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House of Commons bans sale of alcohol in parliament from Saturday

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house of commons bans sale of alcohol in parliament from saturday

All House of Commons bars and restaurants will be banned from selling alcohol as of Saturday, the Speaker has confirmed.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: ‘Following the Government’s decision to move London into the Tier 2 Covid-alert category, I have asked the parliamentary authorities to introduce measures to bring the House of Commons into line with the national picture.

‘As MPs represent different constituencies in different tiers – with the very highest level ordering the closure of pubs – I have decided to stop the sale of alcohol across the House of Commons-end of the estate from this Saturday.

House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, pictured, has banned the sale of alcohol from bars and restaurants under his section of the Palace of Westminster as a result of London's new Covid-19 regulations

House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, pictured, has banned the sale of alcohol from bars and restaurants under his section of the Palace of Westminster as a result of London's new Covid-19 regulations

House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, pictured, has banned the sale of alcohol from bars and restaurants under his section of the Palace of Westminster as a result of London’s new Covid-19 regulations

Sir Lindsay said: 'This means it will not be possible to buy an alcoholic drink from any of our catering outlets for the foreseeable future - whether food is served or not'

Sir Lindsay said: 'This means it will not be possible to buy an alcoholic drink from any of our catering outlets for the foreseeable future - whether food is served or not'

Sir Lindsay said: ‘This means it will not be possible to buy an alcoholic drink from any of our catering outlets for the foreseeable future – whether food is served or not’

‘This means it will not be possible to buy an alcoholic drink from any of our catering outlets for the foreseeable future – whether food is served or not.

‘The House of Commons Commission will be meeting on Monday to consider other measures needed to protect MPs, their staff and House staff, while maintaining our Covid-secure status.’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has told Londoners who are being asked to make ‘monumental sacrifices’ in the forthcoming local lockdown to ‘ignore Government politicians’ who have flouted coronavirus rules.

The capital city is bracing for Tier 2 restrictions from Saturday, which means a ban on separate households mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.

On the day extra restrictions were announced for areas including London, Essex and areas of Yorkshire, it was also disclosed that SNP MP Margaret Ferrier will face no further action from police after travelling between London and Glasgow following a positive coronavirus test.

When asked if he was worried about how a lack of compliance by Ms Ferrier, as well as by the Prime Minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, might affect the willingness of Londoners to make more sacrifices themselves, Mr Khan urged Londoners to ‘do the right thing for our city’.

He said: ‘I know from anecdotal experience, speaking to Londoners from all walks of life, but also from polling done by independent polling companies, that the way the Prime Minister’s chief adviser behaved led to people asking the question ‘why should I follow the rules when he isn’t?’.

‘My advice to Londoners is to ignore what Government ministers do, or Government advisers do, or members of Parliament do.

‘Do what is the right thing for our city and for your loved ones and for yourself.

‘These restrictions are there because there are no good options, and this will slow down the spread of the virus, which means hopefully you not catching the virus, your loved one not catching the virus, and then not needing the NHS, which means the NHS can continue to treat patients who are non-Covid as well as those who have Covid.’

Mr Khan added that he hoped Tier 2 restrictions mean the NHS Nightingale hospital in the London ExCeL Centre will not need to be placed on standby, as has been done in Harrogate, Manchester and Sunderland, while Belfast’s coronavirus overspill hospital has reopened.

He said: ‘I spoke today to the NHS London team, and because of the brilliant work of the NHS we currently have sufficient capacity in the NHS both in terms of general admissions, but also in terms of intensive care units.

‘We’re hoping because of these additional restrictions being brought in on Saturday first thing, there won’t be a need to open the Nightingale because Londoners will follow the new rules.’

On Thursday he also backed calls by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for a nationwide ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown, to give the Government time to ‘finally sort out the test, trace and isolate system’.

London is just hours away from entering Tier Two of the government's Covid-19 rules, placing additional restrictions on meeting people from outside your household or bubble in bars and restaurants

London is just hours away from entering Tier Two of the government's Covid-19 rules, placing additional restrictions on meeting people from outside your household or bubble in bars and restaurants

London is just hours away from entering Tier Two of the government’s Covid-19 rules, placing additional restrictions on meeting people from outside your household or bubble in bars and restaurants

He said: ‘The Government, frankly speaking, has failed us as a country by not sorting out test, trace and isolate, despite the passage of six months.

‘What they should be doing is speaking to colleagues in South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and elsewhere, who have sorted out, to learn from them what needs to be done.’

He has also written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to support businesses in the capital through the Tier 2 lockdown, by extending the furlough scheme, directing financial support to the sectors which have suffered the most, and extending the business rates holiday currently in place until March 2021 so that businesses can plan beyond then.

Different restrictions are being introduced across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in an effort to stymie a second wave of the killer virus. 

In Scotland, 570 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Wednesday, up from 319 a week earlier, with 49 in ventilation beds, up from 28 a week earlier.

In Wales, 384 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Wednesday, up from 277 a week earlier, with 29 in ventilation beds, up from 27 a week earlier.

In Northern Ireland, 164 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Tuesday, up from 147 a week earlier, with 17 in ventilation beds as of Wednesday, up from 11 a week earlier.

Data on patients with Covid-19 is not comparable across the UK due to differences in the way the figures are reported.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Countryfile star Kate Humble blasts coronavirus lockdown curbs

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countryfile star kate humble blasts coronavirus lockdown curbs
Anxiety watch: Kate Humble says we are facing a ¿mental health crisis¿

Anxiety watch: Kate Humble says we are facing a ¿mental health crisis¿

Anxiety watch: Kate Humble says we are facing a ‘mental health crisis’

Kate Humble has warned that the Government’s ‘disproportionate’ response to coronavirus will result in a national mental health crisis.

In a scathing attack on the handling of the pandemic, the former Countryfile presenter said she felt people were becoming ‘scared and miserable and lonely’ as a result of the restrictions and that levels of anxiety were increasing.

Miss Humble, 51, said she felt sorry for her friends who are unable to visit parents in care homes suffering from dementia.

‘I’ve had conversations that have left me ragged with grief on their behalf,’ she added. 

‘You just think that it is so disproportionate, it is so, so wrong. It is basically inhumane.’

The star of wildlife and adventure TV shows, who is married to TV producer Ludo Graham, also believes that the NHS is prioritising Covid-19 cases ahead of ‘more important’ patients.

Recalling a visit to a hospital in July, she said a doctor told her they had seen children whose admission for brain tumours had been delayed as a result of lockdown. 

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34834712 8878675 image a 51 1603672319929

Miss Humble, 51, said she felt sorry for her friends who are unable to visit parents in care homes suffering from dementia. ‘I’ve had conversations that have left me ragged with grief on their behalf,’ she added [File photo]

She added: ‘That seems to be a pattern across the board whether it’s people with cancer who haven’t had treatment or haven’t gone in to get a lump checked out. It feels to me the NHS is going to be under increasing pressure and then there is this very real threat of a national mental health crisis.

‘There are other things that are far more important and far more damaging and will pile more pressure on the NHS than Covid-19. None of us feel like we have any control and I also think very few of us feel we have any trust in the people that do apparently have control.’

Miss Humble, who has written a book called A Year Of Living Simply, says the virus has had one benefit – allowing people to connect with nature and to ‘pause and re-evaluate our values’. 

People are seen waiting outside Marks & Spencer in Swansea, Wales before the 'firebreak' lockdown came into force. Miss Humble said: 'None of us feel like we have any control and I also think very few of us feel we have any trust in the people that do apparently have control'

People are seen waiting outside Marks & Spencer in Swansea, Wales before the 'firebreak' lockdown came into force. Miss Humble said: 'None of us feel like we have any control and I also think very few of us feel we have any trust in the people that do apparently have control'

People are seen waiting outside Marks & Spencer in Swansea, Wales before the ‘firebreak’ lockdown came into force. Miss Humble said: ‘None of us feel like we have any control and I also think very few of us feel we have any trust in the people that do apparently have control’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Woman paedophile convicted of being in child sex ring gets ban on contact with children overturned

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woman paedophile convicted of being in child sex ring gets ban on contact with children overturned

A middle-class churchgoer convicted with her lover of being part of a paedophile ring has overturned a ban on having unsupervised contact with children.

Monica McCanch, who is in her late 60s, had her indefinite sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) lifted by a judge and is now likely to also apply to have her name removed from the sex offenders register.

McCanch, formerly of Ash, near Canterbury, Kent, was jailed for six years in September 2007 after admitting four offences of sexual activity with a child and one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Monica McCanch has overturned a ban on having unsupervised contact with children after being convicted of being part of a paedophile ring

Monica McCanch has overturned a ban on having unsupervised contact with children after being convicted of being part of a paedophile ring

Monica McCanch has overturned a ban on having unsupervised contact with children after being convicted of being part of a paedophile ring

The ex-clinical trials manager with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer sobbed throughout her sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court, which heard she couldn’t bear the ‘shame and stigma’ of being labelled a child abuser.

Then 55, she was jailed with two accomplices, Oxford-educated former Army major Archibald Wood, then 60, and retail manager Steven Horton, then 44.

McCanch, who was married, and Wood were lovers and attended swingers’ parties with his wife.

They met warehouse manager Horton, who advertised for children on a paedophile chatroom, at a house in Fleet, Hampshire.

There they subjected their victims to a six-hour ordeal, forcing them to perform sex acts and to watch as the adults engaged in sex, the court heard. McCanch’s 29-year marriage ended after the police started investigating, following a tip-off from Horton’s girlfriend.

The ex-clinical trials manager with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer sobbed throughout her sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court (pictured)

The ex-clinical trials manager with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer sobbed throughout her sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court (pictured)

The ex-clinical trials manager with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer sobbed throughout her sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court (pictured)

McCanch now uses a different name and wrote to the court in July asking for the SOPO to be discharged, saying that since her release she ‘lived a quiet life concentrating on her garden’.

Her request was said to have been prompted and supported by Kent Police, who assessed the pensioner as being at low risk of sexual offending.

Police also confirmed to the court she had neither breached the conditions of the SOPO nor reoffended since her release from prison.

The order had included a ban on making contact with and having unsupervised contact with a child under 16.

McCanch did not attend last week’s hearing at Maidstone Crown Court, but Judge Tony Baumgartner said the application could be dealt with administratively and that he was satisfied the order should be discharged.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Post Office to scrap a THIRD of its 2,000 ATMs in new blow to elderly and vulnerable

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post office to scrap a third of its 2000 atms in new blow to elderly and vulnerable

The Post Office is scrapping nearly a third of its 2,000 free-to-use ATMs in another blow for community access to cash.

The taxpayer-owned operation is retaining 1,400 machines and has promised to invest £16million to equip them with the latest technology.

Customers will still be able to withdraw cash over the counter at 11,500 post offices thanks to a deal with major banks. But many do not know the service exists or are put off by long queues.

Around 8,500 free-to-use ATMs have been lost around the country over the past three years and many more are expected to be removed in the wake of the pandemic.

The Post Office is scrapping nearly a third of its 2,000 free-to-use ATMs in another blow for community access to cash (file image)

The Post Office is scrapping nearly a third of its 2,000 free-to-use ATMs in another blow for community access to cash (file image)

The Post Office is scrapping nearly a third of its 2,000 free-to-use ATMs in another blow for community access to cash (file image)

Campaigners have regularly raised concerns about access to cash, saying vulnerable groups rely on coins and notes to buy everyday essentials.

The 1,400 ATMs being retained by the Post Office include nearly 60 which are not commercially viable but are in locations where the next free-to-use machine is a significant distance away.

Martin Kearsley, the company’s banking director, said: ‘Our estate of Post Office-owned and operated ATMs will see postmasters operating some of the most modern and secure ATMs in the market.

‘In the areas where we have been unable to sustainably operate the existing ATMs, customers can still withdraw cash over the counter free of charge and in a secure manner. Many of our branches are open long hours and at weekends, ensuring continued access to cash.’

Customers will still be able to withdraw cash over the counter at 11,500 post offices thanks to a deal with major banks. But many do not know the service exists or are put off by long queues (file image)

Customers will still be able to withdraw cash over the counter at 11,500 post offices thanks to a deal with major banks. But many do not know the service exists or are put off by long queues (file image)

Customers will still be able to withdraw cash over the counter at 11,500 post offices thanks to a deal with major banks. But many do not know the service exists or are put off by long queues (file image)

The Post Office said it had reviewed each ATM and considered factors such as weekly usage and the proximity of other free facilities. The 600 machines that will close will be shut in a phased approach by March 2022.

The Post Office does not own or operate any ATMs at its branches. They belong to its partner, the Bank of Ireland, which is exiting this area of the market in the UK.

Towards the end of 2021, the first ATM will be migrated to the Post Office estate, with all machines transferring by April 2022.

Cash use declined sharply at the start of the pandemic, with some retailers asking customers to pay by alternatives such as cards. But many people still rely on cash and there are concerns that rural and deprived communities face being cut off.

The Government has said it would legislate to protect cash and one option is for cashback to become more widely available.

Proposals also include beefing up the Financial Conduct Authority’s role in overseeing the cash system to ensure it benefits consumers as well as small and medium- sized businesses.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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