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Johnson warns Britain to prepare for second wave of coronavirus

“Boris Johnson is preparing for hundreds of daily coronavirus deaths within weeks as his scientific advisers warn there is no reliable alternative to another national lockdown. The prime minister admitted yesterday that Britain was “now seeing a second wave coming in” and it was “inevitable” that the virus would sweep across the country again. Downing Street has been told by the government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre, which monitors the spread of the infection, that Britain is now six weeks behind Spain, which recorded 239 deaths on Thursday. Infections have doubled in a week and are still rising in areas where local restrictions on socialising have been imposed. Positive cases increased last week in 42 out of 44 areas in England subject to local measures, Public Health England said.” – The Times

  • Government prepared to abandon ‘rule of six’ as surge in infections hits four-month high – Daily Telegraph
  • London ‘two weeks behind’ new lockdown regions in the north – The Times
  • Pubs and restaurants ‘could shut within days’ – The Sun
  • New lockdown measures for London ‘increasingly likely’, says Khan – The Guardian

Comment:

  • The public can deal with the truth regarding our flawed Covid strategy – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson should scorn all appeals for second national lockdown – Patrick O’Flynn, Daily Express
  • If we panic, so many more lives will be lost – Prof. Karol Sikora, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Curfews will accelerate the decline of the nightlife industry

Chancellor urges Johnson ‘not to go too far’

“Rishi Sunak has urged Boris Johnson not to risk the recovery by going too far with any new lockdown rules. Issuing his ‘sombre’ warning, the Chancellor highlighted the huge potential damage to the economy – including mass job losses. A Government source said: ‘Everybody’s general health depends on the economic health of the UK – there is a way to bring in restrictions without going overboard.’ Mr Johnson tonight warned Britain was now ‘seeing a second wave coming in’ and ministers were looking at going beyond the ‘rule of six’ limit on gatherings. Figures today suggested daily coronavirus cases have doubled in a week, with the R-Rate now potentially as high as 1.4. Government scientific advisers have modelled a range of new restrictions, including the reimposition of a temporary full lockdown. However No 10 has insisted this is not being considered and is focusing on a two-week ‘circuit breaker’ – next month or sooner.” – Daily Mail

  • Almost one million workers returned to jobs part-time with flexible furlough scheme – The Sun

More:

  • Renters ‘betrayed’ as new evictions approach after Housing Secretary ‘tears up his pledge’ to protect them – Daily Mail

Hancock blames testing shambles on symptomless Brits hogging the swabs

“Matt Hancock has blamed the testing shambles on symptomless Brits hogging the swabs. In incendiary comments, he said millions of “ineligible” people are flooding the system – leading to dire shortages across the country. The Health Secretary said no one predicted this massive “spike in demand”, which has sent the system into meltdown. He told the BBC: “We modelled the amount of demand among people who are eligible. The fact there has been such a spike from people for whom a test won’t help them because they still have to self-isolate by the rules – that is very, very hard to predict this behavioural change. And that has been the challenge – this spike in demand.” Frustrated families have spent many days unable to get Covid swab or being directed to testing centres hundreds of miles away.” – The Sun

  • Could ‘circuit break’ measures offer an answer for the Prime Minister? – Daily Telegraph
  • Film night or fat sesh? Unrepentant students choose to party on – The Times
  • Milling: ‘The PM still has support of Red Wall despite locking down the North’ – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • How dare ministers point the finger at us – Janice Turner, The Times
  • Covid is getting less dangerous. Has No 10 noticed? – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Raghib Ali in Comment: Evidence suggests that this Covid second wave won’t be as severe as the first. Nonetheless, it’s a threat to the NHS.

Sturgeon blasted for drawing up different lockdown rules ‘for the sake of it’

“Nicola Sturgeon failed to inform UK ministers of her plan to bring in a different version of the “rule of six” regulations despite Boris Johnson’s Government wanting all four nations to work together, it has emerged. Scottish Secretary Alister Jack told MPs the First Minister should stop drawing up different lockdown rules from Boris Johnson “for the sake of it” as they have not led to lower COVID rates. Alister Jack on Thursday told MPs that Scotland’s separate guidance had sowed public confusion and failed to achieve better results in tackling the virus. He went on to say relationships between Ms Sturgeon’s SNP administration in Edinburgh and Mr Johnson’s Conservative Government in London could be “strained”… The Scottish Secretary said the First Minister’s repeated claim that Coronavirus was five times as prevalent in England than Scotland was “totally untrue, totally unhelpful.”” – Daily Express

  • Welsh and Scottish leaders: Johnson hasn’t talked to us for months – The Guardian

Johnson ‘reels after mis-steps on Brexit and coronavirus’

“Boris Johnson has had so many dire weeks as prime minister, Conservative MPs at Westminster sometimes appear punch drunk. “It’s driving me bonkers,” said one veteran Tory MP. “We’re in one hell of a mess.” This week’s wave of bad news was particularly grim for Mr Johnson. His latest manoeuvres on Brexit led to a full-scale rebellion by Conservative MPs, and widespread recriminations over his plan to break international law. Mr Johnson’s threat to override his Brexit treaty’s commitments to Northern Ireland somehow managed to unite US presidential candidate Joe Biden, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and pro-Brexit former Conservative leader Michael Howard in condemnation. Adding to the sense of disarray, Amal Clooney, the high-profile lawyer, quit on Friday as the government’s envoy on media freedom in protest at Mr Johnson’s “lamentable” decision to violate the Brexit treaty.” – FT

  • Overburdened, underpaid and ‘misery on his face’ – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What could give the Government a sense of purpose – and chances to achieve? Making Gove Deputy Prime Minister.

Matthew Parris: Johnson’s zing has well and truly zung

“‘Like a rotten mackerel by moonlight,” said the 19th-century American congressman John Randolph of another politician, “he shines and stinks.” With Boris Johnson the shine has gone. Yet it was for the shine that we elevated him. I remember the 2019 general election campaign, and that sense of slightly unfocused excitement. It wasn’t about what Boris would actually do (except not be Jeremy Corbyn and “get Brexit done”): it was all about zing, about whizz-bang, sparkle, fizz, gusto, passion — and fun. Well zing is as zing does and Johnson’s zing has well and truly zung. The fun has gone and with it the shine. We are left with the stink. Like their politicians, electorates need ladders to climb down; and this prime minister is ultimately our fault. So we excuse our mistake by saying he’s lost that punchy effervescence for which we chose him. But effervescence is a highfalutin word for gas. And gaiters. And talk and trousers will only get you so far. Now comes the void, a void into which nobody stares more mournfully than he.” – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Sasha Swire’s diaries. Truth about the Cameron years – but not the whole truth. Not by a long shot.

Lord Chancellor gives green light to bill that will limit prosecution of veterans

“The Lord Chancellor has given the green light to a new war veterans bill, despite a last-minute intervention by army generals. The Daily Telegraph understands that Robert Buckland has dismissed legal concerns raised by former generals including General Sir Nicholas Parker, former Commander Land Forces in the army, about the five year limit on bringing prosecutions against soldiers and veterans as part of the Overseas Operations  (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill. “He didn’t think they were valid criticisms of the bill,” a source told this newspaper. “He has dismissed the letter. Five years is a long time for a case to be made.” The legislation has been warmly welcomed by Iraq war veterans after thousands of troops remained under investigation many years after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Clooney quits UK envoy role over Brexit law plans – The Sun

Comment:

  • When you erase a nation’s past, you threaten its future – Trevor Phillips, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Protecting British troops may be Johnson’s next clash with his ‘rule of law’ opponents

Patel planning weekly removals of Channel migrants to Italy, France and Germany

“Priti Patel is planning to fly Channel migrants back to Italy, Germany and France on a weekly basis, it can be revealed. At least 1,000 people are set to be removed  as part of a crackdown in order to deter the record numbers making the crossing from France in small boats. But officials at the Home Office warn that their efforts are being hampered by “activist lawyers” and migrants who abuse the law. The weekly targets and the attack on the legal profession have been condemned by campaigners and lawyers who accuse the Home Secretary of undermining the rule of law. In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Telegraph, officials at the Immigration Enforcement Secretariat described the Channel crossings as “thoroughly unacceptable” and said that the Government and the Ms Patel are “equally frustrated by the severity of the situation”.” – Daily Telegraph

Fox reaches last five in race to head WTO

“Liam Fox, Britain’s former international trade secretary, has reached the last five in the race to be the next head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the global customs and tariffs watchdog. Fox, who was nominated by the British government for the post, will go into the second round of voting against nominees from Kenya, Nigeria, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. WTO delegates are expected to whittle down the five candidates to two in October before choosing a winner the following month. Boris Johnson tweeted his support, saying: “With a wealth of experience of institutional reform, and as a passionate advocate for international cooperation and free trade, the WTO would be in excellent hands under his leadership.”.. A prominent Brexit supporter and longstanding supporter of free trade, Fox vowed to be a reformer should he win.” – The Guardian

Brussels rejects Johnson’s changes to internal market bill

“Brussels has rebuffed changes to the UK government’s controversial plan to override last year’s Brexit deal, saying the compromise with Conservative MPs did not address the EU’s objections and would still leave Britain in violation of international law.  Boris Johnson’s government on Thursday published details of adjustments it had agreed with disgruntled backbenchers to secure parliamentary approval for its internal market bill, which would empower the UK to rewrite parts of the Northern Ireland protocol negotiated last year to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.  Mr Johnson agreed that MPs should have a vote to approve the use of ministerial override powers contained in the bill, and that the government would have to prove that the EU was “engaged in a material breach of its duties of good faith, thereby undermining the fundamental purpose of the NI protocol” for the powers to be enacted.” – FT

  • EU leaders to discuss Brexit at summit in boost to trade deal hopes – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • No-deal hype obscures the real threat of a bad Brexit – Henry Mance, FT
  • This Brexit government’s ignorance is steering us towards disaster – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

Rayner demands real living wage for care workers

“Every one of the UK’s million-plus care workers should be paid at least the real living wage, Angela Rayner has demanded, as care homes brace for a feared resurgence of Covid-19. Labour’s deputy leader said the government must tackle low pay in the industry as she challenged Boris Johnson to follow lockdown “warm words” with meaningful change for the sector. Almost 18,000 residents died from confirmed or suspected Covid-19 in UK care facilities during the first wave of the virus, prompting calls for fair pay for care workers battling to help the vulnerable. The average care wage is £8.10, a figure Johnson could not supply when Rayner asked him at prime minister’s questions. Half of the UK’s care staff earn below the real living wage, seen as the minimum sum needed for people to live.” – The Guardian

  • Badges promised by Hancock still have not been delivered – Daily Mail
  • Labour catch up to Tories in YouGov poll – The Times

Comment:

  • Our social care workers must be paid a living wage – Angela Rayner MP, The Guardian

Bader Ginsburg’s death thrusts the Supreme Court to the heart of the US election

“The Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died, putting the ideological balance of America’s most powerful court at the heart of the presidential election. Mitch McConnell, majority leader of the Republican-controlled Senate, said he would hold a vote on a successor to Mrs Ginsburg if President Trump nominated someone. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” said Mr McConnell in a statement. This was a stark contrast to his reaction to the vacancy which came up ten months before the 2016 election following the death of Antonin Scalia when he said the next president should nominate his successor. President Trump heard about Mrs Ginsburg’s death only after he had finished a rally speech in Minnesota where he mentioned the potential for the next president to put up to four justices on the Supreme Court.” – The Times

  • Second woman to serve on highest US bench was its most determined advocate for gender equality – FT
  • Obama calls on Republicans to delay filling vacancy – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Unionists should reject the folly of federalism – Henry Hill, These Islands
  • The Government should challenge Irish America’s lies about the Belfast Agreement – Owen Polley, CapX
  • Why are doctors leaving in droves? – Louise Perry, UnHerd
  • The two theories about what No.10 is doing with the Internal Market Bill – David Scullion, The Critic
  • In defence of the Covid snitch – Cosmo Landesman, The Spectator

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