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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he feared Boris Johnson would die after contracting coronavirus

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foreign secretary dominic raab said he feared boris johnson would die after contracting coronavirus

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has revealed he feared Boris Johnson would die after the Conservative leader was admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

The Prime Minister was taken into intensive care in April after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened while being treated at St Thomas’ hospital in central London.

Mr Raab deputised for the Prime Minister during his time in intensive care and during his recovery afterwards.

Now the First Secretary of State has revealed to fellow Tories at a virtual Conservative Party conference that he was ‘worried we might lose him’. 

Speaking about how the virus had ‘hit us hard, taking lives on a tragic scale’, he said: ‘It nearly took the life of our Prime Minister, our friend as well as our leader.

‘I get asked a lot how I felt, when I covered for him.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured) has revealed he feared Boris Johnson would die after the Conservative leader was admitted to hospital with coronavirus

The Prime Minister (pictured) was taken into intensive care in April after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened while being treated at St Thomas' hospital in central London

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured left) has revealed he feared Boris Johnson would die after the Conservative leader was admitted to hospital with coronavirus. The Prime Minister (pictured right) was taken into intensive care in April after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened while being treated at St Thomas’ hospital in central London

‘Well, I really worried we might lose him, and I was worried for Carrie (Symonds) pregnant with baby Wilf.

‘But I always had faith that, with the outstanding NHS care he received and his fighting spirit, he’d pull through.’ 

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that his life had been in danger, saying in a video message that ‘it could have gone either way’.

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that his life had been in danger, saying in a video message that 'it could have gone either way'

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that his life had been in danger, saying in a video message that ‘it could have gone either way’

The 55-year-old said he was indebted to the doctors and nurses who treated him, saying: ‘I owe them my life. I can’t thank them enough.’

He has since been on a mission to shed the pounds, expressing his belief that his excess weight led to his close brush with Covid.

In an interview with the Telegraph, the Prime Minister said he was now ‘thinner’ having lost almost two stone.

‘I try not to eat too much sometimes, and it’s basically about taking lots of exercise and not eating so much,’ he told the paper.

‘That’s my top tip. Eat less, move more, weigh less.’

He also told the BBC that reports he was preparing to step down next year was ‘sinister disinformation’.

Rumours swirled in the summer that the Prime Minister would not complete a full-term in office after claims from top aide Dominic Cummings’ father-in-law, Sir Humphry Wakefield, that he was struggling in the wake of his coronavirus battle.

Michael Gove, speaking at the Tory Party conference, said the Tory leader had made an ‘amazing recovery’ from his bout of illness and described Mr Johnson as the ‘livest wire in the room’

During his conference speech, Mr Raab admitted to praying that the country would be ‘equal’ to the ‘greatest challenge in a generation’ as he stepped in the Prime Minister’s shoes during the pandemic.

Admitting there would be ‘lessons to be learnt’ following the Government’s handling of the crisis, he added: ‘I have to say, for every hurdle we faced, with every heart-rending loss, there was also a tale of courage, a moment of inspiration.’

Mr Gove and Mr Raab’s comments come as the President of the United States, Donald Trump, was confirmed has having tested positive for coronavirus this week.

Confusion has erupted over Donald Trump’s condition as he fights coronavirus after the president’s doctors said he is doing ‘very well’ while a White House source claimed his vitals are ‘very concerning’.

Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning alongside several other members of the president’s medical team.

‘This morning, the president is doing very well. The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. He’s been fever free for 24 hours and we are cautiously optimistic,’ Conley said.

Mr Gove and Mr Raab's comments come as the President of the United States, Donald Trump (pictured on Thursday), was confirmed has having tested positive for coronavirus this week

Mr Gove and Mr Raab’s comments come as the President of the United States, Donald Trump (pictured on Thursday), was confirmed has having tested positive for coronavirus this week

Conley’s depiction was far more optimistic than one put forward by a White House source familiar with the president’s health who spoke to a Bloomberg Business reporter on background immediately after the briefing ended.

‘The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery,’ the source said. The Bloomberg reporter passed that account along to the press pool.

The briefing raised more questions than answers as Conley declined to say what temperature the president had when he had a fever, whether he was on oxygen and when he last tested negative for COVID.

Conley told reporters the team was 72 hours into Trump’s diagnosis. But that would put the timeline at the president testing positive Wednesday morning.

Trump's personal physician Sean Conley (pictured) offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning

Trump’s personal physician Sean Conley (pictured) offered an update on his condition outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday morning

Trump tweeted shortly before 1am on Friday he had tested positive.

On Thursday he flew to his golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey, for a fundraiser with about 100 people.

‘Just 72 hours into the diagnosis now, the first week of COVID, in a particular day seven to day 10, are most critical in determining the likely course of this illness. At this time the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made. Thursday he had a mild cough with nasal congestion and fatigue all of which are now resolving and improving,’ Conley said.

Dr Shaun Dooley, a critical care physician, also spoke at the briefing and said Trump’s heart, liver and kidney functions are being monitored and are currently in good condition.

‘He’s in exceptionally good spirits,’ Dooley said of the president. ‘In fact, as we were completing our multidisciplinary round this morning, the quote he left us with is “I feel like I could walk out of here today” and that was a very encouraging comment from the president.’

Trump is currently undergoing a range of treatments including a polyclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that is not available to the public, remdesivir – an ebola drug that has already been shown to work against the virus – and vitamin D.

He is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (the generic name for Pepcid AC), melatonin and daily aspirin.

This evening, he tweeted: ‘Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!!

‘Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!’

The world leaders and leading political figures who have had coronavirus 

Boris Johnson 

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that 'it could have gone either way'

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that ‘it could have gone either way’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken into intensive care in April after his Covid-19 symptoms worsened while being treated at St Thomas’ hospital in central London.

Mr Johnson himself confirmed after his release from hospital on Easter Sunday that his life had been in danger, saying in a video message that ‘it could have gone either way’.

The 55-year-old said he was indebted to the doctors and nurses who treated him, saying: ‘I owe them my life. I can’t thank them enough.’

He has since been on a mission to shed the pounds, expressing his belief that his excess weight led to his close brush with Covid.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump

The President of the United States Donald Trump and his First Lady tested positive for coronavirus this week

The President of the United States Donald Trump and his First Lady tested positive for coronavirus this week

The President of the United States Donald Trump and his First Lady tested positive for coronavirus this week. 

President Trump was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, following his diagnosis.

The 74-year-old tweeted on Saturday to say he was ‘feeling well’. 

Matt Hancock

The Health Secretary announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 in April

The Health Secretary announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 in April

The Health Secretary announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 on the same day as Boris Johnson – in April.

Mr Hancock’s recovery was more straightforward than the Prime Minister, who was taken to hospital, but he said he lost half a stone while was ill.

Michel Barnier

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator contracted the virus early in the pandemic in March

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator contracted the virus early in the pandemic in March

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator contracted the virus early in the pandemic in March.

After being diagnosed with the virus, the Frenchman said he was ‘doing well and in good spirits’ and announced he was ‘following the necessary instructions’ along with his staff. 

The 69-year-old returned to his post just under a month later. 

Prince Charles

Prince Charles was diagnosed with Covid-19 in March

Prince Charles was diagnosed with Covid-19 in March

Prince Charles was diagnosed with Covid-19 at the begining of the pandemic – in March. 

The 71-year-old self-isolated at Birkhall in Aberdeenshire after testing positive for the virus.

The Prince of Wales said he only experienced mild symptoms, describing himself as ‘lucky’. 

Other world leaders and leading politicians to have contracted coronavirus – all of whom have recovered – are:

Jeanine Anez – Interim President of Bolivia

Jair Bolsonaro –  President of Brazil 

Alexander Lukashenko – President of Belarus

Alejandro Giammattei – President of Guatemala

Juan Orlando Hernandez – President of Honduras 

Mikhail Mishustin – Prime Minister of Russia

Bruno Le Maire – France’s Finance Minister

Amit Shah – Home Minister of India

Peter Dutton – Home Affairs Minister of Australia 

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Nobby Stiles: 1966 England World Cup hero who had to sell his shirt

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nobby stiles 1966 england world cup hero who had to sell his shirt

With his receding hair, short height, poor eyesight and missing front teeth, the England footballer Nobby Stiles made an unlikely national hero.

But during the triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign, he became the country’s mascot, embodying the quintessentially British qualities of terrier-like determination and instinctive humour. 

As the victorious campaign unfolded, he managed to combine the patriotic heart of Winston Churchill with the comedic touch of Norman Wisdom.

The admiration he inspired was highlighted in the build-up to one of England’s crucial matches, when the crowd on its way into Wembley Stadium unfurled a huge banner which read, ‘Nobby for Prime Minister’.

During the triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign, he became the country's mascot, embodying the quintessentially British qualities of terrier-like determination and instinctive humour

During the triumphant 1966 World Cup campaign, he became the country’s mascot, embodying the quintessentially British qualities of terrier-like determination and instinctive humour

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Stiles is the seventh member of the England team that started the 1966 cup final to die, after captain Bobby Moore, Alan Ball, Ray Wilson, Gordon Banks, Martin Peters and Jack Charlton. And his name will live on with the best of them

Stiles is the seventh member of the England team that started the 1966 cup final to die, after captain Bobby Moore, Alan Ball, Ray Wilson, Gordon Banks, Martin Peters and Jack Charlton. And his name will live on with the best of them

When the win over West Germany was achieved in the World Cup Final, he perfectly captured Britain’s mood of ecstasy in his celebratory jig with the Jules Rimet Trophy in one hand and his false teeth in the other — his performance made all the more memorable by the broad, semi-toothless smile on his exhausted face.

And so football fans around the world were united in grief yesterday at the news that Stiles has died aged 78 after a long battle with prostate cancer and advanced dementia.

Stiles is the seventh member of the England team that started the 1966 cup final to die, after captain Bobby Moore, Alan Ball, Ray Wilson, Gordon Banks, Martin Peters and Jack Charlton.

Family man: Nobby, wearing his ‘Eric Morecambe’ specs, plays with his lads

Family man: Nobby, wearing his ‘Eric Morecambe’ specs, plays with his lads

And his name will live on with the best of them. For all the affection and laughter he provoked, there was nothing risible about his footballing talent.

Along with Sir Bobby Charlton, he is the only Englishman to have gained a winner’s medal in both the World Cup and the European club competition.

Far more creative than he was ever given credit for, he was a superbly gifted player, ferocious in his tackling and clinical in passing. He was also a magnificent, instinctive reader of the game, a quality he added to his passionate competitive spirit.

His Manchester United teammate Paddy Crerand once watched with amazement as Stiles put his fist into a dressing room wall because of his exasperated fury at only gaining a draw.

His brilliance was all the more remarkable because initially he suffered from extremely bad vision, so much so that his youthful appearances at United were often played as if he were in a fog.

Eventually, unable to conceal the problem any longer, he was sent to an eye specialist.

The result was that Stiles had to wear thick contact lenses when playing, while off the field he donned black-framed spectacles of the type that Eric Morecambe used, thereby adding to his comic image. The lenses dramatically improved his standards, so much so that by the age of just 24, he was the midfield lynchpin of Manchester United and England.

After the 1966 victory, the England manager Sir Alf Ramsey said that ‘there were five world-class players’ in his team, ‘and Nobby Stiles was one of them’.

Sir Alf’s faith in Nobby was illustrated during an explosive controversy in the 1966 campaign following an England group match against France. Stiles had caused a huge international outcry with a brutal, scything tackle on the French player Jacques Simon.

England 1966 hero Nobby Stiles (pictured with his World Cup winners medal during a photocall at the Premier Inn Hotel in Old Trafford, Manchester) died aged 78 on Friday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease

England 1966 hero Nobby Stiles (pictured with his World Cup winners medal during a photocall at the Premier Inn Hotel in Old Trafford, Manchester) died aged 78 on Friday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease 

Stiles' family, which included wife Kay (right of Nobby), asked for privacy after announcing his death on Friday. Pictured left to right: Nobby's granddaughter Megan, son Peter, himself, his daughter-in-law Mary, son John, wife Kay, son Robert and Granddaughter Catlin

Stiles’ family, which included wife Kay (right of Nobby), asked for privacy after announcing his death on Friday. Pictured left to right: Nobby’s granddaughter Megan, son Peter, himself, his daughter-in-law Mary, son John, wife Kay, son Robert and Granddaughter Catlin

Tributes have flooded in to the man who was the 'heart and soul' of the England team that won the World Cup against West Germany (pictured). Pictured left to right: Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Bobby Moore, Ray Wilson and George Cohen

Tributes have flooded in to the man who was the ‘heart and soul’ of the England team that won the World Cup against West Germany (pictured). Pictured left to right: Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Bobby Moore, Ray Wilson and George Cohen

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There are now just four living members of the side remaining after Stiles passed away

In response, there were moves within the English FA to have Stiles dropped for the next game as a disciplinary measure. Sir Alf quickly put an end to that. 

‘If he goes, so will I. You will be looking for a new manager,’ he told the FA committee.

Yet football never showed the same loyalty to Stiles that Sir Alf had. Despite his epic achievements in the sport, he never enjoyed many rewards as a star, nor security in retirement.

As a United player, he started on the weekly minimum wage of just £20. Even when England won the World Cup, the modest £22,000 bonus was shared between the whole squad, leaving just £1,000 to each member, most of which disappeared in tax.

At the depth of his financial troubles in 1989, he had the humiliating experience of inserting his bank card into a cash machine to get some money for petrol, only to be told that he had ‘insufficient funds’.

In 2010, after he had suffered a stroke which drastically reduced his sole source of income as an after-dinner speaker, he was forced to sell his European Cup winner’s medal and his England shirt.

Looking at the vast earnings of modern players compared to his own, he once said: ‘I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel the odd surge of resentment’.

When it came to sporting riches, he was born in the wrong era.

Stiles was also part of the Manchester United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

Stiles was also part of the Manchester United side which became the first English club to win the European Cup

Stiles (left) won the World Cup with Jack Charlton and Sir Bobby Charlton after they beat West Germany in 1966

Stiles (left) won the World Cup with Jack Charlton and Sir Bobby Charlton after they beat West Germany in 1966

He is the seventh member of the England team that started the final to pass away, following the likes of captain Bobby Moore

He is the seventh member of the England team that started the final to pass away, following the likes of captain Bobby Moore

Like so much else in his life, his arrival in the world was unorthodox, for he was born in the cellar of his family’s terraced Manchester home during a heavy Luftwaffe air raid in May 1942, the neighbours providing the midwifery.

His was a modest, respectable upbringing. His father was an undertaker who ran his own company. ‘Our house was filled with candles and other paraphernalia of the funeral business,’ recalled Nobby. His mother was a machinist in a factory.

One of the dominant themes of his family was its devotion to the Catholic faith, something Nobby retained for the rest of his life.

‘I always loved the ritual of the church. It is something that goes to you very deeply,’ he said. Throughout the World Cup campaign, when England were based at the Hendon Hall Hotel in North-West London, he attended mass every single morning.

For all his religious fidelity, he was a boisterous, sometimes wayward, child. ‘He’s a tough, little bugger,’ said his father soon after he was born, words that proved prophetic. 

At the age of just one, he was hit on the head by a tram as he toddled out of a bakery and survived, though he was left with a permanent scar on his forehead.

He also lost his front teeth in a juvenile fight, requiring him to wear a set of false ones for the rest of his life. Nor was he above some minor criminal activity.

Stiles left United in 1971, going on to play for Middlesbrough and Preston in his career. He earned 28 England caps and made 392 appearances for Manchester United

Stiles left United in 1971, going on to play for Middlesbrough and Preston in his career. He earned 28 England caps and made 392 appearances for Manchester United

Nobby Stiles sits in the stands at Wembley, as QXL launch the 'end of an era' auctions on May 17, 2000

Nobby Stiles sits in the stands at Wembley, as QXL launch the ‘end of an era’ auctions on May 17, 2000

The 'toothless tiger' went on to win the First Division title in 1965 before winning the World Cup with England the following year and European Cup with United in 1968

The ‘toothless tiger’ went on to win the First Division title in 1965 before winning the World Cup with England the following year and European Cup with United in 1968

He was made an MBE in 2000, joining fellow 1966 finalists Alan Ball, Roger Hunt, Ray Wilson and George Cohen, and a road was named after him in Collyhurst in May 2016. Pictured: Nobby (right) sits with Manchester United and England teammate Sir Bobby Charlton

He was made an MBE in 2000, joining fellow 1966 finalists Alan Ball, Roger Hunt, Ray Wilson and George Cohen, and a road was named after him in Collyhurst in May 2016. Pictured: Nobby (right) sits with Manchester United and England teammate Sir Bobby Charlton

In his autobiography he confessed he occasionally stole lead from the roofs of old buildings, more for adventure than money.

He was good at all sports, including cricket and boxing, but his football skills were obvious from an early age. His first games were played with his mates in a local cemetery on flattened gravestones.

‘We never thought we were violating anyone’s memory. We were just enjoying being young,’ he recalled. He was utterly fearless, once executing an athletic overhead kick on a cobbled street without any thought to the consequences.

While he was still a schoolboy at St Patrick’s in the Manchester district of Collyhurst, his precocious ability brought him to the attention of Manchester United and he was signed as an apprentice. In October 1960, at the age of just 18, he made his league debut against Bolton, the first of more than 300 appearances for the club over the next decade.

One of his closest team-mates in those early years was the cerebral Irishman Johnny Giles. In a close-knit world, he soon fell in love with Johnny’s blonde sister Kay. ‘My legs turned to jelly,’ he said of his first sight of her.

He was just 19 at the time and had little experience of women, having enjoyed just two brief relationships, one with the splendidly named Doreen Bracegirdle.

Nevertheless, he embarked on a deep romance with Kay that soon led to their engagement and subsequent marriage in 1961.

All too predictably Stiles — who was more Inspector Clouseau than Casanova — was late for the wedding ceremony in Dublin, his car having suffered a flat tyre. But, bolstered by Kay’s tolerance and Nobby’s essential decency, it turned out to be a highly successful union, producing three children.

Even their money troubles did not threaten their relationship. ‘Don’t you know I would be happy to live in a tent if it was the only way I could be with you,’ she once told him. With Kay at his side, his professional career began to flourish. Under the legendary United manager Sir Matt Busby, he built a formidable partnership with Bobby Charlton that turned the side into league champions in 1965.

The same year Stiles made his England debut, keeping up his link with Charlton at international level. The two were ever-present in the World Cup campaign as England surged to glory.

Their joint finest performance was in the semi-final against Portugal, when Stiles nullified the threat of the dangerous striker Eusebio, while Charlton scored both of England’s goals.

In the final against West Germany Stiles almost ran himself into the turf with his heroic ball-chasing and his tenacity was crucial in England’s triumph.

Pictured left to right: England players Nobby Stiles, Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters

Pictured left to right: England players Nobby Stiles, Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters

Pictured: Stiles (centre) attempts to tackle West Germany's Siegfried Held as the late Jack Charlton (right) watches on

Pictured: Stiles (centre) attempts to tackle West Germany’s Siegfried Held as the late Jack Charlton (right) watches on

Nobby Stiles signs an autograph for a fan on his team's arrival at Heathrow airport following the 1970 World Cup tournament in Mexico

Nobby Stiles signs an autograph for a fan on his team’s arrival at Heathrow airport following the 1970 World Cup tournament in Mexico

Stiles (pictured in 1980) later managed Preston between 1977 and 1981, before coaching Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps and then West Brom between 1985 and 1986

Stiles (pictured in 1980) later managed Preston between 1977 and 1981, before coaching Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps and then West Brom between 1985 and 1986

Yet his extravagant delight in victory, though it touched the nation’s hearts, was not to the taste of every England team-mate. Defender George Cohen later said a Stiles kiss was ‘like being snogged by a piece of cold liver’.

The little man seemed to bring a note of comedy to most situations. On one occasion, during an official England banquet at a top London hotel, he mistook the edge of the tablecloth for his napkin and, with a crash of glasses and cutlery, tried to shove it into his collar.

At another luxury hotel, when he was meant to be attending a football function, he wandered into the wrong reception, took his seat at one of the tables, and was then surprised to be asked if he was a friend of the bride or groom.

Similarly he once exasperated Charlton, a keen photographer, at the end of an overseas trip when he managed accidentally to smash a bottle of duty free in some luggage which contained Charlton’s camera and undeveloped films. All the photos were ruined.

On the field Charlton and Stiles continued their magnificent alliance, powering Manchester United to victory in the European Cup in 1968. But by the end of the decade, the years of fierce competitiveness had taken their toll on Stiles.

As he entered the twilight of his career, he moved to Middlesbrough in 1971, a ‘desperate eking out of my last physical resources’ to use his description. He then dropped down the league to Preston North End, now managed by his old friend Bobby Charlton. But, after his retirement from playing in 1975, later moves into coaching and management did not bring him either success or riches.

By 1989 he had reached rock-bottom. He was working as a reserve team coach at West Brom, when travelling home on the M6 he was gripped by a suicidal impulse. 

‘I thought about putting my foot flat on the accelerator, closing my eyes and ending my life.

‘I couldn’t see any future. A pattern had become familiar, of hope then disappointment, hard, sharp disappointment.’

Thankfully, he carried on driving. Days later, fortune smiled on him when Alex Ferguson rang to offer him a job as youth team coach at his beloved Old Trafford.

Stiles was back in his element. His charisma and experience enabled him to bring the best out of an exciting new generation of young United players, including David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.

But then the old, familiar pattern set in once more. In 1993 he was sacked after his promotion to a desk job for which he was totally unsuited.

His achievements were finally recognised by the award of an MBE in 2000, but the last years were difficult as his health declined drastically. 

Having suffered a heart attack in 2002, he later contracted prostate cancer. He also had to endure Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, ultimately leaving him incapable of speech and unable to recognise his own family.

Once more, football never came to his aid, despite its fabulous new wealth. The game even gave a muted response to requests from his family for research to be conducted into the link between Alzheimer’s and football, following growing medical evidence that sustained heading of heavy leather balls may have inflicted long-term brain damage on past players.

Stiles deserved better. He helped to give our country the greatest moment in our sporting history. His heroism should have brought him a greater reward beyond just the glow of national affection.

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Coronavirus UK: 46% say they WILL stick to Christmas lockdown rules

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Almost half of families in the UK intend to stick to coronavirus rules at Christmas even if they prevent them from seeing their loved ones. 

An exclusive poll for MailOnline found 46 per cent of people said they will fully adhere to the rules and not celebrate with relatives or friends from other households indoors if that is what the restrictions in their local area demand. 

The survey of 3,000 people, conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on October 28, found that just 19 per cent intend not to fully adhere to the rules and still celebrate indoors with people from outside their immediate household.  

Just over one in 10, some 14 per cent, said they would try to stick to restrictions and meet loved ones outdoors in a public space on the big day while five per cent intend to celebrate overseas and 17 per cent were unsure what they will do. 

Just 19 per cent of people said they intend not to adhere to coronavirus rules over Christmas if there is a ban on households gathering indoors

Just 19 per cent of people said they intend not to adhere to coronavirus rules over Christmas if there is a ban on households gathering indoors 

The Government is facing a major headache over what to do about coronavirus rules over the Christmas period. 

Ministers believe it is inevitable that many people will travel to be with their families even if restrictions say they should not do so. 

However, there are fears that lifting the rules temporarily to allow families to meet would result in a ‘spreading event’ which would cause a significant spike in coronavirus infections. 

Today’s poll found that the nation is split on whether the Government understands the economic and social damage its lockdown restrictions are doing. 

Some 47 per cent of respondents said the Government does understand the impact on the public but 37 per cent think the Government does not. 

Meanwhile, four in ten Britons (39 per cent) said they would support restrictions like the Rule of Six being relaxed over Christmas and 31 per cent would oppose such a much.  

The debate over what to do during the Christmas period remains ongoing in Whitehall with ministers insisting that it is too early to make decisions on the matter. 

Police chiefs have said that if rules banning household mixing are in place over Christmas then officers could break up family gatherings. 

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said yesterday that ‘the police have a duty and a responsibility to enforce the rules’.

‘We obviously want to ensure that families can gather for Christmas,’ he told Sky News.

‘I want to be with my own family at Christmas. That is some way off.

‘What we have to do now is take action, decisive action now against the virus to give us the best possible chance of being able to achieve that and that is exactly what we are trying to do.’

Tory MPs have urged the Government to give families a ‘break’ and allow them to meet after a ‘dreadful year’.   

They also blasted the suggestion that police could crackdown on families meeting for Christmas dinner as they said ‘this is not some totalitarian state like China’.  

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Prince William and Kate Middleton take children to Scilly Isles

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prince william and kate middleton take children to scilly isles

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went on a family holiday to a modest stone cottage in the Isles of Scilly. 

William and Kate took George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, away to a four-bedroom home on the islands 25 miles off Cornwall for a quiet ‘staycation’, The Sun reported. 

The weather was cloudy and temperatures remained at a glum 14C, but the Cambridges very much enjoyed the trip, according to locals.  

It is the family’s second family staycation of 2020, following an earlier trip, also to the Scillies – where the couple were seen cycling and greeting residents in July. 

A holidaymaker who saw the royals last week said: ‘We hardly noticed at first as they seemed a normal family on holiday intent on keeping themselves to themselves.

William and Kate (pictured in April) took George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, away to a four-bedroom home on the islands 25 miles off Cornwall for a quiet 'staycation'

William and Kate (pictured in April) took George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, away to a four-bedroom home on the islands 25 miles off Cornwall for a quiet ‘staycation’

‘The place where they were staying was quite modest and certainly not hugely luxurious.

‘We couldn’t help thinking what the weather might be like in California — but it’s much better to be holidaying here in Britain.’

The isles have a population of 2,153, spread across just five of the 140 islands – a perfect getaway for those seeking isolated walks, cycling routes, quiet pubs and beaches.   

Prince Charles owns much of the land and one third of the homes, through the Duchy of Cornwall.  

William, Harry, Charles and the boys’ mother Diana visited when the princes were children.  

The isles have a population of 2,153, spread across just five of the 140 islands - a perfect getaway for those seeking isolated walks, cycling routes, quiet pubs and beaches

The isles have a population of 2,153, spread across just five of the 140 islands – a perfect getaway for those seeking isolated walks, cycling routes, quiet pubs and beaches

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge‘s holiday comes as the couple presented a Pride of Britain award, on behalf of the nation, to recognise the NHS frontline heroes in their battle against coronavirus.

Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 38, met six representatives of the NHS to discuss their work during the pandemic and to present them with the special recognition award at Britain’s oldest hospital, St Bartholomew’s in the City of London.

They also offered their support to TV presenter Kate Garraway whose husband Derek is still seriously ill in hospital after contracting Covid-19 in March. Kate introduced the royal couple to the members of the NHS.

The presentation was filmed for the climax of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2020, in partnership with TSB, which will be broadcast on Sunday, 1st November at 9pm on ITV.

Thousands of members of the public nominated all the frontline NHS heroes to receive a special recognition Pride of Britain award.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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