the government fails to seal a Brexit security deal, a senior officer has told MPs.Richard Martin, a deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police and the lead for Brexit and international criminality, said forces would lose the “instant, at your fingertips” access to EU-wide databases on criminals and criminal activity that could be the difference between catching a criminal and losing them. Continue reading…

  • Face masks ‘will deter young shoppers’ says JD Sports chairman
    by Zoe Wood on July 14, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Government’s inconsistency on compulsory coverings for shops in England ‘already a blow to consumer confidence’ Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageOne of the UK’s biggest retailers has said that making face masks compulsory in shops in England could deter shoppers from visiting stores.Peter Cowgill, executive chair of the FTSE 100 company JD Sports, said the government’s rule that face coverings should be worn in shops from 24 July would probably prove a “turn off” for its teenagers and twentysomethings buyers. Continue reading…

  • Huawei to lose role in UK 5G network, says Oliver Dowden – video
    on July 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Huawei equipment is to be stripped out of Britain’s 5G phone networks by 2027, the culture secretary has confirmed. Oliver Dowden said firms should not buy Huawei 5G kit after 31 December this year and it would eventually be illegal to do so. Huawei denies it has ever been asked to engage in spying on behalf of ChinaHuawei to be stripped of role in UK’s 5G network by 2027, Dowden confirmsContinue reading…

  • Johnny Depp told bodyguard that Amber Heard ‘cut my finger off’
    by Ben Quinn on July 14, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Malcolm Connolly invented story that the actor damaged his hand himself, court hearsJohnny Depp’s bodyguard has said the actor initially made up an excuse after his wife allegedly severed his finger during a row because victims often try to protect their abusers.Giving evidence in Depp’s libel action against the Sun over an article that labelled him a “wife beater”, Malcolm Connolly was questioned about an incident in 2015 when Depp and his then wife, Amber Heard, were in Australia for the filming of one of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp has accused Heard of cutting off the tip of his finger when she hurled a vodka bottle, but wrote at the time that he had caused the injury himself. Continue reading…

  • Boris Johnson’s mandatory mask policy has riled the Tory old guard | Katy Balls
    by Katy Balls on July 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    An edict seen by some as un-Conservative is exposing divisions over the prime minister’s cautious approach to the pandemicIn the fortnight before the UK went into lockdown, Boris Johnson appeared in a video chat with Dr Jenny Harries to answer a series of questions about coronavirus. The deputy chief medical officer went over the regular symptoms, the low risk of large gatherings and the cons of face masks for all. She told a nodding prime minister that masks should only be worn if a medical professional tells you to, otherwise you could contaminate the mask and transfer the virus: “It’s really not a good idea and it doesn’t help.”Fast forward four months and that advice – along with several other parts of their conversation – has gone out of the window. The government has announced that face coverings will soon become compulsory in shops and supermarkets. Following in the footsteps of Scotland, and after a weekend of mixed messages from ministers, the new rule will come into effect on Friday 24 July, with a £100 fine for anyone caught not wearing one. Continue reading…

  • Huawei to be stripped of role in UK’s 5G network by 2027, Dowden confirms
    by Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor on July 14, 2020 at 11:45 am

    U-turn puts Boris Johnson on collision course with Tory rebels on timing of banHuawei is to be stripped out of Britain’s 5G phone networks by 2027, a date that puts Boris Johnson on collision course with a group of Conservative rebels who want the Chinese company eliminated quicker and more comprehensively.Oliver Dowden, the UK culture secretary, also announced that no new Huawei 5G kit can be bought after 31 December this year – but disappointed the rebels by saying that older 2G, 3G and 4G kit can remain until it is no longer needed. Continue reading…

  • UK health minister did not see 2017 pandemic report until Guardian story
    by Rajeev Syal on July 14, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Edward Argar says first time he saw Exercise Cygnus report that exposed governments lack of preparedness was in May Revealed: secret report that gave warning of care home crisisCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA health minister has told MPs that the first time he saw a government report that disclosed the UK’s lack of preparedness for a coronavirus pandemic was when he read about it in the Guardian.Edward Argar, appearing before the public administration and constitutional affairs committee, was asked when he first read the findings of a report into Exercise Cygnus, a 2017 simulation of an influenza pandemic that forewarned the crisis in care homes. Continue reading…

  • Coronavirus: what are the rules over face masks in English shops?
    by Amy Walker on July 14, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Exemptions, enforcement and business reaction to the news that coverings will be compulsory from 24 JulyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWith the government set to announce that wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets will be mandatory in England from 24 July, here’s what you need to know about the new rules: Continue reading…

  • End of the office: the quiet, grinding loneliness of working from home
    by Simon Usborne on July 14, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Before Covid-19, many of us thought remote working sounded blissful. Now, employees across the world long for chats by the coffee machine and the whirr of printersDahlia Francis is sitting on a small couch at the foot of her bed, in her shared flat, on a housing estate in south London. She wears her new uniform of pyjama bottoms and a Zoom-ready plain T-shirt. Her room used to be a living room. Now the only communal space is the kitchen, where Francis’s three flatmates occupy a small dining table. They, like almost half of Britain’s workforce, are also working from home.Francis, who is 29, is a credit controller for a charity in central London. She commuted there, by bus and tube, for a little more than a year. There were baking competitions and quizzes and a kitchenette, where gossip and tea flowed freely. Now the kettle is silent and the cubicles are empty. They are likely to remain so for the rest of the year. Continue reading…

  • Coronavirus near me: are UK Covid-19 cases rising or falling in your area?
    by Anna Leach and Seán Clarke on July 14, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Latest updates: how has Covid-19 progressed where you live? Check the week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern IrelandThe map shows local authorities where the number of cases has increased week-on-week and where it has fallen. Some of this is due to natural fluctuations, especially in areas where there are very few cases, and so a rise from 1 to 2 is a doubling. Increased testing also means that more cases may be being detected than previously, although the impact of this between one week and the next is likely to be slight. Continue reading…

  • Britain’s economy returns to growth more slowly than expected
    by Richard Partington Economics correspondent on July 14, 2020 at 6:50 am

    GDP for May at 1.8% disappoints analysts expecting a bigger boost after lockdownThe British economy returned to growth more slowly than expected in May as coronavirus lockdown restrictions were gradually relaxed after the sharpest plunge on record a month earlier.The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.8% in May as the economy staged a modest recovery from April, when GDP crashed by a fifth during the first full month of lockdown. Continue reading…

  • ‘No DSS’ ruled unlawful after mother rejected by lettings agency
    by Patrick Butler Social policy editor on July 14, 2020 at 5:01 am

    Court found disabled woman was discriminated against by being rejected for private flatsA disabled single mother who became homeless after being refused the chance to move into a private rented property because she was on benefits has won a landmark court case that ruled she was unlawfully discriminated against.The case was the first time a court has ruled that the so-called No DSS rule operated by many private landlords – thought to have prevented hundreds of thousands of people from renting homes over the years – breached equality laws. Continue reading…

  • What’s the future of theatre? A Scottish seaside town may have all the answers
    by Oliver Wainwright on July 14, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Transparent wraparound screens, touring deckchair pop-ups, rooftop suction devices … our writer talks to the designers rethinking theatre for the Covid age – and finds Dunoon leading the wayPacked shoulder to shoulder with your neighbour, elbows jostling for position on the armrest, knees pressed up against the seat in front, your view blocked by a column – the West End theatre experience can be claustrophobic at the best of times. Now that theatres have been given the green light to reopen, with their share of a £1.5bn support fund in the offing, how on earth can these historic venues adapt to a socially distanced post-Covid future?For Cameron Mackintosh, the hit musical producer and owner of eight historic theatres in London’s West End, it’s an impossible prospect. “Until social distancing doesn’t exist any more, we can’t even plan to reopen,” he said in June, when he announced that all of his venues would remain shuttered until at least 2021. For an industry that relies on packing people in as tightly as possible to create an electric atmosphere, social distancing is surely its death-knell. Continue reading…

  • Northern Ireland businesses ‘must get Brexit compensation’
    by Lisa O’Carroll Brexit correspondent on July 13, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    MPs say government should pay millions to cover cost of trading with Great BritainNorthern Irish businesses must be compensated for the millions of pounds in extra costs they are expected to face to trade with firms in Great Britain after Brexit is completed, a group of MPs have said.As part of Boris Johnson’s deal to avoid a border on the island of Ireland, businesses in Northern Ireland face checks and controls on all goods coming from the rest of the UK from January and are threatened with some checks going in the other direction. Continue reading…

  • UK experts fear up to 120,000 Covid-19 deaths this winter
    by Ian Sample Science editor on July 13, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Preparations to avoid second wave worst-case scenario in NHS hospitals ‘must start now’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain must start “intense preparations” for a second wave of coronavirus that has the potential to kill as many as 120,000 hospital patients in a worst case scenario, experts have warned.Senior doctors and scientists convened by the Academy of Medical Sciences said on Tuesday that, without urgent action, a resurgence of cases this winter could overwhelm the NHS when services are already stretched because of flu and other seasonal pressures. Continue reading…

  • No reason not to put delayed Russia report out next week, MPs told
    by Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor on July 13, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Call to release review of Moscow’s influence now that security committee is finally being set upThe long-delayed report into Russian infiltration in the UK could be published next week now that parliament’s intelligence and security committee is being set up, its most senior Labour member told MPs on Monday night.Kevan Jones said “there was no reason why” the document could not be published “before parliament goes into recess” – nine months after its release was blocked by Boris Johnson ahead of the general election. The report was sent to Downing Street in October. Continue reading…

  • After mixed messages and mess-ups, Johnson bows to the inevitable
    by Heather Stewart Political editor on July 13, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Apparent indecision over new policy to contain spread of Covid-19 won’t help people seeking clear guidanceFace masks must be worn in shops across England from 24 JulyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMaking facing coverings in English shops mandatory had increasingly appeared an inevitable next step in the government’s campaign against coronavirus after the prime minister appeared wearing one on Friday, and mused about taking a stricter approach.On Sunday, Michael Gove denied this was the plan. He said it would be better to trust people’s good sense. Continue reading…

  • Brexit: UK’s new fast-track immigration system to exclude care workers
    by Peter Walker, Robert Booth, Lisa O’Carroll and Jessica Elgot on July 13, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    Minimum salary thresholds to also remain in place, presenting additional barrier Care home staff have been excluded from a post-Brexit fast-track visa system for health workers, in a move that critics say could prove “an unmitigated disaster” and may increase the risk of spreading coronavirus.Confirming there would be no special treatment for carers coming from the EU or the rest of the world, the government said it hoped Britons would fill a shortfall of around 120,000 workers, equating to 10% of all posts. Currently 17% of care jobs are filled by foreign citizens. Continue reading…

  • Boris Johnson: shoppers should wear masks to protect others – video
    on July 13, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Boris Johnson has urged the public in England to wear masks in shops as ‘extra insurance’ against coronavirus, and hinted the government could make them mandatory. ‘I think In shops it is very important to wear a face covering,’ he said. ‘Whether we make it mandatory or not, we’ll be saying a bit more in the next few days.’Boris Johnson says face masks should be worn in shops in EnglandContinue reading…

  • Which English councils rely heavily on commercial investments?
    by Caelainn Barr and Patrick Butler on July 12, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    A look at four councils that face being badly affected by the economic fallout of Covid-19Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe economic fallout of the pandemic has revealed the reliance of many local councils on income from commercial investments. The property speculations, which have kept services afloat in recent years, now threaten to undermine them.Councils in England have invested £7.6bn in commercial properties since 2016. More than £3bn was poured into office developments, more than £2.3bn into retail property including shopping centres and cinemas and nearly £1bn on industrial property between 2016 and 2019 – a 14-fold increase in three years, according to the National Audit Office. Continue reading…

  • British pilot leaves Vietnam hospital after four-month battle with Covid-19 – video
    on July 12, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    A British pilot who spent more than two months on life support in Vietnam after contracting the coronavirus has been discharged from hospital and has returned to the UK. Stephen Cameron, 42, was the sickest patient medics had treated during the coronavirus outbreak in the country and had been given 10% chance to live. The Vietnam Airlines pilot from Motherwell, Scotland, spent four months in hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, including 10 weeks on a ventilator. Vietnam has recorded no official deaths related to the pandemic after a fast and proactive responseBritish pilot returns home from Vietnam after Covid-19 ordealContinue reading…

  • Cross-party group of MPs to lead UK coronavirus inquiry
    by Kate Proctor Political correspondent on July 12, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Organisers hope findings will be used to inform response to potential second waveCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA fresh inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus crisis will take its first evidence from bereaved relatives on Monday, amid growing calls for a full independent investigation.Families of those who have died will give their submissions in writing, via video call, or will arrange to do so in person to the new all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for coronavirus, led by a cross-party group of MPs. Continue reading…

  • Face masks should not be mandatory, says Michael Gove – video
    on July 12, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Michael Gove has said face masks should not be mandatory in shops in England adding he ‘trusts people’s good sense’ during an interview on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.Boris Johnson had hinted on Friday that there could be stricter measures on face masks in EnglandCoronavirus live news: UK minister says face masks should not be mandatory; Russia cases jumpFace masks could be mandatory in shops, signals Boris JohnsonContinue reading…

  • Keir Starmer faces a daunting challenge. But opportunities beckon for Labour
    by Robert Ford on July 12, 2020 at 6:11 am

    It’s a long road back but the leader has made his mark and the new political agenda – health and work – is home territory for the partyFirst impressions count, and Keir Starmer has made a good one. His performance ratings are the best recorded for an opposition leader since Tony Blair took over the Labour party in 1994. Starmer is the first Labour leader since Gordon Brown before the financial crisis to be preferred to his Conservative opponent when voters are asked who would make the best prime minister. Starmer’s sharp attacks on a floundering Conservative government have landed well. The new leader has also made his mark internally, securing control of the party levers of power with remarkable speed and efficiency. Labour factions are calmed, if not fully reconciled, and the current unity and discipline is a sharp contrast to the chaotic feuding of the Corbyn years. For the first time in more than a decade, Labour has reasons to be cheerful.It will need all the optimism it can find given the challenges ahead. In 1994, Tony Blair took charge of a party with 271 seats, including 49 in Scotland. Starmer begins with just 202, the smallest parliamentary Labour party since 1935, and just one Scottish MP. The Conservative government he faces has increased its vote share in every election since 2001, even while presiding over a decade of austerity spending cuts, which it is now reversing, and years of wrangling over the Brexit process, which it now seeks to complete. Although Starmer’s ratings are strong, he is running well ahead of his party, who are still viewed with scepticism. Continue reading…

  • Man held over stabbing of 10-year-old boy in Bolton
    by PA Media on July 11, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Youngster taken to hospital from Bridgeman Street and is expected to be discharged laterA man has been arrested on suspicion of assault after a 10-year-old boy was stabbed. The youngster was taken to hospital from the scene in Bridgeman Street, Bolton, and is in a stable condition. He is expected to be discharged later, said police.Police added it was an “isolated incident with no wider threat to the public”. Continue reading…

  • HS2 works unearth skeleton of possible iron age murder victim
    by PA Media on July 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Other finds include lead lined Roman coffin and Stonehenge-like wooden structureA skeleton believed to be a murder victim from the iron age has been discovered by archaeologists working on the HS2 project in Buckinghamshire.HS2 said the find was made during excavation work at Wellwick Farm, near Wendover. Archaeologists found the skeleton of the adult male buried face down in a ditch with his hands bound together under his pelvis. Continue reading…

  • Boris Johnson takes on politically perilous task in reorganising NHS
    by Denis Campbell on July 10, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Irritated by Simon Stevens’ independence, ministers want to clip his wings – but it may end badlyJohnson plans radical shake-up of NHSHistory shows that NHS reorganisations rarely end well. The last one, the brainchild of the then health secretary, Andrew Lansley, in 2012, nearly tore the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition apart. The health and social care bill triggered so much uproar that David Cameron instigated a “pause” on its progress – a move unparalleled in parliamentary history – while a group of healthcare experts made its complex proposals less confusing and more palatable.Since the bill’s passage into law it has become infamous, widely recognised as a disaster and a test case for how not to reform the health service. It alienated NHS staff, distracted the service for years and yielded almost no lasting benefits, critics say. It had promised to reduce the number of bodies making up the NHS but actually increased them. The National Audit Office, after analysing money spent and outcomes achieved, highlighted “the significant upheaval caused by major organisational restructuring”. What the NHS needed, it concluded, was “a prolonged period of organisational stability”. Continue reading…

  • Weatherwatch: soggy end to June across the UK and Ireland
    by Azure Prior on July 8, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Parts of north-west England had three times more rainfall than usual and heavy downpours caused landslides in Ireland There was plenty of heavy rain across the UK and Ireland at the end of June, with parts of north-west England receiving around three times more rainfall than the seasonal average. Northern areas of Ireland also had high rainfall totals, especially towards the end of the month. Days of heavy rain from 26 to 28 June, preceded by drier conditions earlier in the summer, led to multiple landslides as tonnes of peat slid down the Shass mountain in the county of Leitrim. Continue reading…

  • U.K. Bans Huawei From 5G Network, Raising Tensions With China
    by Adam Satariano and Stephen Castle on July 14, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Banning the use of the Chinese tech giant’s equipment in high-speed wireless infrastructure is a major reversal by Prime Minister Boris Johnson — and a big victory for the Trump administration.