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Coronavirus 1) Double jabs set to be needed to watch Premier League matches

“Premier League football fans who have not been fully vaccinated could be barred from attending matches from October under plans expected to be signed off by ministers, The Telegraph can disclose. The mandatory requirement is expected to extend to the autumn rugby internationals, major concerts, and spectator events of 20,000 or more as part of Boris Johnson’s efforts to turn Covid-19 into a “manageable menace”. A social media campaign aimed at boosting uptake among 18-30 year-olds will also be ramped up, linking vaccination to the ability to go on holiday, as three million of them are yet to receive a single dose. The NHS booster jab rollout will deliver 35 million doses to over-50s and the most vulnerable over 13 weeks from Sep 6 to save the country from another lockdown this winter.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Police, fire crews and Border Force staff can skip Covid isolation – Sun on Sunday
  • Johnson ‘will stand firm on lifting of restrictions’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Privacy tsar wants NHS Covid app ‘decommissioned’ as soon as the pandemic eases – Sunday Telegraph
  • Army on standby as 20 per cent of Britain’s food workers hit by ‘pingdemic’ – Sun on Sunday

>Today: Bella Wallersteiner in Comment: As a parliamentary staffer, I’m appalled by the double standards on who has to wear a mask

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Will Dido Harding have her Kate Bingham moment?

Coronavirus 2) Anger over Javid’s advice to not ‘cower’ from Covid

“Sajid Javid has provoked a wave of anger from families of the victims of Covid after he said people must no longer “cower” from the virus. The health secretary announced on Saturday that he had made a “full recovery” from Covid-19 after falling ill eight days ago, and said: “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.” Jo Goodman, the co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said Javid’s “comments are deeply insensitive on a number of levels”. Labour accused him of denigrating people who followed the rules to protect others, while the Lib Dems told him to apologise to those who have shielded because they are particularly vulnerable to the disease.” – The Observer

  • Sage adviser claims ministers trying to get as many as possible infected with Covid – The Observer
  • Covid infections halve in a week – Sunday Times
  • Government opening floodgates to Covid variants, MPs warn – The Observer

Comment:

  • Not one of my NHS colleagues believes the NHS as we know it can survive much longer – Rachel Clarke, Sunday Times

Coronavirus 3) Bill has soared to £372 billion, and it’ll take 20 years to pay off

“Action to tackle the pandemic has so far cost £12,277 for every taxpayer in Britain, a report reveals today. But the final bill is expected to be even higher — with the public having to fork out more huge sums for the next 20 years. Figures show the Government has splashed out £372billion on fighting Covid so far. That is twice the amount raised in income tax every year and almost every penny of it is borrowed. With England’s lockdown lifted, 40,000 music fans have packed the Latitude festival in Suffolk this weekend amid hopes of a return to normal. But worried MPs fear it will take decades to get the nation’s finances in tune again.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Cost of Covid will last for decades, say MPs – Sunday Times
  • Unpaid hospital bills from foreign ‘health tourists’ hit £40million in the last year – Sun on Sunday

Cabinet in revolt over national insurance hike…

“Boris Johnson is facing a cabinet revolt on two fronts as opposition grows to his plan to overhaul social care by increasing national insurance contributions while maintaining the triple lock on pensions. Five cabinet ministers have said that they oppose the proposed rise, which would hit young workers while at the same time delivering a bumper rise in the state pension next year. National insurance is not charged once state pension age is reached. The triple lock guarantee is set to push up pensions by about 8 per cent, costing taxpayers between £3 billion and £4 billion, because wages have bounced back sharply from the Covid recession. Under the triple lock, the basic state pension increases by earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent each year, whichever is the highest.” – Sunday Times

  • Pensions triple lock could be suspended amid concern over fairness to young – Sunday Telegraph
  • Johnson wants to mimic Tony Blair’s project, say No 10 sources – The Observer

Comment:

  • The Tories need to start sending the good stuff our way if they want young votes – Charlotte Ivers, Sunday Times

…and ‘at war’ over France fiasco…

“Health Secretary Sajid Javid was last night accused of ‘frightening’ Boris Johnson into making his ill-fated decision to move France into the Amber-plus travel category. Insiders say the decision – which has thrown the plans of thousands of holidaymakers into chaos by requiring them to quarantine for up to ten days even if they are double vaccinated against coronavirus – was taken at a meeting on July 16 attended by Mr Javid, Mr Johnson and senior scientific advisers, but not Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. A source claimed Mr Javid had overreacted to claims that the AstraZeneca vaccine might not work against the South African – or Beta – variant, which is responsible for about ten per cent of Covid-19 cases in France, although many are in its Indian Ocean territories of Reunion and Mayotte.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Johnson and Raab ‘risk losing seats at election over Covid travel chaos’ – Sunday Telegraph

…as Sunak baulks at the £1.4trillion cost of net zero

“Proposals to reduce emissions to ‘net zero’ as part of Boris Johnson’s plan to make the UK a ‘world leader’ in green policies have been thrown into disarray after Rishi Sunak raised objections to the eye-watering cost to the Treasury. As part of the net zero plan –which would decarbonise the economy by 2050 – No 10 had been expected to publish in the spring details of the strategy for moving away from gas boilers ahead of Glasgow’s COP26 climate change conference in November. But this has been delayed until the autumn amid mounting alarm about the bill. The Chancellor – who is already looking for ways to pay back the £400 billion cost of the Covid crisis and the £10 billion a year required to reform long-term care for the elderly – is understood to have baulked at estimates of hitting net zero at more than £1.4 trillion.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Prime Minister launches search to find Britain’s top eco-warriors – Sun on Sunday
  • Animal testing could end as Patel launches review – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Snap guide to this session’s Government legislation 6) Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill

Robert Colvile: All this sound and fury before summer recess betrays a disturbing faith in big government

“But what does this blizzard of announcements tell us about the government? What can we learn by studying not what it is saying but what it is actually doing? Perhaps the most obvious point is the sheer scale of its ambition. Despite the demands of the pandemic, the government is still advancing — or at least attempting to — on all manner of fronts. That said, the pandemic has obviously made it hard to focus on other matters. Even those in No 10 accept that Boris Johnson’s big speech on levelling-up two weeks ago was strikingly light on detail, given how long he has been talking about it and how central it is to his agenda. There is, invariably, a strong streak of nannying and intervention in many of the government’s proposals. Yet there is also a welcome attachment to deregulation.” – Sunday Times

  • Who’s to blame for the chaos in No 10? Well, it’s not Dom, Rishi or Carrie… – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday: Pamela Hall in Comment: Why I’m seeking election as Chairman of the National Conservative Convention

Government disability strategy risks becoming a ‘car crash’, says Tory peer

“The launch of the government’s long-awaited disability strategy risks becoming a car crash if ministers do not do more to listen to the views of people with disabilities before releasing it, a Conservative peer has said. Lord Shinkwin warned the prime minister that releasing a report that is roundly rejected by people with disabilities would greatly undermine his levelling-up agenda, after campaigners complained bitterly that the consultation process that informed it was seriously flawed. “It gives me no pleasure to say that if the strategy is launched next week, the government will be looking at another car crash that will make the launch of the recent ethnicity and racial disparity commission report look like a PR triumph,” he said. Shinkwin, chair of the Centre for Social Justice’s disability commission, said that while he did not feel the Tory minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, should lose his job, he did feel he should hand over more control for drawing up the strategy to people with disabilities.” – The Observer

  • Clarke rejected infected blood scandal advice – Sunday Times

Johnson talked out of triggering ‘nuclear option’ over Northern Ireland Brexit stalemate

“Boris Johnson was ready to overhaul the Northern Ireland Protocol this week but was talked down by his Brexit minister Lord Frost, The Telegraph has learnt. With the UK now demanding a renegotiation of the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland, The Telegraph has been told Mr Johnson is now convinced of the need to use the so-called “nuclear option” if Brussels refuses. It is understood that the warning was issued to Dublin this week, with UK officials making clear that it is Mr Johnson, rather than Lord Frost, who is most in favour of triggering Article 16 should the EU fail to change course. Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, is also known to have relayed similar messages to Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, during recent discussions over post-Brexit arrangements in the province.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Britain wants a ‘standstill’ period in the protocol so it can be renegotiated – Mail on Sunday
  • NI deal scuppers hopes for Theresa May to become Nato’s secretary general – Sunday Express

Comment:

  • Do not try to modify the Northern Ireland Protocol, just scrap it cleanly – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

‘Facebook-hating’ New Zealander in line to be Britain’s privacy tsar

“The government’s preferred choice as the next information commissioner is a vocal critic of social media and once called Facebook “morally bankrupt pathological liars”. John Edwards, a lawyer from New Zealand who is that country’s privacy commissioner, is favourite to be the new head of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The office protects Britons’ digital and privacy rights and has the power to levy huge fines against companies that fail to protect customer data. Edwards has often attacked social media companies and even deleted his Facebook account after claiming it had breached privacy laws in his country. An independent panel selected Edwards as the preferred candidate and he was then recommended for the role by Oliver Dowden, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS). The appointment is awaiting Boris Johnson’s approval.” – Sunday Times

  •  Bombshell raids to find Hancock whistleblower blasted as ‘chilling’ for press freedom by minister – Sun on Sunday

Starmer appoints adviser from Blair years as his chief of staff

“Keir Starmer has appointed an adviser from the Blair and Brown years as his chief of staff in the final step of a reshuffle of the Labour leader’s top team after the party’s byelection losses. Sam White, who was a special adviser to Alistair Darling when he was chancellor, will run the leader of the opposition’s office from September. He will replace Morgan McSweeney, who was named Labour elections director. White, 46, was the longest-serving adviser to Darling while he was chancellor under former prime minister Gordon Brown, and also worked for him when he held cabinet positions under Tony Blair. In his new role, McSweeney will work with campaign coordinator Shabana Mahmood.” – The Observer