New lockdowns 1) Johnson calls on the North to ‘step up’ in virus fight

“Boris Johnson urged council leaders across the north last night to step up and agree draconian lockdown measures after Liverpool’s regional mayor accepted tough restrictions. The city, and some of the surrounding area, will be on the highest coronavirus alert from tomorrow after the launch of a three-tier system intended to reboot the fight to contain the virus in England. However, the announcement of what was intended to be a simplified policy was overshadowed by rows over how and where it will operate. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, also warned that the “very high” level of restrictions, which shut pubs and limit household contact, would not be sufficient without even tougher local action.” – The Times

  • PM’s simplified tier system seeks to end confusion – The Times
  • Mayors at centre of regional rifts – The Times
  • Voters back virus rules – The Times
  • Johnson faces attacks from all sides – The Sun
  • Three tier system explained – Daily Mail
  • Britain ‘faces £40bn a year tax rises’ – FT
  • Sunak pours £1.5bn into local councils – Daily Mail
  • ‘We’re being made scapegoats’ claim Liverpool pubs – The Times
  • Liverpool’s hospitality industry despairs – The Guardian
  • First minister gives PM ‘last chance’ to stop people visiting Wales – WalesOnline

New lockdowns 2) Whitty ‘not confident’ three tiers can control virus…

“The chief medical officer last night admitted he was ‘not confident’ that Boris Johnson’s three-tiered lockdown measures went far enough. The Prime Minister announced that Liverpool will be the first ‘very high risk’ sector to have the Tier Three measures imposed – meaning pubs are shut and households banned from mixing. But Prof Chris Whitty said that this was ‘an absolute base’ of rules that should be implemented, as the UK racked up another 13,972 Covid cases on Monday – up 11 percent on last Monday. Prof Whitty said: ‘We’re going to have to do more, that’s the whole point of what the Prime Minister has just announced, and probably in some areas significantly more.’  – Daily Mail

New lockdowns 3) …and Johnson overruled scientists who called for harsher lockdown

“Boris Johnson overruled Government scientists who pressed for national lockdown measures such as stopping all household mixing and closing all pubs, it emerged on Monday night. Papers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) show that the body called for an immediate introduction of national interventions, saying failure to take such measures could result in “a very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences”. Liverpool became the only region placed into the toughest tier of a new three-tier lockdown system on Monday, with intense negotiations still going on in other areas on Monday night.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Dozens of Tory MPs ‘set to vote against Government’s lockdown restrictions’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson blown up by Sage – Daily Mail
  • Ministers warned weeks ago by Sage – The Guardian
  • Political backlash over new lockdown plan – FT
  • MPs demand answers from Harding over secretive body driving local lockdowns – Daily Telegraph
  • Sage scientists criticised Test and Trace – FT

New lockdowns 4) Berry: No 10 has to level with the people

“My colleagues and I in the north of England have been clear for weeks that the complex and ever-changing rules were unsustainable. In large parts of the north, people could not understand what rules they were supposed to be following. That’s why I welcome the prime minister setting out a national system that is clear, proportionate and simple and will be applied and disapplied using local data and local intelligence. Northern colleagues, I am sure, will support this as it leaves behind a feeling of the north being treated less favourably than other areas with similar infection rates.” – The Times

New lockdowns 5) Harris: Starmer’s Covid gamble suggests he is more astute than critics think

“It is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that the handling of the Covid-19 crisis will be the deciding factor when voters choose their next government. Granted, it’s hard right now to imagine the 2024 (or even 2023) campaign being about anything else, given the dominance of the issue in the news headlines and in our personal conversations this year. An unpleasant and unfortunate consequence of the rise of social media and rolling 24-hour TV news is that we are fooled into believing that there is a permanent general election campaign underway, even if the last one was held less than a year ago.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Hard-left student activism of Starmer’s policy chief revealed – The Times

Tory rebellion 1) Johnson sees off Tory rebellion on animal welfare

“Boris Johnson has seen off a rebellion by Tory MPs attempting to impose a legal bar preventing the government from watering down food standards in the UK. Mr Johnson, the prime minister, has long insisted that the government has no plans to allow products such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef into the country through a future trade deal with the US. But critics believe that the UK government could be forced into such concessions because it is so determined to secure a post-Brexit deal with Washington. MPs voted on Monday night by 332 to 279 to reject an amendment — previously passed in the House of Lords — proposing to enshrine food safety and animal welfare standards in UK law.” – FT

Tory rebellion 2) Red Wall Tories want a U‑turn from Johnson on benefit cut

“It’s five years since George Osborne announced the most dramatic U-turn of his time as chancellor when he bowed to pressure to scrap a planned cut in tax credits. History could be about to repeat itself as Rishi Sunak is urged to reverse a planned cut in universal credit that will leave up to six million of the poorest households £1,040 a year worse off. Senior Tory MPs, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former work and pensions secretary, have joined opposition parties, children’s charities and food bank providers to call on the chancellor to abandon the plan to remove £20 a week from families who are already struggling in the pandemic.” – The Times

The Times: Police inquiry into Grimes is a waste of money

“It is only right that the law, and the enforcement of the law, must adapt to the times, so that those who use social media to incite hatred or violence might be held to account. This case, however, plainly fails to meet either threshold. The Met insists that it has a responsibility to investigate whether a crime has been committed. Its decision to do so, quite apart from wasting time and public money, sets a dangerous precedent. Mr Grimes is no reporter but to pursue an interviewer, however incompetent, for offensive remarks made by their subject would be to risk criminalising legitimate journalistic inquiry.” – The Times

  • Commons staff ‘failed’ by service to tackle bullying – The Times

Trump holds packed rally as he struggles in polls

“Keen to appear lively and well after his recent hospitalization for Covid-19, Donald Trump held his first rally since being diagnosed, addressing a packed, largely maskless crowd in Florida – a state he desperately needs to win. “I feel so powerful,” he boasted to his cheering supporters, 11 days after announcing his infection. “I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women – everybody,” he added, his voice still a bit hoarse. Polls have his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, ahead by an average of 10.4 points as of Friday.” – The Guardian

  • ‘President turned his back on you’, Biden tells voters – The Guardian
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