Johnson leaves hospital on Easter Sunday and says that “the NHS saved my life – no question”

“Speaking in a video message just hours after leaving St Thomas’ hospital in south London, the prime minister expressed optimism the UK was “making progress in this incredible national battle against coronavirus”. Johnson said he had left hospital “after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question”. He said the country was mourning “every day those who are taken from us in such numbers, and the struggle is by no means over” but he argued progress was being made “because the British public formed a human shield around this country’s greatest national asset – our NHS”. – The Guardian

  • The nurses who stood by him during the “48 hours when things could have gone either way” – Daily Mail
  • Kiwi nurse “blown away” by Johnson’s praise – Daily Telegraph
  • Nurses pictured – The Sun
  • Johnson and Symonds re-united as he heads to Chequers – Daily Mail
  • She “was worried sick” – The Sun
  • “With that he bade us Easter blessings and the camera rested on his eyes, two glistening marbles, grateful and perhaps a little surprised still to be alive” – Quentin Letts, The Times

> Yesterday: WATCH: “The NHS has saved my life – no question.” The Prime Minister has left hospital. Here is his broadcast.

Hancock vows that the NHS will get the masks and gowns it needs

“The Health Secretary came under mounting pressure at the daily news conference this afternoon as he revealed that under-pressure units face on average a two-and-a-half-day wait to be restocked with personal protective equipment (PPE). He spoke after the  Royal College of Nursing (RCN) advised its members to refuse to treat coronavirus patients as ‘a last resort’ amid claims vital items like masks, goggles and gowns are still not reaching the frontlines.   A spokesman for the union admitted that with-holding treatment would ‘go against every instinct’, but added that ‘their safety must not be compromised’.” – Daily Mail

  • UK death toll passes 10,000 – The Sun
  • Britain could suffer worst death rate in Europe… – Daily Mail
  • …But is that claim really credible? – Daily Telegraph
  • SAGE will meet tomorrow to assess when the lockdown might be eased… – Daily Telegraph
  • …And again on Thursday – The Times
  • Royal Hospital Bath becomes first to allow relatives to be with dying patients – Daily Telegraph
  • Treasury looks to expand bailout scheme – Financial Times
  • Contact tracing app trial begins – Daily Telegraph
  • Williamson wants the schools back before the May half-term – Daily Mail
  • NHS will use scores to decide which over-65s need intensive care – The i
  • Unprotected nurses can refuse to treat patients – The Times
  • Doctors forced to re-use visors – The Times
  • China row over PPE kit – Daily Mail
  • Hospices face collapse – The Times
  • Only one per cent of firms have emergency loans – The Sun
  • Government using confidential data in virus response – The Guardian
  • NHS now has more spare beds than before pandemic struck – Daily Mail
  • Care homes are the hidden front line – The Times
  • Surge begins in Northern Ireland – Belfast Telegraph
  • List of cases in Wales – Daily Post
  • Scottish figures “flattening” – Scotsman
  • MI6 urges China rethink – The Guardian
  • Archbishop of Canterbury calls for virus dead to be treated with dignity, Pope celebrates Easter Sunday mass in empty St Peter’s Basilica – Daily Mail
  • Prince William becomes patron of National Emergencies Trust – Daily Mail

> Yesterday:

When will the Prime Minister return to work, and when will the lockdown be eased?

“Tory MPs are privately hopeful that the prime minister’s first steps on the road to recovery will help sharpen the government’s grip on the challenges it faces in the coming weeks. The next big decision to be taken by the government, which is due by this Thursday, is how long to formally extend the current lockdown before its next review. In the longer term, Johnson is very likely to be back in the driving seat for decisions on the different options for easing the lockdown, from letting certain sectors return to business, to reopening schools, bringing in a rolling programme of restrictions on certain days or allowing younger age groups to return to society.” – The Guardian

  • He will be absent for several weeks – The Sun
    Spain eases its lockdown… Daily Express
  • …As Sweden, renowned for not imposing a full shutdown, may tighten its measures – Daily Mail
  • Italy reports lowest toll in three weeks – Daily Mail
  • Every U.S state now officially declared a disaster zone – The Times
  • Von de Leyen warns that elderly may need to be isolated until the end of the year – Daily Telegraph
  • Germany’s oversupply of beds – Financial Times
  • Did Gove break lockdown rules? – Daily Mail
  • Macron filmed scolding nurse – Daily Express
  • On Bank Holiday patrol with the lockdown police – Daily Telegraph

> Today:

> Yesterday: ToryDiary –  Lockdown can’t last forever, but it is necessary

Sarah Vine: Now he must rest

“Under normal circumstances the fact that the Prime Minister rose miraculously from his sickbed on Easter Sunday might have felt rather too much like the work of an overimaginative spin doctor.  But given everything, I don’t think many people will begrudge Boris Johnson his Messiah moment. It was wonderful to see him addressing the nation via video yesterday afternoon – but he was as pale as a ghost and you could tell that the very act of speaking was tiring him out.  Make no mistake, this is a man who has stood at death’s door.  He – and those advising him – must respect that, and make sure he takes time to convalesce properly.” – Daily Mai

  • The nation’s health is about more than fighting the virus – Jackie Doyle-Price, Daily Telegraph
  • Smaller countries that spend less on health are doing better – Matthew Lesh, Daily Telegraph
  • The Queen grasps the lockdown mood – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • Fintan O’Toole’s Irish exceptionalism – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Competition for overseas students will be fierce – Jo Johnson, Financial Times
  • Johnson saw courage of NHS nurses first-hand – Sun Editorial
  • Care homes have been neglected and are now bearing the brunt of the pandemic. They need urgent help – Times Editorial
  • There has to be hope – Daily Telegraph Editorial
  • Let’s use Easter to feel gratitude for good people – Daily Express Editorial

MPs will go back to a virtual Commons

“The authorities are considering plans to hold sessions with about 100 MPs on a video link and a minister and shadow minister in the chamber alongside the Speaker and the clerks. MPs would use a messaging system to ask if they could intervene in the debate and they would be muted unless they were directly asking a question. One option being considered is for a large screen to be erected opposite the dispatch box. It would allow MPs to scrutinise government and ensure that social distancing was in place. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker, has backed the idea of a virtual parliament and asked officials to use the technology that has allowed select committees to interview witnesses.”- The Times

  • Rees-Mogg’s plans draw Starmer’s sting – Financial Times
  • Speaker “will be only person in Commons” – The Sun

> Yesterday: WATCH – “Parliament must be recalled as soon as possible”, says Starmer

Anti-semitism “smear campaign” by Corbyn allies

“An extensive internal investigation carried out during the final month of Mr Corbyn’s reign concluded that antisemitism was not properly dealt with because of factional hostility towards the former Labour leader. Critics of Mr Corbyn have rubbished the dossier as “an attempt to imagine a vast anti-Corbyn conspiracy” and called for it to be sent to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which is investigating Labour for antisemitism. The report, leaked to Sky News, claims to have found “no evidence” of antisemitism complaints being treated differently to any other type of complaint, or of current or former staff being “motivated by antisemitic intent”.” – The Times

News in Brief

  • How the UK and Germany handled the crisis – Buzzfeed
  • Johnson is already the most significant Prime Minister since Thatcher – Tom McTague, The Atlantic
  • Why are so many of my elderly friends in denial about death? – Laurie Graham, Spectator
  • The virus spells the end of globalisation – Maurice Glasman, New Statesman
  • Conservative poll rating hits 55 per cent – Flavible Politics