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Johnson speeds up hospital building ‘to aid economy’

“Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to speed up the construction of new hospitals, as he prepares to set out a blueprint for how he will “rebuild Britain” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose. In a major speech expected within weeks, the Prime Minister will set out plans to accelerate the Conservatives’ major infrastructure plans, including his manifesto pledges to build 40 new hospitals, and fund major upgrades to the country’s roads. The speech will effectively re-launch the Conservatives’ domestic agenda after months of the Government focusing almost entirely on battling Covid-19. It will “map” the Government’s plans for the rest of the year, including an autumn budget and a major review of departmental spending.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Prime Minister wants to save three millions jobs at risk – Sun on Sunday
  • Jobs bloodbath accelerates easing of lockdown for pubs and restaurants – Sunday Times

Comment:

  • He should let his inner Maggie bulldoze any barriers to growth – Robert Colvile, Sunday Times

Editorial:

  • After so many mis‑steps, No 10 must get the recovery right – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Johnson falls 20 points to his lowest-ever Prime Ministerial score in our latest Cabinet League Table

Chancellor could relax Sunday trading restrictions

“Rishi Sunak will put rocket boosters under the UK economy to launch a post-coronavirus recovery. Urgent measures including relaxing Sunday trading laws and a car scrappage scheme could be unveiled. Plans could be rolled out by the Chancellor next month amid fears unemployment could grow by two million. Boris Johnson hosts Cabinet on Tuesday to give the green light for non-essential shops to reopen. Clothing, betting shops and furniture stores will all open their doors if vital tests ensuring the pandemic is under control are met. Relaxing hours for larger supermarkets and DIY stores on a Sunday were backed by business groups and follows a long-running Sun on Sunday campaign.” – Sun on Sunday

  • MPs fear ‘growing cracks’ between Johnson and Sunak – Mail on Sunday
  • Tories repay ‘red wall’ voters with support for rugby league – FT

Labour:

  • Starmer demands ‘exit strategy’ but Labour will not oppose new 14-day rules – Sunday Telegraph
  • Tory lead over Labour drops down to just two points – Mail on Sunday

Analysis:

  • Now it’s the economy, stupid – Tim Shipman, Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Conservative MPs must be ready to keep Sunday special

Staff ‘being let go’ from track-and-trace programme

“Test and Trace staff left with nothing to do are being released. The workers spent weeks being trained in a huge government drive. The scheme launched on May 28 but many have now been let go after a week. A tracer with outsourcing firm TTEC said: “It’s been a total waste of time – so boring. We’re sat waiting for something to do. A lot of the technology hasn’t worked. It’s a mess. We’re being let go with a week’s pay.” Another tracer who worked for Capita said: “Swathes are being let go.” Hundreds are thought to be leaving but neither firm commented on figures. TTEC said it was “tailoring personnel requirements”. Capita would not comment but a source said those working from home with insufficient technology had made the task impossible.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Anonymous volunteer says data protection is hampering tracing – Mail on Sunday
  • Saliva tests could help meet Johnson’s 24-hour target – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

  • We lost track of the virus after abandoning testing – Greg Clark MP, Sunday Telegraph

>Today: MPs Etc.: Coronavirus Count

Frontline heroes to get ‘Covid medals’ within months

“A medal is to be created for the workers who helped save lives during the pandemic, under plans being considered by the government. A document, which has been circulated to Whitehall departments, proposes striking a humanitarian medal to recognise the work of those who put their lives on the line — and could be ready as soon as September. A separate medal is also under consideration to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee in 2022, when she will have served 70 years on the throne, according to senior Whitehall sources with knowledge of the document. Boris Johnson is being pressed to create a Covid-19 medal, similar to the ebola medal in 2015, to recognise the work carried out by NHS and frontline staff. Those to have thrown their weight behind the campaign include the Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and all five living former prime ministers.” – Sunday Times

  • NHS bosses slam Hancock for ‘rushed’ decision to make hospital staff wear masks – Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson urged by medical chiefs to prepare for second wave – Sunday Express

>Yesterday: Andrew Mitchell MP in Comment: Coronavirus isn’t the only killer

Missing school is ‘bigger risk for children’ than catching coronavirus, warns adviser

“Keeping children out of school poses a far greater risk to them that coronavirus, a Government adviser has said. The impact of Covid-19 on children’s health is “miniscule”, but spending a prolonged period out of school is devastating their development, Dr Gavin Morgan said. His intervention comes amid rising concern that millions of children now face spending six months out of school, with the majority of pupils not expected to return to the classroom until September at the earliest. This week, pupils in Reception, Year One and Year Six were allowed to return to the classroom, but many schools across the country decided to stay closed with more than 50 local councils defying the Government’s plans.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Education chaos ‘set to stretch into 2021’ – Sunday Times

Johnson refuses to pay EU £270 million for Covid-19 recovery

“Boris Johnson is refusing to stump up a £270million bill demanded by the EU to pay for its coronavirus recovery. The PM has sparked a row with Brussels by insisting the sum must be cut down – risking further souring the trade talks. Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen unveiled a £2.7billion fund in April to help the bloc’s economies weather the pandemic. The cash will come out of this year’s budget, meaning Britain is liable to pay a share under the terms of the Brexit deal. But the Treasury is disputing two-thirds of our bill – put at £180-270million – arguing it arises from changes to the rules made after we left in January. The row broke out at a meeting of the EU-UK joint committee, which was set up to monitor how the deal is applied by both sides.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Barnier ‘is a player, not the referee’, says UK – Sunday Times
  • EU hints in talks of concessions on state aid rules – The Observer
  • Johnson wants to fix the “defective” Brexit Withdrawl Agreement – Sunday Express

More trade:

  • Cabinet unrest over U-turn on animal welfare in US trade talks – The Observer

Comment:

  • Eurocrats don’t want Britain to be reasonable, but subservient, Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: David Gauke’s column: The Prime Minister will regret not requiring Cummings’ resignation

Ex-Chancellor says wealthy Britons ‘don’t care about racism’

“The Government ‘can and must’ do more to address racial inequality in society, former chancellor Sajid Javid has said. Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Javid said only the Prime Minister was capable of ‘driving real change’, adding the UK risked being ‘complacent’ about its claims to be a tolerant society. It comes as thousands of people took part in Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations across the country on Saturday following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, with more demonstrations planned in London, Bristol, Glasgow and Edinburgh this afternoon. Mr Javid, who also previously served as home secretary, said the UK must ‘not pretend’ that it does not have ‘substantial obstacles’ to overcome in regard to integration and opportunity.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Ten police officers are hurt in clashes at Black Lives Matter protest – Mail on Sunday

Sajid Javid: Racism is a challenge Boris Johnson must meet head‑on

“My brother has served as a police officer for the past 27 years. One of my proudest moments as Home Secretary was speaking at his graduation from our country’s most senior command course. It wasn’t difficult to pick him out from behind the podium – aside from our matching haircuts, us Javid brothers were the only ethnic minorities in the room. Nevertheless, when it comes to our country’s relationship with race I’ve always been an optimist. Sometimes that has required a leap of faith – when joining my university’s Conservative Association I was painfully aware that the party hadn’t elected a single black or Asian MP since 1906 – but that faith has almost always turned out to be well-placed. 30 years on, my successors in two of the four Great Offices of State have both been ethnic-minority politicians, appointments made entirely on merit.” – Sunday Times

  • Police brutality shocks us, but it’s not the worst enemy of black people – Matthew Syed, Sunday Times

Kawczynski warns that devolution is ‘chipping away at the Union’

“Campaigners pushing for more devolution in Wales are chipping away at the ties which bind the United Kingdom together – and must be silenced with a fresh referendum to determine the future of the Welsh assembly, a Tory MP has said. Daniel Kawczynski, who is MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham close to the Welsh border, has spoken out in a week in which a YouGov poll of 1,021 Welsh adults carried out in late May suggested 25 percent backed the idea of full independence, up four percent on a similar survey in January. Mr Kawczynski, speaking prior to the release of the poll, said his constituency’s located left him in a good position to see at close quarters the “significant challenges” he said were posed by current devolution settlement to border communities such as the one he represents.” – Sunday Express

>Today: Colin Clark in Comment: If the Scottish Conservatives stay in the middle of the road, they’ll get run over

Huawei’s founder declares ‘war’ on West

“Huawei’s founder urged workers to crush rivals and “blaze a trail of blood” in the Chinese telecoms giant’s battle for supremacy. Ren Zhengfei ordered staff at Huawei’s research and development centre in Hangzhou, eastern China, to learn from Google’s unrelenting march. “Surge forward, killing as you go, to blaze us a trail of blood,” he said a month after the arrest of his daughter in Canada in 2018, according to a transcript seen by The Wall Street Journal. In February Ren, a former Chinese army engineer with close links to the heart of the Communist Party, also told staff at a Huawei campus in Wuhan that “the company has entered a state of war”, according to a transcript seen by the WSJ.” – Sunday Times

  • Talks with Samsung in bid to avoid relying too much on Beijing for 5G technology – Sun on Sunday
  • Deeper relationship with Five Eyes partners to end reliance on Chinese – Sunday Express
  • HSBC warns Downing Street on Chinese reprisals over Huawei – Sunday Telegraph
  • Beijing threatens to pull plug on new British nuclear plants – Sunday Times

More:

Local BBC news plays vital role and must stay, says Rees-Mogg

“Jacob Rees-Mogg has praised local BBC programming and said it “must be kept up” after the public service broadcaster admitted it was considering cutting both the award-winning Inside Out series of investigative programmes and regional political debate shows in England. Rees-Mogg, the Conservative MP for North East Somerset and the leader of the House of Commons, noted that David Garmston, who presents Sunday Politics West – one of the programmes facing the axe –  was “one of the most popular figures around and it is very important that local television is kept up.” Somerset’s daily BBC news programme, Points West, was “more watched, proportionately, than EastEnders, which is an indication of how popular these programmes are and the local service that they provide”, Rees Mogg added.” – The Observer

  • Channel 4 boss overhauls social media rules after ‘dreadful’ Johnson error – Sunday Telegraph

Ministers refuse to reveal target of new RAF killer drone missions

“Britain is running secret missions involving drones previously used to target and kill terrorist suspects in Iraq and Syria. The Ministry of Defence is refusing to reveal the nature or location of the operation involving RAF Reapers, which can be armed with Hellfire missiles, leading to calls for greater parliamentary oversight of Britain’s drone programme. Following a freedom of information request, the MoD confirmed that Reaper drones are flying missions outside Operation Shader, which targets Isis in Iraq and Syria. Since Afghanistan, there has only been one RAF Reaper mission of this type – the killing of the Isis recruiter Reyaad Khan in Syria in 2015. There were questions about the legality and proportionality of his killing.” – The Observer

  • Ministry of Defence chiefs admit losing hundreds of laptops and memory sticks – Sun on Sunday

Comment:

  • How a gallant Scot carrying a makeshift ‘church’ joined SAS troops after D-Day – Lord Ashcroft, Mail on Sunday

4 comments for: Newslinks for Sunday 7th June 2020

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