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Biden is hailed as the new President, and makes his victory speech

“He has waited 48 years for this moment, and last night President-Elect Joe Biden gave the best speech of his long career in politics. After several days of agonising political stalemate ended in victory yesterday, Biden was heartfelt, jubilant and determined. “Folks! The people of this nation have spoken. They have delivered a clear victory,” he told a crowd of honking cars at a rally in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware, after entering to We Take Care of Our Own by Bruce Springsteen. Biden promised to get to work on the pandemic immediately and echoed his old boss, Barack Obama, by adapting a Martin Luther King quote: “Once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe back towards justice,” he said. Biden offered an olive branch to the more than 70 million Americans who voted for his opponent, Donald Trump.” – Sunday Times

  • He promises to ‘end the era of demonization’ and reaches out to disappointed opponents – Mail on Sunday
  • Trump refuses to concede defeat as recriminations begin – The Observer

Comment:

  • President’s disgraceful behaviour risks doing lasting damage – John Bolton, Sunday Telegraph

>Today: Video: WATCH: Biden’s victory speech – “We must restore the soul of America”

Democrats dare to hope they can capture the Senate

“Democrats were daring to believe they could take the US Senate after it was confirmed that two tight races in Georgia were headed to a runoff in January. The confirmation of a re-run for the state’s two senate seats means the country is set for a second bruising election race with national significance in a matter of weeks. The races will determine the balance of power in the US Senate, and ultimately the success of Joe Biden’s presidency given the chamber has the power to approve or veto his cabinet nominees and legislation. The runoffs will see Republican senator Kelly Loeffler face Democrat Raphael Warnock, a black pastor at the church where Martin Luther King Jr preached. In the second Georgia race, Republican senator David Perdue will face Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old media executive.” – Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A one-term President Biden?

Prime Minister ‘sent security experts to visit Cabinet Ministers at home to examine their phones’ during leak inquiry

“Boris Johnson ordered security experts to visit Cabinet Ministers at home to examine their phones as part of a leak inquiry. The hunt is on for the mole who leaked secret briefings to the media which forced the Prime Minister to make an early announcement about the introduction of a second coronavirus lockdown. Senior figures including the Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office Minister, have been ordered to surrender their personal mobiles, in a bid to reveal the person who has been dubbed the “chatty rat”. Last night, Mr Hancock categorically denied any involvement in the leak, but declined to comment on the investigation. Mr Gove’s allies said he and his advisers were happy to hand over their phones because they had “nothing to hide”.” – Sun on Sunday

Comment:

  • Lockdown hurts but anyone in Boris’ shoes would have made same call – Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Sunday Express
  • They’re sending us to hell in a handcart on the back of a dossier so dodgy Blair wouldn’t have touched it – David Mellor, Mail on Sunday
  • Lockdown didn’t need this dodgy dossier – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

Over five-million employees will be on furlough by the spring, Bank of England claims

“The Bank of England expects 5million people to be placed on furlough this month – and millions more by the Spring. However, take up is unlikely to reach the peak of last Spring when 9million workers were on the wages support scheme. BoE Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said: “We think that there will again be many millions of employees placed on furlough… in November, and over the following few months.” He added: “Probably not as many as in phase one because of the change in the nature and the duration of the lockdown. But we think probably in November, more than 5 million will be in.” On Thursday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the costly wages support scheme till next March. Workers at firms forced to shut due to Covid-19 rule will continue to receive 80 per cent of their wages up to £2,500 a month.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Sunak’s ex-boss warned he is too nice to win in the dirty world of politics – Lord Ashcroft, Mail on Sunday

>Today: ToryDiary: This is a morning on which to celebrate unifying, popular, national leadership

>Yesterday: David Gauke’s column: If Johnson goes for a Brexit trade deal, as he should, he should also go for a further implementation period.

Vitamin D to be delivered to millions of vulnerable people

“Free supplies of vitamin D will be delivered to more than two million clinically vulnerable people and care home residents over the winter amid growing optimism about the role of the supplement in cutting the risk of death from Covid-19. Ministers are drawing up plans for four-month supplies of the vitamin to be delivered directly to care home residents in England and those deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable. The move follows a similar move by the Scottish Government. Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, is said to be seeking to act in light of emerging evidence about Vitamin D, while Boris Johnson told MPs last week that “we are indeed looking at the possible beneficial effects of vitamin D, and… we will be updating the House shortly”. The Government is expected to commission clinical trials to further examine the link between Covid-19 and vitamin D deficiency. A number of studies have indicated that poor vitamin D levels are associated with a higher risk of death from coronavirus.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Nightingale hospitals ‘grounded by staff shortage’ – Sunday Times
  • Test and trace needs radical reform in England, health experts say – The Observer

Johnson ‘caves in to Marcus Rashford’ with £170million package

“Boris Johnson caved in to Marcus Rashford ­yesterday — with cash to feed hungry kids. The PM unveiled a £170million package to ensure the poorest families can pay bills and put food on the table this Christmas. He also agreed to extend free school meals and holiday activities to cover next Easter, summer and Christmas. Mr Johnson broke the news to the England footballer in a private phone call minutes after Marcus had helped Manchester United beat Everton. Rashford’s spokesman said: “He was thrilled and welcomes this announcement. He is pleased the Prime Minister listened and acted.” The move defuses a month-long row in which the PM was accused of misreading the nation’s mood — although angry Tories were asking why it was not done sooner.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Pandemic package protects hungry children – These Coffey MP, Sun on Sunday
  • My constituents didn’t vote Conservative to get Labour Lite – Chris Clarkson MP, Sunday Express

Ben Wallace: Whether they’re fighting terrorism or Covid, the Armed Forces deserve our support

“The pandemic has served to highlight the breadth of what the Armed Forces do for this country. For many years we’ve focused on current events like Afghanistan or Iraq, or earlier in Northern Ireland or the Falklands. But this year we’ll reflect on our Armed Forces working alongside the NHS in a resilience role, bringing their skills to civilian society to help us get through that. There are now between 2,000 and 3,000 troops of British men and women, of the Army predominantly, but also the other two services, in Liverpool helping deliver mass ­testing to assist that great city with getting through this outbreak. They will be doing logistics, command and control, analysis and manning over 40 test sites. It’s all about resilience, moving at speed and being the backbone and safety net of this country. Every day, much of the work of our Armed Forces goes unnoticed. I hope that everyone will take some time to reflect for a minute or two on the men and women and what they are doing right now.” – Sun on Sunday

  • We need to work harder than ever to remind people why Remembrance Sunday matters – General Sir Nick Carter, Sunday Telegraph

Rabbi Lord Sacks obituary

“Sacks was, beyond question, to the outside world the best known Chief Rabbi in the 250-year official history of the office. Arguably, no other religious leader, including a succession of Archbishops of Canterbury and cardinals, made quite the same impression as did this good-looking, highly intelligent rabbi who could make the most complicated philosophical arguments sound easy. One commentator noted: “When you listen to him he makes you feel clever.” When he spoke in the House of Lords, he could be spellbinding… When Sacks became Chief Rabbi he set about revitalising Britain’s Jewish community in the face of declining congregations, calling for a “Decade of Renewal” based on five central values.” – Sunday Times

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