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Johnson says “demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery”

“Boris Johnson said last night that anti-racism rallies had been “subverted by thuggery” on the day that protesters toppled a statue of a slave trader in Bristol and daubed graffiti on one of Winston Churchill in London. The prime minister condemned the violence as a small number of protesters hurled bottles, fireworks and traffic cones at police in Whitehall. He wrote on Twitter: “People have a right to protest peacefully but they have no right to attack the police. These demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery — and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve.” Police faced questions for failing to intervene when the statue of Edward Colston was thrown into Bristol harbour.” – The Times

  • Policewoman broke bones in horse fall – The Times
  • 12 arrests and eight officers hurt in protests – Daily Mail
  • Churchill statue defaced for second day in a row – The Sun
  • Bristol protesters pull down Edward Colston statue – Daily Telegraph
  • Thousands continue protests in the US – The Guardian

>Today:

Patel: Protesters in flagrant breach of the rules risk undoing our progress against this terrible virus

“Like everyone who read about it or watched the news coverage, I was sickened at George Floyd’s death. His treatment at the hands of US police was appalling and speaks to the sense of injustice experienced by minority communities around the world. I know that it is this sense of injustice that has driven people to take to the UK’s streets to protest. This Government understands the importance of the right to protest. In normal circumstances, a large (and largely peaceful) protest of this kind would not be of concern to the authorities. But these are not normal times. To protect us all, and to stop the spread of coronavirus, any large gatherings of people are unlawful. The severe public health risk forces me to continue to urge the public not to attend further protests. To add to this, some protesters regrettably turned violent and abusive this weekend. These scenes of lawlessness are completely unacceptable. The police have our full support in tackling any violence, vandalism or disorderly behaviour.” – Daily Telegraph

UK quarantine scheme begins first day…

“The Government’s flagship passenger quarantine scheme risked descending into chaos after even a Home Office spokesman admitted it was “very hard to imagine how it would work in practice”. Almost all travellers arriving in the UK from Monday are being threatened with fines if they fail to fill in an online form at ports of entry and then decline to self isolate for two weeks. But according to a leaked Home Office document seen by the Telegraph, there is no method for Border Force officials to ensure if details submitted are ‘genuine’ and fines for inaccurate entries will only be issued if they are ‘manifestly false’ such as claiming you are called ‘Mickey Mouse’ and reside at ‘Buckingham Palace’. Border Force representatives also claimed there would be a huge disparity over the spot checks carried out at major ports and airports.” – Daily Telegraph

  • 500 travel and hospitality businesses join legal bid to reverse restrictions – Daily Telegraph
  • Transport chiefs criticise economically “devastating” travel quarantine – Daily Mail
  • Holiday firms to offer Britons cheap deals – The Times
  • Thousands of Britons stuck in Calais queues after last-minute rush for ferries – Daily Mail

… as Government plans “international travel corridors” with Europe

“HOLIDAYMAKERS will be able to travel freely across Europe from July without having to quarantine on their return, under a new No10 plan. Boris Johnson wants to agree a cross-EU exemption to the order for all arrivals to the UK to isolate for 14 days. The controversial policy, drawn up by the PM’s chief of staff Dominic Cummings, came into force at midnight. But insiders say Boris now wants it watered down as soon as possible. Senior Cabinet ministers on the Covid-19 Operations Committee meet this week to finalise criteria to start negotiating air and sea bridges, which will be known as ‘international travel corridors’. A rapid agreement with the EU’s 27 countries is seen as the top priority to allow a sunshine summer holiday for millions of lockdown-weary Brits.” – The Sun

Restaurants and pubs to reopen on June 22, if ministers’ plan goes ahead…

“Ministers have identified June 22 as the date when they hope to reopen England’s pubs and restaurants serving customers outdoors, amid fears of mass job losses if the hospitality sector misses out on the lucrative summer season. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is among half a dozen ministers — calling themselves the “save summer six” — seeking to accelerate the reopening of the economy. The hospitality sector was not due to open until July 4. Downing Street said no date had been set for the reopening of beer gardens, terraces and marquees, but three senior Whitehall officials said the target date was June 22. The cabinet will discuss the plan on Tuesday.” – FT

  • … as Johnson “agrees” to accelerate lockdown easing – Daily Telegraph
  • 3.5 million jobs at risk unless pubs, restaurants and hotels reopen for the summer – The Sun
  • App will tell workers if it’s safe to go to the lavatory – The Times
  • Make patients wear masks at surgeries, warn GPs – The Times
  • Infection rate keeps schools in northwest shut – The Times
  • Rail operators call for 1m distancing – The Times
  • Quarantine scheme won’t work in practice, says Home Office spokesman – The Times
Comment:

Job vacancies fall to lowest level in three years

“Jobs vacancies across the UK have fallen to their lowest levels for more than three years, with pandemic-related roles supporting the market given demand for care workers during the crisis. Health, with social and civil services, accounted for about a third of all jobs posted across recruitment websites in May, according to data from JobisJob, whose data covers 85 per cent of jobs posted online across 250 job boards. But overall vacancies were sharply down as companies closed their doors in the midst of the crisis.  The number of jobs posted in the first five months of 2020 was 40 per cent lower than the same time last year, although the period includes January and February, before the economic cost of the pandemic started to hit. In May, the number of advertised jobs was two thirds lower.” – FT

Hancock claims victory on care home target…

“Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has claimed victory in meeting his target to send tests to all care home residents and staff by the middle of this month, although the aim was to have the tests completed. Mr Hancock risks attracting more criticism for misusing statistics after he said yesterday that the government had “managed successfully to deliver tests to every care home that is eligible”. About a million tests have been delivered to just under 9,000 care homes, according to government data. On May 15 Mr Hancock pledged that the government would “test every resident and every member of staff in our elderly care homes in England between now and early June”.” – The Times

  • … but Labour calls government “too slow to act” – The Guardian
  • PPE will financially cripple dentist practices – The Times
  • Doctors’ groups criticise Public Health England’s report into the impact of Coronavirus on ethnic minorities – The Times
  • Coronavirus can spread through hospital ward in ten hours – The Times

Thousands of foreign students expected to shun online British universities

“Thousands of foreign students have said that they would not come to Britain to take degrees if they were taught online, and would expect a discount on fees if part of their course was taught that way. A survey of 30,000 university applicants from around the world, who were hoping to study abroad, found that the plans of 57 per cent had been disrupted. This is up from 46 per cent in April when a similar survey was conducted by QS, which analyses trends in higher education. It comes as experts estimate today that the economy will suffer a loss of at least £460 million from overseas students shunning the chance to study in this country.” – The Times

No-fault divorce could be passed in days…

“Ministers could fast-track reforms to create no-fault divorce this week despite growing unease among at least a dozen backbench MPs. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill is set for its second reading in the Commons today and The Times understands that ministers are keen to see the legislation receive royal assent as soon as the end of this week. The proposed legislation was drafted after a campaign by The Times and the Marriage Foundation and has gathered wide support in parliament. Specialist lawyers also broadly back the reform, arguing that the present system creates unnecessary hostility between divorcing spouses by forcing them to apportion blame, which can have a negative effect on children.” – The Times

  • … but some MPs fear they could send “deeply insensitive signal” – Daily Telegraph

No 10 considers laws to curb Chinese takeovers

“Boris Johnson is preparing to announce tough laws to prevent foreign takeovers that pose a risk to national security as concern grows about the influence of China. Downing Street is pressing for legislation to make it mandatory for British companies to report attempted takeovers that could give rise to security risks, backed by the threat of criminal sanctions. Those that fail to do so or ignore the stringent conditions imposed by the government after takeovers could have their directors jailed, disqualified or be fined hundreds of thousands of pounds. The prime minister also wants “academic partnerships” and research projects to be included under the rules amid concern about links between British universities and Chinese companies.” – The Times

  • China denies cover-up over pandemic – The Times
  • Huawei fights back over criticisms – FT

Brexit talks stall around fishing quota

“No 10 fears that Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, has lost control of the talks under pressure from France and other countries as a row over access to Britain’s fishing waters threatens to delay progress. David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, was ready to explore quotas in terms of numbers and percentages of the catch but the European Commission was unable to go into the detail because of opposition led by France. Two weeks ago during internal EU talks Mr Barnier was told by a coalition including France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal not to consider a compromise to quotas that give European boats the lion’s share of fish.” – The Times

Comment:

>Today:

US officially demands to question Prince Andrew

“THE US has officially demanded Britain hand over Prince Andrew to be quizzed over his links to billionaire paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein. And in a bombshell move, the Department of Justice has formally told the UK the Duke of York is now caught up in a criminal probe for the first time. Andrew, 60, has so far refused to be quizzed by New York prosecutors investigating Epstein’s evil historic sex trafficking network but strongly denies any wrongdoing. Until now it was thought he was only likely to be the target of action by Epstein’s victims in the US civil courts. One – Virginia Roberts Giuffre, now 36 – alleges she had sex with Andrew on three occasions between 2001 and 2002, twice while underage. However Andrew denies this.” – The Sun

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