It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to reveal his new three tier strategy, with areas across England rated as medium, high or very high risk. Merseyside is set to face strict Level 3 restrictions – but leaders in the North are revolting over pub closures and lack of financial support.
Meanwhile, MPs are angry at the government’s decision to use an obscure rule to deny Parliament a crucial vote to block imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef after Brexit.
Adam Forrest12 October 2020 10:00
Keir Starmer slams the £ 3,000 pay rise for MPs
Labor leader Keir Starmer is not happy that MPs are getting a pay raise of more than £ 3,300. “We shouldn’t have it,” he told LBC. “This year of all years, I think people would say this is money that should be spent on key workers.”
Starmer stressed that MPs no longer had the power to vote against salary increases now set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). “I think we need to have a cross-party discussion because I suspect there are a lot of MPs who think it’s not fair.
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 9:59 AM
It’s a big day for Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister is holding an emergency Cobra meeting this morning to approve major changes in how the coronavirus brakes are to be imposed from now on.
3:30 p.m.: The Prime Minister will make a statement in the House of Commons announcing the new system of local restrictions – and how medium, high and very high risk status will be given to different parties in England.
18h: Boris Johnson will be giving another of his televised press conferences alongside Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty. MPs will not have a chance to vote on the new measures until Tuesday, and they are then expected to show up on Wednesday.
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 9:42 AM
Manchester want pubs to stay open, Liverpool want support for pub closures
Manchester City Council chief Sir Richard Leese said local officials were still in discussions with the government on the restrictions to be applied. He said they argued that the area should be placed at Level 2 rather than the more stringent Level 3 – which could mean the closure of pubs and bars.
“They could not show us any data linking bars and pubs in Greater Manchester to the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. They have not been able to provide any proof that their closure will work, ”he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
Liverpool City area metro mayor Steve Rotheram seems to have accepted his neighborhood will moved to level 3 – but said his priority was to secure a support package for affected businesses.
“We were told we were going to level 3, no ifs, no buts. We can either spend energy on it or try to get a better deal, ”he said.
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 9:35 AM
Coronavirus crisis deepens inequalities, say business leaders
The pandemic is widening existing socio-economic inequalities across the UK, business leaders have warned in a new report.
Residents of poorer neighborhoods not only run a higher risk of dying, but also suffer more from unemployment and worsening mental health, according to a study by the Covid Recovery Commission (set up by the bosses of large companies such as Vodafone, Heathrow and Shell UK).
There were on average 21 additional deaths linked to Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the 20% of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods compared to the least disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 9:27 AM
Obscure rule used to deny MPs importation of chlorinated chicken
An obscure rule must be used by the government to deny MPs a crucial vote to block imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef – sparking new fears about the quality of food after Brexit.
Ministers face fierce criticism of their tactics, amid suspicions that future trade deals, especially with the United States, will water down standards.
The decision to block debate on a key amendment has been condemned as “unbelievable” by Lord Curry, the peer who introduced it to the Lords.
And Neil Parish, the Conservative Chairman of the Commons Environment Committee, said The independent: “The House of Commons is wrongly denied its say on a technical detail. The government should allow a vote. These are really important questions for the future of food and agriculture. “
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 9:15 AM
Ministers ‘have not produced evidence’ of pub closures, say Labor
Labor’s shadow secretary has called on the government to release evidence to prove that hospitality settings are high-risk environments for coronavirus transmission.
“The government and scientists have still not produced this evidence,” Lucy Powell, also MP for Manchester Central.
“The big problem for them is that local leaders all have the same data (in fact, better data for their region) and they know that host facilities account for a very small proportion of the transmission of the infection. . “
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 9:02 AM
Minister “pushes for the rule of 12 at Christmas”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma is reportedly the government’s main spokesperson for a new “rule of 12” at Christmas to allow families to meet more of their loved ones.
Several colleagues in Sharma’s cabinet support the idea of doubling the size of permitted gatherings during the period to give people “something to look forward to,” according to multiple reports.
MPs have already approved the rule of six, but Conservative MPs are increasingly worried about the 10pm bar curfew. There is a showdown vote on the 10pm rule on Tuesday, but it looks like it could be overshadowed by the new rules announced by Boris Johnson today.
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 8:57 AM
New curbs may be needed until 2021, suggests minister
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said tough new coronavirus restrictions may be needed until after Christmas.
Speaking of the new Level 3 measures which are expected to enter parts of northern England, Dowden told Sky News: “If these measures are successful, we hope to be able to move out of areas of these high levels of restrictions.
“The point of doing this is to make sure that we get the virus under control, so that by the time we get out of it after Christmas, we will be in that position where it is under control. Indeed, I hope it will be sooner than that.
Dowden has made it clear that the government will resist any legal challenges to shutting down pubs and restaurants under the new coronavirus control, after Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham raised the prospect of legal action for the closing of pubs.
“I think they will find that if they challenge the government we have strong evidence to do so,” said Dowden.
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 8:51 AM
France threatens Brexit without agreement on fishing rights
Diplomats across Europe are bracing for Hell Week – as Brexit rhetoric intensifies ahead of the EU Council summit which begins on October 15.
Boris Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron this weekend that the UK wanted to “explore all avenues” to secure a trade deal. Which suggests that the prime minister’s self-imposed mid-October deadline comes and goes without much fuss.
But France seems to be playing hard on fishing rights. Annick Girardin, the country’s fisheries minister, spoke of a no-deal outcome – ringing every inch of the Brexiteer: “Fishermen would rather not have a deal than a bad deal,” she said.
“We have drawn red lines: access to fishing grounds, quotas and the species we fish today. Europeans must preserve their resources and their access. “
Adam ForrestOctober 12, 2020 8:43 AM