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Singer Will Young’s as twin brother Rupert dies aged 41

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singer will youngs as twin brother rupert dies aged 41

Will Young’s twin brother Rupert has died after years of battling mental health issues. 

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression, while also admitting his sibling’s Pop Idol win in 2002 had impacted their relationship. 

He was diagnosed with dysthymia – a depressive mood disorder – in 2005. 

The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, though a spokeswoman confirmed Rupert died yesterday, according to the Sun. 

His family, including brother Will who was born 10 minutes before Rupert, are said to have been left wracked by grief.  

A friend said: ‘Will’s relationship with Rupert had been tough over the years at times, and they had both spoken about the mental health problems which had made it challenging.

‘But there were hopes he had turned a corner and they are a very loving family – and utterly devastated by his passing.’

Will Young and his twin brother Rupert pictured at a party in 2009. Rupert has now passed away

Will Young and his twin brother Rupert pictured at a party in 2009. Rupert has now passed away

Will Young and his twin brother Rupert pictured at a party in 2009. Rupert has now passed away

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression and his brother Will has also shared how it affected their family

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression and his brother Will has also shared how it affected their family

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression and his brother Will has also shared how it affected their family

Rupert would wear long-sleeved T-shirts for most of his life, to hide the scars of his self-harm. 

In a 2008 interview, Rupert shared the extent of his struggles. 

He said: ‘I woke up one morning and turned on the TV.

‘There was William on Richard & Judy, giving the most amazing performance of one of his songs.

‘I had spent the night before drinking with tramps in a car park and cutting myself.

‘It seemed bizarre to me that two people who are genetically the same could behave in such different ways.

‘I realised that something had gone very wrong. But I didn’t know what, or why, and nor did anyone else.

‘I was in and out of hospital more than 10 times.

‘I saw the top doctors and psychiatrists in the country, but the mental health system here is overloaded…I was never actually properly assessed.

‘They just told me I was an addict and that was why I was the way I was. It took 20 years and huge expense to get me to a safe place. Those are not options that most other people have.’

He later got himself clean and set up the Mood Foundation, a charity that built a national database of private therapists who offered free, one-to-one treatment to anyone over 18 diagnosed with depression or anxiety.

Singer Will has also previously opened up on his brother’s alcoholism, admitting he had once been forced to ‘walk away’.

He said: ‘It was the family stepping away that actually got him better.

‘It’s very tough having a family member who is an addict. But when you’re dealing with that you eventually have to just stop and look after yourself.

Rupert Young was accused of launching an unprovoked attack on a clubber, at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court on July 26, 2004

Rupert Young was accused of launching an unprovoked attack on a clubber, at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court on July 26, 2004

Rupert Young was accused of launching an unprovoked attack on a clubber, at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court on July 26, 2004

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression. He was diagnosed with dysthymia – a depressive mood disorder – in 2005

Will, who was born 10 minutes before his brother, has shared Rupert's struggles with alcohol in the past

Will, who was born 10 minutes before his brother, has shared Rupert's struggles with alcohol in the past

Will, who was born 10 minutes before his brother, has shared Rupert’s struggles with alcohol in the past

‘Me, my parents, my older sister, everyone. We all just had to walk away. We had to leave him.

‘There was a moment I remember, when I had to go to some awards thing. I had an album out, I was in a film and I was having a great time professionally.

‘I had to drive past the train station, and I knew that he’d been there for a day, just drinking.

‘But I knew I had to leave him alone. That was tough, of course it was, but you have to get on.

‘And in that respect being so involved in work was a great thing.

‘Otherwise I would have just stopped and it would have got on top of me much more.

‘It was very tricky.’  

A spokeswoman for Will last night confirmed: ‘I can confirm that Will’s brother has very sadly passed away.

‘We would like to request privacy for Will and his family during this very difficult and sad time.’

Will previously revealed how he had been temporarily separated from his twin brother at birth, when Rupert was placed in an incubator due to illness, something which had caused the singer long-term psychological damage.

He later received six months of treatment for PTSD, triggered by their separation, his years of keeping his homosexuality a secret and being bullied at school.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details. 

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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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Royal Navy’s new £3.1bn aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth finally sets sail from Portsmouth

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royal navys new 3 1bn aircraft carrier hms queen elizabeth finally sets sail from portsmouth

The Royal Navy’s new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth finally set sail from Portsmouth today to join a dozen US and UK F-35B stealth fighters for drills in the North Sea.

It comes after four postponements earlier this year due to a coronavirus outbreak among the crew and bad weather.

The Navy’s 65,000-tonne warship sailed out in glorious sunshine on Monday to take part in a major exercise with the new RAF and USAF F-35B Lightning jets, seven other British vessels, an American destroyer and Dutch frigate.

The 900ft titan, one of two newly built carriers, was hauled out of the harbour by six super-powered tugs as hundreds lined the coast to watch her go.

The Royal Navy's new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth finally set sail form Portsmouth today to join a dozen US and UK F-35B stealth fighters for drills in the North Sea

The Royal Navy's new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth finally set sail form Portsmouth today to join a dozen US and UK F-35B stealth fighters for drills in the North Sea

The Royal Navy’s new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth finally set sail form Portsmouth today to join a dozen US and UK F-35B stealth fighters for drills in the North Sea

HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England. The £3 billion aircraft carrier was due to sail last week but was delayed due to high easterly winds

HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England. The £3 billion aircraft carrier was due to sail last week but was delayed due to high easterly winds

HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England. The £3 billion aircraft carrier was due to sail last week but was delayed due to high easterly winds

The 900ft titan, one of two newly built carriers, was hauled out of the harbour by six super-powered tugs as hundreds lined the coast to watch her go (pictured: a machine gunner stands in his nest)

The 900ft titan, one of two newly built carriers, was hauled out of the harbour by six super-powered tugs as hundreds lined the coast to watch her go (pictured: a machine gunner stands in his nest)

The 900ft titan, one of two newly built carriers, was hauled out of the harbour by six super-powered tugs as hundreds lined the coast to watch her go (pictured: a machine gunner stands in his nest)

The Navy's 65,000-tonne warship sailed out in glorious sunshine on Monday to take part in major exercises with the new RAF and USAF F-35B Lightning jets

The Navy's 65,000-tonne warship sailed out in glorious sunshine on Monday to take part in major exercises with the new RAF and USAF F-35B Lightning jets

The Navy’s 65,000-tonne warship sailed out in glorious sunshine on Monday to take part in major exercises with the new RAF and USAF F-35B Lightning jets

The colossal warship sets sail from Portsmouth today to head up to the North Sea for several weeks to be put through its paces with other vessels and fighter jets before it can get the war-ready seal of approval

The colossal warship sets sail from Portsmouth today to head up to the North Sea for several weeks to be put through its paces with other vessels and fighter jets before it can get the war-ready seal of approval

The colossal warship sets sail from Portsmouth today to head up to the North Sea for several weeks to be put through its paces with other vessels and fighter jets before it can get the war-ready seal of approval

The colossal machine of war heads out into the English Channel on Monday after it was postponed four times due to coronavirus and weather issues

The colossal machine of war heads out into the English Channel on Monday after it was postponed four times due to coronavirus and weather issues

The colossal machine of war heads out into the English Channel on Monday after it was postponed four times due to coronavirus and weather issues 

Big Lizzie and her 1,700 crew will travel to the North Sea for training with the new V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) F-35 jets from the Dambusters squadron.

Big Lizzie and her 1,700 crew will travel to the North Sea for training with the new V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) F-35 jets from the Dambusters squadron.

Big Lizzie and her 1,700 crew will travel to the North Sea for training with the new V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) F-35 jets from the Dambusters squadron.

Big Lizzie and her 1,700 crew will travel to the North Sea for training with the new V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) F-35 jets from the Dambusters squadron.

She will join a fleet of two Type 45 Daring-class destroyers also from Portsmouth, two Type 23 Duke-class frigates, a submarine, an American destroyer, Dutch frigate and two support vessels from the civilian-crewed Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be put through her paces for several weeks so that she can be declared fully fit for war later this year.

Her first operational deployment is scheduled for 2021. 

Two previous departures, one in April and the second in September, were cancelled after a small number of crew members tested positive for Covid-19. 

On the most recent occasion ‘fewer than 10’ were reportedly infected by the virus. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth is to join a task force of two Type 45 Daring-class destroyers also from Portsmouth, two Type 23 Duke-class frigates, a submarine, an American destroyer, Dutch frigate and two support vessels from the civilian-crewed Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is to join a task force of two Type 45 Daring-class destroyers also from Portsmouth, two Type 23 Duke-class frigates, a submarine, an American destroyer, Dutch frigate and two support vessels from the civilian-crewed Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is to join a task force of two Type 45 Daring-class destroyers also from Portsmouth, two Type 23 Duke-class frigates, a submarine, an American destroyer, Dutch frigate and two support vessels from the civilian-crewed Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen ELizabeth departs from HMNB Portsmouth this afternoon ahead of her participation in GROUPEX and Exercise JOINT WARRIOR

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen ELizabeth departs from HMNB Portsmouth this afternoon ahead of her participation in GROUPEX and Exercise JOINT WARRIOR

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen ELizabeth departs from HMNB Portsmouth this afternoon ahead of her participation in GROUPEX and Exercise JOINT WARRIOR

The colossal ship is flanked by super-powered tug boats as she sails out of the historic harbour at Portsmouth on Monday

The colossal ship is flanked by super-powered tug boats as she sails out of the historic harbour at Portsmouth on Monday

The colossal ship is flanked by super-powered tug boats as she sails out of the historic harbour at Portsmouth on Monday

Merlin helicopters sit on the flight deck on Monday as the sailors stand on parade as the warship exits the harbour

Merlin helicopters sit on the flight deck on Monday as the sailors stand on parade as the warship exits the harbour

Merlin helicopters sit on the flight deck on Monday as the sailors stand on parade as the warship exits the harbour

Residents of Portsmouth gather to watch the colossus leave the harbour on Monday

Residents of Portsmouth gather to watch the colossus leave the harbour on Monday

Residents of Portsmouth gather to watch the colossus leave the harbour on Monday

Hundreds gathered on rooftops and along the quay to watch the warship heading out to sea on Monday

Hundreds gathered on rooftops and along the quay to watch the warship heading out to sea on Monday

Hundreds gathered on rooftops and along the quay to watch the warship heading out to sea on Monday

HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England

HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England

HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England

Crowds watch as HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England

Crowds watch as HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England

Crowds watch as HMS Queen Elizabeth departs from the Naval base on September 21, 2020 in Portsmouth, England

The pilots of the F-35B jets, which can fly at 1,200mph, need to qualify to operate from the flight deck at day and night

The pilots of the F-35B jets, which can fly at 1,200mph, need to qualify to operate from the flight deck at day and night

The pilots of the F-35B jets, which can fly at 1,200mph, need to qualify to operate from the flight deck at day and night

Inside Britain’s most powerful warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth

At 280 metres long, with a lifespan of half a century and a flight deck of four acres, HMS Queen Elizabeth is Britain’s largest and most powerful warship ever built.

Here are the facts and figures behind the vessel which was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy December 7, 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured, weighs some 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots and a four-acre flight deck

HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured, weighs some 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots and a four-acre flight deck

HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured, weighs some 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots and a four-acre flight deck

  • The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.
  • A number of ship building yards around the country were involved in the build – these include Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, Appledore in Devon, Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, Wirral, A&P on the Tyne in Newcastle and Portsmouth.
  • A total of 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled.
  • It is the second ship in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth.
  • The ship has a crew of around 700, that will increase to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.
  • There are 364,000 metres of pipes inside the ship, and from keel to masthead she measures 56 metres, four metres more than Niagara Falls.
  • Facilities onboard include a chapel, a medical centre and 12-bed ward, staffed with GPs, a nurse and medical assistants, as well as a dentist and dental nurse.
  • There are also five gyms on the warship which include a cardiovascular suite, two free weight rooms and a boxing gym.
  • Regular fitness circuit sessions and sporting activities such as basketball and tug of war are held in the hangar and on the flight deck, with weights and other items stored inside the flight deck ramp. 
  • The Captain of the ship was Angus Essenhigh
  • There are five galleys on the warship which is where the food is cooked and those on board eat their meals everyday. This includes two main galleys, the bridge mess and an aircrew refreshment bar.
  • The distribution network on board manages enough energy to power 30,000 kettles or 5,500 family homes.
  • Its flight deck is 280 metres long and 70 metres wide, enough space for three football pitches.
  •  The entire ship’s company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes, 45 minutes when at action stations.
  • Recreational spaces enjoyed by the crew feature televisions and sofas, as well as popular board games including the traditional Royal Navy game of Uckers.
  • Each of the two aircraft lifts on HMS Queen Elizabeth can move two fighter jets from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds.
  • The warship has a range of 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles, and has two propellers – each weighing 33 tonnes and with a combined 80MW output of power – enough to run 1,000 family cars or 50 high speed trains. 
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Leading academics write open letter to Boris Johnson warning against second lockdown

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leading academics write open letter to boris johnson warning against second lockdown

A group of scientists and doctors have written to the Prime Minister urging him not to opt for a second lockdown and to stop presenting Covid-19 as a mortal danger.

Thirty-two top academics have called on Boris Johnson and his scientific and medical advisers to avoid a knee-jerk reaction to rising cases and hospitalisations.

They said the debate about coronavirus is ‘unhelpful’ because it is divided between people who want total lockdowns and people who want no restrictions at all.

Calling for decision-makers to ‘step back’ and think carefully about what to do next, the researchers said there had not yet been any ‘readily observable pattern’ between tight social distancing rules and the numbers of people dying of coronavirus.

The open letter was written by Oxford’s Professor Sunetra Gupta and Professor Carl Heneghan, by the University of Buckingham’s Professor Karol Sikora, and by Sam Williams, director of the consultancy firm Economic Insight.

Tweeting the letter today, Professor Sikora said: ‘We desperately need a rethink to find a better balance’.

The Prime Minister is expected to hold a public briefing again tomorrow when he is set to lay out tougher social distancing measures for the whole of England.

Boris Johnson is expected to hold a public briefing tomorrow when he is likely to lay out tougher social distancing rules for the entire country (Pictured: The PM leaving Downing Street)

Boris Johnson is expected to hold a public briefing tomorrow when he is likely to lay out tougher social distancing rules for the entire country (Pictured: The PM leaving Downing Street)

Boris Johnson is expected to hold a public briefing tomorrow when he is likely to lay out tougher social distancing rules for the entire country (Pictured: The PM leaving Downing Street) 

He told MailOnline: ‘The worst case scenario is a lockdown – like a two week “circuit break”. The problem is that wouldn’t be two weeks – it can’t be. As soon as you’re out of the lockdown you’re back to square one.

‘We have adapted, people are going back to a rudimental social life, back to work and travelling on trains and buses. You can’t tell people to go back to “stay at home, save lives”; it’s not feasible.

WHO SIGNED THE LETTER? 

  • Professor Sunetra Gupta (Oxford)
  • Professor Carl Heneghan (Oxford)
  • Professor Karol Sikora (U. of Buckingham) 
  • Sam Williams (Economic Insight)
  • Professor Louise Allan (Exeter)
  • Professor Francois Balloux (UCL)
  • Professor Sucharit Bhakdi (JG University of Main) 
  • Dr Julii Brainard (U. of East Anglia)
  • Professor Anthony Brookes (Leicester)
  • Professor Nick Colegrave (Edinburgh) 
  • Dr Ron Daniels (UK Sepsis Trust)
  • Professor Robert Dingwall (Nottingham Trent)
  • Professor Fionn Dunne (Imperial Coll.)
  • Professor Kim Fox (Imperial Coll.)  
  • Professor Anthony Glass (Sheffield)
  • Dr Andy Gaya (Consultant oncologist)
  • Dr Peter Grove (Former Dept Health)
  • Professor Matt Hickman (Bristol)
  • Professor Elizabeth Hughes (Leeds) 
  • Dr Tom Jefferson (Oxford)
  • Professor Syma Khalid (Southampton)
  • Professor David Miles (Imperial Coll.)
  • Professor Paul Ormerod (UCL)
  • Professor Andrew Oswald (Warwick)
  • Professor David Paton (Nottingham)
  • Professor Hugh Pennington (Aberdeen)
  • Professor Barbara Pierscionek (Staffordshire)
  • Professor Eve Roman (York)
  • Professor Justin Stebbing (Imperial)
  • Professor Ellen Townsend (Nottingham)
  • Steve Westaby (Retired heart surgeon)
  • Professor Simon Wood (Edinburgh)
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‘I think the only options are imposing rules like the rule of six, or say no visiting people socially, like in April.

‘We put the letter together on Friday. The idea is just to reconsider – don’t rush into anything.

‘It’s important we take things seriously, but what worries me is they will rush into a two-week lockdown… it does not move us forward.’

The letter accuses the Government of not having a clear strategy for living with Covid-19.

It said no policies will make sense, or work long-term, if officials are not certain about what they want to achieve by doing them.

They appreciated that the initial lockdown was framed by the need to ‘flatten the curve’ – to bring the out-of-control outbreak back under wraps. 

But they said: ‘For some time, however, there has been an absence of a similarly clearly articulated objective’.

And the Government must focus not only on Covid-19 but on the impact that lockdown measures have as a whole, because these could be just as important. There must be a limit, they said, to the sacrifices that can be made to slow the virus.

The letter said measures should be focused on protecting vulnerable people rather than everybody.

Elderly people and those with serious medical conditions are most at risk, the researchers said, and policies could be tailored to protect them better.

‘Our view is that the existing policy path is inconsistent with the known risk-profile and should be reconsidered,’ they said.

‘The unstated objective currently appears to be one of suppression of the virus, until such a time that a vaccine can be deployed.

‘This objective is increasing unfeasible… and is leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets any benefits.

‘Instead, more targeted measures that protect the most vulnerable from Covid, whilst not adversely impacting those not at risk, are more supportable.

‘Given the high proportion of Covid deaths in care homes, these should be a priority. Such targeted measures should be explored as a matter of urgency, as the logical cornerstone of our future strategy.’ 

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New rules to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus in England are expected to be announced tomorrow by Boris Johnson, but will not be welcomed.

The PM faces a mounting Tory rebellion tonight over plans to retighten the lockdown screw on hard-pressed Britons – including a curfew for pubs – amid serious questions over the figures used to justify new restrictions on freedom.

The Prime Minister will convene an emergency Cobra committee meeting tomorrow before revealing his new lockdown plans to MPs. 

It comes after the Government’s two top scientists warned there will be more than 200 deaths a day by November if the UK fails to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

His plans are believed to include a new 10pm curfew for the nation’s drinking holes, but the plans faced a furious pushback from MPs.

It came as Britain’s coronavirus alert level was raised to four tonight, meaning meaning transmission of the virus is ‘high or rising exponentially’. 

But there was also criticism of the country’s top scientists, with questions being asked over their doomsday scenario picture of the next few months.

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned this morning that without action there will be 50,000 new daily cases of coronavirus by the middle of October. 

And Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said the UK has ‘in a bad sense literally turned a corner’ with rising rates of infection and that the nation needs to view the fight against the virus as a ‘six month problem’ before science eventually can ‘ride to our rescue’.  

Professor David Paton, an industrial economist at the University of Nottingham, also hit out at the 50,000 per day prediction.

He pointed out on Twitter that France and Spain, to which the UK was compared, are seeing cases double every three weeks, not every one, which he said would put Britain at more like 7,000 to 8,000 per day by mid-October. 

He told MailOnline: ‘It seems a very strange scenario to present, it’s not, as far as I can tell, based on any particular modelling. 

‘If you look at the past few days, cases have been going down rather than going up, doesn’t seem to be any basis to select this doubling ‘every seven days’.

‘It [also] seems odd, to me, to choose to compare against France and Spain. There are other countries they could have looked at, where cases have been doubling every three weeks. Nobody knows what will happen to cases in the UK.

‘Do they really think we’ll have five to six times more cases than France?’ 

Senior Conservative MPs warned this afternoon that the UK ‘clearly cannot afford a full lockdown like we had in March’ and argued that the case for further national measures has not yet been made.

The PM was urged to remember we ‘live in a democracy not a dictatorship’ during a debate in the Commons this afternoon.

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