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HENRY DEEDES: Applause? Not at Matt Hancock’s perpetual one-man show

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henry deedes applause not at matt hancocks perpetual one man show

Droopy-eyed, theatrical hams are forever grumbling about the relentless grind. Six shows a week, plus matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Non-stop, dears!

Still, there’s always the adulation to look forward to.

The applause, the whistles, the occasional late night supper at The Ivy, courtesy of a star-struck dowager.

The Health Secretary’s now near-daily performances at the despatch box are met with an increasing wave of insults. Not least from his own side

The Health Secretary’s now near-daily performances at the despatch box are met with an increasing wave of insults. Not least from his own side

The Health Secretary’s now near-daily performances at the despatch box are met with an increasing wave of insults. Not least from his own side

Sadly, for the perpetual one-man show that is Matt Hancock, there are no such rewards. 

No flowers, no appreciative ‘bravos’ or ‘encores’.

Not so much as a stage-door Johnny pestering for an autograph.

Instead, the Health Secretary’s now near-daily performances at the despatch box are met with an increasing wave of insults. Not least from his own side. 

Yesterday, he arrived to give a statement on the Government’s decision to place London into the higher ‘Tier 2’ category this weekend.

The announcement came as no surprise. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had let slip the news earlier. Publicity prone Sadiq never lets a chance to get on TV go to waste.

Mr Hancock summoned the usual thunderclouds. The situation was ‘grave and serious’. He needed to act fast. 

Oh, but how he wished he didn’t have to. ‘I didn’t go in to politics to put restrictions on people’s lives,’ he said. Yeah, right, Matt.

Teachers at school used to spout this sort of hogwash. How they wished they didn’t have to punish you, how they wished they didn’t have to send you off to the headmaster for another spittle-flecked rollicking.

The power-hungry creeps loved every second of it. And so does the Health Secretary.

As if Hancock hadn’t ruined our weekend enough, he assured us it was all going to get worse before it got better.

But there, there, soothed Uncle Matt. He could see ‘brighter skies and calmer seas ahead’. 

Labour’s health spokesman Jon Ashworth repeated Sir Keir Starmer’s demand for a three-week ‘circuit-breaker’.

Mr Hancock summoned the usual thunderclouds. The situation was ‘grave and serious’. He needed to act fast. Oh, but how he wished he didn’t have to. ‘I didn’t go in to politics to put restrictions on people’s lives,’ he said. Yeah, right, Matt

Mr Hancock summoned the usual thunderclouds. The situation was ‘grave and serious’. He needed to act fast. Oh, but how he wished he didn’t have to. ‘I didn’t go in to politics to put restrictions on people’s lives,’ he said. Yeah, right, Matt

Mr Hancock summoned the usual thunderclouds. The situation was ‘grave and serious’. He needed to act fast. Oh, but how he wished he didn’t have to. ‘I didn’t go in to politics to put restrictions on people’s lives,’ he said. Yeah, right, Matt

He said this as though it was nothing to fear. Like the dentist who says ‘now, just a small prick’ before lancing your gums with a syringe the size of a bazooka.

Frankly, anyone who thinks another national lockdown will last only three weeks is deluding themselves.

The Opposition benches flung their customary custard pies. Sarah Owen (Lab, Luton N) pondered how Hancock could look himself in the mirror each morning following the farce of his test and trace system.

But it was the attacks from his own side which will have hurt him the most.

Courtly Richard Drax (Con, S Dorset) complained about Hancock’s repeated accusation that those who opposed his lockdown measures were in favour of ‘letting the virus rip’ to take its toll.

It was ‘unhelpful language,’ he said. By which he meant it was deliberately designed to scare the pants off us. Drax demanded to know what ‘Plan B’ was.

Er, there wasn’t one, Hancock admitted. Getting the infection rate down was the only plan in place for now.

London MPs were furious that all of the boroughs were being placed in the same tier.

Sir Bob Neill (Con, Bromley and Chislehurst) called it a ‘one size fits all approach’. Hancock reasoned that infection rates across the capital were rising, hence the need for blanket restrictions.

Sir Bob flashed him the stink eye. I’m fairly certain that he regards the Health Secretary as an abominable little squirt. 

Sir Iain Duncan Smith (Con, Chingford and Woodford Green) urged the Government to think again.

As if Hancock hadn’t ruined our weekend enough, he assured us it was all going to get worse before it got better. But there, there, soothed Uncle Matt. He could see ‘brighter skies and calmer seas ahead’

As if Hancock hadn’t ruined our weekend enough, he assured us it was all going to get worse before it got better. But there, there, soothed Uncle Matt. He could see ‘brighter skies and calmer seas ahead’

As if Hancock hadn’t ruined our weekend enough, he assured us it was all going to get worse before it got better. But there, there, soothed Uncle Matt. He could see ‘brighter skies and calmer seas ahead’

He suggested the heavier restrictions being placed on London were a ploy to defuse tensions with the North. 

‘Absolutely not!’ Hancock countered, rather overdoing the wounded theatrics, I thought.

One of the few London MPs to back the measures was Rupa Huq (Lab, Ealing C & Acton). 

She urged Hancock to resist the ‘siren calls’ from his colleagues opposing the Government’s plans.

Comparing leathery old lizards like Sir Bob and IDS to honey-voiced sirens might have been a tad generous.

The session ended with a stinger of a rebuke from William Wragg (Con, Hazel Grove), who reiterated the point that closing hospitality venues simply drove revellers into other people’s dwellings.

‘Will the Government please listen to common sense and think again?’ said the MP, whose career is now over, smoke practically whistling from his ears.

For some time I’ve felt fogeyish Wragg is ripe for a promotion.

His wonderful cameo will have torpedoed any chance of that.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Father-of-three filmed best friend slitting teenager’s throat after luring him to meeting

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father of three filmed best friend slitting teenagers throat after luring him to meeting

A father-of-three who filmed his best friend slitting a teenager’s throat before they left him for dead in a ‘happy slap-style’ ambush has been jailed for nine and a half years.

Delivery driver Luke Wilson, 36, used his mobile phone to record Nathan Kelso slashing 18-yer old Adam Scott‘s neck after they lured the victim to a meeting on the pretext of them offering the youngster odd jobs.

The pair then fled the scene leaving Adam to stagger away with blood pouring from his wounds to his home in a nearby apartment block.

He was rushed to hospital with a six-inch wound stretching from his ear lobe across his cheek towards his neck but he survived his ordeal. He was too scared to name his attackers.

Adam told a police officer: ‘I’ve been set up, I was called out to go and do some work and was walking towards a parking space when I got pushed from behind and I thought I was going to get battered.

‘A man threatened to kill me, called me a ‘grass’ and another man filmed it. I thought I was going to die.’

Father-of-three Luke Wilson has been jailed for nine and a half years

Father-of-three Luke Wilson has been jailed for nine and a half years

HGV driver Nathan Kelso has been jailed for nine and a half years

HGV driver Nathan Kelso has been jailed for nine and a half years

Father-of-three Luke Wilson (left) appeared to film his best friend Nathan Kelso (right) as he slit teenager Adam Scott’s throat after the pair lured him to a meeting to offer him a job

The court heard the victim told police Wilson (pictured) and Kelso had called him a grass

The court heard the victim told police Wilson (pictured) and Kelso had called him a grass

The court heard the victim told police Wilson (pictured) and Kelso had called him a grass

Police arrested Wilson and 37-year old HGV driver Kelso after examining CCTV evidence around the area.

It showed the pair in Wilson’s white transit van making their way to and from the vicinity in the moments either side of the attack.

Further CCTV footage showed both men cleaning the van with a mop and bucket.

Wilson’s phone was seized and although evidence was found that the camera had been activated, no film was recovered.

Several patches of the victim’s blood were found on the doors of the van.

At Manchester Crown Court the two men both from Brinnington, Stockport, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent after their not guilty pleas to attempted murder were accepted. Kelso was also jailed for nine and a half years.

In mitigation Wilson’s lawyer Richard Vardon said: ‘He is a family man has never served a custodial sentence.

Wilson and Kelso (pictured) were captured on CCTV cleaning their van with mops and buckets

Wilson and Kelso (pictured) were captured on CCTV cleaning their van with mops and buckets

Wilson and Kelso (pictured) were captured on CCTV cleaning their van with mops and buckets

‘He accepts and understands he was jointly involved in this offence but he didn’t necessarily see the level of violence and injuries that resulted.

‘He essentially played a passive role in this offence – he is genuinely remorseful.’

Kelso’s lawyer Richard Orme told the court: ‘This was a tragic incident and it is unlikely to ever be repeated again.

‘He is a family man with a good work ethic. He is a father-of-three and a good father. 

‘He had been in full time employment as an HGV lorry driver for the coal industry. He is a hard-working, family man and whatever the catalyst for this offence was it is unlikely to ever be repeated and he is remorseful for what he has done.’

Sentencing Judge Nicholas Dean QC told the two men: ‘Your victim had the impression he was attacked for being a ‘grass’- this attack was planned, deliberate and thought through.

‘You ensured you had your victim where you wanted him to be at the time you wanted him to be there.

‘Whatever the reason for the attack this case is particularly serious. It is clear there is another side to you both and you are capable of leading perfectly law-abiding lives, but it is very fortunate for both of you that none of your victim’s blood vessels were compromised. Had they been there is no doubt he would have died at the scene.

‘This wound is of a seriousness that is rarely seen in these courts and must have left your victim with permanent scarring and psychological harm.’

Wilson and Kelso were both jailed for nine and a half years at Manchester Crown Court

Wilson and Kelso were both jailed for nine and a half years at Manchester Crown Court

Wilson and Kelso were both jailed for nine and a half years at Manchester Crown Court

After the case Det Con Edward Hooley, of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘This significant result brings two dangerous members of organised crime to justice for the savage attack on a vulnerable and defenceless man.

‘Such is the fear and intimidation used by Kelso and Wilson, the victim was too afraid to assist with this investigation and so we have pursued with this as a victimless prosecution.

‘I hope that this sends out a clear message to those who think they can intimidate their way out of prosecutions.’

Wilson’s wife Lisa, 35, faced a charge of assisting an offender but the prosecution offered no evidence against her.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Rhodes parasailing deaths: Greek boat operator arrested, now on bail

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rhodes parasailing deaths greek boat operator arrested now on bail

This is the Greek boat operator arrested over the deaths of two British teenagers, killed in a parasailing tragedy in Rhodes. 

Nikos Mallios, 51, has been released on bail pending a decision by prosecutors whether he should face manslaughter charges.

Jessica Hayes, 15, and cousin Michael Connelly, 13, were killed on Wednesday when the rope fastening their parachute to the vessel snapped in high winds – sending them crashing into rocks from a height of 400ft.

Michael’s older brother James, 15, remains critical in hospital.

Nikos Mallios (pictured) has been questioned by prosecutors in Rhodes over the deaths of two British teenagers in a parasailing accident on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes

Nikos Mallios (pictured) has been questioned by prosecutors in Rhodes over the deaths of two British teenagers in a parasailing accident on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes

Nikos Mallios (pictured) has been questioned by prosecutors in Rhodes over the deaths of two British teenagers in a parasailing accident on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes 

Three children aged 15-13 had been parasailing on Mallios' boat when a sudden storm hit and tragedy struck. Today the vessel was seen (above) just yards from the spot where it happened

Three children aged 15-13 had been parasailing on Mallios' boat when a sudden storm hit and tragedy struck. Today the vessel was seen (above) just yards from the spot where it happened

Three children aged 15-13 had been parasailing on Mallios’ boat when a sudden storm hit and tragedy struck. Today the vessel was seen (above) just yards from the spot where it happened

Cousins Jessica Hayes, 15 (centre), and Michael Connelly, 13 (left) died during the horror in Rhodes . Mikey's brother James Connelly (right), 15, is in a critical condition in hospital

Cousins Jessica Hayes, 15 (centre), and Michael Connelly, 13 (left) died during the horror in Rhodes . Mikey's brother James Connelly (right), 15, is in a critical condition in hospital

Cousins Jessica Hayes, 15 (centre), and Michael Connelly, 13 (left) died during the horror in Rhodes . Mikey’s brother James Connelly (right), 15, is in a critical condition in hospital

Last night it was claimed Mallios flouted health and safety laws in the lead-up to the tragedy.

The Watersports Association of Greece said it was against the rules to allow under-14s in a parachute — and that flights should be limited to two people per parasail.

The organisation’s Secretary Philip Therianos said: ‘These are rules from the government – not just guidelines.

Mallios, 51, (above) has been released on bail while Greek prosecutors probe the tragedy

Mallios, 51, (above) has been released on bail while Greek prosecutors probe the tragedy

Mallios, 51, (above) has been released on bail while Greek prosecutors probe the tragedy

‘The courts will now have to decide how to enforce them in this matter.

‘As a father myself, I am devastated by this tragedy.

‘There are no words to describe the pain that the parents must be feeling.

‘We are going to discuss what we can do about this tragedy. But we already have some of the strictest laws in the world surrounding parasailing.’

The organisation is due to meet tonight to discuss the deaths.

Mr Therianos added: ‘The ropes used in parasailing typically should be able to support the weight of an elephant without snapping.

‘They are supposed to be able to take two and a half tonnes of weight.

‘Most of them can take four tonnes and parasailing accidents don’t happen very often.

‘We’ve provided statistics to government to show you are more likely to die in a plane crash.

‘Nikos Mallios was not a member of ours but I’ve heard from people who know him that he was an experienced operator.

‘Nothing like this has happened before.’

Mallios opened his Lindos Watersport Centre on the island in 2007.

Mallios opened his Lindos Watersport Centre (pictured) on the island in 2007, catering largely tourists from a hut on the beach behind the Lindos Princess Hotel where the family stayed

Mallios opened his Lindos Watersport Centre (pictured) on the island in 2007, catering largely tourists from a hut on the beach behind the Lindos Princess Hotel where the family stayed

Mallios opened his Lindos Watersport Centre (pictured) on the island in 2007, catering largely tourists from a hut on the beach behind the Lindos Princess Hotel where the family stayed 

The Watersports Association of Greece claimed Mellios flouted rules by allowing three people to go parasailing. They said under-14s were not allowed and flights are limited to two people

The Watersports Association of Greece claimed Mellios flouted rules by allowing three people to go parasailing. They said under-14s were not allowed and flights are limited to two people

The Watersports Association of Greece claimed Mellios flouted rules by allowing three people to go parasailing. They said under-14s were not allowed and flights are limited to two people 

The teenagers' parents booked the them on Mallios' boat (pictured) after seeing him featured on the hotel's website. He has operated for 13 years in the area popular with holidaymakers

The teenagers' parents booked the them on Mallios' boat (pictured) after seeing him featured on the hotel's website. He has operated for 13 years in the area popular with holidaymakers

The teenagers’ parents booked the them on Mallios’ boat (pictured) after seeing him featured on the hotel’s website. He has operated for 13 years in the area popular with holidaymakers 

His outfit caters largely to British tourists from a hut located on the beach behind the four star Lindos Princess Hotel where the family arrived at the beginning of the week.

The three teenagers’ parents booked the them on Mallios’ boat after seeing him featured on the hotel’s website.

But a storm erupted after the group set off and the speedboat was seen desperately trying to catch-up with the trio after the rope snapped and their parachute went veering uncontrollably toward the rocky coastline.

Today Mallios’ vessel had been left anchored just yards from the spot where the tragedy occurred – around two miles from the hotel.

The company’s website carries a personal assurance from Mallios about its safety standards.

He says: ‘It is very important to us to constantly provide a high quality service.

‘Therefore we change or upgrade our equipment frequently.’

A legal source on the island said: ‘He has yet to be officially charged. He was released pending an investigation that would give the prosecutor more information into the causes of the accident, to determine what charges, if any should be brought.

‘Authorities however arrested him on manslaughter charges and causing serious bodily injury to the third teen.’

A terrifying storm blew up off the coast of Rhodes causing the rope fastening the trio to a speedboat to snap. Pictured: Jessica Hayes, 15 (left) and Michael Connelly, 13

A terrifying storm blew up off the coast of Rhodes causing the rope fastening the trio to a speedboat to snap. Pictured: Jessica Hayes, 15 (left) and Michael Connelly, 13

A terrifying storm blew up off the coast of Rhodes causing the rope fastening the trio to a speedboat to snap. Pictured: Jessica Hayes, 15 (left) and Michael Connelly, 13

The family did not know the tragedy that had befallen their children for some time, with the boat captain not returning to the beach. Pictured: The trio play the card game UNO together

The family did not know the tragedy that had befallen their children for some time, with the boat captain not returning to the beach. Pictured: The trio play the card game UNO together

The family did not know the tragedy that had befallen their children for some time, with the boat captain not returning to the beach. Pictured: The trio play the card game UNO together

The father of Jessica, 15, from Corby in Northamptonshire, yesterday told how his family were ‘put through four hours of misery’ by doctors before being told the heartbreaking news of their deaths. 

Jessica’s father Tony, from Kettering, paid tribute to his ‘beautiful’ daughter as he criticised medics for their response to the tragedy.

Speaking from the hospital, he told MailOnline how the family were sitting on the beach when the children went parasailing, and they only learned of the accident via the media.

Tony said the hotel didn’t say anything and the person driving the boat didn’t return, leaving the family panicking for the trio. 

They first heard that James was in the worst condition, and Jessica and Michael had only suffered fractures.

Sharon and Philip Connelly are pictured with their sons James (right) and Michael (centre left)

Sharon and Philip Connelly are pictured with their sons James (right) and Michael (centre left)

Sharon and Philip Connelly are pictured with their sons James (right) and Michael (centre left)

He said: ‘They were dead at the hospital the whole time – and yet we were being strung along with false hope that they were all ok.

‘The way the nurse told us, after four hours, that they had died. There was no empathy. She almost shouted it. It was so stern.  

‘It was four hours until we were able to find out what happened. They put us through misery for four hours.’

The police even came to collect the family’s passports during the four hours but refused to say what had happened.   

They later learned police were using the photos to identify the bodies, which Tony was heartbreakingly forced to confirm yesterday. 

Pictured: The rocks where the three young people were found in an area known as Gina in Rhodes, Greece today

Pictured: The rocks where the three young people were found in an area known as Gina in Rhodes, Greece today

Pictured: The rocks where the three young people were found in an area known as Gina in Rhodes, Greece today 

While in the air the trio veered onto a jagged outcrop just out of sight of sunbathers and are believed to have fallen from a height of 400ft. Due to the remote location of where the teenagers fell, it took rescue crews several hours to reach them. 

It is understood that James – who survived – fell onto the rocks, breaking both his legs and suffering injuries to his head and spine.  

James’s mother, Sharon Connelly, 47, fainted when she eventually saw the extensive damage to her son’s face in hospital, protothema reported. 

She then regained consciousness and is said to have cried out ‘Where are my other two children’, thinking that her niece Jessica and son Michael may have only been injured and brought to the hospital in another ambulance.   

Yesterday a staff member told how one of the mothers from the group came out to the beach where the teenagers had set off from after they failed to return.

He said: ‘She was asking the lifeguards, ‘Where are the kids? They should have been back by now.’ She had no idea what had taken place. No one did. 

A spokesperson for Greek coastguard said: ‘The coastguard was informed of the accident by a military watchtower and the water sports company. 

The two teenagers were found on the rocks near the city of Lindos in Rhodes, Greece

The two teenagers were found on the rocks near the city of Lindos in Rhodes, Greece

The two teenagers were found on the rocks near the city of Lindos in Rhodes, Greece

‘A coastguard vessel was sent to the scene immediately.

‘The ambulance service was informed.

‘They were found by coastguard in a secluded rocky area and they were pulled out by the 51-year-old parasailing boat handler with the help of the fire service.

‘The 15-year-old boy was taken to the General Hospital while the dead were taken to the morgue.

‘An investigation is underway. The boat handler has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.’  

Last night a Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said that responsibility for the case lies with the Greek authorities and the Foreign Office but that the Northamptonshire coroner will be informed.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus London: Only EALING’s R rate over England’s average

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coronavirus london only ealings r rate over englands average

Only one London borough has a bigger coronavirus outbreak than England’s average, MailOnline can reveal amid fears the capital will be dragged into a Tier Three lockdown within two weeks because it’s crucial R rate could be as high as three. 

Ealing had a weekly infection rate of 228.5 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending October 24, just slightly above the national average of 225.9. But for the other 31 boroughs, their rates were below this benchmark.

And when the city’s Covid-19 outbreak is broken down to smaller districts within the boroughs, only six areas had infection rates at 400 per 100,000 – which is the level across much more badly affected Tier Three Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. 

Nonetheless, no boroughs in the capital have an infection rate below 100 per 100,000, way above the level of 20 per 100,000 at which the Government considers curbs on travel to foreign countries.

Scientists today warned the figures suggest more restrictions are ‘on the cards’ for Londoners ‘especially given the numbers are heading upwards’. But others poured cold water on the data, arguing it says very little because it is not released alongside data on the number of tests being done in each region of the city.

Experts have said that if the number of tests done increases, this will also pick up more asymptomatic cases and make the infection rates for a region much higher. The Government publishes testing data nationally, but not for individual regions. 

London was moved into Tier Two restrictions two weeks ago after Sadiq Khan pushed for tougher measures, with bans on visiting other households, or heading to pubs, bars and cafes with people Londoners don’t live with. 

It comes after a Government-led study warned the capital’s R rate may have surged as high as three, as the capital continues to grapple with rising infections. And of the entire south of England, London was thought to have 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.  

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official data

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official data

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official data

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Slide me

This slidey map shows the change in infections in a week within London’s 32 boroughs as the city faces tougher restrictions

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35039050 8897011 image a 52 1604062033693

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35039048 8897011 image a 4 1604064690398

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

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.

MPs today warned moving into Tier Three — which would ban socialising with other households and see pubs shut unless they serve substantial meals — would kill struggling businesses off completely.

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’.

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Department of Health data reveals that Ealing remains London’s Covid-19 hotspot.

It is followed by neighbouring Hammersmith, with 219.8 cases per 100,000. The borough also has the location with the highest rate of cases in the city – Hammersmith Broadway – with a rate of 791.6 per 100,000.

Kingston-upon-Thames has the third highest rate, at 207.9, and Hounslow the fourth at 190.4. 

Despite being below England’s average, however, none of the boroughs have cases below 100 per 100,000.

The lowest was Lewisham, with a rate at 104.6 per 100,000.

Professor Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia, warned the data suggested the city – and its population of almost 9million – will soon need to move into Tier Three.

‘I think Tier Three is very much on the cards (for London),’ he told MailOnline, ‘especially given that case numbers are heading upwards’.

‘From a public health perspective I think a move up to Tier Three probably should be done sooner rather than later, unless the Government has access to data that means it is not as bad as it looks.’

He added: ‘The issue is not just the maximum number, it’s also how that’s changing.

‘So you could have a location with a fairly modest number of cases at the moment but, if it’s doubling less than once a week, you know it is heading in the wrong direction and the sooner you move it up the tier the better.

‘Case numbers across London as a whole are increasing relatively quickly, I think it’s fair to say.’

Professor Anthony Brookes, from the University of Leicester, suggested to MailOnline that the Government’s figures reveal very little about infections in the city. 

He argued it was impossible to deduce much from the data because the Government is not releasing information on the number of tests done each day by region.

‘No one can know if these are reasonable decisions,’ he said. ‘I guess my plea would be that they release the number of tests done per region per week, they release it nationally but not per region.

‘This would allow you to calculate the percentage of tests that were positive, and then you could properly compare different cases at the same rate. Without that we are literally al working in the dark and having to trust someone that does have access to those numbers to make these decisions.’

A source close to Sadiq Khan warned yesterday that if they didn’t act quickly London could face a longer lockdown which would be the ‘worst possible outcome’ for health and the capital’s economy.

‘We know that when it comes to this virus, acting early and decisively is best, both for public health but also for the economy,’ they said.

‘The more we delay in implementing measures, the more stringent they need to be and the longer they have to be in place.’  

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35039046 8897011 image a 50 1604062029865

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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