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Investigators will probe how Stonehaven rail crash went unnoticed due to poor phone signal

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investigators will probe how stonehaven rail crash went unnoticed due to poor phone signal

Investigators will probe how Britain’s worst rail tragedy for a decade went unnoticed for a ‘significant’ period of time due to poor mobile phone signal.

Passenger Chris Stuchbury, 62, train driver Brett McCullough, 45, and conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, were killed after a ScotRail 6.38am service from Aberdeen to Glasgow derailed and slid down an embankment near Stonehaven on Wednesday.

After calling into Stonehaven at 6.53am, the train proceeded south to Glasgow Queen Street before stopping because of a landslip.

Turning north back to Stonehaven, the ScotRail service encountered another landslip near Carmont Railway station and tragically derailed.

Dozens of emergency vehicles rushed to the scene just before 9.45am after an off-duty member of train crew climbed out of the wreckage around 20 miles out of Aberdeen and walked a mile to the nearest signal box to call Network Rail.  

Though a Network Rail insider confirmed there had been a delay in responding to Wednesday’s horror crash, a railway union representative claims the derailment may have gone unnoticed for a ‘significant’ period of time.

A spokesman for Network Rail disputed these claims, telling MailOnline the delay between the crash and the alert was just ‘a few minutes’.  

A Network Rail insider told The Times: ‘Communication with the train was difficult because of the location, at the bottom of a hill in a wooded area. 

‘The mobile signal is really poor. When the accident first occurred it did take a few minutes for somebody to make contact and for us to understand how significant the incident was. That will form part of the investigation.’ 

Emergency services inspecting the scene of Wednesday's horror crash yesterday following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people

Emergency services inspecting the scene of Wednesday's horror crash yesterday following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people

Emergency services inspecting the scene of Wednesday’s horror crash yesterday following the derailment of the ScotRail train which cost the lives of three people

After calling into Stonehaven at 6.53am, the train proceeded south before stopping because of a landslip. Turning north back to Stonehaven, the service encountered another landslip near Carmont Railway station and derailed. Emergency vehicles arrived just before 9.45am

After calling into Stonehaven at 6.53am, the train proceeded south before stopping because of a landslip. Turning north back to Stonehaven, the service encountered another landslip near Carmont Railway station and derailed. Emergency vehicles arrived just before 9.45am

After calling into Stonehaven at 6.53am, the train proceeded south before stopping because of a landslip. Turning north back to Stonehaven, the service encountered another landslip near Carmont Railway station and derailed. Emergency vehicles arrived just before 9.45am

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks to the media during a visit to the scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks to the media during a visit to the scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks to the media during a visit to the scene of the derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

How the Stonehaven train tragedy unfolded

6.38am: Despite heavy rain overnight in the area, the train left Aberdeen station as normal, bound for Glasgow Queen Street. 

6.53am: The train calls at Stonehaven station as normal, before departing and heading south. 

Between 6.53am and 9.36am: After leaving Stonehaven, the train continued south, before encountering a landslip, caused by torrential rain.  

It began to return north to Stonehaven, initially remaining on the southbound line before crossing at Carmont onto the northbound line.  

Between 9.36am and 9.40am: The train hit a second landslip and derailed while returning to Stonehaven. 

An off-duty train crew climbs out of the wreckage and travels one mile to the nearest signal box to alert Network Rail. First reports of the incident were received by Police Scotland at 9.40am.

Network Rail Scotland told MailOnline the exact timeline will emerge as the picture of events becomes clearer.   

9.49am: Network Rail Scotland reports that a landslip on the same line at Carmont means that services are no longer running in the area.  

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One railway union representative told the paper that he had been made aware of ‘concerns about the train’s progress at 9.30am’.

He said:  ‘I wouldn’t have been the first person to have been called. The derailment must have happened considerably before then. 

‘I’m not suggesting the emergency services were slow in getting there. They weren’t, but it was not reported to the emergency services for quite a while.’  

Responding to Wednesday’s tragic events, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday ordered an urgent independent review of high-risk trackside slopes across the UK.

Wednesday’s horrific events will be investigated by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), an arm of the Department for Transport.

A separate probe will be conducted by the Office of Rail and Road. 

‘One of the things I’ve asked Network Rail to do immediately in the next few hours and days is to do a very quick resilience check to make sure that there’s no other situation like this,’ Mr Shapps told The Daily Telegraph.

‘I’ve then ordered an [interim] report from them [to be] on my desk for September 1st, where I want them to check the resilience of the whole of the GB network with this specifically in mind.’ 

Yesterday Mr Shapps said he understood the conductor managed to escape the train and alert operators, while a member of the public raised the alarm having seen smoke billowing from the trees.  

With the police notified around 9.40am, it was not long before the first responders were on the scene.

Police Constable Liam Mercer and a colleague received one of the earliest messages that something had happened on a ‘flood-hit’ line in Kincardineshire. 

The PC spoke to and was praised by Mr Shapps, who visited the site of the train wreck to see the damage for himself.

Mr Shapps said: ‘PC Liam Mercer answered a call and along with a colleague were the first emergency responders. 

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

The Prince of Wales meets first responders who attended the scene of the ScotRail train derailment near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, which cost the lives of three people

An off-duty conductor climbed out of the wreckage of a derailed ScotRail train (pictured on Wednesday) and walked a mile to the nearest signal box to raise the alarm

An off-duty conductor climbed out of the wreckage of a derailed ScotRail train (pictured on Wednesday) and walked a mile to the nearest signal box to raise the alarm

An off-duty conductor climbed out of the wreckage of a derailed ScotRail train (pictured on Wednesday) and walked a mile to the nearest signal box to raise the alarm

Flames are pictured coming out of one of the carriages following the accident near Stonehaven yesterday morning

Flames are pictured coming out of one of the carriages following the accident near Stonehaven yesterday morning

Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain's railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain's railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government's Michael Matheson (pictured here arriving) both visited the area on Thursday to meet members of the emergency services

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government's Michael Matheson (pictured here arriving) both visited the area on Thursday to meet members of the emergency services

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government’s Michael Matheson (pictured here arriving) both visited the area on Thursday to meet members of the emergency services

Crash came a MONTH after experts raised fears over landslips

Wednesday’s horror derailment that killed three people and injured several others came just four weeks after track operators were warned of a spike in dangerous landslips. 

A ScotRail train slipped from the tracks after hitting a landslip in an area recently hit by major flooding.

Track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash.

Meanwhile, in a visit to the site, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed it was ‘far too soon’ to say whether cutbacks to Network Rail contributed to derailment.

His comments come as it was revealed National Rail had been warned about the network’s resilience to severe weather just four weeks before yesterday’s horror derailment.

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months.

It also noted a spike in landslips, demonstrating the ‘vulnerability’ of the network, and criticised Network Rail’s plans to address climate change and extreme weather, which it said were ‘not keeping up with the frequency and severity of these events’.

Speaking when the report was published last month, HM chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser said: ‘The last year saw significant increases in flooding, earthwork failures and trains striking trees on the line, which had a big impact on the number of delays on the network.’ 

In its response, Network Rail said the railway was designed for a temperate climate and is ‘challenged’ by prolonged periods of high and low temperatures, storms and floods

It added: ‘Our climate is changing and we’re seeing more and more of these types of incidents. We are acutely aware they must be addressed and we have drawn up comprehensive plans to do so. There is no quick fix but we will continue to review the way the railway operates in extreme weather and build resilience into all of our plans.’

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‘He walked towards the scene and clearly being there first with that scene in front of you – he just said to me, his training kicked in right away.

‘He did not hesitate and got involved straight away and started helping people.

‘It’s extraordinary and humbling. And there are many others like him. I pay tribute to the brilliant work they have all done.’

Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, also on a visit to the derailment site, praised the ‘courage and determination’ of the off-duty conductor. 

He said he too had been humbled by the response of the emergency services. 

The train slipped from the tracks after hitting a landslip in the area, which had recently been hit by major flooding.

On Thursday, track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash.

Meanwhile, during his visit to the site, Mr Shapps claimed it was ‘far too soon’ to say whether cutbacks to Network Rail contributed to derailment.

His comments come as it was revealed National Rail had been warned about the network’s resilience to severe weather just four weeks before Wednesday’s derailment.

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months.

It also noted a spike in landslips, demonstrating the ‘vulnerability’ of the network, and criticised Network Rail’s plans to address climate change and extreme weather, which it said were ‘not keeping up with the frequency and severity of these events’.

Speaking when the report was published last month, HM chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser said: ‘The last year saw significant increases in flooding, earthwork failures and trains striking trees on the line, which had a big impact on the number of delays on the network.  

‘It is so important that the sector employs best practice if we are to meet all the pressures on the network in the future and to make sure the railway plays its full role on climate change and reducing carbon emissions.’

In its response, Network Rail said the railway was designed for a temperate climate and is ‘challenged’ by prolonged periods of high and low temperatures, storms and floods.

It added: ‘Our climate is changing and we’re seeing more and more of these types of incidents.

‘We are acutely aware they must be addressed and we have drawn up comprehensive plans to do so.

‘There is no quick fix but we will continue to review the way the railway operates in extreme weather and build resilience into all of our plans.’ 

Pictured: Father, 62, from Aberdeen who was a passenger on ScotRail train which derailed on ‘flood hit line’ is named as third victim of tragedy

Pictured: Chris Stuchbury, 62, who was killed when a ScotRail passenger train derailed near Stonehaven yesterday

Pictured: Chris Stuchbury, 62, who was killed when a ScotRail passenger train derailed near Stonehaven yesterday

Pictured: Chris Stuchbury, 62, who was killed when a ScotRail passenger train derailed near Stonehaven yesterday

A father who was a passenger on the ScotRail train which derailed on a ‘flood-hit’ line in Aberdeenshire yesterday has been named as the third victim of the tragedy.

Chris Stuchbury, 62, died alongside train driver Brett McCullough, 45, and conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, when a service derailed yesterday morning close to Carmont Railway station, near Stonehaven.     

Mr Stuchbury, who has family in Burghead, Moray, was confirmed among the dead after his family shared an image of them together to social media, the Daily Record reported.

Friends of the devastated family were quick to share their sympathies, with one writing: ‘My heart is broken for you all.’ 

Six others were rushed to hospital following the crash, while four firefighters were injured while helping in the aftermath of the derailment.     

The train slipped from the tracks after hitting a landslip in the area, which had recently been hit by major flooding.

Today, track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash.

Meanwhile, in a visit to the site, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed it was ‘far too soon’ to say whether cutbacks to Network Rail contributed to derailment.

Pictured: Brett McCullough

Pictured: Brett McCullough

Pictured: Donald Dinnie

Pictured: Donald Dinnie

Train driver Brett McCullough (left), 45, tragically died alongside conductor Donald Dinnie (right) when a ScotRail passenger service slipped from the tracks  near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire on Wednesday

His comments come as it was revealed National Rail had been warned about the network’s resilience to severe weather just four weeks before yesterday’s horror derailment.

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months.

It also noted a spike in landslips, demonstrating the ‘vulnerability’ of the network, and criticised Network Rail’s plans to address climate change and extreme weather, which it said were ‘not keeping up with the frequency and severity of these events’.

Speaking when the report was published last month, HM chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser said: ‘The last year saw significant increases in flooding, earthwork failures and trains striking trees on the line, which had a big impact on the number of delays on the network.

‘It is so important that the sector employs best practice if we are to meet all the pressures on the network in the future and to make sure the railway plays its full role on climate change and reducing carbon emissions.’

In its response, Network Rail said the railway was designed for a temperate climate and is ‘challenged’ by prolonged periods of high and low temperatures, storms and floods.

It added: ‘Our climate is changing and we’re seeing more and more of these types of incidents.

‘We are acutely aware they must be addressed and we have drawn up comprehensive plans to do so.

‘There is no quick fix but we will continue to review the way the railway operates in extreme weather and build resilience into all of our plans.’

Today the  rail infrastructure body said it will use in-house engineers, specialist contractors and helicopter surveys to inspect other high-risk routes following yesterday’s crash.

All ‘higher risk’ sites where railway lines have been built through ground excavation and are similar to the location of yesterday’s fatal accident will receive these ‘supplementary specialist inspections’.

Dozens of sites across Britain will be assessed.

Network Rail also said it is working with meteorologists to strengthen the information it receives about flash flooding caused by extreme weather, so it can improve the way it deals with train operations.

Yesterday, British Transport Police’s chief inspector Brian McAleese said an investigation into the derailment would be directed by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

He added they ‘will also be working closely with them along with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and Office of Road and Rail to establish the full circumstances of how this train came to derail’.  

Today, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Scottish Government’s Michael Matheson have both visited the area and met with members of the emergency services.

Mr Matheson said the derailment was an ‘absolutely tragic event’.

He told BBC Radio Scotland: ‘My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by this, particularly to the families and friends of those who were killed in this incident yesterday.

‘My thoughts are very much with them and I also hope those injured in the course of this incident are able to make a speedy recovery.’

Train in Kent smashes into landslide but is NOT derailed and passengers are safely evacuated – just a day after similar incident in Scotland killed three

Passengers were evacuated from a train in Kent today after it got stuck in mud which washed onto the track during torrential rain – just a day after a derailment killed three in Scotland.

The Southeastern service got caught on the line near to West Malling following reports of a landslide due to heavy thunderstorms and rain across Britain this week. 

A total of 18 passengers were evacuated safely and a geotechnical expert has been called to the scene to assess the landslide, Kent Live reported.  

Network Rail later revealed it will be working overnight to clear mud which had been washed onto the line near West Malling. 

It added: ‘It’s looking good but there’s a chance it could take longer so we’re advising passengers check before you travel tomorrow morning. 

‘We turned the power on to move the train and the water and muck started steaming – we’ll have to turn it off again before the mud gets cleared…’     

The incident caused rail disruptions between Swanley and Maidstone East, which are expected to remain in place until the end of the day. 

Southeastern explained ‘a train has struck an obstruction on the line near West Malling, meaning trains can’t run in either direction between Otford and Maidstone East.’

The Southeastern service became unable to move on the track near to West Malling following reports of a landslide due to heavy thunderstorms and rain across Britain

The Southeastern service became unable to move on the track near to West Malling following reports of a landslide due to heavy thunderstorms and rain across Britain

The Southeastern service became unable to move on the track near to West Malling following reports of a landslide due to heavy thunderstorms and rain across Britain

It added that emergency response staff are currently at the scene and are working to clear the obstruction to allow the train to move forward.

They will then assess the extent of any damage to the line, a statement added.

Kent Fire and Rescue were reportedly at the scene alongside British Transport Police, Network Rail and Southeastern.   

It comes a day after a ScotRail train derailed and crashed on a ‘flood-hit’ line near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire yesterday, killing three.

Chris Stuchbury, 62, died alongside train driver Brett McCullough, 45, and conductor Donald Dinnie, 58, when a service slipped from the tracks close to Carmont Railway station yesterday.

Six others were rushed to hospital following the crash, while four firefighters were injured while helping in the aftermath of the derailment.     

The train slipped from the tracks after hitting a landslip in the area, which had recently been hit by major flooding.

A total of 18 passengers were evacuated safely by police and a geotechnical expert has been called to the scene to assess the landslide

A total of 18 passengers were evacuated safely by police and a geotechnical expert has been called to the scene to assess the landslide

A total of 18 passengers were evacuated safely by police and a geotechnical expert has been called to the scene to assess the landslide

The incident caused rail disruptions between Swanley and Maidstone East, which are expected to remain in place until the end of the day

The incident caused rail disruptions between Swanley and Maidstone East, which are expected to remain in place until the end of the day

The incident caused rail disruptions between Swanley and Maidstone East, which are expected to remain in place until the end of the day

Today, track operator Network Rail announced that engineers will carry out detailed inspections of dozens of high-risk trackside slopes with similar characteristics to the site of the Aberdeenshire crash.

Meanwhile, in a visit to the site, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed it was ‘far too soon’ to say whether cutbacks to Network Rail contributed to derailment.

His comments come as it was revealed National Rail had been warned about the network’s resilience to severe weather just four weeks before yesterday’s horror derailment.

Southeastern explained 'a train has struck an obstruction on the line near West Malling, meaning trains can't run in either direction between Otford and Maidstone East'

Southeastern explained 'a train has struck an obstruction on the line near West Malling, meaning trains can't run in either direction between Otford and Maidstone East'

Southeastern explained ‘a train has struck an obstruction on the line near West Malling, meaning trains can’t run in either direction between Otford and Maidstone East’

An annual health and safety report by rail safety watchdog, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), said there were six times more flooding events on Britain’s railways in 2019-20 than during the previous 12 months.

It also noted a spike in landslips, demonstrating the ‘vulnerability’ of the network, and criticised Network Rail’s plans to address climate change and extreme weather, which it said were ‘not keeping up with the frequency and severity of these events’.  

Network Rail has been contacted for comment. 

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Sunak splashes the cash AGAIN: Chancellor is to unveil ‘winter plan’ TODAY with ‘flexible furlough’

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sunak splashes the cash again chancellor is to unveil winter plan today with flexible furlough

Rishi Sunak will unveil a multi-billion pound ‘winter plan’ today with a VAT cut and new ‘flexible furlough’ for staff returning part-time after dire warnings that 540,000 hospitality jobs could be lost. 

The Chancellor cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November, with sources saying it was ‘not the time’ for long-term plans.

Instead he will map out an emergency ‘Winter Economy Plan’ today designed to help firms cope with new Covid restrictions which Boris Johnson has warned will last for six months.

Whitehall sources last night said the Chancellor’s plans would include a new wage subsidy scheme modelled on a German scheme that helps fund salaries at firms where there is only enough work to go back part-time.

Government officials are looking at whether the state can help cover the costs for staff able to do 50 to 60 percent of their normal hours, according to the Financial Times, which would be considerably cheaper to run than the furlough scheme that has cost almost £4 billion in the last four weeks.

By comparison, the German kurzarbeit (short- working) model would cost around £500 million a month.

The ‘flexible furlough’ scheme would allow for companies to hack back workers’ hours while keeping them on their books, with the Government making up the difference but with a cap for salaries up to around £30,000, according to the Sun. 

As the Archbishops of Canterbury and York warned of the economic costs of Covid:

  • Hospitality groups said a quarter of pubs and restaurants could go bust this year; 
  • HMRC and Goldman Sachs were among employers abandoning their drives to get people back to the office;
  • Pictures showed high streets boarded up as shops reacted to the clampdown; 
  • The travel industry faced fresh despair when Downing Street warned of the risk of booking half-term holidays; 
  • Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza are keeping two thirds of outlets shut; 
  • MPs demanded extra help for theatre and music venues;
  • No 10 said a ban on household visits could be extended across large swathes of England;
  • A mobile tracing app is finally being rolled out – four months late;
  • Matt Hancock’s target for half a million virus tests a day by the end of next month was under threat from equipment shortages;
  • Scientific advisers suggested that students could be told to remain on campus over Christmas.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabinet meeting to be held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, ahead of MPs returning to Westminster after the summer recess on September 1. The Chancellor last night cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabinet meeting to be held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, ahead of MPs returning to Westminster after the summer recess on September 1. The Chancellor last night cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabinet meeting to be held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, ahead of MPs returning to Westminster after the summer recess on September 1. The Chancellor last night cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November

Mr Sunak is also expected to extend a number of cheap loan schemes for business. And the Prime Minister hinted yesterday there would be additional help for the self-employed. 

Ministers are also looking at a bailout scheme for struggling sports clubs hit by a ban on crowds. 

This year’s VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism industry to 5 percent, which has cost £4 billion, was due to last until January but will now run until the end of March, The Times reported. 

Furious Tory MPs have turned on 'authoritarian' Boris Johnson as he ordered the British public to obey his draconian new coronavirus restrictions – or face an economically devastating second national lockdown

Furious Tory MPs have turned on 'authoritarian' Boris Johnson as he ordered the British public to obey his draconian new coronavirus restrictions – or face an economically devastating second national lockdown

Furious Tory MPs have turned on ‘authoritarian’ Boris Johnson as he ordered the British public to obey his draconian new coronavirus restrictions – or face an economically devastating second national lockdown 

Treasury sources said the Chancellor had rejected calls to extend the £35billion furlough scheme, despite warnings that its closure at the end of next month could result in more than one million redundancies.

‘The Chancellor has shown he has been creative in the past and hopes that people will trust us to continue in that vein,’ a source said. ‘Giving people reassurance and businesses the help they need to get through this is uppermost in his mind.’ Mr Sunak played a pivotal role in helping persuade Mr Johnson not to move to an immediate second lockdown this week.

But the decision to tighten Covid restrictions on the hospitality sector and order millions of office staff to work from home until spring has put him under huge pressure to bring forward more support.

Today he is expected to warn that the Treasury does not have a bottomless pit of money to prop up the economy indefinitely – and cannot save every job.

Allies said he would be ‘very honest with people’ about the ‘difficult trade-offs’ the Government faces as it tries to deal with the twin challenges of surging Covid cases and a battered economy.

‘It is not about health versus the economy, but about the balance between keeping people in jobs and finding them new ones,’ the source said.

The Treasury was tight-lipped about the Chancellor’s plans last night. But it is understood he will press ahead with a version of Germany’s ‘kurzarbeit’ scheme, which ensures workers who have had their hours cut by struggling firms receive a minimum of 60 per cent of their lost pay.

Questions had already been raised over whether the Chancellor's set piece autumn announcement, broadly penned in for November, would go ahead

Questions had already been raised over whether the Chancellor's set piece autumn announcement, broadly penned in for November, would go ahead

Questions had already been raised over whether the Chancellor’s set piece autumn announcement, broadly penned in for November, would go ahead

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What is the German-style system that Rishi Sunak could use in place of the furlough scheme? 

Germany’s has used its Kurzarbeit job subsidy measures during the coronavirus pandemic and has recently extended its use until the end of 2021.

Unlike the British furlough programme, an emergency scheme which pays companies to pay employees not to work, the Kurzarbeit system, which already existed before the pandemic, surrounds short-time working.

It allows employers to reduce employees’ hours while keeping them in a job.

The government pays workers a percentage of the money they would have got for working those lost hours. 

According to the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research, at the height of the pandemic, half of all German firms had at least some of their staff on the scheme. 

Influential British political figures including former prime minister Gordon Brown have urged the government to bring in such a scheme, or a similar French-style system, after the furlough scheme ends in October.

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A similar scheme proposed by the Confederation of British Industry would see subsidies for firms that can offer staff at last 50 per cent of their normal hours, with the cost for non-working hours shared equally by the company, the Treasury and the employee.

The final scheme is likely to be significantly cheaper than furlough, which has paid 80 per cent of the wages of staff unable to work and helped protect 9.6million jobs. But it will fall short of demands from Labour and the unions for the furlough scheme to continue indefinitely.

In the Commons yesterday, Mr Johnson was repeatedly urged to extend the furlough scheme in the wake of his decision to tighten Covid restrictions for at least six months.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged him to ‘stop and rethink, support the businesses affected, not to withdraw furlough’.

Mr Johnson said the furlough scheme had ‘already been extended’ once, adding: ‘I do not think that it would be sensible simply to extend the current existing furlough scheme in its present form beyond the end of October.

‘But we will do everything we can to support businesses and to support those in jobs and, indeed, the self-employed.’

Mr Johnson said the Government had already paid out £160billion to prop up the economy, with business support more generous than in most other countries.

Entrepreneur and former Pizza Express boss Luke Johnson told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that closure of the furlough scheme at a time when the economy was still operating under tight restrictions would lead to mass redundancies next month. ‘I would estimate of the three million [still on the furlough scheme], at least a million… will be made redundant,’ he said.

The decision to cancel the Budget is a blow to the Treasury’s hopes of getting the public finances back on a more even keel.

Mr Sunak had been considering tax rises to help offset a budget deficit expected to top £300billion this year. But decisions on tax will now have to be delayed until next year.

The cancellation of the Budget could also prove a blow to the aviation industry, which had been hoping for a cut in Air Passenger Duty.

A Government source last night told the Mail that ministers were also looking at a rescue package for threatened football and rugby clubs.

‘We cannot have a situation where local football clubs are going to the wall,’ the source said. ‘They and other similar sports clubs are critical parts of their communities.’

It’s criminal! Amid howls of anger from business chiefs over SIX-MONTH crackdown that threatens millions of jobs, one boss delivers his damning verdict…

By Daniel Martin, Tom Witherow and Lucy White for The Daily Mail   

One of Britain’s top business bosses yesterday led a backlash against ‘criminal’ Covid curbs that he claims could threaten millions of jobs.

Julian Metcalfe, the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions.

Nearly a quarter of pubs and restaurants fear they will fail by the end of the year unless Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils significant support for them, a poll found.

Shoppers and workers get their takeaway from Pret A Manger in Chelsea while wearing masks before it becomes compulsory in shops in England on Thursday

Shoppers and workers get their takeaway from Pret A Manger in Chelsea while wearing masks before it becomes compulsory in shops in England on Thursday

Shoppers and workers get their takeaway from Pret A Manger in Chelsea while wearing masks before it becomes compulsory in shops in England on Thursday

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months.

This was before the latest restrictions for pubs, restaurants and the wider hospitality sector were announced.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance'

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance'

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance’

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from tonight and made table service mandatory. In addition, he ordered people to work from home if they can – a U-turn on his call for staff to return to the office in a bid to shore up ailing city high streets.

Responding to the restrictions, Mr Metcalfe said he did not know whether Itsu would survive the measures. ‘The repercussions of this six months is going to be devastating to so many people, to local councils, to industry, to people all over our country,’ he told Radio 4’s World At One.

‘We have just not begun to touch the seriousness of this. People who work in hotels, restaurants, takeaways and in coffee shops are devastated. A great many are closing down – we’re losing thousands upon thousands of jobs. How long can this continue, this vague ‘work from home’, ‘don’t go on public transport’? The ramifications of this are just enormous.

‘I hate to think how many people will be made redundant – it’s just heartbreaking. It’s hundreds of thousands of hospitality businesses, and the knock-on effects of people who look after them and service them and bring them food and clean them. It’s millions of jobs.’

Mr Metcalfe turned his fire on Mr Johnson, accusing him of announcing a policy of ‘exaggerated nonsense’.

‘To turn to an entire nation and say ‘stay at home for six months’, and to spout off some Churchillian nonsense about we’ll make it through – it’s terribly unhelpful to this country,’ he said.

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from Thursday night and made table service mandatory. Pictured, people drinking outside in Soho, London, on Wednesday night

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from Thursday night and made table service mandatory. Pictured, people drinking outside in Soho, London, on Wednesday night

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from Thursday night and made table service mandatory. Pictured, people drinking outside in Soho, London, on Wednesday night

Emma McClarkin (pictured), chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge'

Emma McClarkin (pictured), chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge'

Emma McClarkin (pictured), chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge’

‘This talk of six months is criminal. It should be ‘we will review the situation each week, each hour’ – not ‘everyone stay home for six months and let’s see where we are’. Because the scientists are all disagreeing with each other.’

And while Mr Metcalfe welcomed Mr Sunak’s furlough scheme, he said: ‘We can’t as a country go on borrowing, borrowing, borrowing money, pretending it doesn’t matter…. Of course we’d love furlough to continue, but it can’t.’

Major firms including HSBC and Goldman Sachs have halted their return-to-the-office programmes, leading to increased fears for pubs and restaurants.

Citigroup has also eased its return to the office programme and has asked staff to exercise judgment. Barclays and Lloyds are also set to reduce their back to workplace programmes.

The Chancellor has drawn up plans to help hospitality firms, but businesses fear it won’t be enough.

The survey by the three trade bodies found that one in eight hospitality staff has already been made redundant, and more jobs in the sector are expected to be lost when the furlough scheme ends.

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months. Pictured, people drinking outside a bar in Blackpool on Wednesday night

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months. Pictured, people drinking outside a bar in Blackpool on Wednesday night

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months. Pictured, people drinking outside a bar in Blackpool on Wednesday night

Julian Metcalfe (pictured), the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions

Julian Metcalfe (pictured), the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions

Julian Metcalfe (pictured), the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions

On average, businesses believe their workforce will be 25 per cent lower by February 2021 compared to February this year.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge.

‘Now the Prime Minister has announced even more restrictions for them, it is clear much more support will be needed from the Government to ensure they survive.

‘Only by taking these measures can the Government save our pubs, hospitality businesses and as many as 540,000 jobs.’

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance. The additional restrictions announced this week place even further burdens on a sector that is operating with razor-thin margins and needs all the help it can get. It is vital that these restrictions are reviewed regularly.’

People drinking outside the Old Compton in Soho, London, Wednesday night. Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home

People drinking outside the Old Compton in Soho, London, Wednesday night. Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home

People drinking outside the Old Compton in Soho, London, Wednesday night. Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home

The chief executives of Deliveroo, KFC and Pizza Hut last night wrote to the Chancellor urging him to ensure that incomes remain stable, an extension of VAT reduction on food for six months, and an extension of business rates relief.

Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home.

She told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It’s clear that this virus isn’t going to go away quickly so we need to find a way of living with it that doesn’t cripple our economy.’

Last night a Government spokesman said: ‘The aim is to reduce transmission in areas where people are enclosed and where they might come into contact with people they don’t know. This can include public transport and can include places that are not fully Covid secure. It is a way of reducing those chances transmission which is the name of the game.’ 

How much more of Britain will be boarded up now? 

Commentary by Alex Brummer for The Daily Mail 

The Chancellor’s emergency decision to cancel the November budget and instead unveil a new winter plan today to preserve jobs and support enterprise is an indication of the grave economic uncertainty this country now faces.

Uncertainty made far worse by the Government’s latest measures to contain the pandemic.

Rishi Sunak’s surprise autumn package, which comes after his July ‘Plan for Jobs’, shows that amid the havoc wreaked by Covid-19 and the Government’s cautious response to rising infections, the Chancellor is having to make decisions on the hoof irrespective of their financial and economic consequences.

Picture shows closed shops on Kensington High Street after coronavirus lockdown left retailers unable to sustain business

Picture shows closed shops on Kensington High Street after coronavirus lockdown left retailers unable to sustain business

Picture shows closed shops on Kensington High Street after coronavirus lockdown left retailers unable to sustain business

Closed down shop front on Golders Green Road in North West London. It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election

Closed down shop front on Golders Green Road in North West London. It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election

Closed down shop front on Golders Green Road in North West London. It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election

Just a few weeks ago the big debate was about whether the time was right for raising taxes in the budget. But now, with the new clampdown on the hospitality sector and office working, any plans he had to deal with the ballooning budget deficit and debt have been put on hold until next year. Sunak is having to reach deep into his bag of tricks to prevent the economy going back into lockdown.

It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election.

This time, the cause of the postponement is more chilling. The uncertainty caused by the Prime Minister’s doom-laden response to the virus this week has sapped business confidence and caused huge sectors of the economy – particularly the hospitality, sport and aerospace industries – to knock on the Treasury’s door for help.

Without measures from No 11, vast swathes of Britain’s high streets and city centres, already desolate, risk being boarded up forever. In making the latest batch of spending decisions, designed to keep the economy running, Sunak and the Treasury will almost be flying blind. Most government departments still have to submit their budget plans for 2021-22 and these are likely to be outlined in a spending review later in the Autumn.

A Vision Express was closed down in Camden High Street, London. The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November

A Vision Express was closed down in Camden High Street, London. The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November

A Vision Express was closed down in Camden High Street, London. The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November

Closed shop premises on King Street in Manchester city centre. Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid

Closed shop premises on King Street in Manchester city centre. Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid

Closed shop premises on King Street in Manchester city centre. Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid

The tragedy is that there were signs of a strong bounce in the economy in the summer – it recovered almost half the output lost during the first half of the year as we caught a small glimpse of the desired ‘V’ shaped recovery.

However, the combination of the end of furlough in October and imposition of new lockdown rules will deliver a devastating blow to output and jobs. Sunak is known to be concerned that if the furlough were kept in place he would be in danger of supporting ‘zombie jobs’ that will never come back. But he will also want to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ in which millions suddenly find themselves out of work.

The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November. What we do know, however, even before Sunak’s latest expensive package of assistance, is that Britain now faces the worst peacetime budget crisis of modern times.

Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid. The Chancellor has spent £35billion so far on the furlough scheme and will be anxious to make sure the money has not been totally wasted.

One possible way of saving jobs would be to replace it with a German-style support scheme under which employers put people back to work on a part-time basis and the Government makes up the shortfall in wages, allowing the economy to gather momentum.

As the country rides the coronavirus roller-coaster, all the normal rules of predictable economic policymaking have been torn up. The Chancellor is having to adopt a dynamic approach of a kind never seen before.

But whatever happens tomorrow, when the pandemic has passed, Britain will face a massive task in restoring fiscal responsibility and credibility. 

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ALL bars in France’s second city of Marseille are closed

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All bars, cafés and restaurants are to shut down in France’s second city because of the worsening Coronavirus pandemic, the country’s Health Secretary said tonight.

The closures in Marseille – which start on Monday – were announced by Olivier Véran on Wednesday as part of a nationwide series of tough new measures.

They also include bars in Paris, Lille and Grenoble having to shut at 10pm from Monday, while gatherings of more than 10 people will also be banned.

An even earlier closure of bars can also be sanctioned by local prefects, said Mr Véran.

A lowering of the number of people allowed to attend sports and cultural events from 5,000 to 1,000, and a temporary ban on renting party venues, including for weddings, were also announced.

The closures in Marseille (pictured) - which start on Monday - were announced by Olivier Véran on Wednesday as part of a nationwide series of tough new measures

The closures in Marseille (pictured) - which start on Monday - were announced by Olivier Véran on Wednesday as part of a nationwide series of tough new measures

The closures in Marseille (pictured) – which start on Monday – were announced by Olivier Véran on Wednesday as part of a nationwide series of tough new measures

‘The Greater Paris health system is now strongly under strain’ said Mr Véran, during a press conference broadcast live.

‘The number of hospitalised patients within the region is increasing very rapidly. There are nearly 1,000 hospitalisations for Coronavirus over the last seven days, against 460 the previous week. A doubling.’

The total shut down of bars, cafés and restaurants in Marseille will last for a minimum of two weeks to begin with, and will be reviewed after that.

It will mean many businesses facing ruin, especially if the closures turn into rolling ones.

The total shut down of bars, cafés and restaurants will also be introduced in the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean.

'The Greater Paris health system is now strongly under strain' said Mr Véran (pictured), during a press conference

'The Greater Paris health system is now strongly under strain' said Mr Véran (pictured), during a press conference

‘The Greater Paris health system is now strongly under strain’ said Mr Véran (pictured), during a press conference

Mr Veran said the new measures were ‘not aimed at scaring people too much, but it is to tell you that there is still time to act.

‘The measures we are taking aim to make this curve flat, or rather to get off the path we’re on, so as to protect our hospitals and intensive care units.

‘If we do not take action quickly, we risk reaching a critical situation in some of the most affected areas in a matter of weeks.’

It followed ministers in Paris holding a series of crisis meetings to analyse the latest surge, which saw more than 10,000 cases and 78 deaths recorded in France on Tuesday.

The incidence rate of infection has risen to 204 per 100,000 inhabitants in the greater Paris area.

Mask wearing is already mandatory in public places in France, but there have been concerns about people flouting social distancing advice.

Young people have in particular been criticised for gathering in large groups, often without masks, at bars and cafés in the capital.

With more than 460,000 confirmed cases and over 31,400 deaths to date, concern is growing about hospital capacity to handle a second wave.

Admissions have started to rise again after being contained during France’s lockdown between March and May.

Paris is set to be hit with new lockdown measures today that will ban gatherings of more than 10 people, along with alcohol consumption in public places after 8pm

Paris is set to be hit with new lockdown measures today that will ban gatherings of more than 10 people, along with alcohol consumption in public places after 8pm

Paris is set to be hit with new lockdown measures today that will ban gatherings of more than 10 people, along with alcohol consumption in public places after 8pm

France, Spain and the UK are all seeing spiking Covid cases - but only the UK has imposed new national measures, while France and Spain have used more-relaxed local lockdowns

France, Spain and the UK are all seeing spiking Covid cases - but only the UK has imposed new national measures, while France and Spain have used more-relaxed local lockdowns

France, Spain and the UK are all seeing spiking Covid cases – but only the UK has imposed new national measures, while France and Spain have used more-relaxed local lockdowns

The developments in France follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson introducing new restrictive measures in Britain.

The new rules mark a major step backwards for the French capital, but are more relaxed than those brought in by this week by the UK – which has banned gatherings larger than six across the country, and ordered all pubs to close by 10pm.

That is despite France having more than double the UK’s daily coronavirus cases, based on a seven-day rolling average.

France, Spain and the UK are bearing the brunt of a second wave of coronavirus cases in Europe, which comes after countries across the continent eased lockdown.

Until this week, all three countries had been dealing with problem using local lockdowns, targeted at areas where cases were rising fastest.

But on Tuesday the UK suddenly broke ranks with a raft of new nationwide measures, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said will last for the next six months.

In addition to cutting the size of gatherings and closing pubs early, he also urged workers to return to working from home – despite an earlier drive to get people back into offices – and banned indoor team sports.

He also increased fines for rule-breakers, and made the army available to help police enforce the measures.

That is not the case in Spain or France, where both countries have resisted imposing new nation-wide measures on focused on local lockdowns.

Parts of Madrid have been plunged back into full lockdown as coroanvirus cases in Spain have soared, but most of the city is still allowed to move around freely

Parts of Madrid have been plunged back into full lockdown as coroanvirus cases in Spain have soared, but most of the city is still allowed to move around freely

Parts of Madrid have been plunged back into full lockdown as coroanvirus cases in Spain have soared, but most of the city is still allowed to move around freely

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the new nationwide measures will need to remain in in place for the next six months to keep infections down over winter

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the new nationwide measures will need to remain in in place for the next six months to keep infections down over winter

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the new nationwide measures will need to remain in in place for the next six months to keep infections down over winter 

In Spain, parts of Madrid with rapidly rising infections have been thrown back into full lockdown, with authorities calling on the army to help enforce the rules.

The remaining 6.6million residents have been encouraged to say indoors, though are not required to do so – yet. New measures are due to be announced next week.

Meanwhile Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, has also announced bans on gatherings larger than six people.

Spain saw 11,300 new cases of coroanvirus on Tuesday this week, based on a rolling seven-day average. 

In France, the cities of Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Nice had all already been hit with tougher new lockdown measures, though country-wide restrictions have remained the same.

Measures include no drinking in public places after 8pm, all bars to close by midnight, and the size of gatherings cut.

Masks are already compulsory across France in all indoor spaces, though many cities have made them compulsory outdoors as well.

France reported 10,155 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, based on a seven-day rolling average. The figure for the UK was 3,928.

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Trump slams Meghan Markle and says he is ‘not a fan of hers’ and says he wishes Prince Harry ‘luck’

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trump slams meghan markle and says he is not a fan of hers and says he wishes prince harry luck

President Donald Trump slammed Meghan Markle from the White House podium after she and Prince Harry recorded a video message urging Americans to vote, hinting they support Democrat Joe Biden. 

‘I’m not a fan of hers.’ Trump said Wednesday to a question posed by DailyMail.com. ‘I would say this – and she has probably has heard that – I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it.’  

Harry and Meghan, now ensconced in an L.A. mansion as Election Day approaches after relinquishing their royal titles, made their remarks just weeks before the Nov. 3 elections, with Americans in some states already going to the polls.

‘As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity,’ said Harry – in a line some observers in Britain and the U.S. immediately took to be a plug for Joe Biden and a slap at President Trump.  

President Donald Trump slammed Meghan Markle from the White House podium Wednesday, telling DailyMail.com that he's 'not a fan of hers.' 'I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he's going to need it'

President Donald Trump slammed Meghan Markle from the White House podium Wednesday, telling DailyMail.com that he's 'not a fan of hers.' 'I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he's going to need it'

President Donald Trump slammed Meghan Markle from the White House podium Wednesday, telling DailyMail.com that he’s ‘not a fan of hers.’ ‘I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it’  

Said the California-born Markle, 39: ‘We’re six weeks out from the election, and today is Voter Registration Day. Every four years, we’re told the same thing, ‘This is the most important election of our lifetime.’ But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action, and our voices are heard.’ 

Earlier, the president’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski teed off on the couple. 

‘They made Britain great again by leaving, I hope they do the same for us,’ Lewandowski, now a senior 2020 advisor to the Trump campaign, told DailyMail.com Wednesday, in comments after Harry and Meghan’s comments in a Time 100 video message made waves on both sides of the Atlantic.  

Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller indicated, however, he saw no such preference in Prince Harry’s words.

‘I’m assuming you’re asking me because of Joe Biden’s record of hateful and divisive language, particularly toward the African American community?’ he responded when asked by DailyMail.com for comment. 

Then he wrote: ‘I read this as warranted criticism of Joe Biden’s racist policies. He’s the only person I know of who has spoken at a Klan member’s funeral!’ – a reference to Biden’s eulogy for former the late Senate leader Robert C. Byrd, who was a klan member in West Virginia in the 1940s but later apologized for what he called a ‘sad mistake.’ 

'They made Britain great again by leaving, I hope they do the same for us,' Corey Lewandowski, now a senior 2020 advisor to the Trump campaign, told DailyMail.com

'They made Britain great again by leaving, I hope they do the same for us,' Corey Lewandowski, now a senior 2020 advisor to the Trump campaign, told DailyMail.com

‘They made Britain great again by leaving, I hope they do the same for us,’ Corey Lewandowski, now a senior 2020 advisor to the Trump campaign, told DailyMail.com

Markle told Marie Claire in August that she intended to vote. ‘I know what it’s like to have a voice, and also what it’s like to feel voiceless,’ she said. ‘I also know that so many men and women have put their lives on the line for us to be heard. And that opportunity, that fundamental right, is in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to make all of our voices heard.’

Before marrying Harry but after Trump’s election, Markle called Trump ‘misogynistic’ and ‘divisive’ in a TV appearance. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘crossed a line’ by speaking out about the US election and ‘effectively telling Americans to vote against Trump’, royal insiders believe. 

The Duke of Sussex told voters to ‘reject hate speech’ while the Duchess called the presidential race the ‘most important election of our lifetime’ as the couple urged Americans to register to vote.

Speaking in a Time 100 video message, apparently filmed from their California home, Harry admitted he was not eligible to vote – adding that he had never voted in the UK either where convention dictates that royals keep well clear of politics. 

While Harry and Meghan did not name their favored candidate, many viewers thought it ‘obvious’ they were backing Joe Biden over Donald Trump – although a source close to Harry denied this. 

Royal experts told MailOnline that the couple should give up their titles and sever their links to the monarchy for good if they wanted to comment on US politics, while insiders told The Times that palace aides would be concerned about their intervention.   

MailOnline editor-at-large Piers Morgan said: ‘Prince Harry poking his woke nose into the US election and effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump is completely unacceptable behaviour for a member of the Royal Family.’ 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out about the upcoming U.S. election, in a stark break with British tradition that prohibits royal involvement in politics

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out about the upcoming U.S. election, in a stark break with British tradition that prohibits royal involvement in politics

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out about the upcoming U.S. election, in a stark break with British tradition that prohibits royal involvement in politics

For his part, Harry said: 'As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity'

For his part, Harry said: 'As we approach this November, it's vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity'

For his part, Harry said: ‘As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity’

Former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, the author of the book And What Do You Do? What The Royal Family Don’t Want You To Know, said Harry should not speak out about US politics while he is still a ‘representative’ of the UK. 

‘I think it’s appropriate for any private citizen to comment on the US election. The problem is that Harry has retained his HRH status and is not a private citizen but still a representative of this country,’ Mr Baker told MailOnline. 

‘He needs to stop trying to have a foot in both camps – royal when it suits him and private when it doesn’t.

‘Or to turn on its head the old phrase, I agree with what he says but disagree with his right to say it.’

Royal biographer Robert Jobson told MailOnline that it ‘may be easier’ for Meghan and Harry to give up their royal titles altogether given the ‘business and political agenda they appear to want to pursue’. 

Mr Jobson, whose latest book is called The Royal Family Operations Manual, said the couple were now ‘completely detached’ from the British monarchy and would be best off abandoning their titles altogether.  

‘Meghan, after all, holds American citizenship and has always voted,’ he said. ‘The business about royals not getting involved in politics is less clear when it comes to Meghan or what the protocol should be in this case.

‘But as she is now back living in her country I am sure many would think it wrong that she is not allowed to exercise her democratic right to vote.

‘Royals even in this country are entitled to their opinion and, such as the very vocal the Prince of Wales and Prince William voice them, particularly on the environment and the natural world. They see this as leadership.

‘The important part is that they are not partisan, as for the monarch or her direct heir to be partisan could cause a constitutional crisis.’

How British royals are expected to keep out of politics  

Under Britain’s constitutional monarchy, powers which theoretically belong to the Queen – such as appointing ministers and approving legislation – are exercised in her name by political leaders. 

This system means that political decisions are taken by the elected government rather than unelected royals, while keeping the monarchy as a symbol of the British state and its traditions. 

The royals’ political neutrality, which the Queen has scrupulously observed for 68 years, is key to maintaining this balance and to preserving the monarchy’s popularity. 

A YouGov poll earlier this year found majority support among both Conservative and Labour voters as well as Brexiteers and Europhiles for maintaining the British monarchy.  

The Queen’s uncle King Edward VIII had to abdicate in 1936 because the government refused to support his planned marriage to American divorcee Wallis Simpson – fatally compromising his neutrality.   

While there is no law explicitly preventing the royal family from voting in UK elections, doing so would be an unacceptable breach of protocol.   

The Queen holds weekly conversations with her prime ministers and she is entitled to ‘advise and warn’ them when necessary, but the nature of her advice is never made public.  

Even her guarded comment that voters should ‘think very carefully about the future’ ahead of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was seen as an unusual intervention.  

Prince Charles is known for writing lengthy letters to ministers on policy subjects such as agriculture, some of which were made public in 2015. 

William and Kate have also spoken out on the environment, launching a prize to tackle climate issues last year. 

Princess Diana – who like Harry and Meghan became semi-detached from the monarchy – was known for her campaigning on land mines, once allegedly describing the UK government’s policy as ‘hopeless’. 

Her involvement sparked criticism from some Conservative MPs, but the Labour government that took office shortly before her death was more favourable to her campaign.  

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Mr Jobson said he was ‘increasingly open’ to the idea of stripping the Sussexes of their royal titles for their own benefit and that of the royal family.   

‘Frankly, I think it would be better for Harry to withdraw, along with his son, from the line of succession to avoid further confusion,’ he said. 

‘By saying they are HRHs and the Duke and Duchess, but not allowed to use the titles, just confuses the situation.

‘With that issue out of the way, Meghan encouraging people to vote is something that would be praised not criticised.

‘She speaks well and has passion for political issues. Without a royal title to hold her back it may set her free to pursue a political career.

‘Ditching his title, and that includes ‘Prince’ would free up Harry too, in the land where he says he is happy and wants to make this life and where titles mean nothing.’  

A former palace adviser told The Times that Harry and Meghan’s comments were likely to cause ‘concern’ among royal aides. 

‘The political arena is very sensitive for all members of the royal family. You cannot have an apolitical institution, which is what a hereditary monarchy is, and have members of the royal family making even slightly political comments,’ they said. 

‘Courtiers would be extremely concerned that if they are going to continue to comment on what could be the most contentious US presidential election in living memory, how difficult could that get?’. 

Another source in Palace circles said the couple had ‘crossed a line’ with their intervention on Tuesday. 

Harry and Meghan spoke in a video clip which was broadcast as part of TIME’s publication of its annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people.    

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were included in the 2018 list, but not in this year’s edition. 

‘We’re just six weeks out from Election Day and today is National Voter Registration Day,’ said Markle, 39. 

‘Every four years we are told the same thing, that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But this one is,’ she said.

‘When we vote, our values are put into action and our voices are heard. Your voice is a reminder that you matter, because you do and you deserve to be heard.’ 

For his part, Harry said: ‘As we approach this November, it’s vital that we reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity.’ 

Harry urged Americans to be careful about what kind of content they consume online.

‘When the bad outweighs the good, for many, whether we realize it or not, it erodes our ability to have compassion and our ability to put ourself in someone else’s shoes. Because when one person buys into negativity online, the effects are felt exponentially. It’s time to not only reflect, but act,’ he said. 

Harry also referenced the fact that, because he is not a U.S. citizen, he will not be able to vote in November. 

He added that he had never been able to vote in the UK, despite being theoretically eligible in the last five general elections since he turned 18. 

Although British law does not explicitly forbid members of the royal family from voting, the expectation that royals remain apolitical is considered sacrosanct, and in practice they never participate in elections, by voting or otherwise.  

But since announcing plans to step down as senior royals in January and moving to North America, Meghan and Harry have quietly expanded their involvement in politics as they forge their own path.

Their comments led to criticism from viewers who saw it as a thinly-veiled plea to make Donald Trump a one-term president. 

However, a source close to Harry insisted the Duke was not referring to Trump or any other individual.

‘The duke was talking about the tone of debate in the run-up to an election which is already quite febrile,’ they said.

‘He is not talking about any candidate or specific campaign. He is building on a lot of stuff that he’s said before about online communities, how we engage with each other online, rather than specifically making any political points.’  

Trump

Trump

Biden

Biden

Markle has made her position on the 2020 election clear in a number of appearances in recent weeks, expressing enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket

Harry also appeared to open the door to taking up US citizenship in the future by saying that he was not eligible to vote at ‘this’ election. 

His remark leaves open the possibility that he could seek to vote in a future election in the US, which would likely require him to obtain a ‘green card’ and stay in America for at least three years. 

A source close to Harry declined to comment on whether his words suggested he would be applying for dual citizenship.

‘They are not working royals. They are private citizens and it’s understandable they want to keep those matters private,’ the source said. 

Meghan’s involvement in the video follows a separate intervention last month in which she urged women to turn out at the election. 

The Duchess addressed viewers at the When All Women Vote Couch Party – an online event organized by non-profit organization When We All Vote, which was founded by Michelle Obama. 

Speaking directly to the volunteers and workers tuned into the summit, Meghan continued: ‘It is fair to say that we are all very grateful for your work because we need it now really more than ever.

‘When I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame it as: We vote to honor those who came before us and to protect those who will come after us because that’s what community is all about and that’s specifically what this election is all about,’ she said. 

This week, feminist activist Gloria Steinem revealed that Markle had joined her in cold-calling Americans and urging them to vote.

Steinem told Access Hollywood: ‘She came home to vote. The first thing we did, and why she came to see me, was we sat at the dining room table where I am right now and we cold-called voters.’

‘Said ‘hello I’m Meg’ and ‘hello I’m Gloria’ and ‘are you going to vote?’ That was her initiative.’

Meghan has also told Steinem she was ‘so excited’ to see fellow mixed-race woman Kamala Harris nominated for vice president, in another strong hint that she is backing the Democratic ticket.  

Last month, Markle (left) joined Gloria Steinem for a 'backyard chat' in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November

Last month, Markle (left) joined Gloria Steinem for a 'backyard chat' in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November

Last month, Markle (left) joined Gloria Steinem for a ‘backyard chat’ in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November 

Will Prince Harry take US citizenship? He says he won’t vote in ‘this’ election  

Prince Harry appeared to leave the door open to taking up US citizenship in the future by saying that he would not vote in ‘this’ presidential election. 

‘This election, I’m not going to be able to vote here in the US,’ the Duke of Sussex said, adding that he had never voted in the UK either. 

Harry’s remark left the possibility open that he might seek to vote in a US election in the future, where royal partisanship would not cause a constitutional crisis as it would in the UK. 

Meghan and the couple’s one-year-old son Archie are both US citizens, but Harry has not announced any plans to take up dual nationality. 

A source told the Sunday Times earlier this year that Harry had not applied for dual citizenship and was not expected to request a green card in the US. 

Green cards offer a route to citizenship because the spouse of a US national can apply for naturalisation after being a permanent resident for three years.  

Harry’s current immigration status is unclear but a range of visas are available to UK nationals.  

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Before marrying Prince Harry in 2018, Markle was no stranger to politics, ridiculing then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a 2016 appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.

She said Trump was ‘misogynistic and divisive’ and indicated her support for Hillary Clinton. 

Harry is a friend of former president Barack Obama, interviewing him on a guest-edited episode of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme in 2017.  

‘Part of my role and part of my job is to shine a spotlight on issues that need that spotlight, whether it’s people, whether it’s causes, issues, whatever it is,’ Harry said at the time.

‘So I will continue to play my part in society and do my job to the best of my abilities so that I can wake up in the morning and feel energised.’

Despite the Obama friendship, the couple avoided a constitutional row by inviting neither the Obamas nor the Trumps to their 2018 wedding at Windsor Castle. 

Earlier this year, two Russian pranksters said they had duped the Duke of Sussex into criticising Trump in a phone call where they posed as climate activist Greta Thunberg. 

‘I don’t mind saying this to you guys, I think the mere fact that Donald Trump is pushing the coal industry so big in America, he has blood on his hands,’ Harry allegedly said. 

Buckingham Palace did not confirm or deny the authenticity of the call.  

Over the past few weeks, Meghan has taken part in multiple interviews and summits – having reportedly grown ‘frustrated’ at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal. 

Last month, she joined Gloria for a ‘backyard chat’ in which she made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November, expressing her excitement at seeing a woman of color on the Democratic ticket – Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris – and explaining that the nomination was particularly meaningful to her because she is biracial.

Over the past few months, Markle has  moved to become more politically active and taken part in multiple interviews and summits - having reportedly grown 'frustrated' at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal

Over the past few months, Markle has  moved to become more politically active and taken part in multiple interviews and summits - having reportedly grown 'frustrated' at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal

Over the past few months, Markle has  moved to become more politically active and taken part in multiple interviews and summits – having reportedly grown ‘frustrated’ at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal 

‘I’m so excited to see that kind of representation,’ she said. ‘You know, for me, being biracial, growing up, whether it was a doll or a person in office, you need to see someone who looks like you in some capacity. 

‘As many of us believe, you can only be what you can see. And in the absence of that, how can you aspire to something greater than what you see in your own world? I think maybe now we’re starting to break-through in a different way.’

Meanwhile, she has also taken in voter appeals, at which she made a bold plea to women across the US to take part in the 2020 presidential election, speaking out about the need for ‘change’ at an online voter summit, while telling participants: ‘If we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem.’ 

Meghan made her stance on the 2020 presidential race clear when she addressed viewers at the When All Women Vote Couch Party – an online event organized by non-profit organization When We All Vote, which was founded by ‘her friend’ Michelle Obama. 

Appearing as the opening speaker at the summit, Meghan expressed her ‘excitement’ at taking part, before telling those involved with the organization: ‘We need [your work] now more than ever.’

‘I’m really thrilled that you asked me to be a part of this,’ the mother-of-one began, adding: ‘I think this is such an exceptional time [and I am] happy to be here for my friend Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote, and to kick off the When All Women Vote Couch Party.’  

TIME 100: THE FULL LIST 

PIONEERS 

Megan Thee Stallion

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Ibram X. Kendi

Nathan Law

Tomi Adeyemi

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir

Julie K. Brown

Cecilia Martinez

Maya Moore

Chase Strangio

Zhang Yongzhen

Tourmaline

Waad al-Kateab

Abubacarr Tambadou

Gabriela Cámara

Camilla Rothe

Rebecca Gomperts

Ravindra Gupta

Lauren Gardner

Shi Zhengli

Shiori Ito

ARTISTS 

The Weeknd

Ali Wong

Michael B. Jordan 

Selena Gomez

J Balvin

JoJo Siwa

Halsey

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Jennifer Hudson

Yo-Yo Ma

Dapper Dan

Anaïs Mitchell

Michaela Coel

Bong Joon Ho

LASTESIS

Julie Mehretu

Ayushmann Khurrana

LEADERS 

Dr Anthony Fauci

Kamala Harris

Tsai Ing-wen

John Roberts

Xi Jinping

Donald Trump

Caesar

Angela Merkel

Joe Biden

Jair Bolsonaro

Nancy Pelosi

Narendra Modi

William Barr

Anne Hidalgo

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Mary Kay Henry

Nemonte Nenquimo

Ursula von der Leyen

Jung Eun-kyeong

Bonnie Castillo

Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum

Yousef Al Otaiba

TITANS

Gabrielle Union

Dwyane Wade

Sundar Pichai

Tyler Perry

MacKenzie Scott

Robert F. Smith

Lewis Hamilton

Jerome Powell

Eric Yuan

Patrick Mahomes

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot

Greg Berlanti

Shari Redstone

Tony Elumelu

Zhong Nanshan

Kristalina Georgieva

Lisa Nishimura

General Charles Q. Brown Jr

Daniel Zhang

Gwynne Shotwell

Tunji Funsho

ICONS

Amy O’Sullivan

Black Lives Matter Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi

Ady Barkan

Billy Porter

Naomi Osaka

Angela Davis

Chi Chia-wei

Megan Rapinoe

Felipe Neto

Allyson Felix

Sister Norma Pimentel

David Hill

Arussi Unda

Nury Turkel

Lina Attalah

Bilkis  

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