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Tourists must quarantine for 14 days on return home from Spain

“Tens of thousands of British tourists in Spain have had their holidays thrown into disarray after the Government imposed an immediate two-week quarantine for anyone returning home from the country. Ministers reimposed restrictions on travel from Spain, including its islands, on Saturday night following new outbreaks of coronavirus that prompted Spanish health officials to warn of a potential second wave of infections. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office changed its advice to warn against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, is currently in Spain – Sunday Times

Senior Tories accuse PHE of failing to learn lessons from Coronavirus response…

“Public Health England has been accused of failing to learn the lessons of the first wave of coronavirus after Duncan Selbie, the chief executive, insisted its decision to drop mass contact tracing in March was “entirely appropriate” because “people weren’t moving around”. Senior Conservatives said PHE’s leadership appeared not to realise “quite how much harm they did” by failing to carry out mass testing and contact tracing during the peak of Covid-19 infections.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Some local Coronavirus outbreaks could be “mass hysteria”, says Joint Biosecurity Centre – Sunday Telegraph
  • Number of people with Coronavirus antibodies lower than thought – Sunday Telegraph
  • London cab drivers say Sadiq Khan has prioritised cyclists and buses as their earnings fall – Daily Telegraph

… and other Tory MPs claim union chiefs want civil servants to “stay home forever”

“Union chiefs were last night accused of wanting staff to ‘stay at home forever’ after defying Boris Johnson’s clarion call for workers to get back to the office. Tory MPs reacted with anger after the Public and Commercial Services Union told their members to challenge bosses who ordered them back to their desks. Former Minister Andrew Percy said it was ‘unacceptable’ that vital public-sector work such as issuing passports was going undone while private employees had toiled to keep the country going during the coronavirus crisis.” – Mail on Sunday

Treason laws to target UK lobbyists for “hostile” Russia and China

“Ministers are rewriting the treason laws to target Britons who work for foreign powers as concern grows about attempts by China and Russia to buy influence in Britain and manipulate public opinion. Senior government sources say Home Office officials have their “foot very much on the gas” to publish new treason laws this autumn, probably as part of a defence and security review. The definition of treachery would include helping foreign states that are engaged in various types of attacks on the UK and assisting groups with which the UK is engaged in armed conflict. Sajid Javid raised the prospect of a definition of treason to tackle “hostile state activity” when he was home secretary in 2019 and that work is now nearing a conclusion.” – Sunday Times

  • Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, warns that “China too are developing offensive space weapons” – Daily Telegraph

Javid: We must treat the threat of Chinese and Russian cyber attacks as seriously as we do terrorists

“In the Cold War television thriller Deutschland 83, there’s a scene in which a young East German spy is ordered to photograph a report in the possession of Nato’s top analyst. After breaking into his hotel room, the spy finds the report is stored on a floppy disk. Having sent it back across the Iron Curtain, the fiasco ends with his boss staring at the disk in bewilderment, asking his colleagues: ‘What the hell am I supposed to do with this?’ They hadn’t developed a computer that could read it. This is a quaint reminder of the days when technology worked to the West’s advantage and there were limited ways for foreign countries to interfere with domestic life.” – Mail on Sunday

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GPs told to get tough and tell patients “you’re fat”, under Johnson’s obesity drive…

“Boris Johnson will tomorrow tell the two-thirds of Britons who are fat to get on their bikes to lose weight – as GPs are ordered to be direct and tell their patients when they’re too fat. The Prime Minister intends to put daily exercise front and centre of his new ‘Better Health’ drive targeting the 35 million Britons estimated to be overweight. He is even recruiting his pet dog, Dilyn, to extol the benefits of going for walks. It is understood the year-old rescue pup will appear in a video alongside Mr Johnson as he launches the campaign. One of the key elements of the campaign will be urging GPs to be direct with patients.” Mail on Sunday

… as he and Sunak shake up Treasury with “Silicon Valley” approach

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, are to ditch decades of Treasury orthodoxy, prioritising public spending on projects that will “move quickly, start small and fail fast”. In a major speech this week, Steve Barclay, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, will reveal plans to import a venture capitalist-style approach from Silicon Valley that would champion “innovative” schemes and those that would be quickest to deliver Government promises on infrastructure, roads and energy.” – Sunday Telegraph

Shapps intervenes after his green traffic policy creates “ghost town” in his own constituency

“Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, has been forced to lobby against his anti-car policy in his own constituency after barriers meant to aid social distancing turned a village high street into a “ghost town”. Shopkeepers in Welwyn say businesses already struggling after the lockdown could be forced to close because visitor numbers plummeted when roads were transformed and a one-way system was introduced. More than 1,300 people have signed a petition calling on Hertfordshire County Council to use “common sense””. – Daily Telegraph

Green electric railways to cost up to £30bn, says Network Rail

“Taxpayers are in line for a bill of up to £30bn to make the railways greener, according to a leaked Network Rail report. The document urges Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, to take action immediately or risk missing the Government’s 2050 net zero carbon goal. The 231-page analysis by state-backed tracks and stations owner, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shines a light on how Britain’s railways have failed to keep pace with electrification overseas. In order to meet Britain’s climate change commitments, 15,700 km (9,756 miles) of track, on which predominantly diesel locomotives run, needs to be upgraded.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tax break for MPs and 3,000 staff to get on £2,500 e‑bikes – Sunday Times

A-level and GCSE results to be decided by computer modelling

“Most A-level and GCSE results will be decided by statistical modelling rather than teachers’ predicted grades, in a major about-turn by the Government. Teachers’ predicted grades will serve “little or no purpose” in the modelling that determines the majority of pupils’ results, sources have said. Concerns over the reliability of teachers’ predictions – in particular, their tendency to inflate pupils’ grades – led to a decision by Ofqual, the exam regulator, not to rely on them. Hundreds of thousands of students will receive their A-level and GCSE results next month, despite all exams being axed this year.” – Daily Telegraph

Free TV licences: over‑75s launch “guerrilla warfare” on BBC to escape fee

“The BBC has been accused of a “distinctly amateurish” start to charging over-75s for television licences as it emerged that pensioners will not receive a letter outlining the change until after it takes effect. From Saturday viewers over 75 will no longer be automatically exempt from paying the £157.50 fee. But TV Licensing will only then start sending out the 4.5 million “payment invitation” letters. They will be posted in batches, so many pensioners face a longer wait. Although households do not need to act until after the letters land, the three million aged over 75 who do not receive pension credit will still be expected to pay for the year from August 1.” – Sunday Times

Minorities still believe in tolerant Britain, poll finds

“Most people in ethnic minorities think Britain’s racial and religious groups get on well and have a positive view of other communities, according to a new poll. More than three in four adults in black, Asian and other communities agree that “in general, the different ethnic groups that make up this country get on well”. The findings come after a summer of protests led by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and suggest that the country’s reputation for tolerance is still seen as deserved. It comes 10 days after Boris Johnson launched a commission to look into racial disparity in the UK in the wake of the anti-racism protests, which followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.” – Sunday Times

Labour antisemitism row: legal cases could bankrupt party

“Labour has been warned it faces payouts of millions of pounds that could threaten the party’s financial stability unless it settles a series of legal actions out of court. Lawyers from 3D Solicitors, representing nine current and former Labour members, are expected to inform the party of the detailed basis of claims they are making this week for breaches of data protection and privacy rules. All nine had their WhatsApp messages included in a report produced by Jeremy Corbyn loyalists in the party’s headquarters that was then leaked to the media in April.” – Sunday Times

20mph limit puts brakes on motorists in a third of UK towns

“A speed limit of 20mph is rapidly replacing 30mph as the norm in towns and cities – backed by an unprecedented level of police enforcement. After years of sparsely distributed speed cameras and police patrols, the new approach is catching drivers unawares. More than 77,000 motorists in London have been caught breaking the 20mph limit since January and face court hearings, fixed penalties and speed awareness workshops. The figure for the whole of last year was just over 50,000.” – Sunday Times

Google profits from anti-vaxxers

“Five companies have pulled online adverts after a Sunday Times investigation found Google placed them on websites spreading “dangerous nonsense” about vaccines and the coronavirus. Currys PC World, JD Sports, Sotheby’s, Jigsaw and Accenture ordered the tech giant to remove their ads from websites promoting false claims that vaccines cause autism and that people who have a Covid-19 vaccine will have a tracking chip implanted in them. Google was accepting web pages that violate its policies and as a result was earning millions of pounds in revenue via its digital advertising platform.” – Sunday Times

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