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Coronavirus 1) Vaccines for older children “could be rolled out in August”

“Covid vaccines would be rolled out to children from as early as August under plans being drawn up in Whitehall, The Telegraph can disclose. A Government source said that under current modelling “we would be ready” to begin vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds by the second half of August, or early September at the latest. Ministers are awaiting advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which insiders expect will recommend the jab for younger teenagers, before they make a final decision.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Britain is leading the way out of this pandemic – Matt Hancock, Sunday Telegraph
  • Allies claim Hancock sounded alarm over early lifting of restrictions – The Observer

Coronavirus 2) PM to push for world vaccination by end of 2022

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson will urge leaders of other wealthy countries to commit to vaccinating the world against Covid-19 by the end of next year. He will lay out a target for global vaccination at a summit of the G7 group of advanced economies on Friday. The US, France, Germany, Italy and Japan have all said how many doses they will donate to the global vaccine programme, Covax. But the UK and Canada are yet to put figures on their planned contributions. Ahead of the summit, which will take place in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, from 11 to 13 June, Mr Johnson said he will ask his counterparts to “rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era” by “vaccinating the world by the end of next year”.” – BBC

  • Share vaccines or climate deal will fail, rich countries are told – The Observer

Coronavirus 3) “Freedom Day” may be “pushed back to July 5th”

“The June 21 Freedom Day may be delayed by two weeks, it was reported last night. Sources told ITV News that plans are being made to push it back to July 5….Ministers and officials are working on contingency plans to move “Freedom Day” to next month, as well as retaining distancing and limits on fans in stadiums – potentially plunging the Euros into chaos. It comes after a Public Health England report showed people who tested positive for the Indian variant – also known as the Delta variant – were at 161 per cent more risk of needing hospital treatment within 14 days. And experts warned the Indian Covid mutation could be 100 per cent more infectious than the Kent variant, which caused the country to lockdown in January.” – The Sun on Sunday

  • 40 million have had a vaccine, so why is the Indian variant still a threat? – Sunday Times
  • Ending lockdown this month ‘will worsen surgery backlog’ – Sunday Times
  • Blair calls for vaccinated people to be released from lockdown restrictions – Sunday Telegraph
  • ‘Mix and match’ plan for third vaccine likely to be offered to Britons in the autumn – Mail on Sunday

Coronavirus 4) Cabinet split on holiday quarantine rules

“British holidaymakers nearly got to Malta without having to quarantine and could have finished their holidays in Portugal until a “heated” meeting all but killed trips abroad this summer. Ministers ignored scientific advice that Malta could go on the green list and rejected plans to put Portugal on a watchlist after a row between Grant Shapps and Matt Hancock, government sources say…Shapps, the transport secretary, with support from the Treasury, also argued that Portugal should be put on a watchlist. That was successfully opposed by Matt Hancock, the health secretary, Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, and the Home Office, who all wanted the country put on the amber list.” – Sunday Times

Coronavirus 5) Hannan: We must reopen on time

“When the roadmap was agreed, Sage published various predictions. It offered a range of five different scenarios for how many people would be in hospital by now, depending on what policies were followed and how the virus behaved. The actual number, as I write, is lower than any of the five forecasts. Since the sole justification for the restrictions was to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed, that is the measure that matters. If we abandon the timetable on the basis that some unexpectedly bad thing might happen in the future then, by definition, we are giving up on ever reopening.” – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

G7 Corporation Tax rule “could scupper freeports”

“Rishi Sunak declared victory on Saturday in a clampdown on tax avoidance by global tech giants after thrashing out a deal with G7 finance ministers to ensure they pay more tax. The move marks the biggest overhaul of international tax rules for decades, forcing the world’s largest companies to pay a global minimum tax on their profits of at least 15pc in a bid to stop firms from shifting their earnings to havens around the world…it could hamper the “freeports” policy championed by the Chancellor. Mr Sunak has announced eight freeports which will benefit from tax breaks for businesses. In a policy paper written before he entered government, Mr Sunak had cited reduced rates of corporation tax as one of a series of possible incentives for businesses choosing to operate within such areas. But critics said the G7 reforms “scuppered” his own flagship policy and likened the G7 to a “global tax cartel”.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Tax deal doesn’t go far enough, campaigners say – BBC
  • Internet giants will have to cough up – Leader, The Sun on Sunday
  • This tax proposal is misguided – and will hinder British competitiveness – Leader, Sunday Telegraph

Home Secretary condemns social media firms for promoting people traffickers

“Priti Patel has ordered social media giants including Facebook and Twitter to remove posts that ‘glamorise’ illegal Channel crossings, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The Home Secretary’s action comes as the number of migrants trying to reach the UK soars again, and amid growing anger in Government that tech companies are allowing people-smugglers to use their platforms to advertise their criminal services. One video showing migrants travelling from Calais to Dover has been seen more than 800,000 times on Chinese-owned TikTok. In the strongly worded letter which has been seen by this newspaper, Ms Patel asks the internet giants to ‘put an end to the exploitation of your platforms by criminals involved in organised immigration crime’ as more people than ever are making ‘incredibly dangerous journeys across the Channel’.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Immigration raids at five-year low despite Patel’s get-tough vow – The Sun on Sunday
  • Kent County Council set to sue the Home Secretary over the crisis – Sunday Times
  • Ministers warn judge-made law by activist barristers slows government – Sunday Express

Muslim voters in Batley and Spen “switching to Galloway”

“Batley and Spen, where Labour won in 2019 with a majority of just 3,525, is in the top 15 constituencies where Muslim voters are most influential. The Muslim Council of Britain estimates the number of Muslim voters likely to turn out in the by-election to be about 8,600 — more than twice the Labour majority….populist firebrand George Galloway — a vocal supporter of Palestine and vociferous critic of the Iraq war who was exiled from Labour almost two decades ago — has swept in, ready to pick up their votes…It is not only Galloway’s supporters who say that Labour is in trouble. Nadeem Raja, 53, is general manager of the Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS). His organisation is non-political but with 3,000 households as members, he has a good sense of the public mood.” – Sunday Times

  • Labour “too cautious” under Corbyn, declares Rayner – The Sun on Sunday
  • Nerves in the Commons as MPs await Boundary Commission report – Observer
  • “I know my sister would want me to be doing” – Interview with Kim Leadbetter – Observer
  • Labour plans to embarrass government with vote on pupil catch-up plan – Observer

Fox: The UK can lead the world as a champion of free trade

“Global trade was shrinking before the pandemic and issues such as global protectionism, especially among the wealthiest countries, must be tackled with a healthy dose of British free trade enthusiasm…That matters for innovation and jobs. To keep that position, we must remain a low-tax economy with a stable regulatory framework, flexible labour force and high-quality universities…It is time to turn the aspiration of global Britain into reality.” – Liam Fox, The Sun on Sunday

>Yesterday: Josh Cameron on Comment: British farmers should bet on themselves and welcome a free-trade revolution

McVey: Aid is not the best way to help poorer countries

“That means we need to think and work differently, grasping with both hands the opportunity to deliver “trade not aid”. Now that we are no longer in the EU, we should be working to secure trade agreements with poorer countries, helping them to develop industry and trade their way out of poverty. This is true Conservatism, and a sure way to help countries raise living standards on a permanent and long-term basis. If more and more aid was the solution, large parts of Africa would have escaped all poverty decades ago. But instead, over-reliance on overseas aid – with some corrupt governments using the money to enrich themselves – has fostered a culture of welfare dependency on a grand scale, something Conservatives should know does nothing to eradicate poverty.” – Esther McVey, Sunday Telegraph

  • Any Tory MP who opposes foreign aid cuts deserves to feel the wrath of the voters – Leader, Sunday Telegraph
  • Cameron accused of lobbying against PM over foreign aid cut – Mail on Sunday
  • ‘British children are starving,’ cry the Left… Then they tell us to give £14billion to the rest of the world – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

>Today: Andrew Mitchell on Comment: Tomorrow, Conservative MPs should honour our promise to some of the poorest people in the world

Hilton: Moral leadership means standing up to Communist China

“In my short time in Downing Street as David Cameron’s strategy adviser, I fought hard against this China swoon, with one modest success: the prioritisation of India for the first large-scale prime ministerial visit. Now, surely, after Hong Kong, the Uighurs and the pandemic, it is time for Britain to stand up to China with might and moral authority. Germany won’t do it: Angela Merkel is as cravenly complicit in the suck-up to China as our own government once was. Emmanuel Macron can’t do it: he is a weak leader facing an uncertain political future. And Biden, of course, is in no position to lecture anyone on anything to do with the pandemic, given America’s role in its origins. Boris Johnson, by contrast, has an open field before him and the wind at his back with the most successful vaccine rollout of any major country and failing political opposition at home.” – Steve Hilton, Mail on Sunday

News in brief

  • The G7 tax deal is an unworkable mess – Matthew Lynn, The Spectator
  • We must focus on reforming Overseas Aid to make it more effective – John Redwood
  • Bangladesh: the world’s hidden success story – Peter Franklin, Unherd
  • Who should lead Unite, Britain’s main working-class union? Not Howard Beckett – Denis Macshane, The Article
  • We need to talk about Greenpeace – Noel Yaxley, The Critic