Queen to address the nation: “Those who come after us will say that Britons of this generation were as strong as any”

“The Queen will urge Britain to rise to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, speaking of her faith that this generation will prove themselves “as strong as any” that have come before. Invoking the spirit that saw the country through the Second World War, the 93-year-old monarch will talk of her hope that Britons will be able to “take pride in how they responded”, drawing on the traits of “self-discipline, quiet good-humoured resolve and fellow-feeling” that characterise the UK. No 10 said The Queen’s intervention was designed to “lift the nation’s spirits” as the Government urged people to follow lockdown rules designed to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the NHS being overwhelmed.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Queen calls on nation to be strong – Sunday Times
  • No 10 plays its trump card – The Queen – Sunday Times
  • The Queen will call on nation to ‘take pride’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Midlands records higher one-day death toll than London – Mail on Sunday
  • Now pregnant Symonds has Covid-19, and PM is still sick – Sunday Times
  • Hospital suffers critical incident on day UK deaths rise above 4,300 – FT
  • Five-year-old child among latest UK coronavirus deaths – Observer
  • Lockdown could crumble as frustration grows, police warn – Observer
  • Brits stranded on cruise ships arrive home – Mail on Sunday
  • HM Government – Latest advice

Ministers 1) Raab: We must unite nationally and globally

“As we face this unprecedented challenge of pulling the country through the coronavirus pandemic, the government is doing everything it can to protect lives and reinforce the NHS. The single biggest thing we can all do is to follow the guidance to stay home and limit our social interaction with others – to deny coronavirus the ability to spread. It’s a team effort, and a national mission, to defeat an international pandemic. As Health Secretary Matt Hancock set out this week, we have a plan to increase testing to 100,000 per day by the end of April, to return more NHS staff safely back to the frontline. We have a plan to provide the protective equipment frontline staff need and equip the NHS – as demonstrated by the construction of NHS Nightingale hospital at the ExCeL centre in London, a phenomenal achievement, set to be followed in Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. This way, the NHS will be able to deal with the virus at its peak.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Johnson and Raab warn against protectionism after Trump’s raid on masks – Sunday Telegraph
  • PM warns countries against acting in their own interests – Mail on Sunday
  • Treasury plans to take emergency stakes in corporate casualties – Sunday Telegraph
  • No 10 makes U-turn to offer free holiday meals to pupils – Sunday Times
  • Abu Dhabi charges NHS millions in rent for super-hospital – Sunday Times

Ministers 2) Prime Minister “sets free 4,000 prisoners”

“Ministers have ordered the release of 4,000 prisoners because of the coronavirus crisis, despite officials warning that some of them will reoffend and may even commit murder. About 3,500 prisoners within two months of the end of their sentence will be temporarily released from jail on licence, and will be fitted with GPS tags from this week. A further 500 prisoners who are pregnant or old and vulnerable will also be allowed out. Boris Johnson signed off on the move last week, after being warned that a coronavirus outbreak in prison would make it impossible for prison staff to cope.” – Sunday Times

Ministers 3) Sunak ‘at war’ with Hancock over best way out of lockdown

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak has made ‘robust’ representations to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, arguing that unless a path is mapped now for a swift return to normal economic activity it could cause lasting damage to the country. Government critics of Mr Hancock argue his ‘careerist’ fear of being personally blamed for a collapse in the NHS is blinding him to the dangers of a protracted lockdown. But allies of Mr Hancock hit back last night, saying: ‘He is just doing his job, which is to protect the NHS.’ It comes as The Mail on Sunday has learned ‘recovery teams’ being put in place across Whitehall to ‘rebuild’ Britain after the epidemic are not expected to start work until July.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Inside No 10 everyone is at war over coronavirus – Sunday Times
  • The week when ministers struggled to keep pace – Observer
  • Tories lash out at ‘sanctimonious’ Hunt – Mail on Sunday

Ministers 4) Lord Bethell made de facto minister for testing

“Lord Jim Bethell has been tasked with leading the government’s rapid uptake in coronavirus testing after figures showed the number of people being tested had slipped below 10,000 a day. It comes amid a growing ‘blame game’ about the UK’s poor performance at diagnosing patients compared to countries such as Germany, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisting on a target of 100,000 tests a day by the end of April. Public Health England (PHE), the body responsible for protecting the nation during health emergencies, has come in for criticism over the weak efforts to kickstart mass testing of COVID-19 patients and frontline NHS staff.” – Mail on Sunday

Global cases pass 1.2m as Trump warns US of worse to come

“Donald Trump has warned the US the worst is yet to come, as global cases passed 1.2m and the governor of New York thanked China for donating 1,000 ventilators. The state recorded 630 deaths on Saturday in its worst day. “This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” said Andrew Cuomo, who has repeatedly warned that the state’s supply of the vital machines would be exhausted in days if current trends continued. Trump also warned the next two weeks would be the “toughest” and that there would be “a lot of death”. He would deploy thousands of military personnel to support the states, the president said. Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio have repeatedly implored the federal government for more help.” – Observer


Raab ally calls for delay to Brexit talks

“A leading Brexiteer has called on Boris Johnson to seek an extension of the transition period, urging the prime minister to get on the front foot. Nick de Bois, a former Tory MP who served as chief of staff to Dominic Raab when the latter was Brexit secretary, says the public would find it “illogical” and “incomprehensible” to divert people and resources to Brexit trade talks in the middle of the pandemic. He spoke out as ministers and advisers said they were coming round to the view that the UK would have to seek a delay in the talks. Downing Street flatly denies claims that Johnson’s team is moving towards accepting a delay. “This is not true,” a senior source said.” – Sunday Times

New Labour leader slams PM’s ‘serious mistakes’

“Labour’s newly elected leader will ramp up the pressure on Boris Johnson over the coronavirus pandemic today as he demands the government come clean on the “serious mistakes” made. In an exclusive article for The Sunday Times, he writes: “The public is placing an enormous trust in the government at the moment: it is vital that that trust is met with openness and transparency about those mistakes and the decisions that have been made.” In an effort to neuter further criticism, the prime minister last night wrote to the leaders of the opposition parties inviting them to attend a briefing this week with him and Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser.” – Sunday Times

  • I will lead Labour and the country to a better future, Keir Starmer – Sunday Times
  • Starmer wins Labour leadership by a landslide – FT
  • And Starmer secures mandate to reshape the Labour party – FT
  • ‘We’ll work with PM to fight Covid-19’ – Observer
  • Victorious Starmer pledges to restore trust in Labour – Observer
  • New leader tells Johnson he will be ‘critical but constructive’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • And PM reaches out to new Labour leader – Mail on Sunday
  • Starmer apologises to Jews – Mail on Sunday
  • And Starmer win to see Lib Dem alliance – Sunday Express