A BREXIT deal that will make it easier to extradite criminals and catch terrorists moved a step closer tonight. Britain has rejected EU demands that it commit to remaining part of the European Convention on Human Rights, blocking progress on intelligence sharing and a treaty to replace the European Arrest Warrant system. Brussels had argued the commitment was legally necessary before EU countries could surrender wanted criminals or share data from criminal databases. But senior EU officials now see “no reason” why a compromise cannot be found and are bullish a breakthrough can be found in the intensified talks that start in July.
A TERROR suspect said to have stabbed three people to death in a park had left jail just 16 days earlier. Khairi Saadallah was a ticking timebomb who wanted to travel to Syria to fight, we can reveal. Teacher James Furlong was the first of the three victims of Saturday’s horror in Reading, Berks, to be named. The Libyan asylum seeker, 25, was also on medication for post traumatic stress and a suspected personality disorder before his release from prison 16 days ago. And in 2018 he was granted leave to remain in the UK for five years despite convictions for violence.
A HORRIFIC knife attack that left three dead in a Reading park is being treated as a terror attack. Counter-terror cops arrested suspect Khairi Saadallah, 25, a Libyan refugee, at the scene of the rampage that also seriously injured three other people. The attack was carried out at 7pm on Saturday in the town’s Forbury Gardens. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there is no reason to believe there could be more terror attacks as the lockdown is eased. However the triple murder could be the third terrorist attack in Britain since the threat level was downgraded by the government in November.
Boris Johnson is poised to announce a new “one metre plus” rule for all venues, including shops, restaurants, schools, offices, and parks, in an overhaul designed to unlock swathes of the economy. The move, which would take effect from July 4, is understood to entail allowing people to remain a metre away from others if they take additional measures to protect themselves, such as wearing a mask or meeting outdoors. In restaurants, pubs and bars, firms will be expected to introduce measures such as partitions between tables that are less than two metres apart.
Boris Johnson will this week reveal the next stage in the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown and announce the conclusions of a review into the two-metre social distancing rules. The prime minister said on Sunday he is “sticking absolutely like glue” to the roadmap he set out in an address to the nation in May, with the anticipated re-opening of sections of the hospitality sector, including bars and restaurants, from 4 July. On Monday, Mr Johnson will meet with senior cabinet ministers at the daily Downing Street Covid-19 strategy committee where they will hear recommendations from experts on social distancing rules and the planned easing of lockdown.
Boris Johnson insisted coronavirus is ‘increasingly under control’ today as he prepares to unveil a new ‘one metre plus’ rule within days and give Britons the green light for holidays and haircuts. The PM said there is ‘not much more to wait now’ for movement on lockdown as he looks certain to halve the social distance in a crunch speech on Tuesday – with the caveat that other precautions such as face masks must play a bigger role. He stressed he is ‘sticking like glue’ to the roadmap that from July 4 will permit hairdressers in England to roll up the shutters.
Boris Johnson is expected announce tomorrow a reduction in the two-metre social distancing rule. Labour have said that “under certain circumstances” they would support moving to one metre. In line with the government’s roadmap for lifting the lockdown, 4 July marks the start of “phase three” when some hospitality businesses can reopen, likely to include pubs and restaurants. The government says it will publish detailed guidance to ensure these companies are “COVID secure”. The prime minister is due to seek advice from experts and finalise the changes on Monday, before seeking approval from his Cabinet and outlining the plans to parliament on Tuesday.
Boris Johnson will announce an expansion of household “bubbles” on Tuesday that could mean millions more grandparents being reunited with their grandchildren. In a widespread easing of remaining lockdown measures, the Prime Minister will also put pubs, restaurants and hairdressers on notice to reopen on July 4 and cut the two metre rule to one metre. Staycations will also be opened up to millions of families. The move is designed to save tens of thousands of businesses from going under, and bring the country closer to normality than at any time since the lockdown started in March.
A world-leading epidemiologist says the Government’s controversial travel quarantine is completely useless and should be dropped as soon as possible. Professor Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has joined a growing list of MPs, scientists and business leaders calling for Boris Johnson to ditch the policy. Discussing the effectiveness of the blanket travel restrictions, which require all overseas arrivals to isolate for 14 days, Prof Piot said the move would only have “made sense at the very beginning, before we had cases”. He said that due to the UK’s relatively high infection rates, the quarantine would “not contribute much” towards suppressing coronavirus and was simply inflicting “enormous” damage to the economy.
Top scientist Peter Piot has criticised the government’s “completely useless” 14-day quarantine measure for travellers entering the UK and said it should be dropped by ministers as soon as possible. The director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-discovered the Ebola virus, also said he expected any second wave of Covid-19 to be a “series of local outbreaks”, rather than a “tsunami” across the country. Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Professor Piot said the measure requiring individuals arriving in the UK to self-isolate for a two-week period would have “made sense” before the country had cases of the virus. From 8 June, passengers arriving in Britain have been asked to provide an address to the authorities, who have the ability to do surprise visits to ensure compliance with the quarantine measures.
Pubs, bars and restaurants will have to take the names and contact details of customers before they are allowed in under plans being drawn up for the next stage in lifting Britain’s lockdown. Boris Johnson will meet senior ministers and the government’s chief medical and scientific officers today to sign off the reopening of large parts of the hospitality industry from July 4. A formal announcement is expected in parliament tomorrow, alongside a relaxation of the two-metre rule. But, under a new “one-metre-plus” plan, the prime minister will emphasise that people must remain apart at the present distance unless they are wearing masks or there are other “mitigating measures” in place.
The chancellor has hinted heavily that social distancing rules will be relaxed when they are reviewed next week – as new guidance is being drawn up for the hospitality industry. Modifying the two-metre rule to one metre will “make an enormous difference” to businesses, Rishi Sunak has said, in the clearest hint yet that the government will make the change. During a visit to shops in North Yorkshire, he said: “Obviously we need to go through that review but I’m very understanding of the calls for action on that, particularly for our hospitality industry, for our pubs, for our restaurants, (they) are keen to see if there’s some change that can be made there.”
BRITAIN will be cheered by a triple helping of good news about easing lockdown this week. Boris Johnson will announce we can enjoy pubs, haircuts and holidays from July 4. The PM has also pledged to “keep a vice-like grip” on the virus as we enter phase three of the battle. On Tuesday, he will announce he is cutting the two-metre social distancing rule so thousands of businesses can get back to work. The PM said on Sunday he was “sticking like glue” to his plans to open up the country more next month. He said: “The disease is increasingly under control and I just want people to reflect on that important fact. It’s going down. We are getting it down.”
SCHOOL blazers and ties could be banned to help stop the spread of Covid-19 when schools return to larger class sizes in September. MPs have warned that the traditional school uniform is in danger of “dying out”. Following Department for Education (DfE) guidance which recommends that students and staff come to school each day in fully-clean clothes, a school near Bradford has already scrapped the wearing of blazers, shirts and ties from September. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said the Government wants all schoolkids back in the classroom for the new school year in September.
The two-metre social-distancing rule could be relaxed for classes of up to 30 pupils to allow the return of “every child in every school” to lessons in September, Gavin Williamson has indicated. The education secretary suggested that the “protective bubbles” already used to permit 15 primary pupils to mingle without social distancing could be increased in size in the autumn so that all schools in England can reopen without the need for additional teachers and buildings. New guidance can be expected within two weeks, he said.
SCHOOLS are considering changing their messaging to tell kids “no touching” as they try to get millions back to class in September. Headteachers reckon small children struggle to understand social distancing measures. Academy chain boss Steve Chalke wants guidelines to be changed so youngsters are instead told “no touching”. Mr Chalke, founder of Oasis academies which runs 53 schools in England, has been in talks with other schools about bringing in the new advice. He told The Sun: “We all think that the only practical way of teaching and ensuring social distancing is to say ‘no touching’.
Boris Johnson’s plans to liberalise Sunday trading laws look to be in trouble after at least 50 Conservative MPs told him directly that they will vote against them, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. Ministers are considering relaxing the rules on Sunday to allow people to shop for longer and give a boost to retailers as the coronavirus lockdown continues to ease. However in a letter to the Prime Minister, the MPs tell him “that over 50 Conservative MPs, from a range of intakes including those elected in 2019 and covering a full spectrum of views in the parliamentary party, are opposed to these plans and have expressed this directly to us or to their constituents”.
A weekly saliva test is to undergo a trial to pick up asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus in a move that ministers hope could provide a blueprint for a national mass testing programme. From next week thousands of residents in Southampton will be asked to provide a sample of saliva for testing regardless of whether they have symptoms of Covid-19 or not. Initially the trial will focus on staff in GP surgeries and their families but it will expand to include university students and employees of Southampton city council.
The Government is piloting a coronavirus saliva test that could become an alternative to the existing invasive, and sometimes painful, deep nasal and throat swab. The new test only requires the individual to spit into a sample pot to be tested for current Covid-19 infection, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said. The trial is due to be launched in Southampton this week – and over 14,000 people working in GP surgeries, universities and in other frontline roles have been recruited for the first phase.
A weekly at-home saliva test to make it easier for the public to check themselves is being piloted by the Health Secretary. It is hoped that saliva testing will be more effective and simpler than the currently used throat and nasal swab tests, which are difficult to take and are believed to return unreliable results in up to 30 per percent of cases. If successful, the new procedure could massively increase the ease and accessibility of testing. Up to 14,000 patients – including GP practice staff and their families, council workers, university employees and students – will take part in the four-week trial in Southampton.
The NHS could be overwhelmed by a second wave of coronavirus infections in the winter, health chiefs have said. The government is being urged to continue to fund private care and the Nightingale hospitals to ensure there is capacity to deal with any second peak. Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, said: “Trusts will need to keep capacity to deal with a second surge, treat Covid patients and restore normal services such as routine operations.”
Doctors are feeling high levels of exhaustion and have little confidence they can manage the huge backlog of missed patient care, research shows. A survey by the British Medical Association (BMA) of more than 7,000 doctors between June 16 and 18 showed an increase in stress levels among the workforce. Many have little confidence in the NHS’s ability to deal with the large backlog of missed, cancelled and postponed care, the union said.
Police have released images of 15 individuals they want to speak to in relation to the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol by Black Lives Matter protestors. The statue commemorating the 17th century merchant was dramatically pulled from its plinth by protestors at 2.30pm on June 7 after being attacked and vandalised with graffiti. Demonstrators then pushed the monument into Bristol Harbour near the city centre, with Avon and Somerset police launching a criminal investigation following the incident after the force’s officers chose not to intervene during the incident.
Police have released CCTV images of 12 people they want to speak to following violent clashes at protests in London over the past few weeks. At least 100 officers have been injured policing Black Lives Matter demonstrations and far-right counter-protests since late May. The protests were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a black man, in the US state of Minnesota when a police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. Three police horses and a police dog also suffered injuries, and almost 300 people have been arrested.
THOUSANDS of people have gathered for Black Lives Matter protests across the UK today for the fourth weekend running. Peaceful marches are taking place in London and Leeds this afternoon in the latest wave of anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US. Demonstrators in London have gathered in Hyde Park, before starting their march towards Downing Street, home of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Crowds of masked protestors have also convened in Leeds’ Woodhouse Moor park to march and listen to speakers. Large gatherings and lack of social distancing are in breach of current coronavirus guidelines, however, that has not stopped the organisation of the marches over the last month.
BREAST, lung, bowel and prostate cancers can all now be treated within a week, UK trials have shown. Doctors have proven that bigger doses of radiation over fewer sessions can work just as well in cancer patients – causing much less disruption to their lives. Trials have repeatedly shown the methods to be safe, without additional side effects – despite fears that higher doses of radiation could cause more damage to healthy tissue. In the UK there are around 55,200 new cases of breast cancer in the UK every year – and 63 per cent of patients will go on to have radiotherapy as part of their initial treatment.
RISHI Sunak is eyeing up a VAT cut to help breathe new life into the economy. The Chancellor is considering slashing the shopping tax to turbocharge spending in Britain’s reopening high streets. It is part of his multi-billion pound spending plan to get businesses back on their feet after Covid. He is considering temporarily slashing the 20 per cent levy, which is slapped on things like food, clothes and computer games. While VAT could be axed altogether on some products to kick-start spending, The Sunday Times reported. Businesses could be able to defer their VAT spending for another three months, under the economic blueprint.
The Chancellor is considering a temporary reduction in VAT to help kickstart the economy amid mounting calls for further government action. Rishi Sunak is understood to have instructed Treasury officials to explore such a course of action. A VAT cut is being advocated by former Chancellor Lord Darling along with an infrastructure spending spree in a new report co-authored by Gerard Lyons for the Policy Exchange think tank. It suggests cutting value added tax from 20pc to as low as 15pc and delegating all infrastructure projects worth less than £500m to local authorities to help deal with what Lord Darling described as an “even more profound shock” than the financial crisis.
The former chancellor Alistair Darling has urged the government to consider an emergency cut in VAT amid growing speculation that the Treasury will make a tax cut on consumer spending the centre of a plan to boost Britain’s post-Covid-19 recovery. Rishi Sunak will announce a package of measures in early July intended to help those sectors of the economy, such as retailing, recover from the impact of a three-month lockdown. Options being considered by the chancellor include a repeat of Darling’s decision in November 2008 to reduce the standard rate of VAT, which then stood at 17.5% and is now 20%.
Ministers are considering whether to nominate Liam Fox, the former international trade secretary, as Britain’s candidate to become the next head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Dr Fox is understood to be on a shortlist of candidates being drawn up in Whitehall before the deadline for a candidate next month. He faces competition from Lord Mandelson, the Labour grandee and former EU trade commissioner, who has been lobbying other governments.