Johnson will set out new tough ‘Tier Three’ Covid restrictions in announcement on Monday

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a Commons statement on Monday setting out new coronavirus outbreak restrictions as reports claim true figure of infections doubled in a week to 45,000 a day, it has emerged tonight. Mr Johnson will use the occasion to outline a new ‘tiered’ approach to how local Covid situations will be treated. His chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister has written to MPs following a meeting with northern leaders on Friday. In a letter shared online, Sir Edward stated that ‘rising incidence’ of Covid in parts of the country mean it is ‘very likely’ that certain local areas will face ‘further restrictions’. The letter added that the Prime Minister believed local leaders should ‘help shape the package of measures in the most concerning areas’. The Government will discuss ‘difficult choices’ with local leaders, the letter stated.” – Daily Mail

  • Britain is heading ‘into a long winter’ as Covid second wave strikes – FT
  • Doctors call for facemasks to be compulsory outside – The Times
  • Making face masks mandatory in offices ‘is being considered’, says Jenrick – The Sun
  • Government urged to ‘pause’ new restrictions as cases of Covid caught in hospital soar – Daily Telegraph
  • Coronavirus hospital numbers in England same as on eve of lockdown – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: If test and trace is to succeed, a centralised approach won’t work

Northern Tory MPs angered by being kept in the dark

“Within hours of Boris Johnson proclaiming his vision of a “new Jerusalem” at the Conservative conference on Tuesday, the brutal calculus of coronavirus once again took centre stage. Official figures showed the number of cases soaring across northern cities, leaving the prime minister facing yet another unpalatable decision — the total shutdown of the hospitality sector across northern England. The government is trying to “thread the eye of the needle”, balancing the need to keep the economy moving while ensuring that the NHS is not overwhelmed. “He [Boris Johnson] is having to consider things no prime minister has had to consider before,” a source said. “It’s very difficult to calibrate.” The figures suggested that history could be about to repeat itself. On Thursday Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, told 130 MPs that coronavirus intensive care admissions in the north could exceed the first wave of the pandemic within 23 days.” – The Times

  • How ‘freedom loving’ Johnson plans to shut down the North of England – Daily Telegraph
  • Burnham vows legal action against new Northern lockdown unless there’s full furlough support – The Sun
  • Reduced Covid furlough scheme is an insult, say northern leaders – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Just over half of members anticipate a Conservative majority after the next election.

Hundreds of Covid workers recognised in Birthday Honours

“Hundreds of people critical to the UK’s fight against Covid-19, including medical staff and community volunteers, have received awards in a Queen’s Birthday Honours list delayed to allow recognition of those combating the epidemic and its effects. Those honoured in the list, announced on Friday, included Felicia Kwaku, associate director of nursing at King’s College Hospital in south London. She becomes an OBE for starting a support network helping black and minority ethnic nurses during the pandemic. Jolene Miller, from Stockton, County Durham, who returned to working part-time as a paramedic to help her former colleagues, receives the British Empire Medal. Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United and England footballer, becomes an MBE for his work helping children living in food poverty during the lockdown. The same award has been given to Joe Wicks and Derrick Evans, known as Mr Motivator, for their work offering online workouts for people to follow at home during lockdown.” – FT

  • Row over OBEs for pandemic experts – Daily Mail
  • Too soon to honour Sage, say critics of pandemic response – The Times

Sunak unveils new wages scheme as lockdown looms again

“Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has unveiled a new furlough-style scheme to pay workers’ wages, with Britain braced for stricter lockdown restrictions to be imposed from the middle of next week. Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, will spend this weekend fine-tuning a plan to divide England into three different tiers according to the severity of local coronavirus outbreaks. Mr Johnson is weighing up whether hairdressers and leisure centres should be closed alongside pubs, bars and restaurants in the worst-affected areas. In regions with lower infection rates, he is considering staggering the curfew times at which hospitality venues have to close. It comes amid growing opposition to the current 10pm curfew, set to be voted on on Tuesday, and other draconian measures feared to be holding back an economic recovery.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Support plan for closed businesses could cost £2.4bn – The Times
  • Government will pay up to 66 per cent of wages of workers in hospitality venues forced to close – FT
  • Nightclubs which are still shut to get extra grants – The Sun
  • Protecting the economy is now more vital than curbing the pandemic, say nearly half of Tory voters – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Allie Renison in Comment: Sunak wants to link business support to viability. He’s right – but he must help to keep firms viable in the first place.

Capital ‘at tipping point’ and could face more rules next week, Khan warns

“London could face more lockdown rules next week, Sadiq Khan warned today. The Mayor said the capital is at “tipping point” in the fight against coronavirus – despite new research showing the city’s infection rate is falling. Mr Khan said he needed to be “straight” with Londoners by warning restrictions are likely to be brought in “very soon”. But Imperial College scientists say the ‘R’ rate – the average number of people each Covid- 19 positive person goes on to infect – has fallen below 1 in London… The London Mayor was responding to the PM’s plans a for a new three-tiered approach to local lockdown, expected to be rolled out next week. Mr Khan added: “One of the things we’re discussing is… what we think the right level we should be.” When asked if people should expect measures to come in next week, Mr Khan said “yes they should do”.” – The Sun

  • London’s infection rate is just 59 per 100,000 people, the same as it is UK-wide – Daily Mail
  • Bailey demands stadiums open to fans for Christmas – The Sun

Liam Fox: Lockdown is unleashing a humanitarian storm

“History tells us that in a pandemic where there is no cure or vaccine the infection will continue to spread through populations that have no immunity – and that this can last potentially for a very long time. Even if a vaccine comes, it won’t come soon and certainly not in sufficient supply to provide the mass immunisation that would be required to contain what is now a truly global pandemic. Many world leaders seem bewildered, even paralysed, by their lack of sovereign control over a microbe that is too small to be seen with the human eye. Yet they need to look beyond their own territorial interests, and the short term, to the developing international picture. For there is a storm coming, the political effects of which could be even more devastating than the pandemic itself.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The big difference between Britain and Sweden is that their politicians are decisive – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • Northern leaders like me are being left in the cold over Covid decision-making – Steve Rotherham, The Guardian

>Today: David Gauke’s column: Covid-19. Conservative MPs should fear for their seats if they push for a Sweden-style policy – just as deaths are rising

Ministers ‘discussing ways to ‘push aside’ Cummings’

“Amid much tearoom talk about Mr Johnson’s future, the perception is that the Prime Minster’s right-hand man is more protected than the premier himself.Havin g discussed “getting rid of Dom” for months now, cannier Conservatives – both inside and outside of cabinet – have come to the conclusion that, as one put it: “Boris will never sack Dom, and Dom will never walk away from power.” Yet this poses a significant problem to the growing number of party bigwigs, who blame overburdened Mr Cummings for a three-fold failure on Covid-19… Although there has been some swivel-eyed hyperbole about Johnson being “finished”, right-minded Tories have no desire to “blow up” his administration before it even completes its first year since the December general election. So, an alternative plan is being hatched. It would see Mr Cummings sidelined to focus solely on civil service reform while a new “chief of staff” is brought in to form a “protective ring of steel” around the Prime Minister.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Jenrick ‘selected own constituency for £25m funding’ – The Times

Williamson accuses English universities of ignoring antisemitism

“The government has accused universities in England of ignoring antisemitism and ordered them to adopt an international definition before the end of the year or risk having funding cut off. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said in a letter to vice-chancellors that it was “frankly disturbing” that so many universities had failed to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism. “The repugnant belief that antisemitism is somehow a less serious or more acceptable form of racism has taken insidious hold in some parts of British society, and I am quite clear that universities must play their part in rooting out this attitude and demonstrating that antisemitism is abhorrent,” Williamson said.” – The Guardian

Britain and EU agree to pursue ‘mini-deals’ if talks fail next week

“British and EU negotiators have agreed to keep talking to offset the most disruptive aspects of a no-deal Brexit even if trade negotiations break down. In a sign of growing trust between the two sides before next week’s critical EU summit Lord Frost, Britain’s chief negotiator, and Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, have agreed that even if a wider deal proves impossible to reach, contact will continue. In such an event the two teams would spend November attempting to put together “mini-deals” in areas such as aviation and road transport to offset the likely disruption when the transition period ends on December 31. In the past the EU has insisted that it would take “unilateral” action to protect European interests in the event of no deal but would not co-ordinate its actions with Britain.” – The Times

  • Plan ‘to stop fiery Macron sinking agreement’ – Daily Express
  • Negotiations will continue beyond Johnson’s deadline, Barnier tells ambassadors – Daily Telegraph
  • Belgium ‘may invoke 1666 charter’ to catch fish in UK waters if Brexit negotiations fail – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: John Howell MP in Comment: It is time for Britain to take the Council of Europe more seriously

Farage involved in talks about bid to buy Talk Radio for £15m

“Nigel Farage has been involved in talks about a bid to buy national radio station Talk Radio from Rupert Murdoch for £15 million, The Telegraph understands. The Brexit Party leader said two meetings with financial backers had been held to try to buy the national radio station from News UK, which is controlled by the billionaire media mogul. Mr Farage said he was also considering establishing a YouTube channel allowing him a platform to comment daily on the Conservative Government’s policies. The moves by Mr Farage will be seen as further evidence of attempts by major figures on the right of British politics to take over a bigger slice of the UK’s broadcasting market. News UK, which earlier this year launched Times Radio, is said to have put a £15 million price tag on Talk Radio, where regular presenters include Julia Hartley-Brewer, James Max and Penny Smith.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Grimes is probed by police over ‘racist’ interview – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • In the age of Covid, the law is a thug – John McMillan, CapX
  • Why the young hate the Tories – Ed West, UnHerd
  • The SNP’s deepening Salmond scandal – Alex Massie, The Spectator
  • Plagiarism in comedy: homage or theft? – Alexander Larman, The Critic
  • The ECJ threat highlights Withdrawal Agreement flaws – Jane Adye, Comment Central