Protesters draw up statues “hit list” after toppling of Colston memorial

“Black Lives Matter supporters have compiled a “hit list” of dozens of statues across the country, as the Mayor of London said controversial monuments should be removed to avoid causing offence. Statues of historical figures including Sir Francis Drake, Nancy Astor, Christopher Colombus and William Gladstone should be toppled “for celebrating slavery and racism”, campaigners said on Tuesday night. It came as councils and museums rushed to remove contentious statues after protesters threw a statue of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader, into a river in Bristol on Sunday. More than 100 Labour councils announced wide-ranging reviews of controversial landmarks, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he hoped a new Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm would recommend the removal of memorials that “don’t accurately reflect our values”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • 130 Labour councils say they will assess the “appropriateness” of monuments in their areas – The Times
  • Tory councillors accused of racist posts on social media – The Guardian
  • Activists call for the removal of 60 statues across Britain – Daily Mail
  • Over a thousand students gather in Oxford to demand Rhodes statue is removed – Daily Mail
  • Workmen remove statue of Robert Milligan after Labour councillor launches petition – Daily Mail
  • Keir Starmer takes a knee in solidarity – The Sun
  • Black people still treated as second-class citizens in Britain, says Neville Lawrence – The Guardian
  • Football supporters and far-right extremists vow to counter protests – The Times
  • Tommy Robinson calls for opposition protests – Daily Mail
  • Bristol should be proud, says police chief – The Times
  • Toppling of Coulson’s statue was historical poetry, says Bristol Mayor – The Times
  • Church of England accused of “utter hypocrisy” over Black Lives Matter – The Guardian

UK facing Coronavirus education crisis, warn experts

“A national effort on the scale of the vast furlough scheme for jobs is needed to get children back into schools, former education secretaries and experts say. They spoke out after the government confirmed that most primary pupils would not come back to school until September, meaning they will have been out of the classroom for six months. Boris Johnson had said he wanted all primary years back for a month before the summer holidays, but this has not proved possible under the logistics of social-distancing rules. Justine Greening, the former education secretary, said Britain faced an education crisis without drastic action. The disadvantaged may not catch up and the hundreds of thousands leaving education this summer could end up unemployed, she said.” – The Times

  • Only one in four children allowed to return showed up for school last week – Daily Mail
  • Parents hit out after government drops plans to get primary children back by summer… – Daily Mail
  • …but teachers’ unions welcome by the move – FT
  • Cross-party MPs call for urgent plan – The Guardian
  • Robert Halfon warns of “an epidemic of educational poverty” – Daily Telegraph
  • 700,000 children “doing no school work” – The Times
  • School age children more likely to be hit by lightning than die of Coronavirus, suggests analysis – Daily Telegraph

Robert Halfon: We risk damaging the life chances of disadvantaged children if we don’t re–open schools

“THE anxieties of parents about sending their children back to school are entirely understandable. So, too are the concerns of the teachers and support staff. Yet, all the evidence from the WHO, EU countries and the chief medical officer suggests it is safe to send our children back to the classroom. We must look at the bigger picture – 85 per cent of disadvantaged pupils are not in school. And 55 per cent of teachers in the most deprived areas suggest that their children are learning for less than one hour a day. Some 700,000 children don’t have access to a computer or tablet. So, for all the impressive Oak Academy learning initiatives and ed tech, we are not reaching those that need support the most.” – The Sun

Sharma: All shops and zoos allowed to open on Monday…

“The lockdown will ease significantly from Monday with all shops and zoos allowed to reopen as the government steps up efforts to repair the economic damage caused by the pandemic. At the daily Downing Street press conference yesterday, Alok Sharma, the business secretary, confirmed that from June 15 non-essential retailers, such as clothes stores and bookshops, would be able to welcome customers for the first time since March 23 — but only if they had made their premises “Covid-secure”. Boris Johnson will say today that zoos will also be allowed to open from Monday after concerns that many face bankruptcy, with the risk of thousands of animals having to be put down.” – The Times

  • Zoos reopen after Stanley Johnson article – The Times
  • Deaths in England and Wales falling to normal levels – The Times
  • Two metre rule left out of Government guidance on reopening pubs and restaurants – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson vows to get long-haul flights to Dubai, Singapore and Sydney back – The Sun
  • Pubs will remain closed until July 4 – The Sun
  • More than half of people in Italy’s Coronavirus epicentre have antibodies – Daily Telegraph

… as the bill for the furlough scheme reaches £90bn

“Almost £90bn of taxpayer-backed support has been doled out to businesses and workers in less than three months as millions of furloughed staff brace for pay cuts and job losses. Some 11.5m Britons are having their wages propped up by the state’s furlough and self-employed subsidy schemes, according to new Treasury figures – a third of the workforce. More than £27bn has been spent on the wage subsidies while loans worth £51bn have been handed to firms through rescue programmes supported by the Bank of England and the Government. A further £10bn has been dished out in grants, while many firms have also been offered other help such as business rates relief. The cost of Covid-19 to the public finances is set to rise even higher in coming months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s support programmes were extended.” – Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus kills one in 16 in care homes, according to Telegraph analysis

“The coronavirus epidemic has killed one in 16 care home residents in England and Wales, analysis by The Telegraph suggests. The government has been widely criticised for sending untested hospital patients into care homes from mid-March in a bid to clear out beds. Managers claim the policy seeded the virus in homes that had been shielding residents for several weeks. There are also fears that cuts to healthcare services during the crisis has led to people missing out on lifesaving care. Data shows there have been 26,211 excess deaths in care homes since the start of the outbreak, compared to the five-year average for the same period. Figures released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 11,614 deaths are linked to coronavirus, while half are due to other reasons.” – Daily Telegraph

“Johnson’s patience wears thin over tracing app”

“Boris Johnson and his senior Downing Street advisers are growing increasingly impatient at delays to the launch of the NHS’s coronavirus tracing app, pressing health officials for a rethink even as a new trial is set for next week. According to two people with knowledge of the situation, pressure from Number 10 has been stepped up in the past few days with one telling the Financial Times that the prime minister wants serious consideration to be given to a different version of the app developed by Google and Apple. One UK government official said there was “frustration with how long everything takes but the reality is that we are building something from scratch”. The official added: “It is obviously taking longer than people would have hoped.”” – FT

NHS waiting lists “to hit 10 million by the end of the year”

“NHS waiting lists are likely to more than double to 10 million people by the end of the year, health bosses have warned. Continuing pressure from coronavirus, plus reduced patient flow due to infection control measures, means the health service faces an “uphill battle” to restart normal services such as those for stroke and heart disease, according to a report from the NHS Confederation, which represents leaders from across the health sector.  The backlog of treatments and staffing shortages is expected to exacerbate the waiting lists, currently standing at 4.2 million. However, this scenario does not account for a second wave of coronavirus and assumes some access to new treatments such as a vaccine. A second wave without any new treatments would push the waiting list to 11 million, the report predicts.” – Daily Telegraph

UK universities suffer worst-ever rankings in world league table

“A triple threat of Brexit, tightening budgets and unchecked expansion has seen the rankings of UK universities in an international league table slump for the fourth year in a row. Nearly three-quarters of the country’s universities slipped down the rankings in the UK’s worst-ever performance in the table compiled by data and research group QS. Imperial College London climbed one spot to reach eighth, making it the only UK university in the top 20 to improve. Oxford University slipped from fourth to fifth place and University College London fell two places to 10th, while Cambridge University held on to seventh place and the University of Edinburgh the 20th spot.” – The Guardian

Housing market rebounds as sales increase by 137 per cent

“The property market has bounced back from a freeze over the coronavirus peak thanks to a build-up in demand and homeowners realising the shortcomings of their properties while cooped up during lockdown. More homes were sold last week than this time last year and buyer demand is 54 per cent stronger than it was before the market was frozen on March 27. Richard Donnell, director of research at Zoopla, the property portal, said that sales had risen by 137 per cent since the market reopened on May 13. “The rebound in housing demand is not solely explained by a return of pent-up demand,” he said. “Covid has brought a whole new group of would-be buyers into the housing market.” – The Times

Brussels warns of hard Brexit risk to coronavirus recovery plans

“EU member states including Ireland are urging Brussels to take into account the shock of a hard Brexit in addition to the pandemic in its response to the bloc’s gravest postwar economic slump. Diplomats from Ireland and Belgium have said in recent discussions addressing the bloc’s budget and €750bn recovery fund that they could be doubly hit by the UK’s no-deal departure from the EU and the economic fallout from the pandemic. Their interventions are complicating already fraught discussions over the bloc’s co-ordinated response to the devastating impact of restrictions implemented to combat the spread of the disease. The eurozone is predicted to shrink 8.7 per cent this year — a record postwar recession.” – FT

Government draws up strategy to reduce reliance on Chinese imports

“Boris Johnson’s government is drawing up a strategy to reduce the UK’s reliance on China for key imported goods, as ministers acknowledge that a combination of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit will force a big shake-up of the country’s supply chains. The planned overhaul will aim to implement the results of “Project Defend” — an internal exercise to ensure Britain retains access to critical goods while diversifying the country’s trading relationships. Those working on the project, which is overseen by foreign secretary Dominic Raab, stressed it was primarily about strengthening the country’s trade links in the wake of coronavirus but would also lead to the production of some critical goods being brought back to the UK, after the pandemic exposed the UK’s reliance on imports.” – FT

  • Vodafone warns that ripping out Huawei would cost UK lead in 5G – FT

“Conservative doubts grow” over Shaun Bailey standing for London mayor

“The Conservative party’s candidate for next year’s delayed London mayoral election has lost the support of senior party officials and donors, with some keen to see him replaced by a prominent name such as former chancellor Sajid Javid. Shaun Bailey, a former youth worker and one of the party’s leading black figures, was selected to take on Labour mayor Sadiq Khan two years ago, but has struggled to make headway. The job of running the British capital city is seen as one of the top jobs in British politics, coming with a high profile and offering a launch pad to even bigger political roles. UK prime minister Boris Johnson held the post between 2008 and 2016.” – FT

Property developer gave Tories £12k two weeks after planning permission go-ahead

“A billionaire property developer gave a five-figure sum to the Conservative Party a fortnight after the Housing Secretary unlawfully approved one of his schemes, it has been revealed. Figures from the Electoral Commission show that Richard Desmond donated £12,000 to the party in January after Robert Jenrick gave the green light to his plan to build 1,500 homes in east London. Mr Jenrick gave the last-minute go-ahead to the £1billion project after both the local council and the independent Planning Inspectorate had decided it should be refused. His decision on January 14 came one day before Tower Hamlets Council approved a ‘community levy’ on developments that would have cost Mr Desmond’s company Northern and Shell between £30million and £50million.” – Daily Mail

Whitehall held “secret review” into 15 possible cases of torture or rendition

“Fifteen potential cases of torture or rendition involving British intelligence at the height of the “war on terror” were examined last year in a secret Whitehall review, whose existence was revealed in court proceedings on Tuesday. None were deemed by officials to have involved British spies being party to human rights abuses – a decision that is being challenged by two MPs and the human rights charity Reprieve as part of a high court judicial review. Lawyers acting for the former Conservative minister David Davis and Labour’s Dan Jarvis want to overturn a decision by Theresa May to ditch a promise to hold a judge-led inquiry into the involvement of British intelligence in torture and rendition following 9/11.” – The Guardian

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