Coronavirus 1) PM to address nation on new lockdown

“The Prime Minister will order all hospitality venues in England to close by 10pm from this Thursday after the coronavirus alert status was raised to the second-highest level for the first time since June. In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening, Mr Johnson will tell people to return to home working where it does not detrimentally affect businesses and re-state the need for mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing. It comes after the Government’s scientific advisers warned that coronavirus cases could increase to 50,000 per day by mid-October (see graphic below), with 200 or more deaths per day in November “if we don’t change course”. – Daily Telegraph

  • He will tell workers ‘stay home if you can’ – Daily Mail
  • Fightback against rise in cases thrashed out at No 10 summit – The Guardian
  • Social mixing between households could be banned – The Sun
  • Scottish ministers considering strict new rules, leak reveals – The Guardian
  • Fears of panic-buying again as empty shelves spotted – Daily Telegraph
  • Markets fall as fears of second wave grow – FT

Coronavirus 2) New restrictions begin with 10pm pub curfew

“Boris Johnson will today impose a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants, ban ordering at the bar and encourage working from home as he tries to rally the country in a renewed fight against coronavirus. The Covid alert system was raised to its second most severe level last night before new restrictions that the prime minister will say are needed to prevent the return of a nationwide growth in infections. Ministers met last night to decide which of the exemptions to the rule of six will be dropped, with indoor sporting events the most likely. The number allowed to attend weddings could also be reduced from 30 to 15, it is understood. After weeks of ministers encouraging people to return to the office, they will also be asked to consider working from home.” – The Times

  • Hospitality sector warns second lockdown would be ‘nail in coffin’ – FT
  • Government to pause return of fans to stadiums – The Guardian

Coronavirus 3) Experts warn of winter deaths in thousands and curbs for months

“Britain could see tens of thousands of Covid-19 deaths over the winter with little prospect of release from restrictions for six months, the government’s chief scientific and medical advisers have warned. Without urgent action Britain could see 50,000 cases and more than 200 deaths a day within two months, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, said yesterday. He held out the possibility of a vaccine being available by the end of the year “in small amounts for certain groups”, but said that the more likely scenario for widespread use was the first half of 2021.” – The Times

  • Rationed testing will give teachers and health staff priority – The Times
  • Scientists hit out at warning of 50,000 cases a day – Daily Telegraph
  • Taxpayers face £70m bill for Covid hospital that never treated virus patients – Daily Telegraph
  • Harding suggests rapid testing could be ‘consumer product’ – FT
  • Flu and Covid at same time increases risk of death – The Guardian

Coronavirus 4) Hague: Johnson needs all the support he can muster

“When the history of the Great Pandemic of 2020 comes to be written, it is likely that the period from now until spring next year will be seen as the toughest. In the next six months the virus will be fighting back in ideal conditions for its spread; the economic and social cost will become even greater; and any consensus about how to react faces disintegration. Boris Johnson and his ministers, as in so many other countries, face cruel dilemmas.” – Daily Telegraph

  • PM faces Tory revolt over new clampdown – Daily Mail

May attacks Brexit bill as ‘reckless’

“Theresa May has launched a stinging attack on Boris Johnson, accusing him of acting “recklessly and irresponsibly” and weakening the UK “in the eyes of the world”. In a move that will reignite Tory division, the former prime minister said she could never vote for the government bill that could allow ministers to renege on parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement signed by Mr Johnson last year. Mrs May warned MPs that by passing the legislation they would do “untold damage” to the UK, even if the powers were never used.” – The Times

  • Former PM says she cannot support Brexit bill – Daily Telegraph
  • And May warns bill will ‘damage Britain’s standing’ – FT

Tory top donor ‘linked to Putin oligarch’

“The Russian husband of a socialite who is the Conservative Party’s biggest female donor was secretly funded by an oligarch closely linked to Vladimir Putin, leaked files show. Lubov Chernukhin has given £1.7 million to the Tories and paid for personal time with three prime ministers, including a dinner with Theresa May and a game of tennis against Boris Johnson and David Cameron. The leaked documents, called the Fincen files, contain more than 2,500 so-called suspicious activity reports filed by banks and financial firms with the US Treasury. They were leaked to Buzzfeed News, which shared them with the BBC for its Panorama programme and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.” – The Times

Tory MPs ‘set to reject’ unconscious bias training

“Every parliamentarian should undertake unconscious bias training if asked so they can be better at their jobs, according to a leading anti-racism campaigner who spoke out after it emerged up to 40 Tory MPs are expected to refuse to take part in classes. Simon Woolley, a crossbench peer who founded Operation Black Vote and formerly chaired the government race disparity unit’s advisory group, said he was “appalled” that any MP would say no to the training being piloted in the Commons.” – The Guardian

Starmer pledges to smash Blue Wall

“Sir Keir Starmer will today serve notice that he wants to smash the Tories’ “blue wall” with a promise to make Britain the “best place to grow up and grow old in”. He will step up efforts to win back traditional Labour supporters, using his first conference speech as leader to praise family values and to talk about his own upbringing. The address, delivered in Doncaster, is aimed at former heartland Labour voters whose desertion at the last election saw Boris Johnson breach the so-called “red wall”. Sir Keir will urge voters who rejected Jeremy Corbyn to “take another look at Labour” as he tries to disown the party’s recent past, despite his own service in the former leader’s shadow cabinet.” – The Times

  • National security a top priority, says Starmer – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour leader reaches out to party’s lost voters – FT
  • Starmer to take brutal dig at former leader Corbyn – Daily Express
  • And Labour frontbencher calls Covid ‘good crisis’ the party can exploit – The Sun

And finally, the tale of the wrong PM

“Most people can tell the difference between Tony Blair and Boris Johnson. Alas, an official at a provincial Italian airport is not one of them. Perugia Airport’s self-confessed “stupid mistake” led not only an international mystery, but to the revelation the Prime Minister was in fact baptising his son Wilfred in Westminster Cathedral on the day in question. Exasperated by the claim that he had flown to the Italian city in the middle of the pandemic, a spokesman for Mr Johnson insisted that journalists could “confirm with the priest” that the Prime Minister was at the ceremony at the Catholic cathedral.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief