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Coronavirus 1) Johnson cancels plans for Churchillian Freedom Day launch – after No 10 alarm over a surge in infections

“Boris Johnson cancelled plans for a Churchillian launch of Freedom Day after No 10 became alarmed by the surge in the number of infections, The Mail on Sunday has learned. Officials had discussed marking the lifting of Covid restrictions with a rousing speech by the Prime Minister at an historic venue associated with the wartime leader – until scientific advisers took fright at the recent climb in cases. Mr Johnson has abandoned his previously bullish attitude to tomorrow’s ditching of most restrictions – including social distancing and legal limits on gatherings – and is no longer referring to the moment as ‘irreversible’. A Government source said: ‘The plan had been for Boris to effectively declare victory over the virus by summoning the spirit of Churchill, with appropriately stirring rhetoric. That no longer feels appropriate.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • Britain faces disruption to food supplies, transport networks and industry as Covid-19’s third wave intensifies – Sunday Times
  • Pop-up vaccine clinics in Primark to target the under-30 jab refuseniks – Sunday Times
  • Young people desperate for second Covid vaccine dose before holidays resort to social media – Sunday Times
  • 5,000 per cent rise in neurology patients waiting for a year – Sunday Times
  • NHS Covid app ‘pings’ some phones but not others despite exposure to virus in same place – Daily Telegraph

Analysis:

  • Why has France been singled out for extra summer holiday Covid restrictions? – The Times
  • Why picking a fight with France on quarantine is a bad omen – however you interpret it – Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus 2) Javid tests positive for Covid

“Sajid Javid last night triggered fears of a disruptive ‘pingdemic’ striking at the heart of Government after testing positive for coronavirus. The Health Secretary had visited the Commons and Downing Street in previous days – and is understood to have held a lengthy face-to-face meeting with Boris Johnson just before his symptoms developed – sparking concerns that senior figures across Whitehall would have to be confined to home. One insider warned that ‘half the Cabinet’ could be in isolation by the end of the week. After feeling ‘a bit groggy’ on Friday night, Mr Javid – who has been double-jabbed – took a lateral flow test yesterday. When it came back positive, he began self-isolating with his family pending the results of a more reliable PCR test.” – Mail on Sunday

  • The Prime Minister and Chancellor will not be self-isolating after contact with Javid, but are taking part in a pilot programme where daily tests replace self-isolation – BBC

Analysis:

  • How Javid made it back to the top: After falling victim to a political assassination, he is now part of a pincer movement to make his successor and potential rival Sunak bend to the will of No 10 – Mail on Sunday

Coronavirus 3) Brady – I believe the real purpose of masks is social control – it’s time to turn down the fear dial

“On August 23, 1973, an attempted bank raid at Stockholm’s Norrmalmstorg Square went badly wrong. Four hostages were taken and the drama ended only five days later when tear gas forced the robbers to surrender. The hold-up would doubtless have been forgotten but for the odd reaction of the hostages, who formed a close bond with their jailers. And it was the events of those few days that gave their name to something now commonly described as Stockholm Syndrome. This phenomenon has often been identified in the half-century since Norrmalmstorg Square. But it has been remarkable to see it exhibited by whole swathes of the British public over the past year. After 16 months of being told by the state when we could leave our homes, whether we could see our families, with whom we were allowed to have sex, or what kinds of sports we were permitted to play, many of us are eager to regain the human dignity that comes with the exercise of our own free will. Others react differently.” – Mail on Sunday

Coronavirus 4) Revealed: ‘Independent Sage is run by Left-wing group including anti-Brexit activists’

“An “independent” group of scientists that regularly criticises the Government for not introducing tougher Covid-19 restrictions is being run by a body which boasted last week that it is “good at creating havoc” and was founded by an activist journalist accused of peddling conspiracy theories about Brexit, The Telegraph can disclose. The Citizens, founded by Carole Cadwalladr, describes itself as “founders and producers” of Independent Sage, a committee of academics that claims to “provide independent scientific advice”. The Citizens is also currently bringing legal action over ministers’ use of apps such as WhatsApp to communicate about official business, and claims to be gathering evidence of “the privatisation of the NHS”. Writing in the body’s newsletter, Ms Cadwalladr states that its “mission is impact journalism” and says that it has “been running a handful of experimental projects in stealth mode”, including Independent Sage.” – Sunday Telegraph

Coronavirus 5) Children will only be vaccinated if they are vulnerable as watchdog advises Government that more evidence is needed to jab under-18s

“British children will not be offered a Covid jab as part of a mass roll-out and only those who are listed as clinically vulnerable can expect to receive a jab, it has been revealed. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is reported to have advised ministers against providing a mass vaccine programme for children that had previously been mooted, the Sunday Telegraph reports. Experts are suggesting more data is needed on the impact of using vaccines on children before progressing with any firm recommendation. Instead, JCVI guidance will suggest those aged between 12 and 15 with serious health conditions and those who are just three months away from celebrating their 18th birthdays can be offered a Covid-19 shot.The UK regulator Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency had previously approved the Pfizer jab for use in 12 to 15-year-olds.” – Mail on Sunday

Johnson and Sunak clash over ‘health tax’

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are at loggerheads over plans for a health tax worth up to £10 billion a year to fund long-term reforms to social care and reduce NHS waiting lists. The chancellor is understood to oppose the introduction of a levy despite the prime minister and the health secretary, Sajid Javid, supporting the idea amid growing fears the NHS waiting list could rise from 5.3 million to 13 million. The chancellor feels he is being “bounced” into the plans by the prime minister and health secretary. Last week, Javid, who revealed yesterday that he has Covid, said he had been “shocked” by the growing number waiting for non-Covid NHS treatment. Johnson is understood to want to announce social care reforms before his second anniversary in office next weekend. A senior Whitehall source said: “It’s fair to say there are big differences of opinion and Rishi is not keen.”” – Sunday Times

Judges have become more restrained since ruling against prorogation of Parliament, says Buckland

“Judges have become more restrained since the backlash against the Supreme Court’s ruling against Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament, the Justice Secretary has said. In an article for The Telegraph, Robert Buckland described the legal cases surrounding the prorogation of Parliament in 2019 as “troubling” examples of “political controversies” entering courts. But writing ahead of the introduction of legislation to overhaul the system of judicial review, Mr Buckland said the best solution to perceived “judicial overreach” is not bringing in new laws but “judicial restraint.” “I believe we are now starting to see more of the latter in our most senior courts,” he added. Mr Buckland confirmed plans to allow judges to “suspend” quashing orders, in order to allow the Government  time to take corrective action before a court simply strikes down measures, such as sanctions against terrorists, which are deemed to be unlawful.” – Daily Telegraph

Employers face legal action for discriminating against middle-aged workers

“Britain’s equality watchdog is threatening legal action against companies that discriminate against middle-aged workers, warning that staff should not be “cast aside on scrap heaps” if they are unable to keep pace with new technology. In an interview with The Telegraph, Baroness of Margravine, the new chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), revealed that the watchdog will make age and race areas of “strategic focus”, as she admitted that the body had previously been seen to have “got lost in … rabbit holes that are quite esoteric”. “Since we cover the entire population, we want to now demonstrate that we are the equality body for everyone,” she said. A “great concern” about potential age discrimination was “middle aged people who are not able to upskill as readily as younger people do, in terms of the technological changes.”” – Sunday Telegraph

UK competition watchdog to gain new post-Brexit powers

“Britain’s competition watchdog is to be given new post-Brexit powers to levy huge fines on companies that rip off consumers, speed up antitrust cases and protect innovative small companies from predatory rivals. Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, will next week propose streamlined and strengthened powers for the Competition and Markets Authority, intended to drive innovation and growth. The reform comes two years after former CMA chair Lord Andrew Tyrie demanded an arsenal of measures to transform the watchdog into a consumer champion. Tyrie, who left the organisation last year following a boardroom coup, called for swifter enforcement against companies and directors, a new statutory consumer role and hefty fines. The government stopped short of granting the CMA a new statutory role to protect consumers in its draft rules but proposed beefed-up powers including heavy sanctions for corporate wrongdoing and direct fines.” – FT

Luntz: It’ll take more than levelling up to end Britain’s profound culture of alienation

“As a pollster, my job is to ask questions. And there is no question in the UK more important than this: how does a country and its people thrive when less than half of its population feels “invested” in it, and just a quarter feel it is invested in them? This was the most alarming finding from my recent survey on the language of politics, government, and business for the Centre for Policy Studies. If left unchecked, the antipathy it suggests towards Britain’s political and business leaders could easily intensify and turn into something uglier, angrier, and more destructive. That’s what has happened in the United States. I don’t want it to happen here. The disconnect and division in the UK is transforming into a sense of delegitimisation and dehumanisation. It isn’t about alienation anymore. It’s not a public temper tantrum. It is morphing into permanent rejection of society – and the consequences go far beyond populism, woke, and the so-called “culture wars.” It can destroy a country.” – Sunday Telegraph

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Farage announces he will front prime time show on GB News amid fury over presenter Guto Harri’s ‘woke’ gesture

“Nigel Farage has promised he will ‘not be taking the knee’ as he is set to head up a new prime time programme on GB News. The ex-UKIP leader, 57, will host ‘Farage’ at 7pm on the national news channel from Monday, July 19. Mr Farage called on the public to support his new venture as he revealed details of the one-hour show on social media. The move comes after presenter Guto Harri was suspended for taking the knee live on television in a move that angered many viewers. Mr Harri took the knee on Tuesday in solidarity with black England football stars after they suffered racist abuse in the aftermath of the team’s defeat on penalties in the Euro 2020 final. But it offended some viewers amid criticism that anyone who takes a knee – including police officers, sports stars and TV presenters – risks being seen to endorse some of the Left-wing ideas promoted by the Black Lives Matter organisation, as well as opposing racism.” – Mail on Sunday

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