‘No vaccine passport needed for a pint in the pub’…

“Pubgoers will be able to enjoy a pint without having to show a vaccine passport under plans to lift lockdown that will be unveiled tomorrow. Boris Johnson will announce that a new NHS app confirming that the holder has had the jab, a recent negative test or Covid-19 in the previous six months will be needed to enter theatres, cinemas and sports and music events after June 21. Bars and restaurants will not be included, a concession to rebel MPs. Pub gardens are due to open on April 12; indoor bars and restaurants on May 17. Ministers will consult the hospitality industry on how those venues will operate, and there is likely to be debate over where the line is drawn between a quiet pub and a packed bar on a Friday night, where crowds can resemble those in a nightclub.” – Sunday Times

  • Hancock summoned to High Court to justify opening shops before pubs – Sunday Telegraph
  • Foreign holidays ‘are set to start May 17’ – Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey. Almost nine in ten Party members expect the Conservatives to lead a government after the next election.

…but Johnson to give go-ahead for trials of Covid passports for other events

“Football cup finals, the World Snooker Championship, a comedy club and a cinema will be used to test vaccine passports over the next few weeks, as the government unveils its route out of lockdown. The pilot venues will be unveiled on Monday by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, with the NHS drawing up a system that will allow people to use an app or a paper certificate to gain access to major events and reduce social distancing measures. However, with details of the certificate system still being finalised, Johnson continues to face a mounting political backlash over the use of vaccine passports in the UK. Some MPs are examining whether they could force a vote on the issue. On Monday, Johnson will reassure people that the passports should not be used on public transport or essential shops.” – The Observer

  • 21,000 for the FA Cup final, 3,000 inside a nightclub and 1,000 at an open-air cinema – Mail on Sunday
  • Covid passports for return to normal life may not be ready for months – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: One, two, three – and now Truss tops our Cabinet League Table for the fourth time

Michael Gove: It is time for a discussion about Covid certification

“Vaccination is a hugely powerful tool, but it can never provide 100 per cent protection. That is why we need to look at every option potentially available to ensure the fastest, safest and most sustainable road back to normality. Which is where the idea of Covid certification could prove useful. In Israel, which is one of the few countries to have vaccinated a higher percentage of the population than we have in the UK, they have been using a “green pass” to get back to normal more quickly. This green pass system allows citizens who’ve been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or who’ve had a recent negative test to congregate in venues which had been closed for months such as theatres and nightclubs. We can expect more countries to adopt similar tools and, indeed, other countries to require our own citizens to provide proof of their Covid status to travel and visit. So it’s imperative that we explore, with friends and allies, how such certificates should work.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Johnson is right to ditch controversial Covid vaccine passport plans for pubs – Sun on Sunday

>Today: Matt Kilcoyne in Comment: The pluses and minuses of vaccine passports – and the discrimination that comes with them

Johnson fears lockdown illiteracy surge

“More than 200,000 pupils will move from primary school to secondary school this autumn without being able to read properly, according to unpublished government figures. The findings, which have sent a jolt through Downing Street, show the impact of lockdown on learning, with the number of children struggling with literacy rising by 30,000 over the past year. Boris Johnson will use a key speech to launch a “four-year emergency” plan to help disadvantaged children catch up. Senior government sources said the problem was the prime minister’s top priority after the coronavirus vaccination programme and would remain a central focus until the next election. A week ago Johnson met Sir Kevan Collins, who is leading a review of the impact of the coronavirus on schoolchildren. He is said to have “put a rocket up” No 10 about the scale of the crisis.” – Sunday Times

Activists are roping school pupils into vicious ‘culture wars’, senior MP warns

“Schools have been hurled into the centre of a vicious “culture war”, a senior MP has warned. Activists are dragging innocent children into highly political disputes by staging protests that spill into the playground, he claims. Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons education committee, complained: “Schools are places of learning and not political re-education camps.” Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire was forced to close after protesters gathered at the gates two days in a row. They demanded the sacking of a teacher who showed a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed to pupils. A headteacher also caved in to protesters and took down the Union Flag outside Pimlico Academy in central London.” – Sun on Sunday

  • New ‘woke’ definition of a museum is Orwellian attempt to rewrite history, MPs warn – Sunday Telegraph


  • Good people who compiled the race report were torn apart for revealing a complex truth – Kemi Badenoch MP, Mail on Sunday
  • The small minority are hijacking democracy to wage anarchy – Tim Loughton MP, Sun on Sunday
  • Single sex education is a girl’s best friend – Madeline Grant, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: Claire Coutinho MP in Comment: In defence of this week’s race and disparities report

Labour renews call for inquiry after further reports of lobbying by Cameron

“The Labour party has called for urgent answers following reports that David Cameron lobbied a second Conservative minister for access to coronavirus financial support. The former prime minister is said to have contacted Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, at the same time as chancellor Rishi Sunak, to lobby for support payments for a firm he worked for, according to the Times. Cameron was allegedly trying to access government business support for the finance company Greensill, where he was working as a senior adviser. It has been speculated that he had share options worth $60m (£44m). The shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, said that Sunak “can’t keep passing the buck”. “It appears Greensill had the run of his department, putting public money and jobs at risk,” she said. “The chancellor needs to provide full details of which ministers were lobbied by David Cameron and when – and quickly.”” – The Observer

  • Cameron, Heywood, Greensill and all that ‘free money’ – Sunday Times


  • Ex-Prime Minister’s allies give his defence – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • Humiliated Cameron has run out of allies – Matt Chorley, Sunday Times

>Yesterday: Book Reviews: From Walpole to Johnson, the rude, original vigour of the Prime Minister and the Commons have survived

Starmer criticised over visit to church where pastor opposed same-sex marriage

“Keir Starmer has been criticised after visiting a church that has been widely condemned for its attitudes towards homosexuality. The Labour leader went to Jesus House in Brent Cross, north-west London, on Friday and praised it as a “wonderful example” of a church serving its community during the pandemic, including acting as a vaccination centre. In a video uploaded on Twitter, he said: “From rolling out the vaccine to running the local food bank, Jesus House, like many other churches across the UK, has played a crucial role in meeting the needs of the community.” However the church’s senior pastor, Agu Irukwu, has spoken out against same-sex marriage and equality legislation, leading to condemnation from LGBTQ+ groups. In 2006, he signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph opposing laws that would protect LGBT+ people from discrimination and, in 2013, he was one of the signatories on another letter to the Telegraph opposing same-sex marriage legislation.” – The Observer

  • ConHome survey and Editor quoted on why Team Starmer is expecting a May 2023 general election – The Observer
  • Labour accused of ‘letting off anti-Semitism’ after failing to expel members – Sunday Telegraph
  • New blow for Starmer as 60 per cent of Labour Party members think he should campaign to rejoin EU – Mail on Sunday
  • Kill the Bill protesters clash with police at rally addressed by Corbyn – Sunday Telegraph


  • Let’s get Britain working again – Sir Keir Starmer MP, The Observer