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Warning over rising Covid-19 cases in locked-down Calderdale

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warning over rising covid 19 cases in locked down calderdale

A Nottinghamshire district was today added to the government’s Covid-19 hotspot watchlist amid a spike in cases. 

Public Health England announced Newark and Sherwood, home to around 120,000 people, is now an ‘area of concern’.

Around 26.3 coronavirus cases were diagnosed for every 100,000 people living in the district in the week ending August 11 – the most up-to-date figures. 

For comparison, the authority’s weekly infection rate is higher than four areas that have already been hit with tougher restrictions in the North West – Stockport (25), Trafford (20.3), Wigan (9.2) and Rossendale (4.2).

Newark and Sherwood was among 29 areas named on the PHE watchlist, which is updated every Friday. Nine boroughs, including Swindon (44.1) and Northampton (38.6) have yet to be hit by a ban on household gatherings. 

No further restrictions were imposed on Oldham, despite fears it would be hit with tougher measures. Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham last night urged the Government not to ‘overreact’ to the spike in cases.

But the Department of Health today confirmed millions of people living in Greater Manchester, parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and Leicester face another week of being banned from meeting others in their homes or gardens. 

Households in areas of the North West, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester cannot mix indoors – unless they are in a support bubble – and limits remain on numbers meeting outside.

Casinos, bowling alleys and conference halls will not be allowed to open in the worst-hit areas, despite Boris Johnson announcing they could prepare to reopen on Saturday following a two-week delay. 

It comes as residents in Calderdale – one of the locked-down areas of Yorkshire – were today given a stark warning about rising infection rates. The borough, with a population of 200,000, has the seventh highest infection rate in the country (37.6). 

Regional public health director Debs Harkins asked for the borough’s help to tackle Covid-19, saying ‘it’s clear that too many restrictions were lifted too quickly’.

Newark and Sherwood was among 29 areas named on the PHE watchlist, which is updated every Friday. Nine boroughs, including Swindon (44.1) and Northampton (38.6) have yet to be hit by a ban on household gatherings

Newark and Sherwood was among 29 areas named on the PHE watchlist, which is updated every Friday. Nine boroughs, including Swindon (44.1) and Northampton (38.6) have yet to be hit by a ban on household gatherings

Newark and Sherwood was among 29 areas named on the PHE watchlist, which is updated every Friday. Nine boroughs, including Swindon (44.1) and Northampton (38.6) have yet to be hit by a ban on household gatherings

WHERE ARE ENGLAND’S COVID-19 HOTSPOTS? 

Public Health England data up until August 11 shows the infection rates per 100,000 people are highest here:

Pendle: 89.7

Oldham: 82.3  

Blackburn with Darwen: 77. 

Bradford: 56.8

Leicester: 56.3

Swindon: 44.1

Calderdale: 42.8

Burnley: 39.5

Northampton: 38.6

Rochdale: 37.3

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Health chiefs said the latest evidence does not show a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the 20 locked-down areas.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock met with local leaders to thrash out plans, where it was agreed that the rules – first imposed at the end of July – should stay in place.

Officials also acknowledged a continued rise in cases in Oldham and Pendle, while numbers remain high in Blackburn with Darwen.

Local health bosses will be tasked with setting up an ‘enhanced incident team’ in an effort to bring infection rates under control, without the need for tougher policies.

In good news for Leicester, the department said infection rates have fallen. It added that a further review is being carried out and an update will be given early next week.

Health Minister Edward Argar said: ‘I’d like to thank everyone in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester for their continued patience in following these vital rules put in place to tackle the spread of the disease – I know it hasn’t been easy.

‘We will review the measures again next week as part of our ongoing surveillance and monitoring of the latest data.

‘It is essential we all remain vigilant, and I urge everyone in these areas to continue to follow the rules – wash your hands regularly, follow social distancing, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms, and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to.’

People living in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, have been given a stark warning that action is needed to stem rising infections rates. While officials in Liverpool have praised a 'boots on the ground' approach to contact tracing for squashing an outbreak in the Princes Park area

People living in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, have been given a stark warning that action is needed to stem rising infections rates. While officials in Liverpool have praised a 'boots on the ground' approach to contact tracing for squashing an outbreak in the Princes Park area

People living in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, have been given a stark warning that action is needed to stem rising infections rates. While officials in Liverpool have praised a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to contact tracing for squashing an outbreak in the Princes Park area

ENGLAND’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK ISN’T OUT OF CONTROL, DATA SHOWS 

The coronavirus outbreak in England is not spiralling out of control and has stabilised again after a rise in July, according to official data.

A report published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there are now around 3,800 people catching the virus each day in the community.

Around one in every 1,900 people is carrying the virus, the report said, and there were an estimated 28,300 people infected at any one time in the first week of August.

Today’s weekly estimate is mostly the same as last week except for a slight rise in the estimated daily new cases, from 3,700 to 3,800.

The ONS suggests 0.05 per cent of the population of England currently has Covid-19.

It said that while recent figures had suggested the percentage of individuals testing positive for Covid-19 in households in England had risen slightly in July, this trend now appears to have levelled off.

Official testing figures have been rising this week, with more than 1,000 cases declared on three occasions in four days after the number not being hit since June.

But experts say this is down to better testing which is finding cases more accurately – they still only appear to account for a quarter of the real number each day.

In Wales the report estimated that 1,500 people had coronavirus at any one time between August 3 and August 9 – one in every 2,100 people.

 

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Current nationwide restrictions allow people to meet others in groups of up to six individuals, or two households in outdoor public places.

Pools, indoor gyms and other leisure facilities as well as nail bars, spas and beauty salons are to remain closed in Bradford, Blackburn and Leicester. 

While shielding will continue for individuals in Blackburn with Darwen, and Leicester City. 

In the same update, Newark and Sherwood was designated an ‘area of concern’ on the watch list of local authority areas with higher-than-average incidences of the virus.

It comes as Calderdale is set to launch its own contact tracing service in order to reach more contacts of positive cases than the national scheme is. 

Regional public health director Ms Harkins said Calderdale residents are abiding by social distancing but that new cases appear to be rising in key workers. 

The borough is one of three areas in West Yorkshire placed under stricter measures a fortnight ago, along with Bradford and Kirklees. 

Data published on Wednesday showed Calderdale as a whole had the ninth highest number of new cases in England. There were 44.5 per 100,000 people in the seven days to August 9, a rise from 39.7 in the previous period. 

But the most recent figures released by PHE today revealed the rate has dropped in Calderdale – home to Halifax – in the past week. 

Ms Harkins, who said in a statement she is a positive person following a battle with leukemia, said: ‘Being the voice of doom doesn’t come naturally to me.

‘But I’m sorry to say that I’m writing this today to stress how serious the situation in Calderdale is, and to ask for your help to tackle Covid-19.’

She added: ‘When we look at the trends in confirmed cases in Calderdale, it’s clear that too many restrictions were lifted too quickly.

‘In parts of Halifax particularly the infection rates are amongst the very highest in the country.

‘The situation can change rapidly and, at the time I’m writing this, there are no areas in Leicester, Blackburn with Darwen or Luton where the infection rates are higher than those we can see in some parts of Halifax.’

Ms Harkins added: ‘Infection rates in Calderdale are currently increasing faster than in any other borough in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

A 'boots on ground' approach was praised today by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson (pictured in 2019) after it squashed an outbreak in an area of the city

A 'boots on ground' approach was praised today by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson (pictured in 2019) after it squashed an outbreak in an area of the city

A ‘boots on ground’ approach was praised today by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson (pictured in 2019) after it squashed an outbreak in an area of the city

‘There’s no evidence at all that these higher rates are because people in Calderdale are less likely to observe social distancing than people in other areas of the country; in fact, the opposite is true.’

She said the borough had some of the lowest infection rates in the country during the nationwide lockdown from March.

MANCHESTER MAYOR URGES AGAINST OLDHAM LOCKDOWN 

Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham has urged ministers not to ‘overreact’ by sending Oldham into a full lockdown.

He called on Number 10 not to introduce ‘knee-jerk measures’, as coronavirus cases continue to increase in some parts of Greater Manchester. 

It comes just days after Oldham council leaders said they were in discussion with the Government about a local lockdown, which could come into force ‘within days’ if the virus wasn’t controlled.

Speaking at a weekly media briefing last night, Mr Burnham said: ‘What worked in Leicester is not necessarily going to be right for Greater Manchester, given the interconnected nature of the city region, and I think we’re going to have to have a very considered approach to this rather than crude measures which become further divisive among different communities and different boroughs. 

‘We need to be proportionate, targeted and focus on measures that are going to work. 

‘That is the thrust of the letter we have sent to Government today – no knee-jerk measures but work with us to get whatever interventions we do right and obviously make them as effective as possible.’ 

Oldham Council said on Wednesday that despite additional measures being put in place in the borough two weeks ago, the number of positive cases has continued to increase.

Mr Burnham agreed that the figures were a ‘major cause for concern’, but he wanted the town to be given another week to allow more time for current restrictions worked. 

‘While figures have been worrying this week we must also not kind of overreact, there is a danger of doing that,’ he said, according to the Manchester Evening News.  

Mr Burnham said a full lockdown could cause ‘serious difficulties’ for people living in the region.

‘You would have to consider what a lockdown would do to an area like Oldham on the Leicester model,’ he said.

‘It could have serious implications for businesses, serious implications for people’s mental health.

‘Why are our poorest communities being hit? It’s because of the inability of many people in those places to self-isolate and this is a real gap in our defences and we’re leaving poorer communities exposed to this virus if we don’t fix this.’  

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The information available seemed to indicate that new cases are in people who have been working in essential roles.

‘These are the people who care for us, feed us, serve us and transport us,’ Ms Harkins said.

‘Since lockdown has eased, these are the people who are more likely to come into contact with Covid-19. These are the people who should be celebrated rather than blamed.’ 

Calderdale was due to launch is own contact tracing service today, following health chiefs in Leicester taking the initiative to set-up their own test and trace weeks ago.

Contacts from people who have tested positive for Covid-19, who have not been reached by the national service within 48 hours, will be passed to the public health team and volunteers, the council said.

This team will then try to contact them, by text, phone or door-knocking, to tell them to self isolate. 

A ‘boots on ground’ approach was praised today by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson after it squashed an outbreak in an area of the city.

Local health teams and volunteers went door-to-door in Princes Park offering tests and advice which ‘ultimately saved lives’, Mr Anderson said. 

The ward, which includes parts of Toxteth and Dingle, accounted for half of the new cases across the city in the previous week. 

A total of 14 cases were confirmed in the area in the week to July 27, rising to 18 the following week, to August 3, the council said.

But in the week up to August 11 the number of confirmed cases in the ward was five, it was revealed today.  

Mr Anderson and director of public health Matt Ashton wrote to all homes in the city to say some restrictions could now be eased.

From tomorrow, overnight socially distanced stays and visits to one other home are to be allowed. 

Community buildings can reopen and outdoor gatherings take place, provided a risk assessment is done, while outdoor meet-ups with care home residents can resume.

Mr Ashton said: ‘What we achieved in Princes Park has shown the value of local teams being able to take quick action and making the best use of the local knowledge that they have.

‘Everyone can certainly feel proud of what has been achieved and knowing that this approach works gives us confidence but it will not allow us to be complacent.

‘We contained an outbreak but the virus has not gone away.

‘My team continue to monitor the numbers of confirmed cases but will still need everyone’s help to make sure that those levels remain low.’

Liverpool Mayor Mr Anderson said: ‘We took a decision to move quickly in Princes Park and that decision has proved to be the right one.

‘Council teams and volunteers literally put in the hard yards to help contain the outbreak and this has ultimately saved lives – not only in Princes Park but also in the wider city.

Regional public health director Debs Harkins Calderdale said: 'I'm sorry to say that I'm writing this today to stress how serious the situation in Calderdale is, and to ask for your help to tackle Covid-19.' Pictured: A promotion funded by the borough council

Regional public health director Debs Harkins Calderdale said: 'I'm sorry to say that I'm writing this today to stress how serious the situation in Calderdale is, and to ask for your help to tackle Covid-19.' Pictured: A promotion funded by the borough council

Regional public health director Debs Harkins Calderdale said: ‘I’m sorry to say that I’m writing this today to stress how serious the situation in Calderdale is, and to ask for your help to tackle Covid-19.’ Pictured: A promotion funded by the borough council

‘My thanks go to them as well as the other community and faith leaders who have worked so hard to keep people safe, and also the residents who have engaged with the action we have taken and turned the outbreak around.’ 

Meanwhile, in Oldham, there were calls for ministers not to ‘overreact’ to rising cases and send the town into a full lockdown.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham urged Number 10 not to introduce ‘knee-jerk measures’, as coronavirus cases continue to increase in some parts of the region.

It came just days after Oldham council leaders said they were in discussion with the Government about a local lockdown, which officials warned could come into force ‘within days’ if the virus wasn’t controlled. 

Oldham, home to around 235,000 people, currently has the worst infection rate in England, with the number of new cases for every 100,000 people having doubled to 107.5 per week in the past seven days.

PHE – whose figures apply to a different time frame – lists it as the second worst-hit area, behind only Pendle in Lancashire. But Pendle is too small to be included on the rolling NHS daily dashboard, which is kept up-to-date during the week.

Council bosses said 255 new cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in the week ending August 8, compared with 137 cases the week before.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese claimed there was ‘no evidence’ that additional lockdown measures would improve the chances of halting the virus.

But in a letter to Matt Hancock, local chiefs have asked that there was no further easing of restrictions in Greater Manchester this weekend as planned for the rest of England.

Beauty salons will be able to carry out face treatments such as eyebrow threading and facials from Saturday, the Prime Minister announced last night. In addition, indoor soft play areas, indoor theatres, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be permitted to reopen from this weekend. 

LOCKDOWN RULES: WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T DO 

Areas affected: Preston, Greater Manchester (City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale and Salford), Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Leicester.

You must not: Meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).

Visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.

You should not: Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions.

Punishments: Fines, starting at £100 and halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days but doubling for subsequent offences.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY THE RULES?

Greater Manchester (including City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale and Salford): 2,835,686

Blackburn with Darwen: 149,696

Burnley: 88,920

Hyndburn: 81,043

Pendle: 92,112

Rossendale: 71,482

Bradford: 539,776

Calderdale: 211,455

Kirklees: 439,787

Preston: 141,818

Leicester: 329,839

Total: 4,981,614

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The sky-high cost of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big tour of Africa that tore the Royals apart

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the sky high cost of prince harry and meghan markles big tour of africa that tore the royals apart

Harry and Meghan’s last official tour as members of the Royal Family cost British taxpayers almost a quarter of a million pounds, official accounts reveal today.

The high-profile trip to South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Malawi last autumn had been billed as one of the showpiece events of the royal year.

But the couple left months of work by staff and diplomats in tatters after they launched a stinging rebuke against the media during the publicly funded trip, as well as secretly recording an explosive TV documentary in which Meghan painted Harry’s family as uncaring by accusing them of failing to ever ask if she ‘was OK’.

The Sussexes, who also took baby son Archie on the trip, stepped down as senior working royals months later, and now live in the US, where they are financially independent having signed a multi-million-pound deal with Netflix.

Royal accounts published today show £245,643 was spent on scheduled flights and a private jet for the couple and their entourage, making it the most expensive royal trip of the year.

33592930 8770539 image a 49 1600986263473

33592930 8770539 image a 49 1600986263473

Sources defended the cost, saying it was a key visit approved by the Foreign Office and helped highlight the work of numerous charities.

‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook over 20 engagements, bringing attention to a number of worthwhile causes, in particular, raising awareness of the work and the legacy of the Halo Trust [an anti-landmine charity championed by Princess Diana],’ the source said.

‘The visit, as an official visit funded by the Government, fulfilled the objectives that were set out for it.’

A further £210,345 was spent by royal officials on a private charter plane to take Prince Charles to Oman to pay his respects after the death of the king.

The trip lasted just two days.

£41,035 was spent getting Prince Charles to Rome for the canonisation of Cardinal Newman

£41,035 was spent getting Prince Charles to Rome for the canonisation of Cardinal Newman

£41,035 was spent getting Prince Charles to Rome for the canonisation of Cardinal Newman 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour to Pakistan last year was the third most expensive of the year, costing £117,116, but was considered a huge success by ministers.

Questions have also been raised about the £15,848 spent to flying beleaguered Prince Andrew by private jet to the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland for a two-day trip to the Open Championship last July.

The club later dumped him as patron following his disastrous television interview in November.

A palace source defended Andrew’s use of a charter instead of a scheduled flight, saying: ‘In this particular case we concluded that, actually, the use of charter was the only way to get him to complete his engagements to fit in with his other programmes.’

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's (pictured in London on September 15) tour to Pakistan last year was the third most expensive of the year, costing £117,116, but was considered a huge success by ministers

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's (pictured in London on September 15) tour to Pakistan last year was the third most expensive of the year, costing £117,116, but was considered a huge success by ministers

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s (pictured in London on September 15) tour to Pakistan last year was the third most expensive of the year, costing £117,116, but was considered a huge success by ministers

Questions have also been raised about the £15,848 spent to flying beleaguered Prince Andrew by private jet to the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland (pictured)

Questions have also been raised about the £15,848 spent to flying beleaguered Prince Andrew by private jet to the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland (pictured)

Questions have also been raised about the £15,848 spent to flying beleaguered Prince Andrew by private jet to the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland (pictured)

£63,000 for three train journeys

Just three trips were taken on the Royal Train last year – at a cost of more than £63,000. Only the Queen and Prince of Wales are permitted to use the distinctive claret-liveried locomotive which has sleeping, dining and lounge carriages.

Charles used it to travel from his Gloucestershire home to Carlisle for royal visits, costing £20,822. He also used it to visit Wales at a cost of £19,737.

The Queen travelled in the train just once last year, from London to Edinburgh, to spend her annual week at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. That journey cost taxpayers £22,696.

The royal train, pictured left with the Queen, has long been a point of contention but is normally used ten to 14 times a year.

Asked if the drop in usage meant it should be scrapped, a royal source argued that the royal train was still an ‘effective and efficient’ means of travel.

Buckingham Palace maintains that it offers the elderly monarch a safe way to travel overnight, mitigating security costs.

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Even diligent Princess Anne found herself under the spotlight for spending £16,440 on another private jet to take her from London to Rome and back to watch her beloved Scotland play in the Six Nations Rugby International against Italy.

She is patron of Scottish Rugby Union.

The total bill for royal travel in 2019/2020 was £5.3million, a 15.2 per cent increase on last year’s £4.6million, according to the palace’s annual report and accounts, published today.

Anti-monarchist campaign group Republic said the figures failed to reflect the true annual cost of the monarchy – which it puts at £345million by taking account of lost revenues from the royal estates, policing and the cost to other authorities such as local councils.

Spokesman Graham Smith said: ‘These figures don’t disclose the daily abuse of money on shorter trips around the country, taking helicopters when they could go by car, driving when they could go by train.

‘A 15 per cent increase in travel costs when hospitals can’t deliver the very best care to every person in need, when teachers are struggling to pay for the necessary books and equipment and the police are stretched to breaking point is scandalous.

‘Why is the Government paying for Prince Andrew to go to golfing tournaments, or Princess Anne to attend a rugby match in Italy?

‘This is an abuse of public money far worse than the MPs’ expenses scandal and it has to stop.’

Buckingham Palace also confirmed yesterday that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have paid an ‘undisclosed’ sum upfront for the rental and refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage.

Princess Anne found herself under the spotlight for spending £16,440 on a private jet to take her from London to Rome and back to watch Scotland play in the Six Nations (pictured)

Princess Anne found herself under the spotlight for spending £16,440 on a private jet to take her from London to Rome and back to watch Scotland play in the Six Nations (pictured)

Princess Anne found herself under the spotlight for spending £16,440 on a private jet to take her from London to Rome and back to watch Scotland play in the Six Nations (pictured)

Critics had called for Harry and Meghan to pay back the £2.4million of taxpayers’ money spent renovating their Windsor property, which they have decided to keep on as a permanent base in the UK despite buying an £11million mansion in California.

The accounts also revealed that Prince Charles handed the Cambridges and Sussexes no less than £5.6million – £556,000 more than he gave them last year.

Palace £35million funding shortfall – but will not let public foot the bill

Buckingham Palace has admitted it faces a £35million funding shortfall due to Covid-19 – but says it will not ask for extra public money.

Senior Royal aides said that the household will have to tighten its belt, which could lead to job losses.

Last year the Queen, who still conducted 296 official engagements despite turning 94 in April, was given £82.4million in taxpayer funding – known as the Sovereign Grant.

Trump: Good luck, Harry, you’ll need it 

Donald Trump has lashed out at Meghan over her perceived interference in the US election, saying: ‘I’m not a fan of hers.’

He wished Harry ‘luck’, adding: ‘He’s going to need it.’

It came after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made what was seen as a thinly veiled swipe at him ahead of the November poll. Harry urged voters to ‘reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity’. Despite stepping back from royal life, Harry and Meghan vowed they would uphold the values of the Queen who always remains apolitical. But Meghan said in a video on Wednesday: ‘When we vote our values are put into action and our voices are heard.’

This is not the first time that Mr Trump and Meghan have come to verbal blows. Last year the President called her ‘nasty’ because of her past criticism of him.

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The Palace says that this is equivalent to £1.23 for every person in the UK.

The figure is made up of a core grant of £49.4million which is used to fund official travel, property maintenance and the operating costs of her household in her role as head of state.

An additional £33million was given as part of a major £365million, ten-year reservicing of crumbling Buckingham Palace, which was agreed after aides successfully argued the building was on its last legs.

But in the coming years Buckingham Palace is facing tough times, including a £20million shortfall in funding for the reservicing programme.

It is also looking at a loss of £5million a year in funding from the Royal Collection Trust for the next three years due to the palace being closed to visitors and the continuing downturn in tourism.

The Queen’s official Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Stevens, said: ‘In responding to both these financial challenges we have no intention of asking for extra funding and will look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies.’

He did not rule out job losses among the 488 members of staff.

A pay freeze for royal staff was implemented in April and there is also a halt on recruitment, with only ‘business-critical’ posts being filled.

Members of the Royal Family conducted almost 3,200 official engagements last year, both in the UK and overseas.

More than 139,000 guests were welcomed at royal residences across the country, among them Donald Trump, with £69.4million going on official expenditure.

Sir Michael said although the virus had changed the format of events this year, with even the Queen now carrying out some engagements via video call, she and her family still offered ‘continuity, reassurance and recognition’.

He added: ‘Her Majesty’s programme, supported by her family, will continue to develop meaningful ways to lead the nation through this time.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Australian cricket great Dean Jones DIES aged 59 

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Australian cricket great Dean Jones (right) has died in India aged 59. Daily Mail Australia understands he was with fast bowler Brett Lee (left), who desperately tried to revive him

Australian cricket great Dean Jones (right) has died in India aged 59. Daily Mail Australia understands he was with fast bowler Brett Lee (left), who desperately tried to revive him

Australian cricket great Dean Jones (right) has died in India aged 59. Daily Mail Australia understands he was with fast bowler Brett Lee (left), who desperately tried to revive him

Australian cricket great Dean Jones has died in India aged 59.  

The player turned commentator, who was born in Coburg, Melbourne, died of a ‘massive’ heart attack in a Mumbai hotel on Thursday.   

Jones was in the subcontinent as part of Star India’s commentating team for the IPL, which is being played in the UAE. 

Daily Mail Australia understands Jones collapsed in the lobby of the hotel as he entered with former fast bowler Brett Lee, who desperately tried to revive him with CPR.

According to close friends, Jones went for a run on Thursday morning before suffering the heart attack at lunchtime.  

‘It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr. Dean Mervyn Jones AM,’ a Star India statement read.  

‘He died of a sudden cardiac arrest. 

‘We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time.’

Star India said it is in communication with the Australian High Commission.  

Jones is seen during a ODI match against South Africa at the SCG in January 1994

Jones is seen during a ODI match against South Africa at the SCG in January 1994

Jones is seen during a ODI match against South Africa at the SCG in January 1994

Jones (centre) celebrates Christmas with his two daughters last year

Jones (centre) celebrates Christmas with his two daughters last year

Jones (centre) celebrates Christmas with his two daughters last year 

Jones looks on during a One Day International match in July 1992

Jones looks on during a One Day International match in July 1992

Jones looks on during a One Day International match in July 1992

‘Dean Jones was one of the great ambassadors of the game associating himself with Cricket development across South Asia,’ the statement continued.

‘He was passionate about discovering new talent and nurturing young Cricketers. He was a champion commentator whose presence and presentation of the game always brought joy to millions of fans. 

‘He will be sorely missed by everyone at Star and his millions of fans across the globe.’  

Jones is hailed for revolutionising the One Day International format. 

The cricket great played in 52 Tests for Australia and averaged 46.55 batting in the middle order.

He scored 3631 runs and 11 centuries in his illustrious career. 

‘Dean Jones was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game,’ Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings said.

‘Anyone who watched cricket in the 1980s and 1990s will fondly recall his cavalier approach at the crease and the incredible energy and passion he brought to every game he played.

Jones (pictured) is hailed for revolutionising the ODI format

Jones (pictured) is hailed for revolutionising the ODI format

Jones (pictured) is hailed for revolutionising the ODI format

Shane Warne and Jones pose for a photo at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2006

Shane Warne and Jones pose for a photo at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2006

Shane Warne and Jones pose for a photo at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2006

‘This is a truly sad day. Deano’s loss will be felt not just at home in Australia, but across the globe.’

A classy right-handed batsman, Jones played in an era of great change in Australian cricket. 

He played his first of 52 Tests against the mighty West Indies at Port of Spain in 1982 with his most famous innings his double century in the tied Madras Test in 1986.

There, he spent more than eight hours at the crease in 42C heat and severe humidity for his 210.

It earned him not only a place in Australian cricket folklore, but left him on a drip in hospital after losing eight kilos and any memory of the second half of his innings.

‘The fractured memory of that amazing experience still jumps back into my mind in bits and pieces,’ Jones wrote in his 1994 autobiography ‘Deano My Call’.

‘Some of them blurred and some crystal clear.

‘Sometimes I have to refer to descriptions written at the time to fill in huge gaps in my own consciousness.’

Jones speaks to former prime minister John Howard at Maroubra Beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs

Jones speaks to former prime minister John Howard at Maroubra Beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs

Jones speaks to former prime minister John Howard at Maroubra Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

Jones is seen with his wife Jane and their daughters Augusta and Phoebe at the SCG

Jones is seen with his wife Jane and their daughters Augusta and Phoebe at the SCG

Jones is seen with his wife Jane and their daughters Augusta and Phoebe at the SCG

Former Australia coach Bob Simpson said he had not ‘seen a braver innings’.

‘He was running on adrenaline,’ Simpson told Cricinfo.

‘During breaks we would have one bloke waiting to take off his pads and another would strip him and put him in an ice bath just to try and revitalise him. It was immensely courageous.’

For all his toughness shown in that innings, Jones led the way with his aggression in the white-ball game during an era where teams were still cautious with their ODI batting.

His 6068 runs in the format was the second highest of all-time when he played his last match in 1994, while his strike-rate of 72.56 was also brisk for that era.

He played with flamboyance, not afraid to walk down the pitch to bowlers, attacked when running between the wickets and saved runs in the field.

The end of his time in Australia’s Test team was controversial, with his axing in 1992 still one of the most perplexing in Australian cricket.

Former Australian cricket captain Allan Border told Foxsports.com.au Jones ‘revolutionised the game’. 

‘I can’t believe this news but I’d like to pay tribute to Brett Lee for everything he did,’ Border said.

‘Deano was unbelievable at the Test level but his aggression at the one day level will be remembered forever.

‘He loved his family, cricket golf and wine. I loved batting with him and he backed me and for that I will always love him.’

The cricket great played in 52 Tests for Australia and averaged 46.55 batting in the middle order. He scored 3631 runs and 11 centuries in his illustrious career

The cricket great played in 52 Tests for Australia and averaged 46.55 batting in the middle order. He scored 3631 runs and 11 centuries in his illustrious career

 The cricket great played in 52 Tests for Australia and averaged 46.55 batting in the middle order. He scored 3631 runs and 11 centuries in his illustrious career

Former Australian Cricket World Cup players Dean Jones, Brett Lee, Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Damien Fleming and Adam Gilchrist pose with the the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy during the Ricky Ponting Tribute Match at Aurora Stadium on January 30, 2014

Former Australian Cricket World Cup players Dean Jones, Brett Lee, Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Damien Fleming and Adam Gilchrist pose with the the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy during the Ricky Ponting Tribute Match at Aurora Stadium on January 30, 2014

Former Australian Cricket World Cup players Dean Jones, Brett Lee, Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Damien Fleming and Adam Gilchrist pose with the the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy during the Ricky Ponting Tribute Match at Aurora Stadium on January 30, 2014

DEAN JONES’ CRICKET CAREER 

Tests: 52

Runs: 3631

Centuries: 11

Average: 46.55

High score: 216

 

ODIs: 164

Runs: 6068

Centuries: 7

Average: 44.61

High score: 145

 

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Cricket greats posted their condolences when the shock news broke on Thursday night. 

Former England Test cricketer Monty Panesar said: ‘Very sad to hear passing away of Dean Jones.

‘Top commentator and coach, great cricket brain, will be missed by the cricketing community #RIPdeanjones.’  

Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri said he was shocked to lose ‘a colleague and a dear friend’.

‘Gone so young. Condolences to the family and may his soul rest in peace,’ he wrote. 

Former Australian captain Steve Smith described Jones’ passing as ‘awful’ news.

‘He was a wonderful player for Australia and he will be missed. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Deano,’ Smith wrote. 

David Warner said: ‘I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. RIP Deano, you will be missed.’ 

Legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar said Jones’ death was ‘heartbreaking’. 

‘A wonderful soul taken away too soon. Had the opportunity to play against him during my first tour of Australia,’ he said.

‘May his soul rest in peace and my condolences to his loved ones.’

Jones leaves behind his wife Jane and their two daughters, Augusta and Phoebe. 

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33571460 8768061 image a 67 1600948602540

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Cricketers quickly posted their condolences to Twitter when the news broke on Thursday night

Cricketers quickly posted their condolences to Twitter when the news broke on Thursday night

Cricketers quickly posted their condolences to Twitter when the news broke on Thursday night

Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the ‘absolute cricketing legend’.

‘A true entertainer at the crease, whose flair with the bat and electric running between the wickets changed the game forever,’ he said.

‘A genuine good guy and a huge loss.’

‘Our hearts go out to Dean’s family, friends, the Australian cricket family and his many fans.’ 

Jones enjoys a game of beach cricket against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2006

Jones enjoys a game of beach cricket against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2006

Jones enjoys a game of beach cricket against the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2006

Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the 'absolute cricketing legend'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the 'absolute cricketing legend'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the ‘absolute cricketing legend’

Dean Mervyn Jones was a flashy showman long before such a man existed in Australia. But the swagger and Hollywood looks aside, ‘Deano’ will be remembered for playing cricket’s toughest-ever innings, writes MIKE COLMAN

To a generation of Australian sport lovers he was our golden boy, a confident, cocky cavalier with the looks of a Greek god and the ego of a Hollywood superstar.

He was christened Dean Mervyn Jones but to us he was always Deano, a cricketing matinee idol in the days before Twitter and Facebook.

Not that Deano needed social media to promote his ‘brand’. He attracted plenty of followers the old-fashioned way – by singing his own praises whenever a microphone or camera were in range.

And fair enough too. Deano had plenty to crow about.

It is a truism of human nature that we all think the stars of our own era are the brightest that ever shone. Today’s AFL and NRL fans are convinced that their games started the day that Dustin Martin or Nathan Cleary first tied on a boot.

And try telling a current day cricket tragic that 35 years ago Australia boasted a player who combined the timing of Steve Smith, the swagger of David Warner and the grit of … well, actually I can’t think of any modern day player who has come close to exhibiting the grit of Deano … and they’ll look at you as if you’re nuts.

On September 18, 1986 in Chennai, India, Jones played arguably the gutsiest innings in the history of Test cricket

On September 18, 1986 in Chennai, India, Jones played arguably the gutsiest innings in the history of Test cricket

On September 18, 1986 in Chennai, India, Jones played arguably the gutsiest innings in the history of Test cricket

But that was Dean Jones, who passed away last night aged just 59.

It’s hard to put into words how big a part of Australian cricket Deano was at his peak in the mid-1980s and 90s.

He wasn’t the rock of the team like captain Allan Border, or the court jester like Merv Hughes. He wasn’t even a star in the making like Steve Waugh, but in some ways he was bigger than all of them.

It was his aura, his glow. In the vernacular of the time, he was ‘full of himself’, but in a good way. His teammates used to joke that on any day of the year Deano could tell you his batting average down to the third decimal point, and when he strode out to the middle you’d swear he owned every blade of grass.

But on his day he was good, oh man was he good.

One Day Cricket could have been invented for Dean Jones. The lights, the crowds, the theatre. He lapped it up like a dry-tongued dog at a water bowl.

His critics called him a fancy dan, a pretty-boy show-pony who wouldn’t be sighted when the whips were cracking, but boy did he prove them wrong.

Allan Border holds World Cup alongside Jones after Australia defeated England in 1987

Allan Border holds World Cup alongside Jones after Australia defeated England in 1987

Allan Border holds World Cup alongside Jones after Australia defeated England in 1987

On September 18, 1986 in Chennai, India, that pretty-boy show-pony played arguably the gutsiest innings in the history of Test cricket.

On a day so hot that you could have fried an egg on a taxi bonnet, Deano batted himself to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.

At one stage he walked down the other end and told Border that he couldn’t continue.

‘Alright, go then,’ snapped Captain Grumpy to his Victorian team-mate. ‘I’ll get a Queenslander out here to do the job’.

Deano looked daggers at him, strode back to the crease and batted on. And on and on and on.

Dehydrated, delirious, barely able to hold his bat and half blinded by sweat, he stayed out there for 502 minutes before being dismissed for 210 and setting up only the second tied Test in the game’s history.

No-one ever called Dean Jones soft again.

And now he’s gone. Dismissed early and suddenly to a heart attack in India, the country that he had come to know as his second home.

Today’s young cricket fans will have their own heroes of course, and they will never believe that anyone born over 25 years ago will be able to hold a candle to them.

But they will be wrong. In the case of Dean Mervyn Jones, very wrong indeed.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Labour MP Nadia Whittome learns she’s been ‘SACKED’ from party role

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labour mp nadia whittome learns shes been sacked from party role

This is the moment a Labour MP learned live on ITV that she had been sacked from a role by leader Sir Keir Starmer after defying the whip to oppose a controversial Bill. 

Nadia Whittome, 24, was stripped of her junior position as the shadow health secretary’s parliamentary private secretary after defying instructions to abstain on the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill.

But Parliament’s youngest MP, who is known as the ‘Baby of the House’, only learned this was the case after being asked by presenter Robert Peston if she had resigned.

Ms Whittome replied: ‘I haven’t resigned, I haven’t resigned. I thought that the Bill was a matter of conscience. I understand why colleagues came to a different conclusion and thought that we can amend this as committee stage.

‘But, I felt that given that all the major human rights organisations, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and given that even the British Legion and veterans themselves opposed this Bill – and these are all arguments that our front bench made today, we don’t agree with this Bill.

‘And we think it’s anti-veteran, it’s anti-human rights. It would, effectively, decriminalise torture, and that’s why I voted against it. We already have laws that prevent vexatious claims, and, in fact, many veterans are against this.’

Tory ministers say the Bill is aimed at protecting armed forces personnel from ‘vexatious prosecutions’.

Beth Winter and Olivia Blake, who like Ms Whittome were aides to shadow ministers, have also been removed from their positions, party sources confirmed.

The MP was asked by presenter Robert Peston on his ITV show yesterday if she had resigned

The MP was asked by presenter Robert Peston on his ITV show yesterday if she had resigned

The MP was asked by presenter Robert Peston on his ITV show yesterday if she had resigned

Peston's show had referred to a tweet claiming Ms Whittome had resigned from the party

Peston's show had referred to a tweet claiming Ms Whittome had resigned from the party

Peston’s show had referred to a tweet claiming Ms Whittome had resigned from the party

Ms Whittome tweeted today: ‘This morning the leader of the Opposition’s office called me to confirm that I have been stood down from my role as parliamentary private sectary to the shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, following my vote against the Overseas Operation Bill.

‘I opposed the Bill because it effectively decriminalises torture and makes it harder for veterans to take legal action against the Government or for war crimes to be investigated.’

The Nottingham East MP said that while she understood others in her party hoped amendments could be made at a later stage and so abstained, it was ‘important that MPs are able to vote in line with their conscience’.

A Labour source had said that ‘anyone who wanted to vote against (the) whip’ had been informed they ‘would have to resign’.

Labour MP Ms Whittome issued the following statement on Twitter at 10.44am this morning

Labour MP Ms Whittome issued the following statement on Twitter at 10.44am this morning

Labour MP Ms Whittome issued the following statement on Twitter at 10.44am this morning

The Government said the proposed legislation will ensure service personnel will be protected from ‘vexatious claims and endless investigations’.

Ministers said it seeks to limit false and historical allegations arising from overseas operations by introducing a statutory presumption against prosecution, making it exceptional for personnel to be prosecuted five years or more after an incident.

To override the presumption, the consent of the Attorney General will be required, and the prosecutor must weigh up the ‘adverse impact of overseas operations on service personnel’ and, where there has been no compelling new evidence, the public interest in cases coming to a ‘timely conclusion’.

But campaigners and some senior military figures have warned the legislation will create a presumption against prosecution of torture and other serious crimes except rape and sexual violence.  

The MP learned live on ITV that she had been sacked from her role by leader Sir Keir Starmer

The MP learned live on ITV that she had been sacked from her role by leader Sir Keir Starmer

The MP learned live on ITV that she had been sacked from her role by leader Sir Keir Starmer

A Labour Party spokesman was contacted for comment by MailOnline today. 

In July, Ms Whittome launched an attack on free speech by saying the ‘very act of debate is a rollback of equality’ in an article about trans rights.

The MP wrote a column for The Independent, titled: ‘The only way to avoid hysteria about trans rights is to ground the debate in real life experiences’.

Ms Whittome shared the article on Twitter, posting in a series of tweets that the ‘very act of debate in these cases is an effective rollback of assumed equality’.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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