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Getting divorced gave me PTSD and like many women, the cause was the same… the death of a marriage

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getting divorced gave me ptsd and like many women the cause was the same the death of a marriage

When her test results came back, the soaring levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol in Sarah Thompson’s body were those of someone returning from a warzone with post-traumatic stress disorder. No exaggeration.

As well as having five times the healthy amount of cortisol coursing through her, other symptoms included a suspected stomach ulcer (for which she’s still awaiting exploratory tests), swelling in her arm, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, lethargy and weight gain.

So had Sarah’s body been catapulted into trauma mode as a result of having witnessed some horrific atrocity, or through losing a loved one? No, what had affected her so profoundly was experiencing something that affects, at some point, almost half of married people in the UK: divorce.

As marital breakdown becomes all too common, TV presenter and former model Kirsty Gallacher, 44, recently highlighted the serious psychological consequences for many when she admitted to showing signs of PTSD after her own marriage to retired rugby star Paul Sampson ended in 2015. 

‘I was grieving and mourning,’ said a reflective Kirsty this summer. ‘I think I had post-traumatic stress disorder. I was skinny, not eating and wanting to black it all out. It was painful.’

Her grief was compounded by being ‘saddened’ for the two sons she shares with Paul — all sentiments to which Sarah, from Telford, Shropshire, like many divorcing parents, can relate.

‘When the consultant told me I had classic signs of PTSD, it didn’t come as a shock,’ says Sarah, 53. ‘The last two years since our marriage fell apart have been horrifically challenging. I’d already been through seven rounds of IVF and two pregnancy losses, including an ectopic, but the trauma of divorce has taken an even greater toll.’

Devastated: For Sarah Thompson from Telford, Shropshire, it was money worries amidst her divorce in particular that caused her so much stress. She has suffered trauma and anxiety following her divorce

Devastated: For Sarah Thompson from Telford, Shropshire, it was money worries amidst her divorce in particular that caused her so much stress. She has suffered trauma and anxiety following her divorce

Devastated: For Sarah Thompson from Telford, Shropshire, it was money worries amidst her divorce in particular that caused her so much stress. She has suffered trauma and anxiety following her divorce

For Sarah, it was money worries in particular that caused her so much stress. ‘We have ten-year-old twins and my solicitor told me that, to have a chance of us being able to stay in our family home, I had to be able to prove I could afford it. This meant getting a well-paid, full-time job — immediately.

Having worked full-time for 24 years before the children came along, Sarah had switched to part-time, running her own PR firm, in order to be able to do school pick-ups and be around more for the twins.

Although she was relieved to secure a full-time public relations job, working for a local chamber of commerce, it meant that she had little choice but to rely on her parents — who are in their 80s and live a 40-minute drive away in Birmingham — to collect the twins from school.

‘The stress has been unbelievable,’ says Sarah. ‘Juggling work, which I desperately need to keep a roof over my children’s head, with meeting all their daily care needs at the same time as negotiating a divorce settlement is enough to push anyone to their limits.

‘But what really sent me over the edge was when I got a letter from my ex’s solicitor saying he wanted shared care of the children, and that would mean he’d get half of the equity from the house and I wouldn’t get any maintenance.

‘I felt in a perpetual state of terror. It didn’t matter how much I slept, I felt exhausted and looked haggard.’

‘I’m envious of anyone who can divorce amicably, without the need for lawyers, but I also have this terrifying thought hanging over me that, if we can’t resolve our differences and this has to go to court, it will cost thousands in legal fees.

‘My head is never clear, I wake in the night gripped with anxiety about the future, terrified by the prospect that I’ll have to work until I’m 80 to survive.’

Sarah first consulted her GP last October, a year into divorce proceedings, after her left arm swelled up. Aware of how stressed she was, she feared it may signify heart problems, but no issues were detected there.

When no cause was found and the doctor had listened to her account of how stressed she was feeling, he suggested anti-depressants, which Sarah declined, worried about side-effects.

As she was also showing signs she may have a stomach ulcer, the GP referred her to a gastroenterologist but, due to the pandemic, she is still awaiting a referral for an endoscopy.

A colleague suggested her issues may be the result of the menopause, so Sarah made an appointment at a private clinic to have her hormone levels tested.

There, her cortisol levels were measured, which involved her providing saliva samples at various points throughout the day, from waking first thing to going to bed at night.

‘The consultant emailed me the results which she said clearly showed that my stress and, consequently, my cortisol levels were through the roof, causing extreme adrenal fatigue,’ says Sarah.

‘I also had an exaggerated cortisol awakening response (CAR), which means I even wake in the morning with very high levels — anticipating stress —which is not a healthy start to anyone’s day.

‘It’s as if my body has been telling me: “I can’t do this any more”, and propelled me into post-traumatic stress mode.

‘The consultant said: “There’s nothing I can give you pill-wise that will help that — it has to be lifestyle changes. I know it’s easy for me to say, and harder to do, but that means less stress.” ’

Given the long-term potential damage from persistently raised cortisol levels — heart disease, type 2 diabetes, memory and concentration impairment, depression and digestive problems, to name a few — Sarah knew that she had to find ways to help her cope with the pressure she feels under.

Her marriage to her ex-partner, who is 16 years her senior, had been on the rocks for years. She asked him to leave shortly after their children were born, but later took him back, convinced that the children would have a happier home life with both their parents under the same roof.

However, she says, the marriage never really recovered and, as her ex, a consultant in the tyre industry, worked away, often abroad, much of the time she decided, as her 50th birthday approached, she would be happier alone.

Sarah filed for divorce on the grounds of her ex’s unreasonable behaviour and, while the decree nisi is through, the decree absolute has been delayed by lockdown and their struggle to reach agreement over the terms.

The whole process is being prolonged by the pandemic, which has delayed court proceedings, though Sarah feels relieved that her job was not affected and she has been able to continue working from home.

She has been managing her stress levels with the help of alternative remedies, including reflexology and supplements, which are having limited effects.

TV presenter and former model Kirsty Gallacher, 44, recently highlighted the serious psychological consequences for many when she admitted to showing signs of PTSD after her own marriage to retired rugby star Paul Sampson ended in 2015

TV presenter and former model Kirsty Gallacher, 44, recently highlighted the serious psychological consequences for many when she admitted to showing signs of PTSD after her own marriage to retired rugby star Paul Sampson ended in 2015

TV presenter and former model Kirsty Gallacher, 44, recently highlighted the serious psychological consequences for many when she admitted to showing signs of PTSD after her own marriage to retired rugby star Paul Sampson ended in 2015

And although she feels there’s no going back with her marriage, she admits her experience has totally changed her perspective of divorce — which, she says, should be avoided if at all possible.

The psychological and physical devastation that Sarah has experienced is all too familiar to lawyers at Hall Brown Family Law firm, who say mental health problems are a complication of even the most amicable divorces.

Although there are no statistics showing what proportion of the 100,000 couples who divorce each year go on to develop PTSD and other psychological illnesses, the firm’s Katie Welton-Dillon believes it is a significant number.

‘It’s now a feature of a considerable number of cases and involves a wide range of difficulties from anxiety and stress right through to suicide,’ says Ms Welton-Dillon.

‘Tragically one of our clients took her own life back in January while another is in a vegetative state following a suicide attempt.

‘Counselling is something we already suggest to every single client, because we feel that going through a divorce with a lawyer alone is like having an operation with only a surgeon in the operating theatre.

‘We do what we can, but it’s my firm belief that individuals need a broader support network of family, friends and counsellors, sometimes even psychiatrists, to help them manage.’

For Helen McCusker, the stress became so bad that she has been signed off sick from work by her GP since December 2018, five months after separating from her husband.

The 37-year-old book publicist has suffered insomnia, headaches, nausea, stomach pains and brain fog.

For Helen McCusker, the stress became so bad that she has been signed off sick from work by her GP since December 2018, five months after separating from her husband

For Helen McCusker, the stress became so bad that she has been signed off sick from work by her GP since December 2018, five months after separating from her husband

For Helen McCusker, the stress became so bad that she has been signed off sick from work by her GP since December 2018, five months after separating from her husband

‘My body was in almost constant fight-or-flight mode, firing out stress hormones, she says. ‘My palms would sweat, my heart would beat fast and I’d feel like I was going to faint.

‘I’d also have the most horrendous nightmares, about my daughter being taken from me, or me being tried for something in court, and wake gripped with such dread and fear I couldn’t get back to sleep.

‘My GP said she sees people in similar situations suffering like this a lot. Hardly surprising when, as in my case, it’s being left to a stranger to decide where your child will live and how often you’ll get to see them.’

Although offered medication by her GP, she declined because she didn’t want to become dependent.

Helen says her marriage had been in difficulties for a couple of years before her ex left in the summer of 2018.

They disagreed over most things, including how to raise their daughter, now six, so, in some ways, it was a relief, at the start, to be living apart.

However, disagreements over how to split their assets — primarily a rental property Helen bought before they got together — resulted in numerous court hearings. Helen, from Havant, Hampshire, initially borrowed £15,000 from her family to hire a barrister but, now reliant on Universal Credit and unable to meet rising costs, she has self-represented at most hearings.

‘That means I get all the bundles of documents landing with a thud on my doormat, so there’s no escape,’ says Helen. ‘Court mornings make me feel physically sick and I’ve lost a lot of weight.

‘This whole process has also led me to campaign for the introduction of a pre-nuptial law in the UK, designed to protect family assets.

‘The current legal system only fuels hostility and puts families in huge amounts of debt. I know people who have been going through divorce court proceedings for ten years. I can’t think of anything worse.

‘After all, we are two people who made vows to stay together but who are now fighting one another.’

This is one of the reasons that divorce can take such a terrible toll, according to Tam Johnston, a therapist specialising in anxiety and trauma, who also worked as a nurse for 18 years, reaching matron level:

‘Separating couples go through a mourning process,’ she says. ‘There’s a sense of loss for what they were hoping to get from that relationship as well as fear for the future — if they don’t meet anyone else, they may never again experience some of the positives.

‘Also, suddenly, they are having to redefine themselves as a single person, rather than as part of a couple.’

Kirstine Welch, 45, knows all about that, admitting to having felt suicidal on more than one occasion since her divorce three years ago.

For Kirstine Welch (pictured), her separation meant she had to go back into the workplace where she luckily found a job, doing telesales and admin, for a photographic company

For Kirstine Welch (pictured), her separation meant she had to go back into the workplace where she luckily found a job, doing telesales and admin, for a photographic company

For Kirstine Welch (pictured), her separation meant she had to go back into the workplace where she luckily found a job, doing telesales and admin, for a photographic company

Her husband of 14 years left Kirstine and their two children, now aged 12 and 16, in 2016.

He now lives overseas, where he has remarried, a fact Kirstine still struggles to come to terms with.

‘There have been times when I’ve felt so low I haven’t wanted to carry on. However, my father took his own life when I was 18 and I would never want to do that to my children,’ says Kirstine from Manningtree in Essex.

‘I started taking anti-depressants and was referred for counselling soon after he left, as I was struggling to be the mum who did the school run and paid the bills and kept a roof over everyone’s head.

‘I couldn’t sleep for worrying. As the sole adult in the house with two dependent children, I felt I needed to be on alert 24 hours a day, which put a huge strain on my body.

‘I weaned myself off the medication after two years because I didn’t want to get hooked. But there were times during lockdown, with the added pressures of home-schooling, when I thought seriously about asking my doctor for a new prescription.’

Kirstine’s ex earned a good wage as an engineer, so she had been a stay-at-home mum ever since their children were born.

The separation meant she had to go back into the workplace where she luckily found a job, doing telesales and admin, for a photographic company.

Her ex contributes financially, but the pressure to ensure the mortgage and bills are paid falls entirely to her.

‘Four years down the line I still feel traumatised,’ says Kirstine. ‘‘Friends will say “Why are you still hung up on him, it’s been four years?”

‘But they don’t know how it feels to look in the mirror and see her, the younger woman he’s with now, and question, “Why not me?”

‘I’m left with huge insecurities. For therapy now I walk six or seven miles every other day, which helps keep me sane so I can be the mum I need to be for my kids.’

Her message to other mothers, like Sarah Thompson, still at the coalface, thrashing out the terms of their divorce, is simple: ‘If you don’t prioritise your own mental and physical health, the whole family suffers. So put your own oxygen mask on first.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus: London’s R rate is worst in England and could be as high as 3, Government study claims

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coronavirus londons r rate is worst in england and could be as high as 3 government study claims

Coronavirus is spreading fastest in London, according to a study that claims the R rate in the capital is almost as high as three and infections are doubling every three days.

Researchers at Imperial College London, who today estimated a staggering 100,000 people are catching Covid-19 every day across the country, warned the city has a ‘scary’ rate of spread. For comparison, the experts claimed the national R rate is around 1.6 and cases are doubling every nine days. 

They predicted the R rate — the average number of people each carrier infects — is higher than two in London, the South East, East and South West, which have mostly escaped any tough local lockdowns.

And of the entire south of England, London has the highest prevalence of coronavirus at 0.89 per cent, suggesting more than 80,000 of the city’s nine million residents were infected at any given moment.

Academics claimed the R rate in London may be 2.86, meaning those 80,000 people carrying the virus at the time of the study could be expected to infect another 229,000. The possible range of the rate — which must stay below if an outbreak is to shrink — is between 1.47 and 4.87, they estimated. 

The entire city is in a Tier Two local lockdown, meaning people are banned from meeting indoors with anyone they don’t live with, except at work. Infection rates vary across the 32 different boroughs – from 223 positive tests per 100,000 people in Ealing over the most recent week, to 103 per 100,000 in Lewisham.

Scientists behind Imperial’s study, funded by the government, came out in favour of a national lockdown, which has now been adopted in France for a second time, and said the results show that current social distancing rules aren’t doing enough; Britain, they said, should ‘think about changing the approach’.

34963920 8892207 Among the worst affected areas in the capital are Hammersmith an a 1 1603964398787

34963920 8892207 Among the worst affected areas in the capital are Hammersmith an a 1 1603964398787

The study found that the virus' reproduction 'R' rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - was 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. The R is thought to be hovering between 1 and 1.5 in the north and greater than two in the South East and South West. In London it's estimated to be nearly three

The study found that the virus' reproduction 'R' rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - was 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. The R is thought to be hovering between 1 and 1.5 in the north and greater than two in the South East and South West. In London it's estimated to be nearly three

The study found that the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – was 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. The R is thought to be hovering between 1 and 1.5 in the north and greater than two in the South East and South West. In London it’s estimated to be nearly three

Scientists say the coronavirus spreading faster in London than anywhere else in England. The capital currently has Tier Two lockdown rules which ban people from socialising indoors

Scientists say the coronavirus spreading faster in London than anywhere else in England. The capital currently has Tier Two lockdown rules which ban people from socialising indoors

Scientists say the coronavirus spreading faster in London than anywhere else in England. The capital currently has Tier Two lockdown rules which ban people from socialising indoors

HOW DO R RATES DIFFER ACROSS ENGLAND? 

The REACT study by Imperial College London estimates England’s regional R rates between October 15 and 26 to be as follows: 

Region  

South East

North East

North West

Yorkshire & Hbr.

East Midlands

West Midlands

East of England

London

South West

R rate

2.34

0.57

1.21

1.54

1.4

1.81

2.18

2.86

2.06 

Doubling time

4.3 days

-8.8 days, halving

22.6 days

9.2 days

12.1 days

6.5 days

4.7 days

3.3 days

5.2 days 

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‘I think what our study shows is there would be genuine benefits to some kind of national policy,’ Professor Steven Riley, an infectious diseases expert at Imperial College told Radio 4’s Today this morning.

‘We could prevent the pattern in the South turning into the current pattern in the North and bring about a reversal in the North as quickly as possible.

‘If we’re going to end up using those restrictions that have been brought in elsewhere in Europe today and yesterday… we should think about timing. And sooner is better than later for these.

‘There has to be a change. The rate of growth that we’re seeing in these data is really quite rapid, so one way or another there has to be a change before Christmas.

‘We’ve fairly reliably measured a slight decrease in R in our interim round five [the last part of the study]; now we have measured a slight increase in R, and the slight increase in R means that current measures are not sufficient.’

The research was based on 85,971 swab tests done across England between October 15 and 26, of which 863 were positive. Using this information the researchers calculated around 1.28 per cent of the population is infected.

Rates of positive tests in London show some boroughs have comparable numbers of infections per person than the national average – 230 positive tests per 100,000 people in the week ending October 23 – while others have fewer than half as many.

Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kingston upon Thames, all in the west of the city, have rates higher than 200 cases per 100,000 – but none have as many as England as a whole.

Croydon, Greenwich and Lewisham, in the south and east of the city, have fewer than half as many cases as the national average, however, with a per-person rate lower than 115 per 100,000. 

The city was lumped under the same rules because, Mayor Sadiq Khan said, the population moves around so much that it would be too difficult to try and separate them. 

Higher R rates were found across the southern regions of England, which have not faced as many local lockdowns as the Midlands and the North.

London and parts of Essex are in Tier Two restrictions but the majority of the East, South West and South East face only national social distancing rules and are allowed to socialise in groups of six.   

Meanwhile, the R rates are lowest in the North West and North East, which have strict rules because their outbreaks are the worst in the country.

The North East, which includes Newcastle and Middlesbrough, is the only place in the country where the outbreak is shrinking, with an estimated R of 0.57.

In a bid to control the virus in London, which was struck by disaster in the first wave of the epidemic in the spring, the Metropolitan Police has said it is sending out extra patrols to enforce social distancing laws.

The Met has sent extra officers to the badly-hit boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham and Hackney to conduct extra patrols in the worst-affected areas in the capital to help clamp down on breaches of regulations.

The study also found prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 per cent, up from 0.84 per cent the week before. This was followed by the North West at 2.27 per cent, up from 1.21 per cent. Prevalence was lowest in East of England at 0.55 per cent, up from 0.29 per cent

The study also found prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 per cent, up from 0.84 per cent the week before. This was followed by the North West at 2.27 per cent, up from 1.21 per cent. Prevalence was lowest in East of England at 0.55 per cent, up from 0.29 per cent

The study also found prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 per cent, up from 0.84 per cent the week before. This was followed by the North West at 2.27 per cent, up from 1.21 per cent. Prevalence was lowest in East of England at 0.55 per cent, up from 0.29 per cent

The REACT-1 study - commissioned by the Department of Health - has been swabbing tens of thousands of people since summer. The latest findings from the most recent phase (round six, in dark blue) show increases in transmission in every region of England

The REACT-1 study - commissioned by the Department of Health - has been swabbing tens of thousands of people since summer. The latest findings from the most recent phase (round six, in dark blue) show increases in transmission in every region of England

The REACT-1 study – commissioned by the Department of Health – has been swabbing tens of thousands of people since summer. The latest findings from the most recent phase (round six, in dark blue) show increases in transmission in every region of England

It comes as data released by the National Police Chief’s Council today revealed around two-thirds of coronavirus fines have been handed to those under the age of 35. 

Under the new clampdown, officers will target those making the most ‘deliberate, dangerous or flagrant of breaches’ and who risk putting others lives in danger. 

Also among the worst-affected areas in the capital are Ealing, Kingston Upon Thames, Redbridge, Hounslow, Hillingdon and Tower Hamlets. 

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, the Met’s lead for Covid-19 response, said: ‘This approach does not mean that other areas of London will see a reduction in existing patrols to clamp down on rule breaking. 

‘However, in those areas of London where the transmission rate is at its highest, we will be doing our part to help shut down reckless breaches of the regulations.

‘I know the vast majority of Londoners are sticking to the rules which are designed to keep everyone in our communities safe. But, there is a small minority who have a disregard for the health of our communities and it is those individuals who we will be targeting with these new patrols.

‘We have been, and continue to listen to our communities and explain to them our policing approach, and have been regularly reviewing our deployment plan according to the latest infection rates by PHE.

‘This remains under constant assessment and where we see an increase in reported cases we adapt our response to reflect that.

‘Extra patrols have, this week, been deployed to Hammersmith and Fulham and Hackney, and we will continue to monitor the reported cases to ensure we are doing all we can, working with our communities, to tackle the further spread of this disease.

‘We are now approaching the Halloween weekend; another significant date in the annual calendar for celebrating, which is going to be different this year with parties unable to go ahead as normal.

‘As much as the restrictions may seem disheartening, we want to remind people that they are in place for an important reason, to keep everyone safe.’ 

The REACT-1 study that produced the worrying statistics about London also estimated there were around 96,000 people getting infected every day in England by October 25.

The experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were slightly more than 100,000 daily cases in spring, which led to over 40,000 deaths in the first wave. 

The study warned infections are doubling every nine days, suggesting there could be 200,000 daily cases by the first week of November. 

Imperial researchers said it was possible that the recent wet and dreary weather had played a role in the surge in infections, by driving people indoors where the virus spreads more quickly. But they warned it was more likely a small dip in adherence to social distancing rules across the board had opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread more rapidly.

Imperial’s best guess is that 1.3 per cent of everyone living in England was carrying the disease by October 25, the equivalent of one in 75, or 730,000 people. Covid-19 prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7 per cent) and the North West (2.3 per cent).

The study, which will likely be used to pile more pressure on No10 to impose a national lockdown, also estimated the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate was around 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the reproduction rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

It comes after another 310 Covid-19 victims were recorded last night and 367 the day before, in the highest daily toll since the end of May. But the 26,688 infections reported yesterday was actually the first week-on-week fall in a month — though the central testing programme is missing asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus, which make up the vast majority of infections.

Researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) – more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Robert Jenrick resists SAGE calls for another national lockdown

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robert jenrick resists sage calls for another national lockdown

Robert Jenrick today resisted calls from the Government’s scientific experts for another national lockdown as he said ‘you can’t have a stop-start country’. 

The Housing Secretary said it is the Government’s ‘very firm view’ that a nationwide ‘circuit breaker’ shutdown is not the right way forward as he insisted ministers intend to stick to their localised tiered approach. 

However, he conceded the ‘virus is in a bad place in all parts of the country’ and admitted many people are now feeling ‘fatigued’ and ‘frustrated’. 

He said the nation needs to ‘see the seriousness of the present situation’ and ‘redouble our efforts’ to comply with coronavirus rules in order to slow the spread of infection. 

His comments came after the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) piled fresh pressure on Boris Johnson to impose tougher restrictions after it warned up to 85,000 people could die in a second wave of the disease. 

Leaked SAGE projections suggest that under a ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ daily deaths could remain above 500 for three months or more, potentially lasting into March next year. 

Pressure on the Government’s approach has further increased after both Germany and France announced their own new lockdowns.  

Boris Johnson is under growing pressure from Government scientific advisers to impose a second national lockdown but MPs and business chiefs are urging him to resist the calls

Boris Johnson is under growing pressure from Government scientific advisers to impose a second national lockdown but MPs and business chiefs are urging him to resist the calls

Boris Johnson is under growing pressure from Government scientific advisers to impose a second national lockdown but MPs and business chiefs are urging him to resist the calls

34941544 8892275 image a 10 1603964551742

34941544 8892275 image a 10 1603964551742

France and Germany announce new nationwide lockdowns after spike in infections

French President Emmanuel Macron last night announced a new nationwide lockdown, claiming that 400,000 people will die of coronavirus if the country does nothing to control a second wave that will be ‘more deadly than the first’.

The national measures will take effect from Friday morning until December 1 and are considered to be ‘more flexible’ than the country’s first lockdown, with all public services, schools and essential workplaces to remain open.

But people on the streets will still have to carry documents justifying their reason for leaving home – that will be subject to police checks – and bars and restaurants will close. State-approved reasons for leaving home include buying essential goods, seeking medical attention or taking a daily one-hour allocation of exercise.

Mr Macron called the new restrictions ‘heartbreaking’ but said he ‘could never stand by and see hundreds of thousands of French citizens die.’ 

He told the country: ‘I decided that it was necessary to insist on a lockdown throughout the country from Friday. We’ve already reached 58 per cent capacity in IC units. In numerous places we have seen life saving operations delayed. And 9,000 patients will be in ICU by mid November – that’s our maximum capacity in France.’

The measures will be in place until at least December 1, when they will be reviewed. Mr Macron says that non-essential shops would be allowed to open within the next 15 days if the situation improves. Currently France’s daily infection rates stand above 35,000 – which must fall to 5,000 for this to happen. 

Mr Macron said: ‘The virus is spreading across France at a speed that even the most pessimistic did not predict.

‘As elsewhere in Europe, we are overwhelmed by a second wave that will probably be more difficult and deadly than the first.

‘If we did nothing… within a few months we would have at least 400,000 additional deaths,’ he said. 

France announced 36,437 new infections on Wednesday night, taking the total above 1.2million, while another 244 deaths brought the total to 35,785.   

It came after Angela Merkel plunged neighbouring Germany back into ‘lockdown lite’, ordering all bars and restaurants to close across the country starting on Monday. 

The chancellor said it was necessary ‘to act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency’.  

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Business chiefs and MPs have pleaded with the UK Government not to follow suit as they warned of the devastating impact it would have on the struggling economy. 

Mr Jenrick told Sky News that the Government is resisting a second national lockdown as he argued local lockdowns remain the ‘best way forward’. 

‘We will continue with our localised but proportionate approach on taking action where the virus is strongest but you can see from those figures that the virus is in a bad place in all parts of the country,’ he said. 

‘The approach of trying to bear down on it where it is most concentrated I think continues to be the best way forward because despite the fact the virus is rising across the country it is very concentrated in some places nonetheless.’

Mr Jenrick said it is the Government’s ‘very firm view’ that a short national ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown would be the wrong approach as he warned ‘you can’t have a stop-start country’.

He said: ‘We don’t want to create a second national lockdown. We know that has some effect on bearing down on the virus but we also know it’s immensely disruptive in other regards to people’s lives and livelihoods and broader health and wellbeing, so we will do everything we can to avoid that situation.’

Mr Jenrick said the new lockdowns in other European nations will have ‘long-term scarring effects’ on people.

He added: ‘At the moment it is our very firm view that that is not the right approach for the country, it is not a short-term measure, it is likely to be for a number of weeks.

‘If it succeeded it is likely then needed to be repeated regularly – you can’t have a stop-start country where businesses are closing, people are losing their jobs, then they are having to restart again, the harm to people’s mental health and broader wellbeing, I think, would be immense.’ 

However, Mr Jenrick admitted that much of the nation has been left ‘fatigued’ after months of having to live under Covid-19 restrictions. 

Asked if there was a problem with adherence to the measures, he told BBC Breakfast: ‘In large parts of the country, people have been in some form of restriction now since March.

‘There are places, particularly in the Midlands and the North, that have been in something akin to what we describe as Tier Two for a very long time.

‘And people are feeling fatigued, they are feeling tired and sometimes frustrated by those restrictions.

‘So I do think that we have to all see the seriousness of the present situation and we all do need to redouble our efforts to try to abide by the guidelines.’

His intervention came as council leaders said they have been told by ministers that there was ‘no prospect’ of a national lockdown being imposed.

Asked if compliance would be easier for those in West Yorkshire in a national lockdown rather than local restrictions, Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, told the BBC: ‘I’ve asked that question and I’ve been told that there is no prospect of a national lockdown. 

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London R rate ‘is the worst in England’ and could be as high as 3

Coronavirus is spreading fastest in London, according to a new study which claims the R rate in the capital is almost as high as three and infections are doubling every three days, compared to 1.6 and nine days across England.

Research by Imperial College London, which today estimated a staggering 100,000 people are catching Covid-19 every day, found the city has a ‘scary’ rate of spread.

The paper predicted that the R rate – the average number of people each carrier infects – is higher than two in London, the South East, East and South West, which are mostly not subject to any local lockdowns.

And of those places London has the highest prevalence of the virus at 0.89 per cent, suggesting more than 80,000 of its nine million people are infected at any given moment.

It suggested the R in London is 2.86, meaning those 80,000 people carrying the virus at the time of the study could be expected to infect another 229,000. The possible range of the R is between 1.47 and 4.87, they said.

And cases are doubling every three days in the city, compared to every nine days nationwide. The city is currently in a Tier Two local lockdown.

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‘Obviously it’s a tiered approach that the Government are promoting.’

On a national lockdown, the councillor added: ‘Obviously that was the thing that works, that’s the only thing that we’ve seen that has worked, and the whole country was in it together and doing things together.

‘There is something about people following rules and wanting to see the fairness of it all.’

Scientists increased pressure for a national lockdown last night amid suggestions that up to 85,000 could die in a second wave of coronavirus.

The new ‘worst case’ scenario came in a leaked SAGE committee paper as Government-commissioned research revealed nearly one million people in England are likely to currently be infected with coronavirus. 

The Imperial College London research said there were an estimated 96,000 new infections a day, cases were doubling every nine days and the national R rate was up to 1.6.

The official study warned the country was at a ‘critical stage’ in the second wave and urgent action was needed to get the R number below one. 

The leaked SAGE document, first reported on by The Spectator, outlines a situation where deaths could remain above 500 a day for at least three months after Christmas, peaking at 800 a day. 

A death toll of 85,000 would be almost double the current figure of 45,365. 

It emerged yesterday that ministers were given an analysis by SAGE suggesting the second wave could be deadlier than the first, with many in the group of scientists believing the Government needs to take drastic action now.

But business leaders, campaigners and MPs have pleaded with Mr Johnson to resist a second national lockdown. 

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) – more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Official study shows nearly 100,000 people in England are catching Covid-19 every day

Nearly 100,000 Britons are getting infected with coronavirus every day, according to the results of a Government-led surveillance study which suggests the UK is hurtling towards a second peak that could rival the first.

The REACT-1 project — which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week — estimated there were around 96,000 people getting infected every day in England by October 25.

Imperial College London experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were slightly more than 100,000 daily cases in spring, which led to over 40,000 deaths in the first wave. 

The study warned infections are doubling every nine days, suggesting there could be 200,000 daily cases by the first week of November. 

Imperial researchers said it was possible that the recent wet and dreary weather had played a role in the surge in infections, by driving people indoors where the virus finds it easier to spread. But they warned it was more likely a small dip in adherence to social distancing rules across the board had opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread more rapidly.

Imperial’s best guess is that 1.3 per cent of everyone living in England were carrying the disease by October 25, the equivalent of one in 75, or 730,000 people. Covid-19 prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7 per cent) and the North West (2.3 per cent). 

Overall, the R rate was around 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the reproduction rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

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They warned that it would wreak economic carnage and devastate thousands of businesses.

Julian Metcalfe, the founder of Pret and Itsu, said another lockdown would be ‘impossible’, adding: ‘Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people. 

‘The young people of this country will be paying for this for the next 20 to 30 years. It’s terrible what’s happening. Just because France does this with its socialist government, doesn’t mean we have to.’

Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the CBI, said that while public health came first, there could be ‘no hiding from the potentially devastating impact on firms and individuals if Tier Three is rolled out nationally’.

Hotelier Sir Rocco Forte added: ‘A circuit breaker would be a complete disaster. The industry is already at death’s door. It would bankrupt industry and bankrupt the Government.’

John O’Reilly, chief executive of Rank Group, which owns 77 Mecca bingo halls and 51 Grosvenor casinos, said: ‘For hospitality businesses like ours, this is death by a thousand cuts. 

‘The long lockdown, local restrictions, the 10pm curfew and now renewed lockdowns through Tier Three are causing enormous economic damage to businesses.’ 

The Mail has been told that ministers are looking at the possibility of tightening Tier Three restrictions in many areas, which could include ordering the closure of restaurants.

More than a million people living in Nottinghamshire are to be plunged into the toughest Tier Three rules from tomorrow, with tattoo parlours, tanning and nail salons, piercing services, museums and galleries all ordered to close.

Some 55 Tory MPs in the newly formed Northern Research Group this week wrote to the PM to demand that he draws up an exit plan for how areas can get rid of restrictions. 

A senior figure in the group last night said its members would ‘lose our s**t’ if ministers gave in to demands to close more businesses such as restaurants.

Downing Street last night insisted the Prime Minister was sticking to his strategy of controlling the virus through local lockdowns. 

A spokesman said: ‘As a responsible government, we continue to prepare for a wide range of scenarios, including the reasonable worst-case scenario.’

The decision by Mr Macron to last night announce a new national lockdown in France will pile the pressure on Number 10. 

The French President claimed that 400,000 people will die of coronavirus if the country did nothing to control a second wave of infections that will be ‘more deadly than the first’.

The national measures will take effect from Friday morning until December 1 and are considered to be ‘more flexible’ than the country’s first lockdown, with all public services, schools and essential workplaces to remain open.

But people on the streets will still have to carry documents justifying their reason for leaving home – that will be subject to police checks – and bars and restaurants will close. 

State-approved reasons for leaving home include buying essential goods, seeking medical attention or taking a daily one-hour allocation of exercise.

Meanwhile, in Germany a new four-week ‘lockdown lite’ will start on November 2.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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‘Damning’ inquiry into Labour anti-Semitism finds that the party broke the law under Jeremy Corbyn

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damning inquiry into labour anti semitism finds that the party broke the law under jeremy corbyn
Mr Corbyn pictured leaving his house in North London this morning, wearing a face mask incorrectly

Mr Corbyn pictured leaving his house in North London this morning, wearing a face mask incorrectly

Mr Corbyn pictured leaving his house in North London this morning, wearing a face mask incorrectly

An investigation into anti-Semitism in Labour by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found the party committed unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.

The party has been accused of breaking the law on three counts, harassment, political interference in complaints and failure of processes during the dark years of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The EHRC’s 130-page report said it found ‘significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years’.

It said they found ‘specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference’, but also noted ‘a lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues’, which it said was ‘hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism’.  

The EHRC served Labour with an unlawful act notice under the Equality Act 2010 and has been given until December 10 to act on recommendations in the report or find itself in court.

The report heaps pressure on new leader Sir Keir Starmer to take action against his predecessor, and risk a new Labour civil war over the issue. 

Speaking to reporters today, Alasdair Henderson, from the EHRC, said ‘The failure of leadership was during the time when Jeremy Corbyn was leader. 

‘As leader of the party, with evidence of political interference within his office, he has a responsibility for those failings.’  

Labour peer Andrew Adonis, tweeted: ‘Jeremy Corbyn should properly resign from Parliament after this report.’

Lord Mann, a former Labour MP and independent adviser to the Government on anti-Semitism, tweeted: ‘The moment of greatest shame in the history of the Labour Party.

‘And to think how many said it was all made up and exaggerated. Which amongst them will stand up and say that I am truly sorry?’      

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to come down hard on anti-Semitism in the party

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to come down hard on anti-Semitism in the party

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to come down hard on anti-Semitism in the party

The report heaps pressure on new leader Sir Keir Starmer to take action against his predecessor (pictured in December), and risk a new Labour civil war over the issue

The report heaps pressure on new leader Sir Keir Starmer to take action against his predecessor (pictured in December), and risk a new Labour civil war over the issue

The report heaps pressure on new leader Sir Keir Starmer to take action against his predecessor (pictured in December), and risk a new Labour civil war over the issue

Report uncovers ‘significant failings’ within Labour 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s 130-page report on the investigation into anti-Semitism in Labour said it found ‘significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years’.

It said they found ‘specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference’, but also noted ‘a lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues’, which it said was ‘hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism’.

It said: ‘The Labour Party must live up to this commitment and acknowledge the impact that multiple investigations and years of failing to tackle anti-Semitism has had on Jewish people.’

 The EHRC report said it ‘uncovered serious failings’ in the way complaints were handled, until at least 2018, during which Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader.

The report stated: ‘We found that the Labour Party’s response to anti-Semitism complaints has been inconsistent, poor and not transparent, in terms of the process used, reasons for decisions, record-keeping, delay and failures to communicate with complainants.

‘Some complaints were unjustifiably not investigated at all.’

The report also found ‘evidence of political interference in the handling of anti-Semitism complaints throughout the period of the investigation’.

The report added: ‘We have concluded that this practice of political interference was unlawful. The evidence shows that staff from the Leader of the Opposition’s Office (LOTO) were able to influence decisions on complaints, especially decisions on whether to suspend someone.

‘Sometimes these decisions were made because of likely press interest rather than any clear formal criteria.’

The report cited an example of such interference, from April 2018, regarding Mr Corbyn’s alleged support for an ‘anti-Semitic mural’.

It said that in an email to the party’s governance and legal unit (GLU) responsible for handling complaints, LOTO staff said that the complaint should be dismissed, stating that: ‘The complaint itself seems to fall well below the threshold required for investigation and if so surely the decision to dismiss it can be taken now.’

The report said that LOTO staff ‘amended and approved the GLU’s written response to the complainant to include details on Jeremy Corbyn’s actions in relation to the mural.

‘LOTO staff therefore directly interfered in the decision not to investigate in this case.’

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The Jewish Labour Movement said the report showed that ‘the blame for this sordid, disgraceful chapter in the Labour Party’s history lies firmly with those who held positions of leadership – those who possessed both power and influence to prevent the growth of anti-Jewish racism, but failed to act.’

In a statement it said: ‘What the report shows is that, worse than simply failing to act, the leadership of the Labour Party actively interfered in the processes relating to anti-Semitism, for political reasons. 

‘This failure of leadership amounted to unlawful conduct that facilitated antisemitism to become normalised within the Labour Party, a situation that continues to this day, that must be stopped, and must never happen again.  

The EHRC report said it ‘uncovered serious failings’ in the way complaints were handled, until at least 2018, during which Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader.

The report stated: ‘We found that the Labour Party’s response to anti-Semitism complaints has been inconsistent, poor and not transparent, in terms of the process used, reasons for decisions, record-keeping, delay and failures to communicate with complainants.

‘Some complaints were unjustifiably not investigated at all.’

The report also found ‘evidence of political interference in the handling of anti-Semitism complaints throughout the period of the investigation’.

The report added: ‘We have concluded that this practice of political interference was unlawful. The evidence shows that staff from the Leader of the Opposition’s Office (LOTO) were able to influence decisions on complaints, especially decisions on whether to suspend someone.

‘Sometimes these decisions were made because of likely press interest rather than any clear formal criteria.’

Caroline Waters, Interim chairwoman of the EHRC, said: ‘The Labour Party made a commitment to zero tolerance for anti-Semitism. Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where its approach and leadership to tackling antisemitism was insufficient. 

‘This is inexcusable and appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle anti-Semitism rather than an inability to do so.

‘It is encouraging to see the Party’s new leadership has committed to implementing our recommendations in full. If the Party truly wants to rebuild trust with its members and the Jewish community, it must acknowledge the impact that numerous investigations and years of failure to tackle anti-Semitism has had on Jewish people, and take swift, sincere action to improve.

‘Politicians on all sides have a responsibility to set standards for our public life and to lead the way in challenging racism in all its forms. There have been recent examples of behaviour from politicians of various parties that fall well below the standards we would expect. 

‘While freedom of expression is essential to proper political debate, politicians must recognise the power of their language to sow division. Our recommendations provide a foundation for leaders to make sure that they adhere to equality law and demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion through their words and actions.’    

The EHRC launched an investigation last year into claims that the party under Jeremy Corbyn had victimised Jews and turned a blind eye to hard-Left racism.

The EHRC's 130-page report said it found 'significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years'

The EHRC's 130-page report said it found 'significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years'

The EHRC’s 130-page report said it found ‘significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years’

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It was only the second time such a probe had been opened into a political party – the first was into the BNP. 

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism said: ‘The debate is over. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party became institutionally anti-Sesmitic. It drove almost half of British Jews to consider leaving the country.

‘For five miserable years, every effort to compel Labour to reform failed. We were left with no choice but to refer the Party to the EHRC, which launched an investigation with us as complainant. The EHRC’s findings and recommendations today – that Labour’s leadership and culture created an unlawful environment that discriminated against Jews – closely align with the hundreds of pages of evidence and argument that we submitted to the EHRC over many months.

‘Frankly, this report would not be much different had we written it. It is the dispensing of British justice that British Jews have sorely awaited, but has been denied for too long.

In a joint statement today the leaders of Britain’s Jewish community blasted Mr Corbyn.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Leadership Council chairman Jonathan Goldstein and Mark Gardner, chief executive of the Community Security Trust, said: ‘This report is a damning verdict on what Labour did to Jews under Jeremy Corbyn and his allies. It proves why British Jews were so distressed and it disgraces those who attacked us for speaking out against anti-Jewish racism.

‘Our Jewish community never wanted this fight, but we had to defend ourselves and are proud to have done so. We thank all those who stood with us, despite the abuse they received as a result.

‘Jeremy Corbyn will rightly be blamed for what he has done to Jews and Labour, but the truth is more disturbing, as he was little more than a figurehead for old and new anti-Jewish attitudes. All of this was enabled by those who deliberately turned a blind eye.’ 

According to the Jewish Labour Movement’s submission to the inquiry, Jewish members faced vile abuse and Mr Corbyn’s office interfered in anti-Semitism cases.

It listed nine cases in which the former leader had personally ‘engaged in’ anti-Semitism, and concluded that the party was ‘no longer a safe space for Jewish people or for those who stand up against anti-Semitism’.

The saga began in 2017 when the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism approached the EHRC after the Daily Mail revealed that the Labour conference fringe had played host to a speaker who said the Holocaust should be open to debate. 

Labour received a copy of the report in July, but it has remained under wraps over the summer so that those named in its pages have a right to reply. 

Karie Murphy, who has herself been accused of meddling in anti-Semitism cases, claimed: ‘Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, anti-Semites were removed from the Labour Party more quickly, transparently and effectively than ever before. 

‘As his former chief of staff, I’m proud of that record.’

Labour tainted by anti-Semitism accusations during Jeremy Corbyn’s five years as leader 

The anti-Semitism scandal has dogged Labour since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader  in 2015.

Here is a timeline of the controversies: 

April 2016:

Labour MP Naz Shah is suspended for anti-Semitic posts – including one in which she appeared to endorse calls for Israelis to be deported to the US. 

She apologises and is given a formal warning.  

Ken Livingstone goes on the radio to defend Ms Shah – but sparks fresh controversy by claiming that Hitler supported Zionism. 

Naz Shah

Naz Shah

Naz Shah

He is suspended by Labour but refuses to apologise and has repeated the claim many times.

He eventually quits Labour two years later, saying his suspension has become a distraction.

June 2016: 

A two-month inquiry by civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti finds that Labour is not overrun by anti-Semitism. 

But the launch is overshadowed when Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth flees it in tears after being accused by Corbyn supporter Marc Wadsworth of colluding with the press.

Critics accuse the report of being a whitewash and Ms Chakrabarti is widely criticised for accepting a peerage from Jeremy Corbyn shortly afterwards.

October 2016: 

The Home Affairs Select Committee says Labour is guilty of incompetence over its handling of anti-Semitism and of creating a safe space for people with ‘vile attitudes towards Jewish people’.

March 2018: 

It is revealed that Jeremy Corbyn defended an artist who painted an anti-Semitic mural and said the offensive art should be removed.

He apologises saying he did not properly look at the picture before he made the post.

Jewish leaders take the unprecedented step of holding a demonstration outside Parliament protesting Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

Several Labour MPs address the crowds.

April 2018:

Marc Wadsworth was expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism in 2018

Marc Wadsworth was expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism in 2018

Marc Wadsworth was expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism in 2018

Marc Wadsworth is expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism. 

Meanwhile, Labour Jewish MPs tell of the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in a powerful parliamentary debate – and round on their leader for failing to tackle it. 

July 2018:

The Labour leadership sparks fresh anger by failing to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism

Peter Willsman, a strong ally of Jeremy Corbyn, is secretly taped ranting that Jewish ‘Trump fanatics’ invented the anti-Semitism storm engulfing Labour. 

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour's ruling executive committee, Peter Willsman said he was 'amazed' there was evidence party members hated Jews.

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour's ruling executive committee, Peter Willsman said he was 'amazed' there was evidence party members hated Jews.

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour’s ruling executive committee, Peter Willsman said he was ‘amazed’ there was evidence party members hated Jews.

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour’s ruling executive committee, he said he was ‘amazed’ there was evidence party members hated Jews.

He claimed ‘some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump – they are Trump fanatics’ before shouting: ‘So I am not going to be lectured to by Trump fanatics making up duff information without any evidence at all.’

August 2018:

Jeremy Corbyn issues a video insisting he is committed to tackling the racism – but it is panned by Jewish leaders.

Corbynistas mount a social media campaign to get deputy Labour leader Tom Watson to quit after he criticises the party’s handling of anti-Semitism. 

The Daily Mail exclusively publishes photos of Jeremy Corbyn holding a wreath at a ceremony where a terrorist linked to the Munich massacre was honoured.

The Labour leader insists he was there to honour others killed – but faces fresh calls to quit over the scandal. 

February 2019: 

Nine MPs including Luciana Berger, Joan Ryan and Ian Austin are among those who quit the Labour Party with broadsides at inaction over anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, had faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’.

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become 'institutionally anti-Semitic'

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become 'institutionally anti-Semitic'

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’

Enfield MP Joan Ryan was attacked because she was the chairwoman of Labour friends of Israel. And Dudley’s Ian Austen, who adoptive father was Jewish, said he had become ‘ashamed’ of what the party had become under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

November 2019: 

MP Chris Williamson, a close ally of Mr Corbyn, quits the party after being blocked from restanding in his Derby North seat at the general election. He had been suspended after saying that Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ about anti-Semitism.

Mr Corbyn later faced an anti-Semitism row of his own after a major intervention by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. He accused the left-winger of allowing the ‘poison’ of anti-Semitism to take root in Labour. His comments were later backed up by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mr Corbyn declined repeatedly to apologise to British Jews in a searing interview by the BBC’s Andrew Neil and said that Mr Mirvis was ‘wrong’. 

December 2019: 

Labour is humiliated in a general election it voted to trigger. Mr Corbyn leads the party to its worst defeat since the 1930s, handing Boris Johnson an 80-seat majority. Among the losses are a broad swathe of Red Wall seats – Labour heartlands that have voted for the party for decades.

Mr Corbyn announces he will step down as party leader, triggering a leadership election. He backs Corbynite shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey to succeed him.

April 2020 

Moderate former shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer beats Ms Long-Bailey to the leadership, but he retains her as shadow education secretary in his shadow cabinet.

That month an internal party report finds that anti-Semitism was so rife within Labour that some members’ views were like those of neo-Nazis.

Investigators said prejudice against Jews became common within the party and revealed Mr Corbyn did little to help discipline offenders until two years ago.

The report highlighted ‘a litany of mistakes and missed opportunities’ amid strained relations between Mr Corbyn’s office and Labour HQ, but a better approach to anti-Semitism complaints had since been established.

Nearly 900 members have been investigated or suspended for anti-Jewish hate in the past three years with 63 expelled.

 June 2020

Sir Keir sacks Ms Long-Bailey after she praised an interview in which actress Maxine Peake peddled an ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theory’.

The shadow education secretary posted a link to an interview in which Peake – one of her constituents – claimed that US police learned ‘neck-kneeling’ restrain techniques used on murdered black man George Floyd from Israeli spies. The remark was described as ‘textbook casual anti-Semitism’ by Labour MPs.

Ms Long-Bailey sparked fury by describing the ex-Communist star of TV programmes including Shameless as an ‘absolute diamond’. She later tried to excuse the message by claiming she had not been endorsing all the content of the article.

July 2020

Labour makes an unreserved apology to seven whistleblowers smeared by the party after they raised concerns over anti-Semitism.

Sir Keir Starmer agrees to pay ‘substantial damages’ to former employees who contributed to a BBC probe into whether the party had victimised Jews.

In a humiliating statement in the High Court, the party accepted it had made ‘false and defamatory’ comments about the whistleblowers and had caused them ‘distress, embarrassment and hurt’.

The party also paid damages to John Ware, the veteran journalist behind the Panorama programme. It is believed the affair cost Labour up to £500,000 in legal costs and damages. 

But hard-Left former leader Mr Corbyn said it was ‘disappointing’ that the party had settled the claim, adding that it was a ‘political decision, not a legal one’ – prompting the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism to call for him to be suspended from the Labour Party.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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