Vaccine passports deny basic freedoms, cabinet critics tell Johnson…

“Boris Johnson has been accused by cabinet ministers of denying people their fundamental freedoms over plans for vaccine passports. The prime minister has announced plans to make vaccine passports mandatory in indoor venues such as nightclubs and conference centres from September. The move is in response to concerns from government advisers that they are “super-spreading” environments and could fuel a resurgence of coronavirus in the autumn and winter. Cabinet ministers believe that the policy was “railroaded” through at the behest of the prime minister by Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister.” – The Times

  • Vaccine passports given short shrift by employers – The Times
  • Amber plus rules for France to be binned – The Sun
  • NHS ‘drew up secret plan’ to assess patients on their ‘probability of survival’ in the event of a pandemic – Daily Mail

…as PM ‘wants to waive’ vaccine rules for Cop26 conference…

“Boris Johnson has given his support to plans to allow thousands of delegates treated with Russian and Chinese vaccines to attend the Cop26 climate change summit despite cabinet opposition, The Times has been told. The prime minister is facing a cabinet split over plans to allow officials and leaders who have been jabbed with Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines from China, or Sputnik V from Russia, into the UK without quarantining. The vaccines are not recognised by either the UK or European medical regulators because of concerns over their efficacy. Officials have raised concerns about the public health implications of allowing in the delegates.” – The Times


…and Milling accuses Labour leader of having more positions than Kama Sutra

“Tory party chairwoman Amanda Milling compared Sir Keir to a weather vane as well as the ancient sex manual, saying: “He points different ways depending on which day it is, changing position more often than the Kama Sutra to chase headlines and play politics.” Labour had said the latest border rules were “reckless” and that Boris Johnson was opening up the UK too fast. However, wobbly Sir Keir now says bringing forward the self-isolation exemption date for the fully vaccinated would make a “huge difference” to businesses and holidaymakers. The Labour chief’s U-turn came after he said in March that vaccine passports would be “un-British” — only to say last week they made sense. He also previously criticised calls for the NHS app to be altered to stop so many people being “pinged” after contact with a Covid sufferer.” – The Sun


Iain Duncan Smith: In our determination to ‘follow the science’ we have abandoned all logic

“The latest announcement on travel and Covid has, I confess, left me confused. It appears that someone from overseas, with documents proving they have been double-vaccinated with a reliable covid vaccine, may enter the UK without having to quarantine, providing they test negative. UK citizens, on the other hand, must still self-isolate at the first ping of their test and trace app, even if they have already had two jabs. ‘The science’, we are told, means this will remain the case until 16 August. In short – we are happy to accept the certification of vaccination for a foreign country, but not our own.” – Daily Telegraph

‘Elite Tory donors club holds secret meetings’ with Johnson and Sunak

“A secretive club for major Conservative donors known as the ‘Advisory Board’ has been holding regular meetings and calls with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the chancellor Rishi Sunak. The club, some of whose members have given at least £250,000 to the party, has been developed by Ben Elliot, Tory co-chair, as a means of connecting major Conservative backers with its top figures. The club does not appear in party literature, but Conservative officials confirmed the Advisory Board “occasionally” meets with Johnson and Sunak “for an update on the political landscape”. One person briefed on the Advisory Board’s activities said it held monthly meetings or conference calls with either the prime minister or the chancellor. Some members have used those discussions to call for public spending cuts and lower taxes, a donor said.” – FT

  • Labour calls for PM to explain ‘advisory board’ for wealthy Tory donors – The Guardian
  • Rayner urges Tories to repay £580k of public funds spent on polling – The Guardian
  • Inside Johnson’s money network – FT
  • Johnson’s support is slipping away in true blue territory – The Times
  • And Johnson bursts out of the traps to shore up his lead – The Times

Sunak optimistic as pace of economic recovery picks up

“UK government officials have become more optimistic about the prospects of a strong economic recovery in the second half of the year as chancellor Rishi Sunak fired the starting gun for new autumn economic forecasts. Sunak hailed “fantastic” figures showing a 560,000 fall in the number of people receiving furlough money in June to 1.9m, and asked for the new forecasts to be prepared for October 27. These are likely to be published alongside a long-term public spending settlement. However, he wants to dampen any over-optimism that might increase pressure on him to loosen the public spending taps, including from his Downing Street neighbour Boris Johnson.” – FT

  • Details of Truss’ Australia trade boom uncovered – Daily Express

Starmer seeks billionaire cash as Labour struggles to pay staff

“Sir Keir Starmer is trying to persuade wealthy donors, including the founder of the outsourcing company Capita, to donate money in an effort to repair the Labour Party’s finances as staff threaten strike action. The Labour leader has spoken to a member of the Sainsbury family and to a billionaire property developer as staff at the party HQ face redundancy. Others who are being asked for donations include an heiress to the Tetra Pak fortune, the granddaughter of the founder of River Island, and the former executive chairman of Capita. The party has only one month’s wages left in its reserves.” – The Times


Matthew Parris: There are 3,000 lifers who shouldn’t be in jail

“Let’s call him David. David had been a truculent youth, in trouble with the law before, though in summing-up the judge said he believed, on the evidence, that “you do not have a serious mental illness”. But David could fly violently off the handle. When he was 24 his girlfriend split up with him. In misery and rage he put a “small amount” (said the judge) of petrol in a milk bottle, lit a rag in the top and flung it at the wall of her house in her front garden, terrifying her and her family, though no serious damage was done.” – The Times

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