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Coronavirus1) Vaccinated Britons “will be allowed to take overseas summer holidays”

“Vaccinated Britons would avoid Covid tests and quarantine under government plans to allow foreign summer holidays. Boris Johnson is expected to signal on Monday that, when foreign travel is opened up, restrictions will be based on a traffic light system under which countries are rated red, amber or green according to their risk based on vaccination levels, Covid rates and prevalence of variants. All travellers returning to the UK will be expected to have pre-departure Covid tests irrespective of their vaccination status under proposals drawn up by the Government’s global travel taskforce.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Caribbean is the hot tip – The Times
  • AstraZeneca has been vilified and scapegoated by the EU’s incompetent, jab-nabbing weasels – Leader, The Sun
  • Netherlands suspends AstraZeneca vaccine for under-60s – Daily Telegraph
  • Italy returns to strict lockdown for Easter – BBC

Coronavirus 2) Care home residents allowed two visitors from April 12th

“Care home residents in England will be allowed two regular visitors indoors from 12 April, the government has said. Currently people in care homes can have just one face-to-face visitor, but as part of the next step of lockdown easing it will be extended to two. They will be able to hold hands- but visitors must be tested and wear PPE. Visitors will also be able to bring babies and young children with them, meaning some residents could meet grandchildren for the first time.” – BBC

Coronavirus 3) Dustmen “will alert the NHS if people are too ill to put out their bins”

“Britain’s successful vaccination programme will be used as a “blueprint for the future” of the health service, the head of the NHS in England has promised. Sir Simon Stevens says that the immunisation drive will inspire fundamental changes to the way that the NHS cares for people. Health workers will seek out the most vulnerable to help them to stay healthy rather than waiting for them to become ill… Refuse collectors will alert GPs when residents become too frail to put out the rubbish, doctors will go through medical records to find those most at risk of heart attacks and councils will contact people who miss cancer screenings to ask them to get checked, he says.” – The Times

  • Covid vaccine success shows our blueprint for the future – Simon Stevens, The Times
  • Ministers “used covert tactics” to keep scared public at home – Daily Telegraph
  • Frightening backlog of NHS delays – The Guardian

Coronavirus 4) 72 MPs join rebellion over passport plan

“Boris Johnson is facing a rebellion over his Covid passport plan – as 72 cross-party MPs join forces and prepare to block it. Included in the rebels are 40 Tories and six ex-Cabinet ministers who have vowed to block the “divisive and discriminatory” jab passports. Organised by the pressure group Big Brother Watch, the 72 MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Iain Duncan Smith, are mounting pressure on the Government to halt plans for Covid status certification. It has also been backed by a string of Tory former ministers including Esther McVey, Nus Ghani, Mark Harper and Harriett Baldwin.” – The Sun

  • Bridgen “not convinced that vaccine passports for use within the UK is proportionate to the risk” – BBC
  • Why should we have to pay this price of vaccination passports for freedom? – Mick Hume, Daily Mail

Coronavirus 5) Hymn singing could be allowed again by late June

“Hymn singing by church congregations indoors could be allowed again by late June, the government minister who oversees faith has told The Telegraph. Lord Greenhalgh said he was eager to see the restrictions eased when it was safe to do so and pinpointed June 21 as the earliest possible date for that to happen. Communal singing indoors at church is currently not allowed under government guidance, with an exception for a handful of singers if it is an essential act of worship. Lord Greenhalgh said of the June 21 date: “I’m very hopeful then that we will be able to return to singing. It is of course quite strange to go through a service and not be able to sing. It’s an integral part of an act of worship, really.” Under the current rules, one option remains open for communal singing on Easter Sunday and the weeks to come – to hold services outside.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The story of Easter is the very opposite of social distancing – Leader, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Columnist Sarah Ingham: After the Batley protests and on this Easter Saturday, a case for tolerating religious belief

>Yesterday:

Cameron “lobbied second Treasury minister for Greensill loan”

“David Cameron lobbied a second Conservative Treasury minister for access to government coronavirus support loans for the finance firm Greensill, The Times has learnt. The former prime minister contacted Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury, at the same time as he was trying to get access to Rishi Sunak, the chancellor. The emergence of Cameron’s contact with Norman raises further questions about the extent of the lobbying operation across government that he pursued in Greensill’s interests.” – The Times

  • Lobbying exposes his sense of entitlement – Ben Wright, Daily Telegraph

Sunak “pushing to extend cut in Overseas Aid”

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are in a dispute over foreign aid after the chancellor pushed for the option of extending cuts for another year. The government has slashed foreign aid spending from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent this year, prompting a revolt from dozens of Conservative MPs. The prime minister is understood to want to reinstate the 0.7 per cent target next year but this is being resisted by Sunak. The chancellor wants to leave open the option of extending the 0.5 per cent cut for another year if the economy is still struggling. Ministers also say that the move is popular with voters, particularly in red wall constituencies.” – The Times

Biden lifts ICC sanctions

“The US has lifted sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. The sanctions were imposed under former President Donald Trump over the court’s investigation’s into alleged war crimes by the US in Afghanistan, and US ally Israel in the Palestinian territories. Announcing the move, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the sanctions “were inappropriate and ineffective” and called for closer co-operation. The US is not a member of the ICC.” – BB

An independent Scotland “would face large hole in its public finances

“An independent Scotland would inherit a large hole in its public finances because lower than expected tax revenues, Brexit and the coronavirus crisis have increased the country’s budget deficit, according to a Financial Times analysis. A significant deterioration in Scotland’s fiscal position since the country’s independence referendum in 2014 suggests it will face a persistent deficit of almost 10 per cent of gross domestic product — well ahead of international norms — if the country is to leave the UK by the middle of this decade.  Based on the pro-independence Scottish National party’s previous assumptions, this would mean Scotland needed to raise taxes or cut public spending annually by the equivalent of £1,765 per person in the period after exiting the UK so as to narrow the deficit to sustainable levels.” – Financial Times

  • Unionists launch tactical voting plot to take down SNP – Daily Express
  • Sturgeon insists her ‘independence in Europe’ plan not damaged by EU vaccine debacle – Daily Telegraph
  • SNP’s shallowness has been exposed and Sturgeon is no longer invincible – Liam Fox, Daily Express

Truss welcomes increase in exports

“Brexit Britain is exporting more Easter faves such as lamb and chocolate eggs than ever. Lamb orders have soared by more than ten per cent this year with West Midlands, Wales and Yorkshire benefiting. Whisky and gin exports from Scotland and London were also up along with British chocolate. Trade boss Liz Truss said: “The global appetite for our food is huge and growing.” Lamb trade reached a total £436million in 2020 thanks to the Middle East and Japan — where the 23-year ban on the meat was lifted. Tea exports rose five per cent to the US alone.” – The Sun

  • France faces fishing ban from English Channel – Daily Express

Alan Duncan’s memoirs denounce “buffoon” Johnson

“Boris Johnson’s Cabinet was rocked last night by an explosive political memoir revealing vicious Tory infighting. The Prime Minister is one of the targets for a series of astonishing personal attacks from Alan Duncan, his deputy when he was foreign secretary. Sir Alan describes Mr Johnson as a ‘buffoon’ and says they had a blazing row over a Press report about diplomats treating him as an ‘international joke’. When Mr Johnson asked: ‘Why don’t they take me seriously?’ Sir Alan replied: ‘Look in the ****ing mirror!’ Serialised in the Daily Mail, In The Thick Of It is as candid, caustic and colourful as the sensational Alan Clark Diaries of the 1990s. Sir Alan, who quit politics just 16 months ago, saw at first hand how the government of Theresa May, a friend since university, collapsed in chaos.” – Daily Mail

  • “Frightened rabbit” Theresa May and her “walking dead” Cabinet – Alan Duncan, Daily Mail

Starmer warned to “stop taking Rayner for granted”

“Sir Keir Starmer vowed to turn the page on five years of infighting, antisemitism and a devastating election defeat and bring his party together…Tensions between MPs who prize unity above all and those eager for a fuller repudiation of the Jeremy Corbyn years are engulfing the parliamentary Labour Party. They are also beginning to infect the relationship between the operations of Starmer and Angela Rayner, his deputy, The Times has been told….Supporters of Rayner fear Starmer is taking advantage of her credentials with the Labour left. “At some point Keir is going to have to stop taking it for granted that Angela will placate the left and be grateful for all the loyalty she has shown,” one source said.” – The Times

  • Labour to destroy local election leaflet carrying anti-Travellers pledge – The Guardian
  • Starmer’s Struggles – Leader, The Times
  • Labour leader plans scores of town hall-style meetings – The Guardian
  • Labour councillors attacking flying the flag as “chilling” and “fascist” – Daily Mail

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

Parris: It’s true that racism had greatly diminished in Britain…

“On racism awareness most people are trying hard and with results. Within a generation, racist talk has become unacceptable; we’d help younger black and white working-class boys best by focusing on education and training; and we’d be giving our politicians the right kind of push by protesting more about pitiful wages in low-paid jobs, than about racism. Much of this is what Sewell is saying. It is not his report that is deaf to the lived experience of the majority, or to public unease at what often appear to be professional race relations spokespeople. It is these latter, especially on the left, who miss the mood. Sewell may be ahead of, not behind the curve. But if his report is not to fall over now, it needs a very, very careful political response.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

  • Authors of report hit back at “irresponsible and dangerous” abuse after a Labour MP tweeted a picture of the Ku Klux Klan – Daily Mail
  • Report’s conclusions ‘deeply disturbing’, says Church of England’s first black female bishop – Daily Telegraph
  • Race report: Was controversy part of the plan? – BBC
  • Historian David Olusoga joins academic criticism of No 10’s race report – The Guardian
  • The report’s findings about the white working-class have shamefully been ignored – Professor Matt Goodwin, Daily Mail

…Sewell, the man who took on the race clique

“Tony Sewell has long been, in many ways, a heretic. He has spent his career speaking out against the accepted shibboleths of race relations, and saying “the unsayable” about knife crime and the reasons for underachievement among young black people. He has long been described as an apologist for Tory policies, a man “bought” by the establishment….He returned to teaching and went on to write a PhD thesis which was published in 1997 under the title Black Masculinities and Schooling: How Black Boys Survive Modern Schooling. A study of an inner-city boys’ comprehensive school, it marked out what would be his abiding preoccupations, with ideas of masculinity and self-perception among black boys, the role of the family in the black community and what he has called “the elephant in the room” of absent fathers, leading black boys to forge their identities through gang culture.”

Moore: National Trust members are seeking to resist the woke onslaught

“I am also glad that, as reported elsewhere in this paper today, National Trust members are now trying to drive a return to proper standards. For many months, members have inundated me – and, more importantly, Ms McGrady – with emails and letters protesting about what is going on, but they have lacked a rallying point. An organisation called Restore Trust has started quietly online…It opposes “demonisation” of anyone in the past and wishes to restore the battered morale of National Trust staff and volunteers. It wants the Trust “to use history responsibly as a tool for understanding, not as a weapon”. Restore Trust seeks the help of all members who lack a voice. It can be found at: restore-trust.co.uk.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Do critics of the race report have any actual arguments? – Ross Clark, The Spectator
  • Conservatives “sitting on” report into racism within the Party – Independent
  • When will the voice of ‘magnanimous Islam’ speak up for the Batley teacher? – Daniel Johnson, The Article
  • Why aren’t Ministers keeping their promises to Parliament to boost food production? – John Redwood
  • Vaccine passports and the recalibration of social ethics – Tom Moran, The Critic