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Government considering summer camps, tutoring service and extra funds for schools as part of ‘catch-up plan’

“The Government is considering summer camps, a national tutoring service and extra funds for schools as part of its “catch-up plan” for children not returning to school this term, i understands. On Wednesday, Boris Johnson promised a “massive catch-up operation over the summer and beyond” for pupils who have missed out on schooling. He made the pledge after the Government dropped its goal to get all primary pupils in England to return to school before the summer holidays. The Prime Minister said the details of the catch-up plan would be outlined by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson next week… Two sources who have been involved in discussions with the Department for Education said the Government was considering summer schools, a national tutoring service and extra catch-up funds.” – The i

  • Kids ‘might not all go back to school until February’ – The Sun
  • Teaching unions accused of celebrating schools remaining closed – Daily Telegraph
  • Summer school won’t help children already falling behind, head teachers warn – The Times
  • Schools to close over summer for frontline workers’ children – FT
  • Calls for ‘pop-up’ schools in playgrounds, churches and empty offices – The Sun

>Yesterday: John Pennington in Local Government: Anti-government ideologues are denying children in Bradford the education they need

Philip Collins: How Johnson can fix the schools crisis

“The immediate task is to prepare the ground for the rapid return. Denmark has made school compulsory once again. The government has tried a voluntary approach and got nowhere fast. How has it managed to end up with no ambassadors from the world of education? Not all of the unions are a disgrace. The head teachers are perfectly reasonable and the leaders of the federation of academy trusts are constructive. Divide and rule and enlist the help of the former education secretaries. Ask Alan Johnson and David Blunkett to appear at a press conference to explain how Danish and German schools have been able to reopen without a spike in infections. Advertise the plans for reopening in the press, TV, radio and online. Set up a hotline for anxious parents to call and get Gavin Williamson to answer the phone.” – The Times

  • This bungled policy hurts children, parents and teachers – Lola Okolosie, The Guardian

Sunak and Tory MPs pile pressure on to ditch ‘impossible’ two-metre coronavirus rule

“Rishi Sunak has backed Tory MPs who want Boris Johnson to ditch the “impossible” two metre rule to save Britain’s economy. The Chancellor is said to be “sympathetic” with the concerns of backbench MPs who last night stressed it needed to be cut to help the nation recover from coronavirus. He told the backbench 1922 Committee of Tory MPs that 24 countries had introduced the flexibility to reduce the two-metre rule, while Sweden and Denmark had lowered it recently… And he is said to have told them that three quarters of pubs could open if the distance is slashed, and it could help more kids get back to school. This morning minister Simon Clarke said the Government would “love” to cut the 2m rule down when they can.” – The Sun

  • Scientists ‘wash their hands’ of a decision on relaxing two metre rule – The Times

Editorial:

  • Rule threatens to wreak severe damage on businesses and schools – The Times

British economy shrinks by record 20 per cent in April

“The UK economy shrank at the fastest monthly rate on record in April as the coronavirus lockdown hit demand and activity in all sectors. Output in the UK fell by 20.4 per cent in April, compared with the previous month, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. This is by far the largest contraction since monthly records began in 1997 and follows a 5.8 per cent contraction in March, the previous record fall. “April’s fall in GDP is the biggest the UK has ever seen, more than three times larger than last month and almost 10 times larger than the steepest pre-Covid-19 fall,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS. “In April the economy was around 25 per cent smaller than in February.”” – FT

  • Government unveils package of support to help high streets – The Sun
  • Ministers braced for a wave of job cuts – FT
  • Warnings the recovery might take years – Daily Mail
  • Pubs, restaurants and hotels must get furlough for another year, MPs warn – The Sun
  • Johnson faces calls for inquiry into health crisis – The Guardian

Courts prepare fast-track prosecutions for latest demonstrations

“Protesters will face “24-hour justice” if they cause vandalism, criminal damage or assault police officers amid mounting concerns that Britain is facing a summer of disorder. Robert Buckland, the justice secretary, has told magistrates to extend their opening hours and fast-track cases related to protests in an approach modelled on the response to the London riots of 2011. The plans, which have been drawn up by Mr Buckland and Priti Patel, the home secretary, will lead to offenders being jailed within 24 hours of arrest to defuse disorder. The government will also publish a consultation on plans to double maximum sentences for assaulting emergency workers to two years.” – The Times

  • Fury as Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph are boarded up – The Sun
  • Scouts mobilise to defend Baden-Powell statue from removal – The Times
  • BLM protesters cancel tomorrow’s Hyde Park demonstration – Daily Mail

More Justice:

  • Government forced to U-turn on privatisation of probation services – The Sun

Editorial:

  • Demonstrations this weekend should be called off to avoid spreading the virus – The Times

>Yesterday:

Farage dropped from LBC talk show after Black Lives Matter comment

“Nigel Farage has lost his LBC radio show after comparing the Black Lives Matter movement to the Taliban. The station announced that Farage was stepping down with immediate effect. Officially, LBC gave no reasons for his departure. But insiders claimed there had been pressure from staff and fellow presenters who were furious about his comments. One said there had been long-standing unhappiness over Farage being employed by the station, but the Taliban comment was “the final straw”… Farage was hired to present his own talk show in 2017. At the time, LBC said he would “bring his inside knowledge, experience and grasp of world politics at a pivotal time in our history”.” – Daily Telegraph

Patel tells Labour MPs: I will not be silenced on issue of race

“Priti Patel has said that she will not be silenced after Labour MPs accused her of using her ethnicity to “gaslight other minority communities”. Thirty-one Labour MPs from ethnic-minority groups wrote a letter to the home secretary saying that “being a person of colour does not make you an authority on all forms of racism”. They intervened after Ms Patel responded to criticism in the Commons this week by describing her own experiences of racism. Gaslighting refers to the act of psychologically manipulating someone into doubting their own experiences. In response to the letter Ms Patel said on Twitter: “Sad to have just received this letter. I will not be silenced by Labour MPs who continue to dismiss the contributions of those who don’t conform to their view of how ethnic minorities should behave.”” – The Times

  • Home Secretary defiant after Labour MPs accuse her of exploiting her Asian heritage – Daily Telegraph
  • Patel hits back at critics as watchdog launches Windrush probe – FT
  • BAME MPs accuse Home Secretary of ‘gaslighting’ in racism debate – The Guardian
  • Ministers ‘failed to publish coronavirus advice for ethnic minorities’ – The Times

Comment:

  • We’re asking the wrong questions about racial inequality in the UK – Frasier Nelson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Why not dismantle Gandhi’s statue? He was racist against black Africans.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Slave Lives Matter. The anti-slavery campaign that every Conservative should join.

Up to 80 per cent of people with coronavirus have no symptoms, Hancock warns

“Health Secretary Matt Hancock said as many as 80 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus in England had not displayed any symptoms. Mr Hancock was speaking as it emerged the new NHS test and trace programme was unable to track down thousands of people who had tested positive for Covid-19. The Office for National Statistics has been carrying out a survey using swab testing to determine how many people from across the country at any one time are infected with Covid-19. In the vast majority of cases, said Matt Hancock, those who had tested positive had not been presenting any symptoms… Mr Hancock said the NHS test and trace scheme was part of the solution as isolating those who test positive for the virus would “break the chain of transmission”, particularly when they would not have otherwise known they were carrying the disease.”- The Sun

  • Coronavirus contact tracing system ‘is not yet up to speed’ – The Times
  • Third of those in NHS test and trace system failing to share details – FT
  • Sturgeon attacked over ‘scandalous’ coronavirus testing – Daily Express

>Yesterday:

Thousands of patients ‘discharged into care homes without vital tests’

“Around 25,000 patients were discharged into care homes without being tested for coronavirus at the height of the pandemic, “extraordinary” new figures confirm. On Thursday night, MPs from both main parties condemned the conclusions of a National Audit Office (NAO) report, which found that the NHS policy to discharge without necessarily testing lasted nearly a month before it was changed. Such tests as were available were prioritised for people with respiratory or flu-like symptoms, the report found. It is not known how many of the 25,000 discharged without a test between March 17 and  April 15 – the day NHS England changed its advice – were infected with coronavirus. However, one in three care homes had experienced an outbreak of Covid-19 by the middle of May, with more than 1,000 homes dealing with positive cases during the peak of infections in April.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Hancock faces legal action from daughter of Covid-19 care home victim – The Guardian
  • Government ‘ignored warning to stockpile PPE’ as Covid-19 spread – The Guardian

More:

  • High-risk workers face regular test to catch hidden infections – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The Government has held 86 Coronavirus press conferences. How many has Coffey fronted? None. Why?

Cabinet minister faces inquiry over £1bn Docklands scheme approval

“Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, is facing the prospect of a parliamentary inquiry into how he approved a £1bn property scheme two weeks before the Conservative party received a £12,000 donation from its developer. Mr Jenrick refused to attend the House of Commons on Thursday, leaving junior minister Chris Pincher to answer questions about his department. Richard Desmond, the developer behind Westferry Printworks in London’s Docklands area, gave the Tories £12,000 on January 28, two weeks after Mr Jenrick approved the scheme. Mr Desmond attempted to discuss the project with Mr Jenrick at a Tory fundraising dinner in November, although Mr Jenrick’s spokesman said the minister closed down these efforts.” – FT

  • Desmond met Johnson for drinks – The Times

EU 1) Gove ‘to backtrack on full border controls with EU’

“Britain is expected to perform an extraordinary U-turn and backtrack on its plan to introduce full border checks with the EU from January 1 over fears of the economic impact of coronavirus. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is anticipated to make an announcement on Friday over border operations for when Brexit fully comes into effect at the end of the transition period. The UK had committed to introduce import controls on EU goods in the new year, but ministers are now expected to adopt a more flexible approach over concerns businesses will be compounded by further chaos on top of COVID-19… This means instead of full checks, temporary light touch checks will be made at UK ports for incoming EU goods.” – Daily Express

  • Temporary light-touch customs regime planned – FT

EU 2) Johnson set for confrontation with Brussels chiefs in bid to move on deadlocked Brexit talks

“Boris Johnson is set for showdown talks with EU chiefs on Monday afternoon to try and move on the deadlocked Brexit talks. The PM will hold a video call with Commission boss Ursula von der Leyen and Council president Charles Michel. Chief negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost will also join the chat, which comes after three-and-a-half months of slow progress. Brussels sources were downplaying the prospect of a breakthrough and said the meeting will take place amid a “gloomy” atmosphere on the EU side. One warned: “There’s a bit of a risk of a self-fulfilling prophecy if both sides start giving up on a deal.” EU diplomats said Mr Barnier had rejected UK pleas to enter a “tunnel” period of top secret negotiations in July.” – The Sun

  • Brexit talks on brink as major fishing hurdle may ‘derail whole negotiation’ – Daily Express
  • Lack of detail on Irish Sea border plan worries NI businesses – FT

Comment:

  • A trade deal between the US and UK will jumpstart growth – Robert Wood Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • It’s Waitrose Conservatives versus Lidl free marketeers – Katy Balls, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Stephen Booth’s column: Barnier sees the need for compromise. The question is whether EU member states will let him.

Peers try to block Huawei from building 5G network

“Members of the Lords are trying to curb Huawei’s role in developing Britain’s 5G network by seeking to ban companies that could use the telecoms networks to commit human rights abuses. Huawei, the Chinese technology giant, has been accused of facilitating Beijing’s persecution of Uighur Muslims, with a million estimated to be interned and millions more under heavy surveillance. Specifically, Huawei was accused of making the control and repression of Uighurs possible by helping the state security bureau in the northwest province of Xinjiang. Some of Huawei’s subcontractors allegedly rely on modern slavery involving the Uighur, a think tank reported this year. Peers, backed by Conservative MPs, tabled an amendment to the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill.” – The Times

  • Raab urges Beijing to reassess Hong Kong’s national security law – Daily Express

>Today: Andrew Green in Comment: We cannot responsibly fling our doors open to three million Hong Kongers

>Yesterday: Gavin Rice in Comment: Rebalancing our economy will be key to standing up to China

Cummings Newsnight clip sparks nearly 24,000 complaints

“A Newsnight episode accusing Dominic Cummings of breaking lockdown rules prompted outrage from viewers leading to nearly 24,000 complaints, it has been revealed. Viewers of the programme were so furious with Emily Maitlis’s opening address, they filed 23,674 complaints to the BBC. The Broadcaster was flooded with complaints suggesting the news segment had shown “bias against Dominic Cummings and/or the Government.” The Newsnight episode addresses Mr Cumming’s controversial long-haul car journey to Durham from London despite the country observing strict lockdown regulations. Reports of the incident garnered wide criticism from both sides of the political spectrum and the presenter was both praised and criticised for her remarks.” – Daily Express

News in Brief:

  • Gladstone should be celebrated, not cancelled – Dr David Jeffery, CapX
  • We should leave the anti-Semites standing – Zoe Strimpel, UnHerd
  • Morality policing – Sam Ashworth-Hayes, Marginally Productive
  • Normality won’t return until schools do – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • The small matter of Britain’s interest in China – Yuan Yi Zhu, The Critic

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