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Johnson calls for unity in Sarah Everard’s name after seeing ‘deeply concerning’ footage of police clashing with demonstrators

“Boris Johnson has called for unity in Sarah Everard’s memory as he voiced his ‘deep concern’ over footage of police officers arresting screaming women during a vigil on Clapham Common. Met Commissioner Cressida Dick was today fighting for her future after widespread criticism of the heavy-handed tactics used on Saturday, with calls for her to resign from Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey and the Women’s Equality Party.  However, Ms Dick, 60, has said Ms Everard’s murder makes her ‘utterly determined’ to hold onto her job as the force’s first female leader. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, was has a say in Ms Dick’s future, said she was ‘not satisfied’ by her, although Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel are understood to retain their confidence in her.” – Daily Mail

  • I’m “utterly determined” to remain the force’s first female leader, says Cressida Dick – The Times
  • Chants of ‘shame!’ as police led women away in handcuffs at Sarah Everard vigil – The Times

Analysis:

  • Fate of Met chief is in Priti Patel’s hands after Sarah Everard vigil – The Times

Comment:

Labour will vote against bill to give police more powers over protests in wake of vigil

“The Labour Party will vote against a bill to give police more powers over protests this week in the wake of the Metropolitan Police’s crackdown on a vigil for the murder victim Sarah Everard. David Lammy, the shadow home secretary, said Ms Everard’s death had “instigated a national demand for action to tackle violence against women” and prompted the party to vote against the Government’s plans. The police, crime, sentencing and courts bill is due to be debated in Parliament this week and would fulfil a number of Tory manifesto pledges, including tougher sentences for child murderers and sex offenders.” – Daily Telegraph

Paul Goodman: Biden can solve Johnson’s Brexit dilemma

“Like most of the rest of us, politicians don’t like eating their words or, in this particular case, owning up to “a tweet that hasn’t stood the test of time as well as I would have hoped”. The politician is Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary. The tweet claimed that “there is no ‘Irish Sea Border’ ”. Behind Lewis’s retreat from it lies a neglected but ominous development: the possible collapse of the Belfast agreement and the peace in Northern Ireland that it underpins. To grasp why, it’s necessary to understand the Northern Ireland Protocol, which came into effect this year as part of the Brexit settlement. The protocol requires checks to be carried out on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain until at least 2023.” – The Times

More comment:

Coronavirus 1) Third wave of Covid in autumn is inevitable, says ONS chief Sir Ian Diamond

“The national statistician has warned of a further wave of Covid-19 infections in autumn despite strong early evidence of vaccine protection. Sir Ian Diamond, head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said that although the case rate was the lowest since September it was still much higher than last summer when the first lockdown was lifted. The latest ONS survey found that the infection rate in England was 0.37 per cent, equal to about 6,000 cases a day, compared with 0.04 per cent last summer when it was deemed safe enough to lift the first lockdown. Diamond agreed with Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, that a new wave in autumn was “inevitable”.” – The Times

  • Neil Ferguson is ’80 per cent sure’ Covid will be driven to ‘very low levels’ in next few months (but still don’t count on getting abroad) – Daily Mail
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine paused in Ireland after reports of blood clotting – The Times

Coronavirus 2) Johnson accepts he made a mistake in delaying first lockdown

“Boris Johnson accepts it was a mistake to delay the start of the first national lockdown, close allies have said, while insisting the Prime Minister was let down by scientific advisers. Mr Johnson would act “harder, earlier and faster” if he had his time again, supporters say, raising the possibility of a mea culpa moment in a future inquiry into the handling of the pandemic. As the first anniversary of lockdown approaches, Mr Johnson has rightly won plaudits for the runaway success of Britain’s vaccine rollout, but knows he will eventually have to confront the question of why the UK has suffered the highest death toll in Europe and the fifth-highest in the world.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Hopes fade for a baby boom after Covid lockdown – The Times

Analysis:

  • Coronavirus lockdown one year on: Ten reasons why so many Britons have died – Daily Telegraph

Raab attacks Iran over ‘unjustifiable’ second trial for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

“Iran’s “cruel and inhumane” treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is “unacceptable and unjustified”, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said, after a court on Sunday told her she must wait a week to hear a verdict on a second “arbitrary” set of charges. Mz Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual citizen, was arrested in Iran five years ago on dubious spying charges and completed her sentence last week. But Iran refused to allow her to return to Britain, and has instead subjected her to yet more court proceedings, in a move that has frustrated campaigners and the British government.” – Daily Telegraph

Pet thieves will be brought to justice, vows minister amid push to tackle new ‘horrifying crime’

“Pet thieves must be “brought to justice” for their “horrifying” crimes, a dog-owning minister in the Home Office has vowed. Victoria Atkins, the safeguarding minister, said Sunday that the rise in dogs and puppies being snatched “worries me a great deal”. She revealed that she is the “proud owner” of a whippet. Pictures posted on the minister’s Instagram account show that she acquired a puppy, named Bob, in January last year. Indicating a renewed push in Government to stop pet thefts, she told Times Radio: “We are very aware of this and looking into it carefully because we understand public concern about this and we want to ensure that these dreadful criminals who are stealing much-loved pets are brought to justice.”” – Daily Telegraph

We have been confused about China, says former GCHQ cybersecurity chief

“The former head of the National Cyber Security Centre has labelled Britain’s policy towards China confusing as he predicted that there would be greater caution in future over dependence on Chinese technology. Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the cyber-security arm of GCHQ from 2013 to 2020, said that during his leadership ministers had come to realise that China was a strategic competitor, adding that the country posed the first challenge to the “western model” since the Cold War. Referring to Britain’s open-door policy towards Chinese investment under George Osborne, the former chancellor, Martin told Times Radio: “When I started that was the brief, so-called golden era and when I left the mood was certainly hardening because of the realisation of China as strategic competitor.”” – The Times

Comment:

>Today:

Buses will be cheaper and greener, says Johnson

“Millions of people are being promised frequent, cheaper and greener bus services as part of a £3 billion plan that the prime minister has said will be one of the first acts of “levelling up”. In a reform of the bus sector, services on main routes will be so frequent that traditional timetables will be ditched and it will be easier to change between train and bus, the government said. Boris Johnson will say today that buses will no longer be “last in the queue” for funding as he promises flat fares in towns and cities as well as flexible services to reconnect communities, with London-style services across the country. Price caps will be introduced so that people can use the bus as many times as they need and all buses will accept contactless payments.” – The Times

Illegal immigrants clog courts with ‘meritless’ claims

“Four out of five last-minute legal claims made by illegal immigrants to avoid being deported are eventually rejected, according to Home Office research. Analysis of individuals who have been detained under immigration offences since 2017 has found that more than 70 per cent put in new claims or legal appeals days before they were due to be removed. Four out of five of these claims or appeals turned out to be unsuccessful, but they allowed people to remain in the UK for months and in some cases for up to a year and a half longer, according to the Home Office. Ministers say that the research lays bare the extent to which the courts are used by immigration offenders and their lawyers to frustrate attempts to remove them.” – The Times

Tory chairman faces questioning over renovation of PM’s flat

“The chairman of the Conservative Party is today likely to be challenged over whether money from donors has been used to fund the refurbishment of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat. The 19-strong Conservative Party board will hold its monthly meeting amid mounting concern over how the refurbishment of the prime minister’s flat in No 11 has been paid for. No 10 has repeatedly refused to deny that the cost of the refurbishment, which reportedly stretched as high as £200,000, has been funded by Tory donors. Carrie Symonds, the prime minister’s fiancée, is said to have overseen the redesign.” – The Times

Merkel’s party punished by voters for vaccine fiasco

“Angela Merkel’s party suffered heavy defeats in regional elections on Sunday as voters turned on her government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.The results will heap pressure on Mrs Merkel ahead of September’s general election, when Germans will finally choose her successor as chancellor. According to initial projections, her Christian Democrat (CDU) party slumped to its worst ever results in two states it once regarded as strongholds. In the key southern state of Baden-Württemberg, where the party ruled uninterrupted for 58 years, it limped in with just 23 per cent of the vote, far behind the rival Greens who won the state with 31 per cent.” – Daily Telegraph

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