A message to Johnson from the lockdown-frustrated Telegraph: it makes a Starmer comment piece today’s splash

“When the coronavirus crisis ends – and it will end – we must make sure our vision for the future matches the ambitions of the post-war generation. After coronavirus, we cannot return to business as usual or continue as though nothing has changed. We owe so much to the generation of VE Day. We must do everything we can to care for and support them through the current crisis. We have all heard the harrowing stories of the virus spreading through care homes, with families unable to say their last goodbyes. The crisis in our care homes has gone on for too long and we must do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, many of whom protected our country in its darkest hour.” – Daily Telegraph

  • This is the moment to learn wartime generation’s lesson – General Sir Nick Carter, The Times
  • In Starmer, Labour has an heir to John Smith – Philip Collins, The Times

>Yesterday: James Sunderland MP in Comment: We must not let Covid-19 stop us celebrating Victory in Europe Day tomorrow

Labour leader calls for better support for elderly as ministers face backlash over virus infections

“The VE Day generation must receive the “dignity and respect” they deserve, Sir Keir Starmer has said, as he highlights the “harrowing” impact of coronavirus on care homes. Writing for The Telegraph to mark Friday’s 75th anniversary of Germany’s surrender in the Second World War, the Labour leader says the UK owes “so much” to those “who protected our country in its darkest hour”. In a letter sent to Second World War veterans, Boris Johnson expresses his “profound thanks” to those who helped defeat Hitler and prevented Europe falling to “tyranny.” Describing the VE Day generation as the “greatest generation of Britons who ever lived,” the Prime Minister adds: “Those of us born after 1945 are acutely conscious of the debt we owe.” Earlier this week, he spoke of his “bitter regret” at the continuing Covid-19 crisis in care homes, where thousands of deaths are being recorded every week.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Care providers say government did not discuss key concerns with them – The Guardian
  • R number has been driven up to 0.9 by care home crisis, say experts – Daily Mail

More VE Day:

  • How Britons will join together to commemorate the end of World War Two – Daily Mail
  • Son of a veteran who killed himself after suffering PTSD raises thousands for VE Day – The Sun

>Today: Alistair Lexden in Comment: On this day, May 8, 75 years ago. Churchill’s VE Day statement in the Lords Chamber.

Johnson ‘to keep Britain in lockdown until June’

“Boris Johnson will keep Britain in lockdown until next month at the earliest after he was warned that outbreaks in care homes and hospitals make significant easing any sooner too dangerous. He is being urged by cabinet ministers to give specific dates by which elements of the lockdown can be lifted to avert a collapse of consumer and business confidence. The prime minister told the cabinet that he would proceed with “maximum caution”, with only modest and incremental changes to the restrictions before the end of this month. “It is baby steps taken slowly and only when it’s clear they can be taken,” said an ally familiar with the plans, which will be finalised today and tomorrow and outlined at 7pm on Sunday.” – The Times

  • Cabinet fearful over mixed messages as Prime Minister sets deadline – Daily Telegraph
  • No 10 battles to regain control of lockdown messaging amid fierce criticism – The Guardian
  • SAGE member warns of threat to social distancing – Daily Express
  • Johnson to deliver plan to come out of lockdown in England at 7pm on Sunday – The Sun
  • Trains will return to running at 70% of normal timetable in 10 days – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Why Johnson feels he can ignore his right-wing critics. And how he is backed by a dog that isn’t barking: Conservative MPs.

Cleaners and nannies can return to work, Government guidance states

“Cleaners and nannies can return to work in people’s homes as long as they are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus and everyone in the house is also well, new Government guidelines state. Home helpers are permitted to work as long as they follow newly devised safety advice designed to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus between households. The news, which comes after weeks of cleaners and nannies not being able to work, will come as a relief to both the workers themselves and the families that usually rely on their help. However, households which are isolating or where an individual is being shielded must not reemploy home helpers for the time being, the guidance states.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The new rules: how and when coronavirus lockdown may end – The Times
  • Companies warn over guidance on getting UK back to work – FT
  • Schools in England should not reopen before September, unions warn – The Guardian


  • If lockdown is to continue, we should be trusted to know the real reasons why – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • On lockdown, Boris Johnson faces a new opponent: his own party – Katy Balls, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Raab holds the line on the lockdown. No change pending Johnson’s address to the nation on Sunday.

Johnson admits other parts of UK may relax lockdown more slowly

“Boris Johnson has admitted that other parts of the UK will ease lockdown restrictions more slowly than he plans for England after Nicola Sturgeon warned him she would not be pressured into adopting his timetable. Downing Street said different parts of the UK may “begin to move at slightly different speeds” after a conference call between the Prime Minister and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish First Ministers. A No 10 spokesman said the decisions in the home nations will be “based on the science for each”, raising the prospect of the UK-wide approach fracturing four ways. The Prime Minister’s admission came after Ms Sturgeon used the phone call to warn that the only restriction she will even consider lifting in Scotland is the limit on outdoor exercise to once a day.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Starmer ;declares war on Sturgeon’  as he plots to crush SNP – Daily Express
  • Treasury assures SNP ministers over furlough system’s future – Daily Telegraph


  • A four nations Covid-19 approach where the home nations move at different speeds – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Will devolution force us to exit lockdown at the speed of the slowest?

UK ‘says ‘small number’ of Turkish gowns failed PPE checks’

“The UK government has clarified that only a “small number” of protective gowns ordered from Turkey have failed to meet safety standards following reports that a consignment of 400,000 were all unusable. There were chaotic scenes in Istanbul last month after the UK sent Royal Air Force planes to collect the protective equipment for frontline NHS workers. Speaking after the Daily Telegraph first reported that an order of 400,000 gowns had all failed to pass safety tests, Brandon Lewis, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, said the gowns proved to “not be of the quality that we feel is good enough for our frontline staff”… However, on Thursday afternoon a government spokesperson clarified that only a “small number of these gowns have failed tests in the UK, more have passed tests making them suitable for use in the NHS”.” – FT

  • Government ‘confirms 400,000 Turkish gowns are useless for NHS’ – The Guardian
  • How an email from a Turkish T-shirt salesman led to a PPE fiasco – Daily Telegraph
  • Some 200 million pieces of PPE expired before Jan 2020 – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Phil Taylor in Comment: Labour’s Austerity 3) The party’s £20 billion of NHS “cuts” – as it likes to call them

Force banks to take on more capital, says Javid

“Sajid Javid, the former chancellor, has said banks may have to be forced to take on more capital to maintain lending to Britain’s coronavirus-ravaged economy, as he warned that the Bank of England’s prediction of a “V-shaped” recovery was “challenging”. Mr Javid said he was “worried about the health of our banks” in that he wanted to see a sector that was able to keep credit flowing to the economy as it recovered from the crisis, not just one that was able to weather the storm. Mr Javid, who quit as chancellor in February after a row with Boris Johnson over the composition of his team of advisers, suggested the government might want to “somehow force” the banks to raise more capital to facilitate lending.” – FT

  • He also ‘calls for lockdown end’ – Daily Express
  • Viruses are like weapons of mass destruction, says Hague – The Times


  • Coronavirus could cause deepest recession on record, Bank warns – The Times
  • Sunak ‘to keep Government’s wage support scheme in place beyond June’ – The Sun
  • Army of unemployed could start to rebuild UK infrastructure – The Times


  • People cannot just be ordered back to work and to spending – Martin Wolf, FT
  • Firms will still need help negotiating the lockdown exit route – Baroness Morgan, The Times


  • The government needs to say how it plans to flatten the curve of a deep recession – The Times


Isle of Wight contact tracing app ‘fails to work on old phones and some Samsungs’

“Dozens of Isle of Wight residents have complained the new contact tracing app fails to work on their phones as 33,000 downloaded it on the first day. Residents trying to take part in the new pilot study claim they’ve been unable to even download the app with some older phones or Samsung devices. Tory Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely told BBC Radio 4’s World At One the trial of a coronavirus tracking app on the island was going well… The Isle of Wight has a population of 141,000 – meaning the app already has take up of around 23 per cent. Hours after the app went live last night, a local radio station’s Facebook page was inundated with comments complaining about the app being incompatible with some phones.” – The Sun

  • UK starts to build second contact tracing app – FT

>Today: Dave Stewart in Local Government: By trialling the Government’s app, the Isle of Wight is leading the fightback against the virus

EU increases pressure on Britain over Irish Sea customs border

“Brussels has drawn up plans to determine which goods entering Northern Ireland should face EU import duties as it seeks to put pressure on Britain into fully applying the Irish Sea customs border that Boris Johnson agreed to last year as part of his Brexit deal.  The European Commission has proposed a system that would vet different imports based on whether the UK charges a lower, higher or similar tariff to the EU, insisting that strong measures must be put in place to reduce the risk of smuggling across the Irish land border.  Working out which goods should face EU customs duties when they enter Northern Ireland is one of the main pieces of unfinished work from last year’s Brexit deal, which placed a regulatory and customs border down the Irish Sea in order to avoid the need for one on the island of Ireland.” – FT

  • EU told forget ‘level playing field – we’re independent now’ – Daily Express
  • Brussels wants UK to share more data before it grants access to crime-fighting system – The Guardian


  • EU bows to Beijing censorship over source of coronavirus outbreak – The Times

>Yesterday: Jonathan Caine in Think Tanks: No, the Coronavirus pandemic does not support the case for a united Ireland

Ministers accused of ‘paralysis’ as 3,000 migrants cross the Channel

“The government has been accused of “paralysis” as figures show that more than 3,000 migrants have successfully crossed the Channel since 2018. A further 11 were brought into the port of Dover yesterday after being intercepted in an inflatable boat that had made an overnight crossing from France. Border Force was alerted to the vessel off Kent at about 8am and brought it into Dover, where the migrants were taken ashore. The eight men and three women said they were from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Their arrival came after the French government said it would consider taking back more boats found in the Channel as part of a drive by Priti Patel, the home secretary, to reduce the number of migrants setting sail for Britain.” – The Times

  • Home Office chartered plane to deport EU citizens during lockdown – The Guardian
  • ‘Yet another’ Patel pledge on crossings – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • There is no reason to expect an epidemic of mental illness – Oliver Kamm, CapX
  • Fake news isn’t the problem, fake authority is – Douglas Murray, UnHerd
  • Consumer nationalism will lead to the downfall of free trade – Maria Chaplia, 1828
  • Why private schools must leave liberalism in the dustbin – Will Orr-Ewing, The Critic
  • This pandemic has put politics on fast-forward – James Forsyth, The Spectator