G7 1) Climate deal relies on tackling virus, Johnson to tell leaders

“Boris Johnson will warn G7 leaders this week that a climate change deal will only be possible this year if the West provides money to help developing countries to tackle Covid. The prime minister announced a target to vaccinate everyone worldwide against coronavirus by the end of next year. The UK is expected to contribute more than 100 million vaccine doses worth £2 billion via Covax, the UN-backed scheme that aims to supply jabs to low and medium-income countries. Johnson will tell world leaders next weekend that unless other countries follow suit it will diminish the chance of a breakthrough climate deal to keep alive the aspiration to limit global warming to 1.5C.” – The Times

  • G7 in a Cornish resort is ‘bonkers’: Leading police chief warns that holding this week’s summit in seaside village is a security nightmare – Daily Mail




G7 2) Biden raises pressure on Johnson to solve Northern Ireland impasse

President Biden will warn Boris Johnson not to renege on the Northern Ireland Brexit deal when they meet for the first time at the G7 summit this week. He will use a bilateral meeting with the prime minister before the gathering of world leaders in Cornwall to explicitly express America’s support for the Northern Ireland protocol. Biden is expected to tell Johnson that the United States sees the deal, agreed by the prime minister in 2019, as an integral part of maintaining long-term peace in Northern Ireland and in particular the Good Friday agreement of which America is a guarantor.” – The Times

Coronavirus 1) Hancock: Too soon to say if we can open up fully in a fortnight

“Ministers are “absolutely open” to delaying the final stage of lockdown easing on June 21, Matt Hancock said yesterday, as he said it was still too soon to say whether it was safe to relax restrictions further. The health secretary said the emergence of the Indian variant, which has become dominant in Britain, had made the “calculation” on whether to proceed with unlocking this month “more difficult”. He said that the latest scientific evidence suggested that it was 40 per cent more transmissible than the Kent strain. But he conceded that while Covid cases were rising in England this had not so far been followed by a similar rise in hospital admissions because of the vaccine.” – The Times

  • Covid modelling has been crude and unreliable, NHS leaders warn – Daily Telegraph
  • Furious Tory MPs urge ministers not to ‘move the goalposts’ after Hancock said he was ‘absolutely open’ to delaying Freedom Day – Daily Mail
  • Hospital patients with Covid are now younger and get less sick as expert says vaccines have ‘broken the chain’ between infections and serious illness – Daily Mail
  • Relaxing Covid lockdown rules gives boost to consumer confidence – The Times

Covid in India:

  • India battles deadly child illness that strikes during Coronavirus recovery – The Times


Coronavirus 2) Teenagers in line for Pfizer rollout

“Ministers are ready to vaccinate secondary school pupils before the start of the new academic year to try to avoid further disruption to their education. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said plans were being drawn up to extend the vaccination programme to children over the age of 12 after the Pfizer jab was approved for use in teenagers. The extended programme still has to be approved by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation but ministers are understood to be keen to start the rollout in August. The committee may recommend approving the jab for those aged 15 and older, which would reduce further exam disruption. Hancock said the government had enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine to begin the programme.” – The Times

  • Under-30s queueing up in hope of leftover Covid-19 vaccines – The Times
  • Vaccine passports can free public, claims Blair – The Times
  • Dating apps will let singles flaunt Covid-19 vaccination status – The Times
  • Swapping vaccines may be beneficial against Covid-19, German study suggests – The Times

Coronavirus 3) Covid chaos at airports in rush to flee Portugal before it leaves green list

“Thousands of British holidaymakers in Portugal face chaos at airports and Covid testing sites as they rush to return before quarantine rules change tomorrow. The government abruptly announced that Portugal would be moved from the green list of approved travel destinations to the amber list last Thursday. Passengers have until 4am tomorrow morning to return or they must quarantine for ten days. Anyone flying home must have proof of a negative Covid test taken no more than three days before their departure or face a £500 fine, but testing centres in Portugal were overwhelmed by the sudden demand.” – The Times

  • Just 1.5 per cent of Portugal travellers test positive for Covid – Daily Mail

Don’t surrender to foreign aid rebels, Treasury warns

“Rishi Sunak has urged Downing Street not to make concessions to Tory rebels who are attempting to overturn cuts to Britain’s aid budget today. A group of more than 30 Tory MPs are preparing to hijack government legislation in an attempt to reverse the cuts and reinstate the 0.7 per cent target from next year. In response, the Treasury has urged Downing Street to dig in and even withdraw the bill the rebels hope to amend instead of bowing to their demands. “The Treasury is adamant that we cannot afford to make this pledge to bring back 0.7 [per cent] this year now,” a senior government source said.” – The Times

Nick Timothy: Meritocracy remains our best option, but it cannot work without social solidarity

“Who could disagree with meritocracy, the idea that our prospects should depend not on the circumstances of birth, but our talents and efforts alone? The answer, it turns out, is rather a lot of people. As Adrian Wooldridge argues in The Aristocracy of Talent, meritocracy has fallen out of fashion. On the Left, it is attacked as elitist and a cover for “white privilege”. On the Right, it is associated with the managerial elites who gave us globalisation, mass immigration and membership of the European Union. It is certainly true that the idea of meritocracy can give the rich and successful reason to believe they owe little to others.” – Daily Telegraph

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Home Office records zero migrant crossings on Saturday and 89 people entering UK waters on Sunday in one of the lowest recent weekend totals

“The Home Office has recorded zero migrant crossings on Saturday and 89 people entering UK waters on Sunday. The figures mark one of the lowest recent weekend totals after 568 people made the dangerous crossing last weekend. The Home Office confirmed UK authorities dealt with four events on Sunday involving 89 people. In a statement, a spokesperson said: ‘Criminal gangs are putting profits before people’s lives through these dangerous and unnecessary crossings. ‘More than 4,000 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year and we are cracking down on the despicable criminal gangs behind people smuggling.'” – Daily Mail

  • Patel seeks ban on social media posts that ‘glamourise’ migrant crossings – The Guardian

Tory MP Lee Anderson boycotts Euro matches over FA stance on taking knee

“A Conservative MP is boycotting England’s football games because he believes the Football Association has lost touch with traditional supporters over “taking of the knee”. Lee Anderson, 54, said the gesture of resting on one knee to symbolise solidarity with black rights activists could alienate fans and politicise the sport. He made the remarks on Facebook after Gareth Southgate’s side faced Austria at Middlesbrough on Wednesday in a warm-up for the European Championship, which starts this Friday.” – The Times

  • England supporters boo their own players taking a knee again – Daily Mail

W is for ‘white fragility’: NHS bosses block bizarre A to Z of woke terms from public view after accusations it was ‘divisive’

“The NHS has removed a draft glossary about ‘equality, diversity and inclusion’ from public view after it was criticised for being ‘highly divisive’. The document, entitled ‘Glossary A-Z’, covered themes running from A for ‘allyship’ to X for ‘xenophobia’. But the NHS has made the website password-protected after receiving a backlash on social media. Among the entries in the glossary are G for ‘gender’, ‘gender dysphoria’ and ‘gender identity’; T for ‘taking the knee’, ‘tokenism’, ‘tone policing’, ‘transgender man’, ‘transgender woman’, ‘transitioning’, and ‘transphobia’.” – Daily Mail

Stonewall facing ‘exodus’ from scheme as ministers lose faith

“The Ministry of Justice is preparing to leave Stonewall’s diversity scheme leading to an “exodus” of government departments severing ties with the charity, sources suggest. Robert Buckland, the justice secretary, will pull his department from the LGBT charity’s “diversity champions” programme. The move comes as one of its founder members accused it of trying to delegitimise anyone who did not agree with its views. It is expected that other bodies will follow the justice ministry. The Department of Health has reported that it is keeping its membership of all external schemes “under review”. Liz Truss, the equalities minister, suggested that government bodies should withdraw from the scheme over concerns about its value for money.” – The Times


Generations at odds in free speech culture war

“A survey has found that more than half those questioned oppose speakers being “no-platformed” at universities but younger people are more likely to be in favour of the practice. Free speech appears to be winning the battle as most people believe that universities should be exposing students to a range of views. While many people believe that political correctness has gone too far, most are still willing to discuss contentious subjects with colleagues or classmates. A study of “culture wars” by the Policy Institute at King’s College London found that Labour supporters (27 per cent) are nearly three times as likely as their Tory counterparts to say no-platforming can be appropriate.” – The Times

News in brief: