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Multi-millionaire, 50, tries to get his mother, 75, sent to jail in row over £10m caravan empire 

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multi millionaire 50 tries to get his mother 75 sent to jail in row over 10m caravan empire

A multi-millionaire businessman is trying to get his own 75-year-old mum jailed in ‘an increasingly bitter’ £10m family feud over their caravan empire.

Michael Loveridge and his parents are wrestling for control of a ‘solvent, highly profitable and cash-rich’ chain of caravan parks and a caravan sales business based in Bewdley, Worcestershire, and worth millions.

A bitter schism has grown up between Michael, 50, and his mum Ivy and 78-year-old dad Alldey in the power struggle over the empire.

Michael was handed control over the family’s caravan parks in two court orders that could also see his parents sent to jail if they interfere.

He is now accusing his parents of ‘unseemly episodes of shouting and bullying of staff’ and ‘unseemly behaviour’ which his legal team argues is in breach of the court orders.

Michael told the court that sending his mother to prison may be the only way to prevent his parents from causing ‘irremediable damage to the companies’ and that he doesn’t know what else to do. 

Michael Loveridge, 50, pictured here with his wife Suehelen, was handed control of five companies by  court orders issued in April and May this year

Michael Loveridge, 50, pictured here with his wife Suehelen, was handed control of five companies by  court orders issued in April and May this year

Ivy Loveridge is fighting her son to get control of their caravan empire back after it was handed to him by court orders issued earlier this year

Ivy Loveridge is fighting her son to get control of their caravan empire back after it was handed to him by court orders issued earlier this year

Michael Loveridge, 50, pictured here with his wife Suehelen, is asking a court to commit his 75-year-old mother, right, to prison for behaviour he says is in breach of a court order

Ivy, 75, and Alldey, 78, deny they have breached the court orders and are fighting to get control of the caravan companies back after Michael was granted control in two court orders this year

Ivy, 75, and Alldey, 78, deny they have breached the court orders and are fighting to get control of the caravan companies back after Michael was granted control in two court orders this year

Ivy, 75, and Alldey, 78, deny they have breached the court orders and are fighting to get control of the caravan companies back after Michael was granted control in two court orders this year

The 50-year-old says he has spent his life building the business up from ‘modest’ beginnings and doing all the ‘important’ work in growing the family fortunes over the last 20 years. 

But despite Michael’s claims, Ivy and Alldey remain majority shareholders in some of the most valuable of the family businesses and held the reins of power until Michael took his parents to court earlier this year.

In April and May, Michael obtained court orders granting him effective control of the family business partnership and five family companies which banned his parents from ‘interference’ in the partnership or the companies.

He and his parents have since fallen out so badly that he is now ‘applying to commit his mother to prison’ for allegedly breaching one of those court orders, which, among other things, banned his parents from ‘interfering’ in the business partnership.

Explaining Michael’s bid to commit them to prison, his lawyer Brian Averill told the court Michael fears that unless prevented Ivy and Alldey could cause ‘irremediable damage to the companies’.

Now Michael’s lawyers have told the Court of Appeal that his mum and dad for their part are fighting to get control of the companies back and ‘are so far anti-Michael that they would do anything to destroy him.’ 

The Appeal Court heard that the Loveridge family run a number of static caravan – or ‘park home’ – sites based in Worcestershire, including the Riverside Caravan Park, in Bewdley, near Kidderminster, where Ivy and Alldey live.

Michael is a director of several of the family companies involved in the fight, one of which controls £5m worth of assets and another of which has almost £5m more in capital, according to Companies House.

But his parents are majority shareholders in most of the companies, which, until earlier this year, gave them control over the empire.

In April and May this year at the High Court in Birmingham, Judge Patrick McCahill QC granted orders in relation to the business partnership and the five companies.

The two orders handed control of the everyday running of the partnership and companies Kingsford Caravan Park Limited, Breton Park Residential Homes Limited, Quatford Park Homes Limited, Riverside Caravan Park (Stourport) Limited and Bewdley Caravan Sales Limited to Michael.

The companies order also restrained Ivy and Alldey from making any move to remove Michael as a director of any of the companies or from attempting to reclaim money from him by way of a statuary demand on behalf of Bewdley Caravan Sales Ltd.

Lawyers for Michael told the court that before the court orders were issued his parents had made ‘efforts to make him bankrupt’.

Penal notices were attached to both orders, meaning Ivy and Alldey could face jail if they are proved to have breached them.

The parents are now bringing appeals against both the orders, claiming they have been unfairly ‘ousted’ and are being ‘wrongfully kept out of control’ of the businesses, which ‘represent their life work.’

Michael Loveridge is a director of several of the family companies which are worth millions and are involved in a bitter court battle. The caravan empire is based in Bewdley, Worcestershire

Michael Loveridge is a director of several of the family companies which are worth millions and are involved in a bitter court battle. The caravan empire is based in Bewdley, Worcestershire

Michael Loveridge is a director of several of the family companies which are worth millions and are involved in a bitter court battle. The caravan empire is based in Bewdley, Worcestershire

But Michael’s lawyer Brian Averill told the Appeal Court in a preliminary hearing that Michael says he has ‘legitimate expectations for sole management’ of the family caravan empire.

He claims his work has set up not only his parents but his siblings for life and that only ‘filial loyalty’ led to him allowing his parents to keep on being directors of the companies over the decades.

He also told Lady Justice Carr that relations between parents and son have got so bad that Michael is now bringing ‘an application to have his 75-year-old mother sent to prison’ for contempt of court for allegedly breaching the order he obtained in partnership proceedings.

Family Caravan Empire 

Court orders issued in April and May handed Michael control of the everyday running of the partnership and these companies:

  • Kingsford Caravan Park Ltd
  • Breton Park Residential Homes Ltd
  • Quatford Park Homes Ltd
  • Bewdley Caravan Sales Ltd 
  • Riverside Caravan Park (Stourport) Ltd
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‘Michael, with tremendous misgiving and great upset, is applying to commit his mother to prison, but he doesn’t know what else to do,’ he told the court.  

‘From beginning when Ivy and Alldey had a modest caravan park, Michael built up a caravan sales business, and then…coordinated and took over the expansion of the caravan parks, buying and financing parks, and developing them into the valuable business it now is.

‘Michael did all the important work required since a young age commencing in about 1990, particularly for the last 20 years, to the exclusion of his parents save that Ivy kept the cheque books.’ 

Lance Ashworth QC, for the parents, denied those claims, telling the judge: ‘It is important to emphasise that contrary to the assertions, there is no proven or admitted ‘history of extremely troublesome behaviour from the individual respondents to this petition, merely assertions of incidents, where who the alleged culprit was is a matter of dispute.

‘Nor is there any evidence whatever that Ivy or Alldey have been involved in any wrongdoing since the company injunction was granted.’

‘Michael seeks to increase the pressure any way he can,’ he added.

He told the judge the parents are ‘wrongly being kept out of control’ of their businesses, adding that the order made in relation to the companies ‘is of draconian effect’.

‘Any litigation causes stress. Interim injunctions that have the effect of ousting people from control of businesses they have built up over a lifetime even more so,’ he said.

Making a ruling that the hearing of Ivy and Alldey’s appeals against the orders should be ‘expedited’ – heard as quickly as possible – Lady Justice Carr commented: ‘This is an increasingly bitter family dispute,’ adding that the case is ‘hotly contested’ on both sides.

The case will return now for a full hearing later this year.

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Jo Malone reveals she felt ‘ashamed’ of her crippling anxiety attacks after her cancer battle

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jo malone reveals she felt ashamed of her crippling anxiety attacks after her cancer battle

Businesswoman Jo Malone has revealed she felt ‘ashamed’ of crippling anxiety attacks she started suffering after fighting cancer.

Speaking on The Joe Wicks podcast, the fragrance entrepreneur, 56, told how she began experiencing mental health issues during her five year period out of the beauty business.

Malone, who sold her company Jo Malone in 1999 but left in 2006 after beating breast cancer, was out of work until she started new brand Jo Loves in 2011.

In that period, Malone says she ‘spiralled into anxiety’ because she ‘lost control of her life’ and became ‘so ashamed’. 

Fragrance entrepreneur Jo Malone, 56, revealed she felt 'ashamed' of the crippling anxiety attacks she started suffering after fighting cancer. Her mental health issues started when she took five years out of the beauty industry

Fragrance entrepreneur Jo Malone, 56, revealed she felt 'ashamed' of the crippling anxiety attacks she started suffering after fighting cancer. Her mental health issues started when she took five years out of the beauty industry

Fragrance entrepreneur Jo Malone, 56, revealed she felt ‘ashamed’ of the crippling anxiety attacks she started suffering after fighting cancer. Her mental health issues started when she took five years out of the beauty industry

Malone sold her company Jo Malone in 1999 but left the industry completely for five years in 2006 after beating breast cancer. She was out of work until she started new brand Jo Loves in 2011

Malone sold her company Jo Malone in 1999 but left the industry completely for five years in 2006 after beating breast cancer. She was out of work until she started new brand Jo Loves in 2011

Malone sold her company Jo Malone in 1999 but left the industry completely for five years in 2006 after beating breast cancer. She was out of work until she started new brand Jo Loves in 2011

‘I hadn’t created fragrance for five years,’ she explained. ‘A bit like exercise, if you suddenly come out of something after you do it for five years and then step back into it, you’re completely different person.

‘You have to get yourself back in that rhythm again of building a business again and creating. I just wanted to go back to where I’d left, that moment in time, five years previous.

‘I was very ashamed at the time, but I’m not now I’ve come through it, but I had a really horrible breakdown during that time.

She continued: ‘I could have sat on a beach every day, I didn’t have to [go back to work], I was in a really privileged position…but I suffer from anxiety and I know what my flick switch is – it’s control.

Mum-of-one Jo, pictured after being made a CBE at Buckingham Palace in November 2018, said 'you would have thought cancer would have brought me to my knees' but 'five years with nothing around me' had a devastating impact on her mental health.

Mum-of-one Jo, pictured after being made a CBE at Buckingham Palace in November 2018, said 'you would have thought cancer would have brought me to my knees' but 'five years with nothing around me' had a devastating impact on her mental health.

Mum-of-one Jo, pictured after being made a CBE at Buckingham Palace in November 2018, said ‘you would have thought cancer would have brought me to my knees’ but ‘five years with nothing around me’ had a devastating impact on her mental health.

‘So the minute I lost that sense of control over my own life I just spiralled into anxiety and it manifested itself in really terrifying ways.

‘It took a year for me to recover and seek help and once I started to understand where anxiety came from, and stop being frightened of it, it stopped having its hold over me.’

Malone went on to say that she starts hyperventilating when she suffers an anxiety attack.

‘The very first time it happened I thought I was having a heart attack… it was utterly terrifying,’ she added. 

‘I was so ashamed. Why should I feel anxiety? I was so ashamed of not being able to control it and not pull myself together. It’s so important to seek and help and talk to somebody.’

Now, after therapy, Malone says she still has anxiety attacks but because she has learnt to live with them and is not frightened of them, ‘they are nothing like they were and I’m not frightened of them’.

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Theresa May defies Boris Johnson over Brexit legislation

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theresa may defies boris johnson over brexit legislation

Former prime minister Theresa May slammed successor Boris Johnson today over Brexit, refusing to support new legislation being drawn up that would break international law.

Mrs May, now a backbench MP, took aim at her successor over his plan to undermine part of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed with Brussels last year.

In the Commons today she said she would not back the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, which contains the provision, warning it would ‘lead to untold damage to the United Kingdom’s reputation’ and threaten the Union.

In a savage intervention in the House of Commons she said: ‘If the potential consequences of the Withdrawal Agreement were so bad, why did the Government sign it?’

Mrs May was ousted and replaced by Mr Johnson last summer after her repeated attempts to get a Withdrawal Agreement past MPs. Mr Johnson eventually achieved it in January before the UK left the EU. 

Mrs May, now a backbench MP, took aim at her successor over his plan to undermine part of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed with Brussels last year

Mrs May, now a backbench MP, took aim at her successor over his plan to undermine part of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed with Brussels last year

Mrs May, now a backbench MP, took aim at her successor over his plan to undermine part of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed with Brussels last year

In a savage intervention in the House of Commons she said: 'If the potential consequences of the Withdrawal Agreement were so bad, why did the Government (of Mr Johnson, pictured today in Downing Street)  sign it?'

In a savage intervention in the House of Commons she said: 'If the potential consequences of the Withdrawal Agreement were so bad, why did the Government (of Mr Johnson, pictured today in Downing Street)  sign it?'

In a savage intervention in the House of Commons she said: ‘If the potential consequences of the Withdrawal Agreement were so bad, why did the Government (of Mr Johnson, pictured today in Downing Street)  sign it?’

But clauses of the IMB would allow ministers to circumvent part of the agreement relating to Northern Ireland, prompting fury from British and foreign critics from as far away as the United States.

Mrs May, the Maidenhead MP, told the Commons today: ‘I consider that by introducing clauses 41 to 45 the Government is acting recklessly and irresponsibly with no thought for the long-term impact on the standing of the United Kingdom in the world.

‘This will lead to untold damage to the United Kingdom’s reputation, it puts the future of the United Kingdom at risk and, as a result, with regret, I have to tell the minister I cannot support this Bill.’

She added: ‘I believe that the Government’s willingness unilaterally to abandon an international agreement or parts of an international agreement it has signed, its willingness to renege on an agreement it has signed will lead to some questioning, as has already been made clear in an intervention, some questioning the willingness of the Government to fully uphold the measures in the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.

‘That in turn will lead to some communities having less willingness to trust the UK Government and that could have a consequence on the willingness of people in the Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK.

‘So, far from acting to reinforce the integrity of the UK, in pursuit of trying to appear to be tough to the EU, I think the Government is putting the integrity of the UK at risk.’

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London mayor Sadiq Khan says he wants facemasks worn in ALL the capital’s public spaces

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london mayor sadiq khan says he wants facemasks worn in all the capitals public spaces

Sadiq Khan today said he wants face masks worn in all London’s public spaces in a 15-point coronavirus crackdown he thrashed out with council leaders.

The Mayor of London has urged ministers to impose a 10pm curfew on all pubs and restaurants throughout the capital in a bid to ‘reduce the amount of hours people spend with each other inadvertently passing the virus on’. 

He blamed young people socialising in August for an ‘exponential’ increase in coronavirus cases after the Government’s top scientists today claimed there could be 50,000 daily infections within a month unless draconian action is taken.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Khan also hinted at further restrictions on people’s lives, including curbs at funerals and weddings, as he called on Londoners to avoid public transport and work from home again ‘where possible’. 

It comes as new data reveal that coronavirus infection rates in 20 London boroughs are higher than areas of England already hit by restrictions. 

Mr Khan said in a statement today: ‘The Government’s Chief Medical Officer (Professor Chris Whitty) and Scientific Advisers made clear today that Covid-19 is now spreading exponentially, in all ages groups, across the UK. 

‘The evidence from elsewhere in the world, and what we know about this disease, shows that this will lead to hospitalisations and deaths without further action. 

‘Without adequate testing or contact tracing in London we have no choice but to look at other measures to slow the spread of the virus.

‘I firmly believe that acting early, rather than having to impose more stringent measures later, is the right thing to do both for public health and the economy.’

Public Health England’s most recent watchlist shows the authority in England with the lowest case rate considered an ‘area of intervention’ – the highest degree of concern – is Ribble Valley, with 18.3 cases per 100,000.

But Kensington and Chelsea, Enfield and Southwark, among others, have infection rates higher than that. Redbridge (34.2), Hounslow (32.5) and Barking and Dagenham (29.3) are the three worst-hit parts of the capital.    

TomTom data showed roads in the capital were 36 per cent congested at 7am this morning compared to 41 per cent last week, suggesting some workers are wary of the increase in infection rates. 

Despite the fall in traffic in London this morning, there was a slight increase in Tube journeys, with the number of tap-ins rising by two percent to 754,000. That was still just 33 percent of normal demand. The number of bus journeys remained the same.  

It came as Sir Patrick Vallance today warned the UK faces 50,000 new daily cases of coronavirus by the middle of October and more than 200 deaths everyday by November if the spread of the disease is not brought under control.

The Chief Scientific Adviser gave the stark warning as Professor Chris Whitty said the UK has ‘in a bad sense literally turned a corner’ and that the nation needs to view the fight against the disease as a ‘six month problem’ over winter before science eventually can ‘ride to our rescue’. 

A map showing the rate of infection per 100,000 people across London's 32 different boroughs

A map showing the rate of infection per 100,000 people across London's 32 different boroughs

A map showing the rate of infection per 100,000 people across London’s 32 different boroughs 

Crowds gather in Soho, central London yesterday, where roads have been shut off for diners

Crowds gather in Soho, central London yesterday, where roads have been shut off for diners

Crowds gather in Soho, central London yesterday, where roads have been shut off for diners 

Stables Market in Camden on the weekend, which was still attracting plenty of visitors

Stables Market in Camden on the weekend, which was still attracting plenty of visitors

Stables Market in Camden on the weekend, which was still attracting plenty of visitors 

Mr Khan (seen this morning) is now meeting council leaders after urging ministers to extend the latest lockdown restrictions - including a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants - to cover the capital as well

Mr Khan (seen this morning) is now meeting council leaders after urging ministers to extend the latest lockdown restrictions - including a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants - to cover the capital as well

Mr Khan (seen this morning) is now meeting council leaders after urging ministers to extend the latest lockdown restrictions – including a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants – to cover the capital as well

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted the introduction of new lockdown restrictions in London within days cannot be ruled out in light of rising cases.

Across London as a whole, the rate of cases is reported to have increased in a seven day period ending early last week, from 18.8 per 100,000 people to around 25. 

It’s a rise of 33 per cent in one week – faster than the North East, which last week was hit by tougher restrictions to control the spread of the virus. 

The number of cases per 100,000 has jumped up from 18.8 to around 25 in seven days amid schools re-opening and a drive to get people back into offices and pubs, data suggests. If it crosses over 50, a ‘local lockdown’ could be triggered, documents seen by The Evening Standard reveal.  

And the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates 0.2 per cent of London’s population – 178,000 people – are currently carrying the coronavirus, which is second only to the North West. For comparison, the rate in the North East is just 0.16 per cent.   

Public Health England figures show Redbridge, a borough in the east of the city, has the highest Covid-19 infection rate at 34.2 and cases have risen in the authority for four weeks in a row. For comparison, the highest in England is 175.2 in Bolton, Greater Manchester. 

It is followed by Hounslow (32.5) and Barking and Dagenham (29.3) – boroughs on two opposite sides of the city, suggesting spread is not just limited to one part of the capital.  

London boroughs where infection rates are higher than parts of England already hit by restrictions  

The other areas with higher infection rates than Ribble Valley are: 

Redbridge (34.2), Hounslow (32.5), Barking and Dagenham (29.3), Enfield (27.3) Newham (27), Ealing (26.9), Hackney (25.7), Tower Hamlets (25.5), Hammersmith and Fulham (24.8), Harrow (24.4), Havering (24.4), Kensington and Chelsea (23.7), Wandsworth (23), Brent (22.7), Haringey (21.4), Waltham Forest (21), Camden (20.6), Lambeth (20.6), Southwark (19.2) and Barnet (18.6). 

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If they had been given ‘area of intervention’ status, the Government would support the implementation of a ‘detailed action plan’ to stop cases spreading. 

The areas with higher infection rates than Ribble Valley are: Redbridge (34.2), Hounslow (32.5), Barking and Dagenham (29.3), Enfield (27.3) Newham (27), Ealing (26.9), Hackney (25.7), Tower Hamlets (25.5), Hammersmith and Fulham (24.8), Harrow (24.4), Havering (24.4), Kensington and Chelsea (23.7), Wandsworth (23), Brent (22.7), Haringey (21.4),  Waltham Forest (21), Camden (20.6), Lambeth (20.6), Southwark (19.2) and Barnet (18.6).  

The only reason Ribble Valley has had any intervention is because health bosses in the North West called for a crack down before the outbreak spiraled out of control. The weekly infection rate for the whole of England is 33.8.  

South London has escaped the current spike in cases, with the three boroughs with the lowest infection rates at present being Sutton (9.3), Bromley (11.8) and Bexley (12.1). 

London mayor Mr Khan will meet with council leaders today to discuss lockdown restriction measures which he has publically supported. 

He has pressed ministers to extend the controls to the capital, which he believes may be just ‘two or three days’ behind the hotspots of the north-west and north-east of England where curfews and bans on socialising have come into force.

He initially said London is ‘two weeks behind’ some regions of the UK where Covid-19 rules are tighter. While data from only a few days ago suggested London was two weeks behind those areas, the latest modelling seen by Mr Khan was said to show the gap had closed to two or three days. 

A mayoral source said: ‘It’s clear that cases in London are only moving in one direction, we are now just days behind hotspots in the North West and North East. We can’t afford more delay.

‘Introducing new measures now will help slow the spread of the virus and potentially prevent the need for a fuller lockdown like we saw in March, which could seriously damage the economy once again.’ 

Commuters - many wearing masks - walk across London Bridge into the City this morning

Commuters - many wearing masks - walk across London Bridge into the City this morning

Commuters – many wearing masks – walk across London Bridge into the City this morning

A quiet London Tube station this morning, amid warnings the capital could see new lockdown measures

A quiet London Tube station this morning, amid warnings the capital could see new lockdown measures

A quiet London Tube station this morning, amid warnings the capital could see new lockdown measures 

Roads in the capital were 36% congested at 7am this morning compared to 41% last week, according to TomTom data

Roads in the capital were 36% congested at 7am this morning compared to 41% last week, according to TomTom data

Roads in the capital were 36% congested at 7am this morning compared to 41% last week, according to TomTom data

Yesterday, Mr Hancock was asked on Sky News about comments from Mr Khan that restrictions in the capital were increasingly likely.

He said: ‘I’ve had discussions this week with the Mayor of London, and the teams are meeting today to discuss further what might be needed.’ 

A mayoral source told HuffPost: ‘It’s clear that cases in London are only moving in one direction, we are now just days behind hotspots in the North West and North East. We can’t afford more delay.

‘Introducing new measures now will help slow the spread of the virus and potentially prevent the need for a fuller lockdown like we saw in March, which could seriously damage the economy once again.’ 

He is also said to be looking at the possibility of asking those who are able to work from home to do so.

There has been a toughening up of government rhetoric over Covid in recent days amid an upsurge in infections. 

People in England who refuse an order to self-isolate could now face fines of up to £10,000. 

Ministers will impose a new legal duty on people to self-isolate if they test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace after coming into contact with someone with the virus.

Those on lower incomes who face a loss of earnings as a result of going into quarantine will be eligible for a one-off support payment of £500 to help them cope financially.

With new cases of the infection doubling every week, Boris Johnson said the measures were necessary to control the spread of the virus and to protect the most vulnerable from becoming infected.

However they are likely to alarm some Conservative MPs already concerned at the wide-ranging powers being taken by ministers to curb the disease with little or no debate in Parliament.

The new regulations will come into force in England on September 28, although ministers are in discussion with the devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland about extending them UK-wide.

A single commuter leaves Bank Station in the heart of the City of London this morning

A single commuter leaves Bank Station in the heart of the City of London this morning

A single commuter leaves Bank Station in the heart of the City of London this morning 

Oxford Street and Regents Street in central London were both largely deserted today

Oxford Street and Regents Street in central London were both largely deserted today

Oxford Street and Regents Street in central London were both largely deserted today 

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33406684 8752271 image a 12 1600627709086

It follows a warning by Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London – whose modelling led to the original nationwide lockdown, that the authorities needed to act ‘sooner rather than later’ if they were to avoid a return to the infection rates of last March.

Ministers are still looking at further restrictions, including a temporary two or three-week ‘circuit break’ in an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

The move could see pubs and restaurants ordered to close or face a 10pm curfew, while socialising between households could be banned.

On Friday, the Prime Minister acknowledged the long-feared second wave of the pandemic affecting countries such as France and Spain had reached Britain and that more cases of the disease were ‘inevitable’.

Announcing the new rules, Mr Johnson said: ‘The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they’re at risk of passing on coronavirus.

‘And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

‘People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines. We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives.’

Fines will initially start at £1,000 rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders and for ‘the most egregious breaches’ including those who stop other people from self-isolating, such an employer who requires a staff member to come into work in violation of an order.

The ONS said today London and the North West were the areas that appeared to have highest infection rates, based on swabbing of random people in private households - a better indication of where the outbreak is occurring

The ONS said today London and the North West were the areas that appeared to have highest infection rates, based on swabbing of random people in private households - a better indication of where the outbreak is occurring

The ONS said today London and the North West were the areas that appeared to have highest infection rates, based on swabbing of random people in private households – a better indication of where the outbreak is occurring

How regions' cases per 100,000 compare. London's is showing an uptick along with the North East and North West. The graphs come from Public Health England's surveillance report, published today

How regions' cases per 100,000 compare. London's is showing an uptick along with the North East and North West. The graphs come from Public Health England's surveillance report, published today

How regions’ cases per 100,000 compare. London’s is showing an uptick along with the North East and North West. The graphs come from Public Health England’s surveillance report, published today

The penalties are in line with those for people who fail to quarantine for 14 days after returning to the UK from a country not on the list of low risk nations.

Officials said NHS Test and Trace would be in regular contact with individuals told to self-isolate and would report any suspicions that people were not complying to the police and local authorities.

Police will also check compliance in Covid-19 hotspots and among groups considered to be ‘high-risk’ as well as following up reports from members of the public of people who have tested positive but are not self-isolating.

Prosecutions could follow in ‘high-profile and egregious’ cases of non-compliance.

As with other coronavirus rules, there will be specific exemptions for those who need to escape from illness or harm during their isolation, and for those who require care.

Officials said just under four million people on benefits in England would be eligible for the support payments if they lose income as a result of being unable to go into work.

For Labour, shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds welcomed the ‘belated’ announcement of additional financial assistance.

‘It shouldn’t have taken months for the penny to finally drop that people on low incomes needed more help,’ she said.

The latest announcement comes just days after the ‘rule of six’ – banning social gatherings of more than six people – came into force and will been seen as further evidence of the concern in Whitehall at the rate of spread of the disease.

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33403034 0 image a 28 1600675103500

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33403014 8752271 image a 10 1600627694306

On Friday, the Government announced tough new restrictions were being imposed in large parts of England’s North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands.

It means by Tuesday, when the measures come into force, around 13.5 million people in the UK will be living under some form of additional coronavirus controls.

Prof Ferguson said the country was caught in a ‘perfect storm’ following the easing of lockdown restrictions over the summer, and that swift action was needed to stop the virus spreading out of control.

‘Right now we are at about the levels of infection we were seeing in this country in late February,’ he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

‘If we leave it another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March. That’s clearly going to cause deaths because people will be hospitalised.

‘I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later.’          

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