Sunak plans emergency Budget to save two million jobs

“Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is working on an emergency budget statement in an effort to save the economy, after warning MPs last week that two million jobs would be lost unless pubs and restaurants reopened soon. Plans to save millions of furloughed workers from the scrap heap and retrain them will be a centrepiece of the address to MPs, which is pencilled in for the week beginning July 6. His intervention will come after a speech by Boris Johnson at the end of June, which is seen as the opening salvo in a “one-two punch” to put Britain back on its feet once the lockdown lifts. Sunak has become more assertive in pressing the prime minister to open up the economy.” – Sunday Times

Johnson must have final say on lockdown, says Vallance

“Britain’s top scientist today defends the Government’s right to choose when and how it eases the lockdown, amid public criticism by several members of the panel advising ministers on the Covid-19 outbreak. Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Sir Patrick Vallance says ministers have to take “many other factors into consideration” beyond scientific advice, adding that such advice should be “independent of politics”. His intervention comes as Boris Johnson faced claims that he was easing lockdown restrictions too quickly, with one member of the 55-strong Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) that “many of us” would rather wait for infection rates to be reduced even further before relaxing the measures.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Millions of shielded people can meet friend or family member from Monday – Sunday Telegraph
  • Two million freed from lockdown – Mail on Sunday
  • Test and trace abandoned because system ‘could only cope with five coronavirus cases a week’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • Javid warns of surge in cases – Sunday Telegraph
  • Van-Tam says rules apply to all – Observer
  • Government scientific adviser warns ‘don’t tear pants out’ of lockdown – Sun on Sunday
  • Scientists warn over relaxing lockdown too fast – FT
  • UK announces 215 more deaths – Mail on Sunday
  • Death toll rises to 38,376 – Mail on Sunday
  • Cummings ‘spotted on riverside path in Barnard Castle’ – Sunday Times
  • Johnson gives Cummings ‘last chance’ as accusers exposed – Mail on Sunday
  • Mob hurling abuse at Cummings in street ‘were Remainers’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Maitlis was chasing fame not the story, says BBC veteran – Sunday Times
  • Howarth sends BBC dossier of ‘disgraceful bias’ – Sun on Sunday
Covid-19 round-up

Barnier: ‘Keep promises or it’s No Deal’

“The EU’s chief negotiator has warned Boris Johnson that he must keep his promises if he wants to avoid the double economic hit of a no-deal Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. In an exclusive interview, Michel Barnier accuses the prime minister of backsliding on commitments made in the political declaration. Issuing an ultimatum, he warned that there would not be an “agreement at any cost”. Speaking ahead of the start of the fourth round of Brexit talks this week, which could determine whether an agreement on a trade deal can be reached before the end of the transition period on December 31, Barnier said: “The UK has been taking a step back — two steps back, three steps back — from the original commitments.” – Sunday Times


Johnson ‘changes his mind’ over Huawei deal

“The Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is to hold crunch talks with Downing Street this week — as a senior figure in the government said the prime minister had changed his mind about allowing the company a significant role in the future 5G phone network. Huawei executives will talk to Sir Edward Lister, one of Johnson’s senior aides, to try to find out the prime minister’s intentions after reports that the government was seeking a way out of the deal to let Huawei build 35% of the 5G network. The meeting is described as “a clarifying moment” for the company, which has received no formal word that the deal is to be changed or scrapped.” – Sunday Times


Labour whip quits over lockdown breach with married lover

“A Labour MP has resigned as an opposition whip after admitting she broke lockdown rules by meeting her lover when he was still living with his wife. Rosie Duffield, 48, apologised for going for a “long walk” with James Routh, a television producer, in April. At the time the rules said you should not meet anyone from outside your household. Routh has since left his family home and moved into Duffield’s London residence, which is within the guidelines. In a statement last night, Duffield, the MP for Canterbury, said: “My partner and I have been attempting to navigate a difficult personal situation as responsibly as possible. I apologise that during that process, we breached the guidelines.” – Sunday Times

Trump says demonstrators will be met with ‘vicious dogs’

“Donald Trump has warned protesters that they will be met with “vicious dogs” if they scale the White House fence, as America braces for another night of violent demonstrations. The US president has put the army on alert amid public anger over the death of George Floyd, saying troops could be put on the ground “very quickly” as another wave of protests began in cities across the country. Mr Trump also faces accusations of inciting racial violence as he appeared to call on his supporters to counter-protest outside the White House. Demonstrations broke out in more than 30 US cities with people angered by footage of Mr Floyd, a black American, being pinned to the ground by his neck by a white police officer.” – Sunday Telegraph

Bercow ‘to be denied’ peerage

“John Bercow will not be awarded a peerage despite being nominated by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it has been reported. The nomination of the former Speaker of the House of Commons will not be passed on to the Queen for approval because he is the subject of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing and will not pass a “propriety test” unless he is cleared before the nominations are sent. The investigation, into claims that he “bullied” staff that worked for him, has not yet been completed. Former senior parliamentary official Lt General David Leakey is among the complainants. Leakey, who served as Black Rod, accused Bercow of “intolerable rudeness and explosive behaviour” in a report passed to the parliamentary commissioner for standards. Bercow has said he categorically denies “I have ever bullied anyone, anywhere at any time”.” – Observer

And finally, Gardiner: What I learned as the first locum MP

“Sitting on a bed in an Airbnb in Spain last October, I completed the application to be the UK’s first locum MP. Having seen the role appear on my phone as BBC breaking news I thought I had little chance of success, but decided, as a constituent of Stella Creasy in Walthamstow, who was interested in politics and social justice, that I should throw my hat in to the ring and see where it got me. Eight months later and I have now come to the end of my time working as Stella’s locum. It’s safe to say it has not been as expected.” – FT