Connect with us

Latest Stories

Spitting Image returns! Creators set sights on Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings and Prince Andrew

Published

on

spitting image returns creators set sights on boris johnson dominic cummings and prince andrew

Boris Johnson, his chief adviser Dominic Cummings and the Duke of York star as the new Spitting Image puppets unveiled ahead of the show’s return after 24 years.

The satirical series will air later this year on BritBox after originally running for 18 series between 1984 and 1996.

The Prime Minister’s puppet draws attention to his shock of blonde hair, while Mr Cummings’ sees the former Vote Leave director in his trademark hoodie with a flamboyant silver collar.

Andrew sports a tartan coat complete with paisley neckerchief.

Donald Trump, Beyonce, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Vladimir Putin, Bernie Sanders, Elon Musk, RuPaul, Adele and James Corden will also get the satirical treatment.

Programme-makers previously said: ‘With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn’t be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.’ 

31568354 8593595 image m 80 1596578708315

31568354 8593595 image m 80 1596578708315

The new series of Spitting Image will include a puppet of Boris Johnson. His puppet draws attention to his shock of blonde hair

Mr Cummings' puppet sees the former Vote Leave director in his trademark hoodie with a flamboyant silver collar

Mr Cummings' puppet sees the former Vote Leave director in his trademark hoodie with a flamboyant silver collar

Mr Cummings’ puppet sees the former Vote Leave director in his trademark hoodie with a flamboyant silver collar

Also targeted is the Duke of York. Andrew sports a tartan coat complete with paisley neckerchief in his puppet likeness

Also targeted is the Duke of York. Andrew sports a tartan coat complete with paisley neckerchief in his puppet likeness

Also targeted is the Duke of York. Andrew sports a tartan coat complete with paisley neckerchief in his puppet likeness

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV.

Spitting Image co-creator Roger Law is back on board for the show, which was watched by 15 million viewers in its heyday.

At £300,000 an episode, Spitting Image was TV’s most expensive light-entertainment show.

The show famously featured Margaret Thatcher in a man’s suit treating her cabinet – ‘the vegetables’ – with contempt, John Major as a grey puppet and the Queen Mother slugging from a gin bottle.

Ronald Reagan was featured in bed with two red call buttons, one marked Nurse, the other Nuke.

The show is produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

Spitting Image will air on BritBox later this year. 

The series will air this autumn on BritBox, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex among the targets (pictured are their puppets)

The series will air this autumn on BritBox, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex among the targets (pictured are their puppets)

The series will air this autumn on BritBox, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex among the targets (pictured are their puppets)

Programme-makers said: 'With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn't be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.' Pictured: The Trumps

Programme-makers said: 'With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn't be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.' Pictured: The Trumps

Programme-makers said: ‘With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn’t be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events.’ Pictured: The Trumps

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV. Vladimir Putin will also be mocked

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV. Vladimir Putin will also be mocked

The show is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV. Vladimir Putin will also be mocked 

Law, who will be executive producing the new series, said: ‘Public service satire announcement.

‘I’ve refused to resuscitate Spitting Image for years but when my pension ran out and my palm was crossed with silver what could an old man do?

‘The new Spitting Image will be global through a uniquely British eye, it will be more outrageous, audacious and salacious than the previous incarnation.

‘With scandalous scripts and A-list characters, it will be the people’s programme!

‘When Dominic Cummings gets the boot, Spitting Image will give him a job.

‘We’ve always employed weirdos and are sure Dom will be a great asset, he seems to hate politicians as much as we do. We will take back control from the likes of BoJo, Trump, Harry and Meghan, Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian.

‘We will be dazzled and amazed by Jurgen Klopp and Beyonce, we will have regular weather updates from our roving reporter Greta Thunberg. The timing is right, the puppets are ready, the people have spoken. And the message for the doomsayers and gloomsters is, this autumn we will get BritBox done!’ 

The show will be produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

The show will be produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

The show will be produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

A puppet of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, showing him looking gaunt in a hoodie

A puppet of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, showing him looking gaunt in a hoodie

A puppet of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, showing him looking gaunt in a hoodie 

BritBox Originals creative chief and ITV’s director of TV Kevin Lygo said: ‘We are thrilled that BritBox can provide the opportunity for British creativity to truly run wild, and we are looking forward to enticing new subscribers with the new series and service.’

Development of the puppets is already under way.

As on previous series, some scripts will be written and new puppets made nearer to airtime.

The show will be produced by Avalon, whose credits include The Russell Howard Hour, Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

Spitting Image will air exclusively on Britbox from autumn, and a second series will follow next year. 

The show may be available on Britbox in the US – where a monthly subscription costs $6.99 – or in Canada where the fee is $8.99. However, this hasn’t been confirmed.  

‘What about the vegetables? They’ll have the same as me’: How no politician or public figure was sacred to the satirists of Spitting Image 

In its 12 years on our screens, Spitting Image mocked politicians from Westminster and around world, the Royals, sport stars, musicians and TV presenters.

The show’s best moments and classic characters: 

Its most famous puppet was perhaps that of Margaret Thatcher, who wore a man’s suit in the show and treated her Cabinet with contempt.

One of the shows most famous moments was when, with the then-Tory cabinet around the dinner table, a waitress asked: ‘What about the vegetables?’ The model of Mrs Thatcher replies: ‘Oh, they’ll have the same as me.’

Margaret Thatcher replying 'they'll have the same as me' when a waitress asked her, 'what about the vegetables?' during a dinner with her cabinet

Margaret Thatcher replying 'they'll have the same as me' when a waitress asked her, 'what about the vegetables?' during a dinner with her cabinet

Margaret Thatcher replying ‘they’ll have the same as me’ when a waitress asked her, ‘what about the vegetables?’ during a dinner with her cabinet 

Thatcher’s successor, John Major, came in for equally merciless treatment, with his puppet painted grey to reflect his perceived dull personality.

In a further mocking of the Tory leader’s perceived lack of charisma, some of the most famous scenes to feature him showed him and his wife, Norma, eating peas. Major would occasionally say: ‘Nice peas, dear.’

One of the classic sketches of former Prime Minister John Major complimenting his wife on her peas

One of the classic sketches of former Prime Minister John Major complimenting his wife on her peas

One of the classic sketches of former Prime Minister John Major complimenting his wife on her peas 

The Royal Family were not spared the Spitting Image treatment. The Queen was habitually portrayed with a headscarf and CND badge and the Queen Mother carried a copy of the Racing Post and spoke with a Birmingham accent.

One of the most famous sketches to feature the Royals appeared after Prince William was born, when the Queen broke a bottle of champagne over his head to ‘Christen him’. 

The Royal Family was also lampooned in a sketch showing the Queen and Prince Philip sitting in their palace while they learn a recession has robbed them of all their wealth. 

Philip at first says ‘recession, what recession?’ before hearing the bad news – that their properties will be repossessed and they will be forced to live in a council flat. 

Prince Philip pictured reading The Sun bearing a headline reading 'recession, recession'

Prince Philip pictured reading The Sun bearing a headline reading 'recession, recession'

Prince Philip pictured reading The Sun bearing a headline reading ‘recession, recession’ 

Tony Blair was regularly pictured with a huge smile or in sketches mocking him as a megalomaniac.

In the final episode – from 1996 – he was seen in front of his cabinet after an election victory boasting that he was ‘the clever one’. 

Tony Blair on Spitting Image when he was celebrating with his cabinet after winning the election

Tony Blair on Spitting Image when he was celebrating with his cabinet after winning the election

Tony Blair on Spitting Image when he was celebrating with his cabinet after winning the election 

Labour politician Roy Hattersley was regularly mocked for his lisp, with skits showing him spraying other people in the room with spit. 

He was regularly seen alongside his partner-in-crime Neil Kinnock, who was nicknamed The Welsh Windbag and shown talking for hours about anything except his policies. 

Roy Hattersley and 'Welsh Windbag' Neil Kinnock in a classic Spitting Image sketch

Roy Hattersley and 'Welsh Windbag' Neil Kinnock in a classic Spitting Image sketch

Roy Hattersley and ‘Welsh Windbag’ Neil Kinnock in a classic Spitting Image sketch 

International leaders also featured in the show.

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s distinctive birthmark on his head was shaped into a hammer and sickle

Soviet leader Mikhal Gorbachev with a hammer and sickle birthmark on his head

Soviet leader Mikhal Gorbachev with a hammer and sickle birthmark on his head

Soviet leader Mikhal Gorbachev with a hammer and sickle birthmark on his head 

A grotesque characterisation of Prince Andrew before he was married to Sarah Ferguson is said to have offended the Queen. 

The Andrew puppet was not only a naked centrefold but was using two pounds of Cumberland sausage as a prop. 

This characterisation of Prince Andrew before he married Sarah Ferguson offended the Queen

This characterisation of Prince Andrew before he married Sarah Ferguson offended the Queen

This characterisation of Prince Andrew before he married Sarah Ferguson offended the Queen 

Trade and Industry Minister Norman Tebbit – Mrs Thatcher’s loyal sidekick and enforcer – was parodied as a leather-jacketed thug. 

He later admitted the parody was useful for his political career, writing: ‘It was good for my political career. I always won, I was never beaten.’  

Norman Tebbit was portrayed on the show as one of Margaret Thatcher's goons

Norman Tebbit was portrayed on the show as one of Margaret Thatcher's goons

Norman Tebbit was portrayed on the show as one of Margaret Thatcher’s goons 

<!—->Advertisement

Powered by: Daily Mail

Latest Stories

Thousands of Chinese passengers flout coronavirus rules and cram into a station

Published

on

By

thousands of chinese passengers flout coronavirus rules and cram into a station

Thousands of coach passengers have been filmed cramming into a coach station in China while flouting social distancing rules despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Shocking footage shows the station in east China’s Hefei city jam-packed with travellers who were standing shoulder to shoulder as they waited to enter the building on Wednesday.

Similar scenes were spotted in other cities across the country, including the former COVID-19 epicentre Wuhan, which saw residents stuck in long queues of traffic for hours.

Shocking footage shows the station in east China’s Hefei city jam-packed with travellers who were standing shoulder to shoulder

Shocking footage shows the station in east China’s Hefei city jam-packed with travellers who were standing shoulder to shoulder

The railway station in Hangzhou is pictured filled to the brim on Wednesday

The railway station in Hangzhou is pictured filled to the brim on Wednesday

China is celebrating its National Day tomorrow with an eight-day holiday, one of the country’s busiest holidays of the year as pictures and footage show people cramming into stations

It comes after China is celebrating its National Day tomorrow with an eight-day holiday, one of the country’s busiest holidays of the year.

Also known as the ‘October Golden Week’, the national holiday, which combines China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival this year, is expected to see a tourism boom as the country appears to be slowly recovering from the coronavirus outbreak.

Ctrip, a major Chinese travel booking platform, estimated that more than 600million trips will be made during the eight-day holiday. 

The country’s state railway operator also said on Monday that it expected to handle 108million passengers.

State media today warned the public that the highways would see peak traffic from 2pm to 11pm as people are flocking to tourist attractions all over the country.

Footage filmed by an onlooker shows the extremely busy coach station in Hefei with thousands of passengers waiting to just get inside the building. 

Also known as the ‘October Golden Week’, the national holiday, which combines China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival this year, is expected to see a tourism boom as the country appears to be slowly recovering from the coronavirus outbreak

Also known as the ‘October Golden Week’, the national holiday, which combines China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival this year, is expected to see a tourism boom as the country appears to be slowly recovering from the coronavirus outbreak

Also known as the ‘October Golden Week’, the national holiday, which combines China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival this year, is expected to see a tourism boom as the country appears to be slowly recovering from the coronavirus outbreak

Similar scenes were spotted in other cities across the country, including the former COVID-19 epicentre Wuhan, which saw residents stuck in long queues of traffic for hours. The picture shared by social media user shows long queues of traffic in Wuhan on Wednesday

Similar scenes were spotted in other cities across the country, including the former COVID-19 epicentre Wuhan, which saw residents stuck in long queues of traffic for hours. The picture shared by social media user shows long queues of traffic in Wuhan on Wednesday

Similar scenes were spotted in other cities across the country, including the former COVID-19 epicentre Wuhan, which saw residents stuck in long queues of traffic for hours. The picture shared by social media user shows long queues of traffic in Wuhan on Wednesday

The picture shows a subway station in Wuhan today

The picture shows a subway station in Wuhan today

Thousands of coach passengers have been filmed cramming into a coach station in Hefei

Thousands of coach passengers have been filmed cramming into a coach station in Hefei

Thousands of coach passengers have been filmed (pictured right) cramming into a coach station in China while flouting social distancing rules despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A subway station in Wuhan (pictured left) is seen packed with travellers

Road users in Wuhan also shared pictures of long queues of cars and said that they had been stuck in the traffic for hours.

The city of Hangzhou in east China became a trending topic on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo today after a picture of its railway station filled to the brim went viral.

China appears to have largely contained the coronavirus outbreak while reporting mostly imported cases in recent weeks.

Wuhan, the city where the contagion was first found, recently drew worldwide attention again after its residents were spotted last month flouting social distancing rules and cramming into a local waterpark.

China appears to have largely contained the coronavirus outbreak while reporting mostly imported cases in recent weeks. People queue up to check in for domestic flights ahead of the country's national holiday at Beijing's Capital International Airport on September 30

China appears to have largely contained the coronavirus outbreak while reporting mostly imported cases in recent weeks. People queue up to check in for domestic flights ahead of the country's national holiday at Beijing's Capital International Airport on September 30

China appears to have largely contained the coronavirus outbreak while reporting mostly imported cases in recent weeks. People queue up to check in for domestic flights ahead of the country’s national holiday at Beijing’s Capital International Airport on September 30

A view of the crowd at a railway station in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang province today

A view of the crowd at a railway station in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang province today

A view of the crowd at a railway station in Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang province today

Chinese President Xi Jinping (pictured right) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toast with guests during the National Day Reception at The Great Hall Of The People on September 30

Chinese President Xi Jinping (pictured right) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toast with guests during the National Day Reception at The Great Hall Of The People on September 30

Chinese President Xi Jinping (pictured right) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toast with guests during the National Day Reception at The Great Hall Of The People on September 30

Pet owners in the city were also pictured competing in a high-end dog show with their well-groomed kennels over the weekend, a sign of life returning to normal in the former coronavirus epicentre despite the pandemic.

China reported 19 imported cases and no local transmission on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total of confirmed infections to 85,403. The death toll remains at 4,634.

Globally, the number of people who have died with COVID-19 has passed one million and the total of infections has passed 33million.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Latest Stories

Could the saviour of New Zealand lose their election? Jacinda Ardern will need help from coalition

Published

on

By

could the saviour of new zealand lose their election jacinda ardern will need help from coalition

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will need help from coalition partners to form a government after the general election, according to the latest polls.

On Wednesday night, the 40-year-old Labour leader admitted she had used cannabis ‘a long time ago’ in a fiery debate with the National Party leader Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins, the fourth debate ahead of the October 17 vote.

Ardern jibed at Collins, 61, to ‘take a deep breath’ following a series of feisty interruptions, before the host said he’d like to ask the PM about cannabis.

‘That will be a deep breath won’t it,’ Collins said, prompting laughter from the socially-distanced audience.

New Zealand is holding a cannabis referendum in conjunction with the election, which Collins has rallied her party to vote ‘no’ in, while Ardern has not revealed how she will vote.

It comes as the closely watched 1News-Colmar Brunton poll revealed that Ardern’s party had dropped a crucial point to 47 percent, meaning that Labour would have 59 seats – two short of the 61 required for a majority. 

National Party Judith Collins, 61,

National Party Judith Collins, 61,

New Zealand PM and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand PM and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern

National Party Judith Collins, 61, (left) takes on New Zealand PM and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern during Wednesday night’s fiery debate

The closely watched 1News-Colmar Brunton poll revealed that Ardern's party had dropped a crucial point to 47 percent, meaning that Labour would have 59 seats – two short of the 61 required for a majority.

The closely watched 1News-Colmar Brunton poll revealed that Ardern's party had dropped a crucial point to 47 percent, meaning that Labour would have 59 seats – two short of the 61 required for a majority.

The closely watched 1News-Colmar Brunton poll revealed that Ardern’s party had dropped a crucial point to 47 percent, meaning that Labour would have 59 seats – two short of the 61 required for a majority. 

Ardern’s liberal cause is likely to be shored up by the Green Party which is predicted to take eight seats. 

Meanwhile, Collins’s National Party has been making strides since her strong performance in last week’s televised debate, gaining two percentage points.

Ardern was praised by some commentators for her efforts to hit back harder at Collins in Wednesday night’s Newshub Leaders Debate after she was labelled ‘a wet bus ticket,’ for how she had allowed the National Party leader to trample over her arguments the week before.

Following that debate Collins had labelled her opponent ‘a poor wee thing’ and claimed victory. She did not make the same claim on Wednesday night.

In the 1News-Colmar Brunton poll, taking into account questionnaires filled out up to the end of last week, Ardern’s popularity as preferred PM remained steady at 54 percent, while Collins rose to 23 percent, up five percentage points from the last poll.

Ardern, who was labelled the ‘saviour’ of New Zealand by a Maori leader earlier this year, has won support and global admiration for her response to last year’s attack by a white supremacist on two mosques, a fatal volcanic eruption and her success in tackling the coronavirus.

Judith Collins

Judith Collins

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern

Ardern jibed at Collins, 61, to ‘take a deep breath’ following a series of feisty interruptions, before the host said he’d like to ask the PM about cannabis. ‘That will be a deep breath won’t it,’ Collins said, prompting laughter from the socially-distanced audience (pictured: Collins, left, and Ardern, right, during the clash)

The Newshub Leaders' featuring Labour Party Jacinda Ardern (left) and Leader of the National Party Judith Collins in Auckland, Wednesday, September 30

The Newshub Leaders' featuring Labour Party Jacinda Ardern (left) and Leader of the National Party Judith Collins in Auckland, Wednesday, September 30

The Newshub Leaders’ featuring Labour Party Jacinda Ardern (left) and Leader of the National Party Judith Collins in Auckland, Wednesday, September 30

National leader Judith Collins has her hair sprayed as she participates in a televised debate with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

National leader Judith Collins has her hair sprayed as she participates in a televised debate with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

National leader Judith Collins has her hair sprayed as she participates in a televised debate with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

She was asked on Wednesday night whether US President Donald Trump was a dangerous influence on the world to which she replied diplomatically that she would work with whoever America elected.

Collins gave a warmer response, praising Trump for the peace deal brokered between Israel and some Gulf nations.

‘He has actually done some quite recent stuff with Israel and UAE and so actually that’s better than war, don’t you think? He hasn’t been ready to rush into war.’ Collins said.

Ardern hit back by saying, ‘It is a worry when the best thing you can say is we haven’t had war.’

It comes as Trump and former US vice president Joe Biden clashed across the Pacific for their first presidential election debate in Ohio.

Trump, like Ardern, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Last month Ardern lashed out at Trump’s comments that New Zealand was experiencing a surge in COVID-19 as ‘patently wrong’.

‘The idea that we would be compared to the outbreak in the U.S. by President Trump, I totally reject that and I stand by my response,’ said Ardern, whose brand of liberal, inclusive and compassionate leadership has led to some people labelling her ‘the anti-Trump’. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted to smoking cannabis during the debate on Wednesday

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted to smoking cannabis during the debate on Wednesday

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted to smoking cannabis during the debate on Wednesday

National Party Judith Collins is seen during the Newshub Leaders' against Labour Party Jacinda Ardern

National Party Judith Collins is seen during the Newshub Leaders' against Labour Party Jacinda Ardern

National Party Judith Collins is seen during the Newshub Leaders’ against Labour Party Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand has had 25 coronavirus related deaths, among the lowest in the world, while fatalities in the United States have crossed 200,000.

Tough restrictions to contain coronavirus limited New Zealand’s total cases to less than 1,500 and just 25 deaths, far fewer than other developed nations, and the virus is largely contained.

But Ardern won’t have it all her own way.

Analysts say Labour has largely failed on its big ticket policy promises like providing affordable housing, reforming tax and building key infrastructure. 

Collins is a seasoned politician well known to the electorate, who is mostly associated with issues such as law and order, and infrastructure.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson go for a street walk in Palmerston North this month

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson go for a street walk in Palmerston North this month

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson go for a street walk in Palmerston North this month

Meanwhile, support for the National Party, who are the main opposition under new leader Judith 'Crusher' Collins (pictured), rose two points to 33 per cent on Monday

Meanwhile, support for the National Party, who are the main opposition under new leader Judith 'Crusher' Collins (pictured), rose two points to 33 per cent on Monday

Meanwhile, support for the National Party, who are the main opposition under new leader Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins (pictured), rose two points to 33 per cent on Monday

She has made efforts to connect more strongly with the farming community, but her appeal remains local while Ardern is known for her statesmanlike representation of New Zealand on the global stage.

‘Ardern has turned that feeling right up to maximum volume, while Collins does not get any play in that space,’ said Richard Shaw, of Massey University.

Ardern will be hoping that she can get a boost from around 67,000 New Zealand expat voters registered overseas and the inclusion of the cannabis and euthanasia referendums as part of the poll could encourage more participation.

The majority of those enrolled are in Australia, at nearly 60 percent, followed by the UK at 17 percent and more than 6 percent in the US.

With the tightening in the latest polls, Ardern has urged New Zealanders across the world to vote.

‘Every single vote counts, including those Kiwis in Australia,’ she told Australian broadcaster Channel Nine. ‘They’re almost the equivalent to a seat.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Latest Stories

Boris Johnson warns ‘more costly’ NATIONAL lockdown can’t be ruled out 

Published

on

By

boris johnson warns more costly national lockdown cant be ruled out
Boris Johnson tonight begged Britons to stick with his coronavirus plan as he warned that a 'more costly' second full lockdown cannot be ruled out

Boris Johnson tonight begged Britons to stick with his coronavirus plan as he warned that a 'more costly' second full lockdown cannot be ruled out

Boris Johnson tonight begged Britons to stick with his coronavirus plan as he warned that a ‘more costly’ second full lockdown cannot be ruled out

Boris Johnson tonight begged Britons to stick with his coronavirus plan as he warned that a ‘more costly’ second full lockdown cannot be ruled out.

At a No10 press conference with Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, the PM said it was too early to judge whether the Rule of Six and pubs curfew introduced over the past fortnight were working.

And he said that letting the virus ‘take its course’ risked overwhelming the NHS and many more deaths. 

But in a nod to rising anxiety about the consequences of restrictions, Mr Johnson said he intended to update the public more ‘regularly’ in the coming weeks.

He said the country was at a ‘critical moment’ and that he would not hesitate to a bring in new measures if required.

‘If we put in the work together now then we give ourselves the best possible chance of avoiding that outcome and avoiding further measures,’ he said.

‘I know some people will think we should give up and let the virus take its course despite the huge loss of life that would potentially entail.

‘I have to say I profoundly disagree. I don’t think that is what the British people want. I don’t think they want to throw in the sponge. They want to fight and defeat this virus and that is what we are going to do.’ 

Highlighting the sharp rise in infections since the start of September, Sir Patrick said grimly: ‘Things are definitely going in the wrong direction.’  

The comments came after Mr Johnson finally bowed to demand to give MPs a vote before any fresh lockdown restrictions – after furious Speaker Lindsay Hoyle blasted him for treating the Commons with ‘contempt’.

He was alongside Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick despite coming under intense pressure drop the scientists from such briefings, with complaints that they are being used as ‘propaganda’ to back up increasingly draconian restrictions.  

MailOnline understands Cabinet hawks are increasingly frustrated by the dire warnings from the medical and science chiefs about a second wave. 

Former Downing Street aides have been calling on the government to take the experts out of the limelight, warning they are not great communicators and it gave the impression decisions were clear cut rather than a matter of judgement for ministers. 

Senior Conservative Sir Bernard Jenkin upped the ante today by swiping that the government is using ‘science as propaganda’.  

In another frantic day in the coronavirus crisis:

  • The UK recorded 7,108 more coronavirus cases and another 71 deaths today — including a three-month high of seven in Scotland;
  • Cabinet hawks are sniping at Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance over dire warnings about a second wave as the PM prepares to hold a Downing Street press conference;
  • The Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane has called for optimism on the country’s prospects, warning that a ‘Chicken Licken’ attitude could harm the recovery; 
  • Business Secretary Alok Sharma faced a backlash after blaming ‘gotcha’ questions for the PM’s muddle over the North East lockdown rules yesterday; 
  • Ministers fear that the public is showing increasing signs of ‘lockdown fatigue’ as the pandemic drags on and the rules become more complicated; 
  • There are claims Covid press conferences will now be held weekly again as senior aides believe the PM must be seen to have more of a grip. 

33821066 8790645 image a 51 1601482841848

33821066 8790645 image a 51 1601482841848

33821062 8790645 image a 53 1601482846529

33821062 8790645 image a 53 1601482846529

The Prime Minister displayed the latest slides on the status of coronavirus at the No10 press conference tonight

The Prime Minister displayed the latest slides on the status of coronavirus at the No10 press conference tonight

The Prime Minister displayed the latest slides on the status of coronavirus at the No10 press conference tonight

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief science officer Patrick Vallance were in Whitehall today for the Cabinet meeting

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief science officer Patrick Vallance were in Whitehall today for the Cabinet meeting

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief science officer Patrick Vallance were in Whitehall today for the Cabinet meeting

33819952 8790197 image a 2 1601480937496

33819952 8790197 image a 2 1601480937496

33819958 8790197 image a 5 1601480943027

33819958 8790197 image a 5 1601480943027

Alok Sharma faces backlash after blaming ‘gotcha’ questions for the PM bungling his OWN Covid lockdown rules

Boris Johnson’s allies were accused of excusing ‘incompetence’ today after ‘gotcha’ were blamed for his bungle over coronavirus lockdown policies.

The PM faced a welter of ridicule after embarrassingly getting muddled yesterday about the draconian rules imposed on households mixing in the North East. 

The blunder elicited a rare apology from Mr Johnson, who admitted he had ‘misspoken’ by suggesting different households could still legally socialise in groups of six indoors. 

It also fuelled a raging Tory revolt over the government pushing through restrictions on millions of people without parliamentary scrutiny, amid rising concerns about the devastating impact on the economy and jobs. 

Whips are desperately trying to strike a deal with rebels who have tabled an amendment to a crunch motion tonight renewing the sweeping powers in the Coronavirus Act.

Tory MPs insisted if Mr Johnson cannot ‘keep up’ with the changes being by the government there is no hope for ordinary members of the public. 

But Business Secretary Alok Sharma swatted away the furore this morning, accusing journalists of turning the situation into a ‘quiz show’ and saying people should check council websites rather than listening to the PM.

‘There is an element of slightly ‘gotcha’ about this in terms of this line of questioning. You are a flagship programme when it comes to serious news and it is not a quiz show,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

<!—->Advertisement

Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the concessions in the House, saying the government would ‘consult Parliament’ on any England-wide or UK-wide restrictions, and a vote will be held in advance ‘wherever possible’.

‘Today I can confirm to the House that for significant national measures, with effect in the whole of England or UK-wide, we will consult Parliament – wherever possible we will hold votes before such regulations come into force,’ he said.

‘But of course responding to the virus means that the Government must act with speed when required and we cannot hold up urgent regulations which are needed to control the virus and save lives.’

Sir Graham Brady, who led the Tory revolt, welcomed the climbdown – which followed weeks of rising tensions with the backbenches. 

The move came after Sir Lindsay delivered an extraordinary rebuke, complaining that sweeping powers for ministers to deal with the public health crisis were being abused.

Reading the riot act to the PM as he sat silently in the chamber, Sir Lindsay made clear that he is ready to side with dozens of Tory rebels and opposition parties to ensure more scrutiny – warning that the government’s must act now to restore ‘trust’.

‘The Government must make greater efforts to prepare measures more quickly, so that this House can debate and decide upon the most significant measures at the earliest possible point,’ he said. 

‘I am now looking to the Government to rebuild the trust with this House and not treat it with the contempt that it has shown.’  

The Speaker did reject an amendment tabled by Tory rebels to a motion renewing the Coronavirus Act powers, that would have forced votes before new measures are imposed – saying it would breach parliamentary procedure. However, the intervention was enough to trigger an immediate shift from the government.  

In an extraordinary attack in the Commons – which Mr Johnson had to sit and listen to – Sir Lindsay slammed the way the government was railroading through restrictions. 

‘The way in which the Government has exercised its powers to make secondary legislation during this crisis has been totally unsatisfactory,’ he said.

‘All too often, important statutory instruments have been published a matter of hours before they come into force, and some explanations why important measures have come into effect before they can be laid before this House have been unconvincing and shows a total disregard for the House.

‘The Government must make greater efforts to prepare measures more quickly, so that this House can debate and decide upon the most significant measures at the earliest possible point.’ 

He added: ‘I am now looking to the Government to rebuild the trust with this House and not treat it with the contempt that it has shown.’ 

Sir Graham Brady, the influential 1922 Committee chair who tabled the amendment, said he remained hopeful that the Government will make concessions on coronavirus powers.

In a statement, he said: ‘The Speaker set out his reasons for not selecting any amendments but he also made it clear that he expects the Government to ensure proper and timely parliamentary scrutiny.

‘I am hopeful that the Government will respond appropriately this afternoon.’  

Downing Street has signalled the Government has struck a compromise with rebels who have been calling for votes on new coronavirus restrictions.

A source among the rebels also indicated that Health Secretary Matt Hancock will outline an agreement as he opens the Commons debate.

Asked about Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s criticism of the Government, a No 10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister and the Health Secretary have acknowledged that we’re looking at further ways to involve Parliament in the process in advance and we know how important it is for both houses to have to debate and scrutinise all coronavirus regulations.

‘At the same time it does remain vital that we can move quickly to stop the virus spreading, as we have done throughout the pandemic and I’m sure you will hear more on this from the Health Secretary this afternoon.’

Pressed on whether an agreement had been struck, the spokesman said: ‘I can’t pre-empt what the Health Secretary is going to say and as you can imagine the appropriate place for any announcement to be made would be in the Commons.’

Mr Johnson did not make any reference to the stinging criticism from the Speaker as he took to his feet for PMQs afterwards.

Disquiet has been growing among MPs about the influence of Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick over the government’s approach. One Cabinet ‘hawk’ told MailOnline that Mr Johnson had no choice but to act given the dire warnings he was getting. ‘You can understand why the PM has to be cautious when he is being told that tens of thousands of people are going to die,’ they said.

Care homes ‘are waiting up to three weeks for Covid results’ 

Care homes are waiting up to three weeks to get their coronavirus test results, it was claimed today as the UK’s swabbing fiasco continues. 

The Government had promised to get carers swabbed every week, and residents every 28 days, so new cases could be detected quickly and isolated.

But the ‘world-leading’ testing system is failing to turn around samples on time as it battles to get through an ever-growing backlog of samples.

Care homes leaders have warned the problem is ‘getting worse, not better’ because ‘test results are not coming back quickly enough’. 

The backlog adds to Britain’s ongoing testing crisis which erupted earlier this month after demand massively outstripped capacity. Ministers warned the shortage would last for weeks.

Scores of Brits, including nurses and doctors, complained about being unable to get swabbed for the disease — despite some drive-in sites standing completely empty. Others were forced to travel hundreds of miles to find out whether or not they were infected.

 

<!—->Advertisement

The minister added that the government was getting advice more ‘widely’ from experts now. ‘The hawks in the Cabinet are a lot happier with the spread of opinion than they were,’ they said. 

The source pointed out that the was a huge range of opinion among scientists, and ministers had to be confident to take a view. ‘Earlier in the crisis we were a lot more in thrall of the scientists. But there is a huge difference between doubling every seven days and every 20 days,’ they said. 

‘We are talking more widely to people with different views. It might be that people like Carl Heneghan have the right assessment. ‘

‘The modelling is not at all accurate. It just gives you general idea of what might happen.’ 

The PM gathered his Cabinet this morning after embarrassingly getting muddled about the draconian rules imposed on households mixing in the North East. 

The blunder elicited a rare apology from Mr Johnson, who admitted he had ‘misspoken’ by suggesting different households could still legally socialise in groups of six indoors. 

Tory MPs insisted if Mr Johnson cannot ‘keep up’ with the changes being by the government there is no hope for ordinary members of the public.  

But Business Secretary Alok Sharma swatted away the criticism this morning, accusing journalists of ‘gotcha’ questions and turning the situation into a ‘quiz show’ – saying people should check council websites rather than listening to the PM.

‘There is an element of slightly ‘gotcha’ about this in terms of this line of questioning. You are a flagship programme when it comes to serious news and it is not a quiz show,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Asked whether he thought that calling on ministers to explain what their coronavirus regulations were was as ‘trivial as a quiz question’, he said: ‘No, absolutely not. But what I’m saying to you is that what is important is if people want to understand the precise restrictions that they have in areas which are more restricted, then they should go on to the (local authority) websites.’ 

A dire day for the government kicked off yesterday when skills minister Gillian Keegan suffered a series of car crash interviews Tuesday morning, admitting she was unable to answer key questions over new curbs that came into effect from midnight.

Quizzed on the North East lockdown after a speech at Exeter College in Devon later, Mr Johnson said: ‘On the rule of six, outside the areas such as the North East where extra measures have been brought in, it is six inside, six outside.

33821370 8790645 image a 56 1601482930292

33821370 8790645 image a 56 1601482930292

33821376 8790645 image a 58 1601482933382

33821376 8790645 image a 58 1601482933382

33821364 8790645 image a 61 1601482940816

33821364 8790645 image a 61 1601482940816

Reading the riot act to the PM as he sat silently in the chamber, Sir Lindsay made clear that he is ready to side with dozens of Tory rebels and opposition parties to ensure more scrutiny - warning that the government's must act now to restore 'trust'

Reading the riot act to the PM as he sat silently in the chamber, Sir Lindsay made clear that he is ready to side with dozens of Tory rebels and opposition parties to ensure more scrutiny - warning that the government's must act now to restore 'trust'

Reading the riot act to the PM as he sat silently in the chamber, Sir Lindsay made clear that he is ready to side with dozens of Tory rebels and opposition parties to ensure more scrutiny – warning that the government’s must act now to restore ‘trust’

Pictured left to right, Boris Johnson, new Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove leaving Downing Street for the Foreign Office today, where Cabinet is held because there is more space for social distancing

Pictured left to right, Boris Johnson, new Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove leaving Downing Street for the Foreign Office today, where Cabinet is held because there is more space for social distancing

Pictured left to right, Boris Johnson, new Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove leaving Downing Street for the Foreign Office today, where Cabinet is held because there is more space for social distancing

‘And in the North East and other areas where extra tight measures have been brought in you should follow the guidance of the local authorities.

‘But it’s six in a home or six in hospitality, but as I understand it not six outside. That is the situation there.’ 

Whitehall sources claimed No10 had been blindsided by Matt Hancock’s decision to press ahead with the new restrictions, which had not been expected until at least the end of this week. 

But the muddle raised questions about  

Former minister Steve Baker, one of the rebel ringleaders pushing for parliament to get a bigger role in deciding lockdown, said it demonstrated the confusion that was being caused.

UK’s economic plunge at the peak of coronavirus lockdown was not quite as bad as thought – but GDP still fell a record 19.8% in second quarter 

Official figures for the fall in GDP during the three months to June have been revised down from 20.4 per cent to 19.8 per cent. However, the scale of the drop still makes it the biggestin modern history

Official figures for the fall in GDP during the three months to June have been revised down from 20.4 per cent to 19.8 per cent. However, the scale of the drop still makes it the biggestin modern history

Official figures for the fall in GDP during the three months to June have been revised down from 20.4 per cent to 19.8 per cent. However, the scale of the drop still makes it the biggestin modern history

The UK’s economic plunge at the peak of coronavirus lockdown was not quite as bad as thought – but still the worst in modern history.

Official figures for the fall in GDP during the three months to June have been revised down from 20.4 per cent to 19.8 per cent.

However, the scale of the drop still makes it the biggest on record. 

And the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also concluded that UK plc performed worse during the first quarter of the year.

The economy contracted 2.5 per cent between January and March, compared to previous estimate of 2.2 per cent.  

Overall GDP is now 21.8 per cent smaller than at the end of 2019 – underlining the threat to millions of jobs as Boris Johnson struggles to balance getting the country back up and running with tackling a rise in cases.

There have been some signs of hope, with the Bank of England suggesting the recovery has been better than expected so far.

Separate figures published earlier this month showed GDP went up by 6.6 per cent in July. 

<!—->Advertisement

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think it was a vivid illustration of the problems you have when a hundred Acts of Parliament are used to put in place 247, I think it is, pieces of delegated legislation … which are subject to repeated amendment and revocation.

‘When you get such a large and shifting body of law, you find even ministers and the Prime Minister cannot keep up with it.

‘What possible hope can the public have? I had one minister say to me yesterday, with terror in his eyes about the disease, we might have to change the law every 24 hours.

‘We can’t possibly expect 70 million people to keep up with law that changes every 24 hours – this would be chaos and ruin.’

Senior Tory Sir Bernard Jenkin also turned up the temperature by accusing ministers of using science for ‘propaganda’. 

‘We saw during the Iraq war, intelligence being used as a propaganda,’ he told Times Radio. 

‘The scientists are not there to explain what the government has judged necessary to do’. 

Mr Sharma hinted that concessions could be on their way as the Government looks to quell a Commons rebellion over coronavirus laws.

Mr Sharma said: ‘The reason we are sometimes having to bring these in pretty quickly is to actually keep people safe – and I know all parliamentarians, Steve (Baker) and others totally get that – and the issue is the scrutiny.

‘It is the case that when we’ve introduced restrictions, we have to make sure there is a vote within 28 days or they lapse.

‘But what colleagues are asking for is if there is some way, prior to decisions being made, whether they can be involved and I know that is something that we are looking at in Government and we will come forward with some suggestions.’

Pressed on whether there were concessions coming, the minister said: ‘We are having a look, as I said – I don’t want to pre-empt anything that comes out.’

The PM’s blunder had uncomfortable echoes of the skit by Lucas, which was aired at the start of the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 last week. 

It saw the comedian dressed up as Mr Johnson taking a faux press conference in Downing Street. Ridiculing the complicated rules, Lucas urged people to ‘bake in a tent’ if they must, before adding: ‘Don’t bake in a tent.’ 

The Government is desperately trying to soothe a mutiny among dozens of MPs who have lined up behind an amendment tabled by backbench chief Sir Graham Brady. It insists that Commons votes should be held before any future curbs are put in place. 

Mr Johnson begged Tory rebels to ‘work together’ with him as he tried to avoid a damaging rebellion – even though Speaker Lindsay Hoyle is not expected to call the amendment to a vote this evening. 

But one Tory MP in the North East told the Telegraph: ‘What happened with Boris only strengthened the argument for greater parliamentary scrutiny of new rules. He can’t work out what the rules are because there is no logic to them.’ 

Liverpool is ‘just days away’ from circuit-breaker lockdown 

Liverpool is said to be just ‘days away’ from the becoming the first city to have a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown as cases continue to soar.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said it was ‘only a matter of time’ before comprehensive lockdown measures are introduced in the north-west city.

He has also backed calls for a total alcohol sales ban after 9pm – to stop pub-goers flocking to supermarkets and off-licences after the 10pm pub curfew.

Mr Anderson said the short circuit-breaker lockdown, which could include shutting pubs and restaurants for two-weeks, could help restore ‘some normality’ in the run up to Christmas.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he said: ‘For me, it is only a matter of time because the virus isn’t able to be controlled in the city with the restrictions we have now.

‘If we can have the severest measures of lockdown now, we may arrest the increase and start to bring it down by the end of October, so that in the lead up to Christmas we can get some normality.’ 

<!—->Advertisement

Mr Johnson rushed to defuse the row over his muffed explanation of lockdown within hours, issuing a rare apology.

‘Apologies, I misspoke today,’ he wrote. 

‘In the North East, new rules mean you cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home. 

‘You should also avoid socialising with other households outside. 

‘This is vital to control the spread of coronavirus and keep everyone safe. If you are in a high risk area, please continue to follow the guidelines from local authorities.’ 

Mr Johnson could face another difficult day, as he is due to address the nation at a press conference alongside medical and science chiefs Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance. 

It could provide a fresh avenue both Mr Johnson’s and the scientists’ critics amid anger over the direction of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the PM has defended their advice and expertise that has led to local lockdowns and early closures of pubs, Tory MPs have vented their ire on the pair in recent days, with calls for them to be sacked.

The government’s use of the sweeping powers it was granted by Parliament at the start of the coronavirus crisis has been causing increasing discontent among Tories.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 – which underpins the lockdown along with the Health Protection Act 1984 – has to be renewed every six months, with a vote due tomorrow. 

But ministers have been trying to find a settlement with Sir Graham’s band of rebels after they threatened to derail the process. The government is now expected to commit to holding votes where practical before any further restrictions are imposed.

Cabinet sources told MailOnline that they believe a compromise is close to being struck. 

Former minister Sir Desmond Swayne warned this morning that some MPs could vote against the renewal of the Coronavirus Act unless there are deep concessions.

Accusing ministers of governing by ‘fiat’, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘If there isn’t a vote on the amendment and there isn’t a satisfactory response from the Government to the demands of the amendment, many people will vote against a renewal of an act.

‘Well when I say many, there will be a number, but certainly the Government isn’t going to be defeated.’ 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the concessions in the House, saying the government would 'consult Parliament' on any England-wide or UK-wide restrictions, and a vote will be held in advance 'wherever possible'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the concessions in the House, saying the government would 'consult Parliament' on any England-wide or UK-wide restrictions, and a vote will be held in advance 'wherever possible'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the concessions in the House, saying the government would ‘consult Parliament’ on any England-wide or UK-wide restrictions, and a vote will be held in advance ‘wherever possible’

33782744 8784567 image a 31 1601413784165

33782744 8784567 image a 31 1601413784165

Matt Hancock and Michael Gove today

Matt Hancock and Michael Gove today

Chief whip Mark Spencer

Chief whip Mark Spencer

Matt Hancock and Michael Gove (pictured left) were at Cabinet today, as was chief whip Mark Spencer (right) who has been trying to broker a deal with Tory rebels

Ex-No10 adviser urges PM to ditch scientists

Boris Johnson should stop relying on scientists and ‘take responsibility’ for decisions, a former No10 adviser has said. 

James Frayne, who conducted focus groups and polling for the Cabinet Office but has now stopped, made the call as he critiqued the government’s performance.

In an article on ConservativeHome.com, Mr Frayne said that ‘PR Advice 101’ was to ‘wheel out the independent experts that the public trust, and play down the role of politicians’. 

‘So we’ve seen nothing but Government scientists for months,’ he said.

‘There are two problems with this approach. Firstly, it has implied that the scientists are ultimately in control of the situation and that there are simple, empirical decisions which can and must be made. 

‘This isn’t true, and has given the public a false sense of security.

‘Secondly, most of the scientists are poor communicators. The media love the idea of the boring, trusted scientist that the public all love. But this isn’t reality. 

‘The scientists aren’t professional communicators and putting them in positions of public influence in this way is a mistake.’ 

He went on: ‘The Government needs to show some balls and downgrade the scientists’ role as communicators, and take responsibility for what are essentially political decisions.’

<!—->Advertisement

Senior Tory Steve Baker has likened some of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions to George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, specifically referencing a ban on singing and dancing in bars, cafes and restaurants. 

The PM is also under mounting pressure from hard-hit hospitality bosses demanding the 10pm curfew be constantly reviewed.

More than 100 of the UK’s biggest restaurant chains including Wetherspoon and Pizza Hut wrote to Mr Johnson urging a three-week review – and for it to be axed if ineffective at tackling the steep rise in cases.   

Mr Johnson appealed to MPs to renew the powers in the Coronavirus Act, saying the nation remained in a ‘serious situation’. 

‘Nobody wants to do these kinds of things. Nobody in their right mind wants to stop people singing and dancing in pubs or enjoying themselves in the normal way,’ he told the press conference. 

‘I appreciate the (Orwell) characterisation but if we all work together and get this thing down, get this virus down, then we can keep going with our strategy, keep education open, keep the economy moving and work for the day, as I say, when I believe that those medical scientific improvements will truly deliver the long-term liberation we need. 

‘And to deliver it we’ve all basically got to work together and follow the guidance. That’s what I respectfully say to my colleagues in Parliament and they will, as I know they all want, have an opportunity to talk about these issues, to debate them properly, and discuss them as parliamentarians should.’ 

He also reiterated his commitment to give more regular debates on coronavirus in the Commons and promised that MPs will be able to question the Government’s scientific advisers more regularly. 

However, after the Prime Minister’s plea, further pressure came from the senior group of MPs on the Liaison Committee, which gets to question Mr Johnson in the Commons. 

Senior Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin, writing to Mr Johnson as committee chair, said the ‘majority of us’ support Parliament having a vote ‘before or immediately after’ restrictions come into force. 

‘The idea that such restrictions can be applied without express parliamentary approval, except in dire emergency, is not widely acceptable and indeed may be challenged in law,’ Sir Bernard said. 

Measures have been tightened in Northumberland, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.

Aimed at stopping a resurgence of coronavirus, the Department of Health said laws would ban inter-household mixing indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.

But it left questions about whether the measures, to be enforced with fines, would include meeting people from other homes outside in hospitality settings.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday, Ms Keegan said: ‘I’m sorry I can’t clarify that.

‘I don’t know the answer to that question but I’m sure they can find out the answer to that question.’  

Pressed on how people are meant to keep up to date with the latest restrictions when even ministers cannot, she said: ‘I’m sorry I can’t answer that question. I’m sure there are many people who could. I don’t represent the North East.’

Tory disquiet over new rules, regulations and fines also increased after it emerged the authorities will have the power to use ‘reasonable force’ to make people self-isolate.  

New laws published by the Government state that ‘reasonable force’ can be used if someone refuses to comply with an instruction to stay at home after testing positive for coronavirus or if they have been in contact with someone else who has the disease.

The power will be available to all ‘authorised persons’ amid reports that could include so-called ‘Covid marshalls’ as well as the police and council staff.   

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.