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Fury as the government uses Twitter as a propaganda tool to attack the Mail’s covid analysis 

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fury as the government uses twitter as a propaganda tool to attack the mails covid analysis

Anger flared last night after the Department of Health and Social Care’s Twitter account was used in an effort to rubbish a report challenging official scaremongering by analysing key facts about the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the headline ‘Covid: What They Don’t Tell You’, a two-page article in yesterday’s Daily Mail raised multiple questions about the manner in which the Government has dealt with the crisis.

It pointed out that Government predictions on the number of the potential deaths from the virus were wildly inaccurate. In a July report commissioned by Chief Medical Officer Sir Patrick Vallance, scientists predicted that there could be 119,000 fatalities if a second wave coincided with a peak of winter flu – but the actual figure has so far turned out to be less than half of that.

The article also pointed out the number of deaths are not far above average for this time of year and that only 31 per cent of intensive care unit beds in hospitals are currently occupied by Covid patients.

Scroll down to read the original article 

The Health Department's Twitter attack on the Mail: MPs and commentators have praised the report challenging the government's handling of the crisis

The Health Department's Twitter attack on the Mail: MPs and commentators have praised the report challenging the government's handling of the crisis

The Health Department’s Twitter attack on the Mail: MPs and commentators have praised the report challenging the government’s handling of the crisis

But last night a post on the department’s Twitter account declared: ‘This article is misleading.

‘This is a global pandemic – national restrictions have been introduced to keep people safe and save lives. It is vital people follow the rules and continue to stay at home so we can bring the transmission rates back down and get back to normality.’

Last night, leading Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith rebuked the Department of Health – telling it to get on with its job of looking after people’s health and stop criticising newspapers.

The former Tory leader praised the Daily Mail report as ‘good journalism’ and said it was right to look beneath the official figures which ‘ultimately do not help the public understand the nature of the disease.’

 ‘The Daily Mail is right to highlight the problems with the [official] figures that are being produced. It’s what good journalism is about. With respect to the DoH, I really don’t think they should spend their time arguing with newspapers but get on with their job of making sure they are ready to help when patients need it.’ 

He said: ‘The Daily Mail is right to highlight the problems with the [official] figures that are being produced. It’s what good journalism is about.

‘With respect to the DoH, I really don’t think they should spend their time arguing with newspapers but get on with their job of making sure they are ready to help when patients need it.’

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tories 1922 backbench committee, signalled that it was not the Department of Health’s job to stifle debate on tackling the virus. ‘Our British tradition is that the people tell government what it can do – not the other way round,’ he said. ‘It’s essential that we have an open, national debate about the best way to tackle Covid-19 and everybody should be free to contribute to that.’

Meanwhile, the Department of Health came under fire itself on Twitter last night. Ex-England footballer Matt le Tissier wrote: ‘Slightly desperate sounding tweet’.

Carol McGiffin, of ITV’s Loose Women tweeted: ‘How? Exactly? No it IS NOT a global pandemic. It has nothing at all to do with ‘keeping people safe and saving lives’ and you know it?!!!’.

Allison Pearson, the Daily Telegraph columnist, remarked: ‘Is this a spoof? I fear it’s the actual Department of Health…’ And Talk Radio presenter Mike Graham said: : ‘Why is it misleading? Are the figures for hospital beds, for death rates all wrong? Are the SAGE predictions not WRONG?’

Other anonymous tweets said: ‘They really do think we’re stupid. Why don’t they detail specifically which parts are untrue?’ and ‘How desperate is this government department to attack a newspaper.’

In June, the head of the UK Statistics Authority accused the Government of continuing to mislead the public over the numbers of tests carried out for Covid-19.

And earlier this month, Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi promised that the Government will ‘listen very carefully … and make sure we respond accordingly’ after the Statistics Authority said there was a danger that confidence in official figures could be undermined if they were not ‘supported by transparent information being provided in a timely manner’.

The criticism followed the presentation of data at a press conference where the Prime Minister announced England would be going into lockdown.

Key features of many of the models presented in the news conference were not published on the Government website, so it was not possible for anyone to see how they were created.

‘This is what good journalism is about’

What they DON’T tell you about Covid: Fewer beds taken up than last year, deaths a fraction of the grim forecasts, 95% of fatalities had underlying causes… and how the facts can be twisted to strike fear in our hearts

  • Despite the fearmongering, the number of Covid-19 deaths is significantly lower than the peak back in April 
  • Latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off 
  • GCHQ has embedded a team in Downing Street to provide Boris Johnson with real-time updates of Covid-19
  • Analysts will sift through vast amounts of data to ensure Boris Johnson has the most up-to-date information

With the nation’s health at stake, it was revealed this week that GCHQ has embedded a team in Downing Street to provide Boris Johnson with real-time updates to combat the ‘emerging and changing threat’ posed by Covid-19.

The intelligence analysts will sift through vast amounts of data to ensure the Prime Minister has the most up-to-date information on the spread of the virus.

But what exactly should Mr Johnson be looking for? Here, ROSS CLARK reveals what he should be asking…

How accurate were the Government’s grim predictions?

The short answer is: not very. In a July report commissioned by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, scientists estimated that there could be 119,000 deaths if a second spike coincided with a peak of winter flu. Yesterday, that figure stood at 54,286 – less than half that.

In fact, the second peak seems to have passed – over the past week there has been an average of 22,287 new infections a day, down from 24,430 the week before.

In mid-September, Sir Patrick made the terrifying claim that the UK could see 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October unless more draconian restrictions were introduced. Yet we have never got near that figure.

What about its prophecies on deaths?

Ditto. Its warnings simply don’t bear any relation to reality.

During the ‘Halloween horror show’ press conference used by Sir Patrick and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty to scare the Government into implementing a second lockdown, one of their slides suggested that daily Covid-19 deaths could reach 4,000 a day by December.

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Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, pictured on October 31, when the second national lockdown was announced, had shown a slide predicting up to 4,000 deaths a day by December. But with ten days to go, we're still at less than 15 per cent of that figure

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, pictured on October 31, when the second national lockdown was announced, had shown a slide predicting up to 4,000 deaths a day by December. But with ten days to go, we're still at less than 15 per cent of that figure

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, pictured on October 31, when the second national lockdown was announced, had shown a slide predicting up to 4,000 deaths a day by December. But with ten days to go, we’re still at less than 15 per cent of that figure

With ten days to go, we’re still at less than 15 per cent of that figure. In fact, as the graph above shows, the current death rate is significantly below almost every modelled winter scenario.

Are hospitals close to full capacity?

The answer is ‘no’ – contrary to what the Government experts would have you think after they last month published a chart that gave the impression that hospitals were close to overflowing, when at least half didn’t have a single Covid-19 patient.

Currently, only 13 per cent of NHS beds are occupied by patients with Covid-19.

On Monday this week, 16,271 hospitals beds across the UK were taken up with patients who had tested positive for Covid-19.

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35931780 0 image a 8 1605995893536

On Monday this week, 16,271 hospitals beds across the UK were taken up with patients who had tested positive for Covid-19, a steady rise from last Monday, when there were 14,279 Covid patients. Remarkably, the number of NHS England beds currently occupied is lower than last year’s average

On Monday this week, 16,271 hospitals beds across the UK were taken up with patients who had tested positive for Covid-19, a steady rise from last Monday, when there were 14,279 Covid patients. Remarkably, the number of NHS England beds currently occupied is lower than last year’s average

On Monday this week, 16,271 hospitals beds across the UK were taken up with patients who had tested positive for Covid-19, a steady rise from last Monday, when there were 14,279 Covid patients. Remarkably, the number of NHS England beds currently occupied is lower than last year’s average

This did show a steady rise from the previous Monday, when there were 14,279 patients with Covid.

But to put this figure into perspective, the NHS in England had 101,255 general and acute beds available in March of this year plus 15,392 in Scotland and 10,563 in Wales.

How does it compare with last year?

Remarkably, as the graph shows, the number of NHS England beds currently occupied is lower than last year’s average. 

On November 5, the most recent date available, there were actually 1,293 fewer patients in hospital beds than last year’s November average.

Surely intensive care beds are full?

Some hospitals are under pressure but that is not the picture everywhere as the chart above shows. On Wednesday, 1,430 people with Covid-19 were occupying beds with mechanical ventilation.

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35931778 0 image a 12 1605995893627

Despite the fanare surrounding the construction of the Nightingale hospitals (such as Sunderland's, pictured on its opening day in May) they were never more than 1.23 per cent full

Despite the fanare surrounding the construction of the Nightingale hospitals (such as Sunderland's, pictured on its opening day in May) they were never more than 1.23 per cent full

Despite the fanare surrounding the construction of the Nightingale hospitals (such as Sunderland’s, pictured on its opening day in May) they were never more than 1.23 per cent full

Given that before the crisis there were 4,119 intensive care beds in England plus 269 in Scotland and 153 in Wales, roughly only 31 per cent of ICU beds – not including those which have been recently converted from normal beds – are currently occupied by patients with Covid.

In fact, on November 8, the number of occupied critical beds was actually lower than five-year average for 2015-19.

Even at the height of the first wave in the spring, the percentage of mechanical ventilation beds in existing NHS hospitals that were used never exceeded 62 per cent, according to a study by University College London.

But wasn’t that because of the Nightingale hospitals?

Not at all. In fact, despite all the fanfare surrounding the Nightingale hospitals’ rapid construction, they were never more than 1.23 per cent full.

Moreover, doctors are now far better prepared to treat Covid-19, such as knowing when and when not to put patients on ventilators.

So who is Covid-19 killing?

To put it simply, the victims are overwhelmingly the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. 

Of the 37,470 Covid-19 deaths recorded by NHS England up to November 18, 53.7 percent were of people aged over 80.

In comparison, there have been just 275 deaths (only 0.7 per cent of the total) in people under 40.

And crucially, those who have died from Covid-19 are overwhelmingly likely to have suffered from a pre-existing condition.

Of those who have died from coronavirus, 35,806 people (95.6 per cent of the total) had at least one pre-existing serious medical condition.

In fact, there have been just 42 deaths of people aged under 40 without a pre-existing condition.

What count as pre-existing conditions?

While there has been lots of discussion about how a person’s lifestyle – their weight or general respiratory condition, for example – makes them more vulnerable to Covid-19, the truth is that those who die with pre-existing conditions tend to be suffering from serious, debilitating diseases.

Some 27 per cent of them had diabetes, while 18 per cent had dementia – both of which render a person extremely vulnerable to any viral infection.

Are more dying now than in the first wave?

No. The number of Covid-19 deaths is significantly lower than the peak in April as the graph above shows. On April 21, for example, there were 1,224 Covid-19 deaths, and a daily average for the week of 838. Yesterday, 511 new deaths were reported.

Are more dying now than last year?

Despite what the fear-mongers would have you think, deaths are not far above average for this time of year as the graph above shows.

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35931776 0 image a 16 1605995893720

Yes, in the week to November 6, overall deaths in England and Wales stood at 11,812 – which was 14.3 per cent, or 1,481 deaths higher, than the five-year average. 

But that hides the fact that in contrast to the spring, when deaths from non-Covid-19 causes were running above average, non-Covid-19 deaths in recent weeks have actually been running substantially below average.

Surely more elderly people are dying than normal?

It doesn’t look like it. According to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures – for October 2020 – in spite of all the Covid-19 deaths, the average death rate in the over-75s was significantly lower this year than it was last October – 6,901.7 per 100,000 people, compared with 7141.7 for last year.

But isn’t the infection rate now going up?

The latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off: one in 80 people in England had the disease that week, compared with 1 in 85 the week before.

And it could now be falling: according to research published this week by scientists at Cambridge University – whose data is used by the Government’s Sage advisory group – infection rates of Covid-19 have actually stopped growing across England.

The Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said the reproduction 'R' rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient passes the disease to - had fallen slightly to a maximum of 1.1, from a maximum of 1.2 last week, and could be as low as 1.0 or lower in every region of Britain

The Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said the reproduction 'R' rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient passes the disease to - had fallen slightly to a maximum of 1.1, from a maximum of 1.2 last week, and could be as low as 1.0 or lower in every region of Britain

The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said the reproduction ‘R’ rate – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient passes the disease to – had fallen slightly to a maximum of 1.1, from a maximum of 1.2 last week, and could be as low as 1.0 or lower in every region of Britain

Indeed, they claim, the R rate – the average number of people infected by somebody with the virus – has fallen to one.

If the figure is below one, the epidemic subsides; above one and it grows; and if it is one, infection rates stay the same.

Couldn’t that just be an anomaly?

Actually, that figure for the R rate tallies with a number of other studies. 

The Government’s latest estimate – derived from Imperial College London’s REACT study, which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week – is that the R number for England as a whole is currently between 1 and 1.2.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 Symptom Study run by King’s College London, even puts the R number at 0.9 – the lowest it has been since August.

Whatever the truth, data released by the ONS yesterday confirmed that infection rates are levelling off in England and Scotland.

Does it matter when the elderly are more likely to be infected?

That’s the claim of critics of the Great Barrington Declaration – which in October called on governments to abandon one-size-fits-all lockdowns in favour of targeted shielding – who believe that the current wave of infection will tear through the elderly. 

The latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off. Scientists at Cambridge University believe the national R number has fallen to one, meaning the country's infection rate stays the same

The latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off. Scientists at Cambridge University believe the national R number has fallen to one, meaning the country's infection rate stays the same

The latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off. Scientists at Cambridge University believe the national R number has fallen to one, meaning the country’s infection rate stays the same 

Yet the infection rate is actually highest in school-age children and students – the least vulnerable demographics – and lowest among the over 70s. 

In the week to November 14, the infection rate among secondary school pupils was 2.03 per cent, while in those over 70 it was just 0.48 per cent and falling.

What about the areas seeing a spike?

There is certainly a regional variation when it comes to rates of infection – with the North generally seeing higher levels than the South.

One of the reasons the figures may seem particularly striking is because, embarrassingly for the Government, the same figures over the autumn were based on a data error, which reported student infections as happening at their parents’ address – predominantly in the South.

At the height of the problem, in September and October, one in eight cases was reported to the wrong local authority.

Isn’t mass testing going to fix all this?

Don’t bet on it. The Government has put a lot of faith in Operation Moonshot – its plan to test the entire population once a week using ‘lateral flow tests’, a type of Covid-19 test that give results in only an hour.

Yet their rapidity comes with a cost: they are not very reliable.

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According to a recent study by the University of Oxford and Public Health England’s Porton Down laboratory, the LFT being used in the pilot scheme across Liverpool succeeded in detecting Covid-19 in only 79.2 per cent of cases even when performed by laboratory staff.

Is that really so bad?

Just wait. When used by trained health professionals in the community, the detection rate fell to 73 per cent and when used by self-trained members of the public it fell to just 58 per cent.

Worse, in a way, were the false positives.

Overall, 0.32 per cent of people given the tests were falsely told they had the virus.

If the entire population were obliged to take the tests it could mean that 200,000 – a city the size of Portsmouth – would be ordered to self-isolate when they don’t actually have the disease.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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British hiker missing in Pyrenees is not in the mountains, rescuers believe

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british hiker missing in pyrenees is not in the mountains rescuers believe

A British ‘van life’ blogger who vanished hiking solo in the Pyrenees is no longer in the mountains, rescuers believe, as they look at ‘options beyond an accident’.

Teams from both France and Spain have spent a week scouring hiking trails in the mountainous border region for 37-year-old Esther Dingley – from Durham – but have found no trace of her despite using drones, helicopters and dogs.

Search coordinators now believe the reason they cannot find her is because she is no longer there, partner Dan Colegate has revealed, and have listed her as a ‘missing person’ case across the whole of Spain.

The case has also been passed to a specialist team in France. 

Esther Dingley, 37, was hiking the Pyrenees mountains on the border between France and Spain when she vanished last week

Esther Dingley, 37, was hiking the Pyrenees mountains on the border between France and Spain when she vanished last week

Esther Dingley, 37, was hiking the Pyrenees mountains on the border between France and Spain when she vanished last week

Dan revealed the new information on a joint Facebook page where the couple have documented six years of their nomadic travels across Europe.

He penned the post just hours before snowy weather hit the Pyrenees, which rescuers believe will be the start of the winter snow dump, making search efforts much more difficult.

He wrote: ‘With no result day after day, taking into account Esther’s high level of experience, the nature of the terrain, the good weather she would have had, the fact she had a clearly defined route for Sunday evening and Monday, and various other factors, both search coordinators have essentially told me that although they can never be 100% sure, the prevailing opinion in the search teams is that she isn’t there. 

‘That if she had fallen from one of the paths, they really would have expected to find her given the intensity, the closeness of the search and the fact most of the trails are really quite straightforward across open ground.

‘As things stand tonight, Esther is now listed as a national missing persons case in Spain and the case has been passed to a specialised judicial unit in France. 

‘This means they will be looking at other options beyond a mountain accident.

‘While this is a terrifying development in many ways, I’m trying to focus on the fact that it leaves the door open that Esther might still come home. 

‘She was so utterly happy and joyful when we last spoke, I’d do anything to see her face and hold her right now.’

It is unclear exactly what rescuers now believe happened to Esther, since her car was found abandoned in the Spanish town of Benasque, from where she had set out on the final leg of a month-long solo hiking adventure on November 21.

Dan Colegate, the British partner of missing hiker Esther Dingley, was searching for her alone in the Pyrenees last night

Dan Colegate, the British partner of missing hiker Esther Dingley, was searching for her alone in the Pyrenees last night

Dan Colegate, the British partner of missing hiker Esther Dingley, was searching for her alone in the Pyrenees last night

After a week of searches Dan said search teams have concluded that the reason they cannot find Esther in the mountains is because she is no longer there (couple pictured together)

After a week of searches Dan said search teams have concluded that the reason they cannot find Esther in the mountains is because she is no longer there (couple pictured together)

After a week of searches Dan said search teams have concluded that the reason they cannot find Esther in the mountains is because she is no longer there (couple pictured together) 

Her plan had been to hike from the town to Pic de Sauvegarde, a mountaintop in the Pyrenees, which she reached on November 22 – sending Dan a picture via WhatsApp, which was their last contact.

From there she planned to walk between Port de la Gléré and Port de Venasque – a route of some eight miles – before hiking down from the mountains on Wednesday.

But after two days without contact, Dan reported Esther missing on November 24, just a day before her trip was due to end, sparking a massive manhunt. 

Faced with encroaching bad weather, Spanish police had broadened the search on Tuesday in a last-ditch attempt at finding Esther.  

Footage released on Tuesday shows the helicopter crossing rocky outcrops and icy peaks on the border between Spain and France. 

On Saturday, Mr Colegate said on the couple’s Facebook page: ‘I’m broken. Shattered to report that my beloved Esther, the person who taught me how to feel, is missing. Search and rescue teams have so far found no trace of her.’

On Monday, he added in a new post on social media: ‘ I just wanted to write a short thank you for all the support and messages that have arrived in the past few days.

‘I want to write a more complete update soon, but as of now there is still no sign of Esther anywhere in the area she was intending to explore, despite extensive searching from both sides of the border.

‘I am going to do some more walking myself now before the sun goes down.’

The 37-year-old from Durham was on a month-long solo trip and was supposed to return on Wednesday

The 37-year-old from Durham was on a month-long solo trip and was supposed to return on Wednesday

The 37-year-old from Durham was on a month-long solo trip and was supposed to return on Wednesday

At one point in the Spanish police film, the helicopter hovers over a lone woman on a hillside while an officer, using a microphone, asks her: ‘Are you Esther?’

The woman shakes her head as if to say no. Then the officer asks if she is Spanish and she nods in agreement before the helicopter flies away.

A spokesman for Spain’s Civil Guard said: ‘We have broadened the search to nearby hills and the search party has increased. We are not only using mountain rescue personnel but also all members of the environmental team who are available in the Huesca area. We continue to keep an open mind about where Ms Dingley might be now.’

French police sent a search team of sixteen people up the mountain on Monday along with national police experts.

On his Facebook page, Mr Colegate’s father, Mick, said: ‘We’ve spoken son and you know that I will be on the first available flight when you come down from the mountains ..you don’t have to be strong and face this all alone…love you son.’

Ms Dingley started walking from Benasque, Spain, on November 21. French police said all trace of her was lost at 4pm on Sunday, November 22. No more phone messages were received after then.

Spanish authorities were alerted on November 25 of her disappearance and alerted their French counterparts the following morning. They found her vehicle on the Spanish side of the border.

Miss Dingley was a yoga enthusiast who had been a private trainer before giving up her career to travel around Europe

Miss Dingley was a yoga enthusiast who had been a private trainer before giving up her career to travel around Europe

Miss Dingley was a yoga enthusiast who had been a private trainer before giving up her career to travel around Europe

The paths she was taking were marked, well-indicated on maps and pretty well-frequented in normal times, French police said.

Several witnesses saw her on the Spanish side on Sunday and spoke to her.

There is an unmarked refuge just over the French border but police said there was no sign that it had been used.

A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, said: ‘Our staff are supporting the family of a British woman reported missing in the Pyrenees.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Michelle Mone gives a glimpse into her VERY lavish thrice delayed wedding on the Isle of Man

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michelle mone gives a glimpse into her very lavish thrice delayed wedding on the isle of man

Michelle Mone’s wedding guests tucked into a Sunday brunch of oysters, roast beef, crudités and pavlova as one of her dogs wore a bow tie and tuxedo to the event. 

Ultimo boss Michelle showed off an array of flowers as she and guests tucked into the feast following her wedding to billionaire Doug Barrowman on the Isle of Man.

Baroness Michelle, 49, who had earlier this week revealed her husband had been given a horse as his second wedding present, admitted she had never seen so many flowers as she filmed inside her home for the occasion.

Stunning: Michelle Mone's wedding guests tucked into a Sunday brunch of oysters, roast beef, crudités and pavlova as one of her dogs wore a bow tie and tuxedo to the event

Stunning: Michelle Mone's wedding guests tucked into a Sunday brunch of oysters, roast beef, crudités and pavlova as one of her dogs wore a bow tie and tuxedo to the event

Stunning: Michelle Mone’s wedding guests tucked into a Sunday brunch of oysters, roast beef, crudités and pavlova as one of her dogs wore a bow tie and tuxedo to the event

Holding her dog Rusty, one of her three new puppies who had been at the dog sitters the day before, she said: ‘Oh look he’s got his bow tie on. Are you ready for the party Rusty? Are you ready for the party?’

After showing at least seven separate flower arrangements with balloons in just her hallway, Michelle then filmed her dining room table complete with more bouquets and arrangements.

She then said: ‘After the big day we now have got our wedding brunch. It looks beautiful. The whole house is packed with flowers. I’ve never seen so many flowers.’

Michelle later wrote: ‘Our beautiful brunch. The flowers have been donated to hospices and care homes across the Isle of Man.’

Wow-factor! Michelle wed billionaire Doug Barrowman over the weekend after delaying their wedding three times

Wow-factor! Michelle wed billionaire Doug Barrowman over the weekend after delaying their wedding three times

Wow-factor! Michelle wed billionaire Doug Barrowman over the weekend after delaying their wedding three times

Best Man? Holding her dog Rusty, one of her three new puppies who had been at the dog sitters the day before, she said: 'Oh look he's got his bow tie on. Are you ready for the party Rusty? Are you ready for the party?'

Best Man? Holding her dog Rusty, one of her three new puppies who had been at the dog sitters the day before, she said: 'Oh look he's got his bow tie on. Are you ready for the party Rusty? Are you ready for the party?'

Best Man? Holding her dog Rusty, one of her three new puppies who had been at the dog sitters the day before, she said: ‘Oh look he’s got his bow tie on. Are you ready for the party Rusty? Are you ready for the party?’

A vision: She gave another look at her Suzanne Neville dress

A vision: She gave another look at her Suzanne Neville dress

A vision: She gave another look at her Suzanne Neville dress

Showing off the spread of oysters, crudités with dips and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and roasties she added: ‘Can we have this every Sunday. Every Sunday would be good. Oh my goodness I am now seriously going to eat this.’

As she eyed up a huge Strawberry Pavlova she added: ‘We are ready. Now that I’ve been juicing for so long to get into that dress this is all for me. Do you have a big spoon?’

Michelle’s wedding to Doug took place after her ceremony was delayed three times due to COVID – much to her chagrin and heartache. 

Delicious! She also shared a snap of a pavlova

Delicious! She also shared a snap of a pavlova

Delicious! She also shared a snap of a pavlova 

'Wish we could have this every Sunday!' Showing off the spread of oysters, crudités with dips and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and roasties she added: 'Can we have this every Sunday. Every Sunday would be good. Oh my goodness I am now seriously going to eat this'

'Wish we could have this every Sunday!' Showing off the spread of oysters, crudités with dips and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and roasties she added: 'Can we have this every Sunday. Every Sunday would be good. Oh my goodness I am now seriously going to eat this'

‘Wish we could have this every Sunday!’ Showing off the spread of oysters, crudités with dips and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and roasties she added: ‘Can we have this every Sunday. Every Sunday would be good. Oh my goodness I am now seriously going to eat this’

Michelle and Doug exchanged vows at Peel Cathedral on the Isle of Man on Saturday, with the parliamentarian unveiling her breathtakingly elegant gown in recent snaps shared to her social media account.

The latest updates come after Michelle revealed she’s purchased a horse worth £80,000 as a second wedding gift to her new husband.

The entrepreneur took to Instagram on Monday to introduce the ‘newest member of our family’ following her ceremony with the billionaire.

Tuck in! She enjoyed a beef dinner

Tuck in! She enjoyed a beef dinner

Tuck in! She enjoyed a beef dinner 

Horsing around: The entrepreneur took to Instagram on Monday to introduce the 'newest member of our family' following her ceremony with the billionaire

Horsing around: The entrepreneur took to Instagram on Monday to introduce the 'newest member of our family' following her ceremony with the billionaire

Horsing around: The entrepreneur took to Instagram on Monday to introduce the ‘newest member of our family’ following her ceremony with the billionaire

Businesswoman Michelle – who didn’t disclose what her first treat for her new spouse was – wrote: ‘Introducing the newest member of our family, Monbeg Genius. This gorgeous horse was a second wedding gift for my husband, Doug…

‘We are delighted with him.  I want to say the warmest of thank-yous to the legendary @jonjooneillracing, his wife Jacquie and his son AJ for guiding us through… 

‘Jonjo is an amazingly charming man who was patient throughout, whilst his son, as demonstrated in the video, is a very talented jockey too!

‘We are so excited about Monbeg Genius being a part of the family, and we are looking forward to him starring in tartan in the weeks to come!’

Stunning: She revealed the flowers had been donated to care homes after the event

Stunning: She revealed the flowers had been donated to care homes after the event

Stunning: She revealed the flowers had been donated to care homes after the event

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Tier Two drinkers rejoice as lockdown ends… but those in Tier Three are left pining for a pint

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tier two drinkers rejoice as lockdown ends but those in tier three are left pining for a pint

England’s second national lockdown came to and end overnight, sparking a wave of excitement across social media as people prepare to return to the pubs – and landlords prepare to serve substantial meals with every drink.

Social media users rejoiced the ending of the month-long shutdown, which ended last night.

It will be replaced by a new tiered system from today. The rules mean pubs in Tier 2 areas, including London and large parts of the south-east, can reopen.

And social media users in Tier 2 were quick to show their readiness to return to the pubs today, while those in Tier 3, where pubs can only open for takeaway, were left pining for a pint.

One Twitter user, Neil Hughes, said: ‘I’m off for a cooked breakfast and a pint.’

Nay Evans, said: ‘End of lockdown, tomorrow we made it. See use (sic) in the pub for 5 Guinness and a Cesar salad.’

Another said: ‘Lockdown is over, you can catch me at the pub with my friends tonight, unless you are in Tier 2 or 3.’ 

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What can you do in a pub in each tier? 

  • Tier 1 – Pubs are open for alcohol or food with people from different households allowed to sit together.
  • Tier 2 – Pubs can only serve alcohol with a ‘substantial meal’. People from different households can only sit together outside, and must follow the ‘rule of six’. Those sitting inside the pub at the same table must be from the same household.
  • Tier 3 – Pubs are closed for everything but takeaway.
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Another user of Twitter said: ‘Me getting ready to go to the pub tomorrow.’

Jo Mac, a Twitter user, said: ‘And we are out of lockdown! Wohoooo!!! Who wants to come to the pub with me for a pint and a substantial meal?’ 

Another said: ‘Woohoo!! Lockdown has ended. We are free to have a beer down the pub.

‘With a scotch egg of course. Do we have to sit at a table and use a knife and fork to eat it, or can we stand at the bar?’

Another said: ‘Lockdown is over, you can catch me at the pub with my friends tonight, unless you are in Tier 2 or 3.’ 

But while people in Tier 2 were left excited for a trip to the pub, those in Tier 3 were left pining for a pint.

One said: ‘Back in Tier 3, well done everyone! – Now let’s get Tier 2 so I can go to the pub!’

Another said: ‘Oh great, after four weeks I can go to non-essential shops again. But not to the pub or anything enjoyable.

‘Tier 1 before lockdown, Tier 3 today, utter madness.’ 

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Diners will be able to eat al fresco outside central London restaurants for next six months 

Diners will be able to eat in al fresco outside central London restaurants for the next six months, it was revealed today.

Pubs and restaurants in the capital will be allowed to reopen tomorrow under Tier 2 coronavirus rules, along with much of the rest of the country.

Diners will be allowed to eat together as long as there are a maximum of six people sat with each other and everyone in the group is from the same support bubble or household if sat inside.

And Westminster Council has announced the new rules allowing groups to eat al fresco in groups of up to six in mixed households from tomorrow will be continued for a further six months.

Council leader Rachael Robathan, said the scheme, which allows venues to provide ‘pop up’ dining areas in streets, would be an important way of supporting the hospitality industry.

She said: ‘We have 3,700 restaurants, pubs and bars in central London and they help to support around 80,000 jobs.

‘Hospitality is a big employer for us and while the sector faces another tough few months under tier two restrictions, at least we can support those venues who can offer outside space.’

At the same time, Westminster City Council has launched a ‘shop safe’ campaign, which emphasises measures the authority has taken to make the streets as safe as possible.

These include widening pavements, installing 7 miles (11km) of cycle lanes, social distance signage and hand sanitiser stations across the City.

A social media campaign being launched by Westminster City Council on Wednesday will underline the safety messages.

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It comes as yesterday a row deepened over whether a scotch egg can be classed as a ‘substantial meal’ under rules only allowing alcohol to be served with food from tomorrow.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told LBC two scotch eggs would be ‘a starter’, 24 hours after Environment Secretary George Eustice said one is a substantial meal.

Mr Gove reiterated his stance on LBC in a second interview on Good Morning Britain – before backtracking and then telling ITV News: ‘A scotch egg is a substantial meal.’

The confusion comes after the Government said people going into tier two from today will have to have a ‘substantial meal’ to allow them to buy a pint.

The law says a substantial meal is ‘might be expected to be served as breakfast, the main midday or main evening meal, or as a main course at such a meal’.

Some pubs have now brought out new menus, with one offering a ‘Boris Menu’ of £1.99 meals – while Wetherspoon has launched a new breakfast muffin range. 

Landlords accused the Government of providing ‘no clarity’ on the substantial meal rule.

One Essex pub has launched a new £1.99 simplified food menu so that customers can enjoy alcoholic drinks, but do not have to spend lots of money or have a large meal.

Named ‘The Boris Menu’, The Kings Head in Gosfield is offering plates such as a hotdog and chips; baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburger and chips.

Pub owner Matthew Arnold, 38, told Essex Live: ‘Every time a new regulation is implemented it incurs a lot of time and cost for pubs to abide.

‘It’s the frustration that prompted the menu idea initially at the same time as catering for customers that don’t necessarily want a large and costly meal each time they want to visit us.’

Meanwhile the Wetherspoon pub chain has launched a new breakfast menu ahead of tomorrow’s reopening, include a muffin range and reducing the price of coffee and tea to 99p.

Customers can choose from four new breakfast muffins – egg and bacon; egg and sausage; breakfast (with bacon and sausage); and egg and cheese.

In Worcester, one pub is teaming up with a fish and chip shop in order to stay open under Tier 2 rules.

Mark and Debie Daniels, of The Brewers Arms, which has no kitchen, has partnered with Nick Zipiti of St John’s Fish Bar, according to Worcester News.

It means The Brewers Arms can keep pulling pints – which they would be otherwise unable to do without serving a substantial meal alongside.

The pub will operate around the chip shop’s usual hours and customers will be asked to order food at the bar before being able to buy a drink. 

It comes as people in England have been quick to seize upon greater freedoms after the national lockdown ended and was replaced by a tiered system of restrictions.

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A row has broken out over whether a scotch egg can be classed as a ‘substantial meal’

The Kings Head in Gosfield, Essex , is offering £1.99 plates on a 'Boris Menu' such as a hotdog and chips; baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburger and chips

The Kings Head in Gosfield, Essex , is offering £1.99 plates on a 'Boris Menu' such as a hotdog and chips; baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburger and chips

The Kings Head in Gosfield, Essex , is offering £1.99 plates on a ‘Boris Menu’ such as a hotdog and chips; baked beans on toast with cheese; and cheeseburger and chips

London and Liverpool will be put into Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the bottom tier

London and Liverpool will be put into Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the bottom tier

London and Liverpool will be put into Tier 2, while only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are in the bottom tier

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Fury at government’s ‘token’ one-off £1,000 payment for ‘wet’ boozers

Pub landlords have warned that the tier system will force traditional old fashioned pubs out of business after the government’s proposed support package was met with derision.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today that all ‘wet’ pubs that do not serve food would be given a one-off grant of £1,000.

He said the payout was to recognise ‘how hard they have been hit by this virus in what is typically their busiest month’.

But one pub landlord accused the Prime Minister of using the ‘token gesture’ as a means to appease Tory rebels criticising the tier system.

The chair of the Campaign for Pubs, Paul Crossman, who runs The Swan, The Slip Inn and Volunteer Arms pubs in York, said the meagre £1,000 grant has ‘offended’ pub owners.

He also warned it spells the end for many old fashioned pubs that do not serve food.

‘A lot of publicans are saying they are really offended by this amount,’ he said.

‘It might sound a lot to someone in the street but the revenues that pubs have to take to stay afloat, £1000 is nothing. It won’t save any pub, put it that way.’ 

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Some of the most hardcore fitness fanatics even hit the weights for a midnight workout as one London gym owner threw open his doors at the stroke of midnight.  

All non-essential shops are allowed to open from today, paving the way for a festive spending spree that will likely drive people back to the nation’s ailing high streets. 

A fire sale at Debenhams is expected to fuel the shopping bonanza as bargain-hunters are lured by price cuts of up to 70 per cent ahead of the company’s impending liquidation following the collapse of rescue talks.

A precursor to today’s likely stampede for generous discounts – as the chain reopens its soon-to-be axed 124 stores – was seen last night when more than a million people swamped the department store’s website.  

The sudden burst of activity as England flings off the blanket restrictions is being dubbed ‘Wild Wednesday’ – but will still see the overwhelming majority of the public living under draconian laws.  

Boris Johnson last night overcame the largest Tory rebellion of his premiership for his new tier system to clear the Commons by 291 to 78, with abstaining Labour MPs getting the vote across the line.

It heralds a tack back to the Government’s previous strategy of carving the country into three ‘alert levels’ – albeit this time with harsher measures and with 99 per cent of the country facing the top two tiers. 

Pubs have had their curfew extended to 11pm but are grappling with the fresh regulations. In Tier 2, they can only serve alcohol with a ‘substantial meal’ and in Tier 3 they are limited to just takeaways. 

But despite the presence of the pandemic still looming large over everyday life, many Britons were jubilant as the showering of freedoms came into effect today. 

Some of the most hardcore fitness fanatics even hit the weights for a midnight workout as one London gym owner, Andreas Michli, (pictured), who was previously fined for breaching lockdown, threw open his doors on the stroke of 12

Some of the most hardcore fitness fanatics even hit the weights for a midnight workout as one London gym owner, Andreas Michli, (pictured), who was previously fined for breaching lockdown, threw open his doors on the stroke of 12

Some of the most hardcore fitness fanatics even hit the weights for a midnight workout as one London gym owner, Andreas Michli, (pictured), who was previously fined for breaching lockdown, threw open his doors on the stroke of 12

Hundreds of thousands of shoppers have swamped the Debenhams website to snap up generous discounts as the department store tries to clear its stock before closing for good

Hundreds of thousands of shoppers have swamped the Debenhams website to snap up generous discounts as the department store tries to clear its stock before closing for good

Debenhams  are prepared for liquidation after 242 years of trading with 12,000 jobs at risk after JD Sports declined to buy the brand in the chaos caused by Arcadia's collapse

Debenhams  are prepared for liquidation after 242 years of trading with 12,000 jobs at risk after JD Sports declined to buy the brand in the chaos caused by Arcadia's collapse

Hundreds of thousands of shoppers have swamped the Debenhams website to snap up generous discounts as the department store tries to clear its stock before closing for good

Debenhams on Oxford Street in London last night. The 242-year-old brand entered administration and shops will shortly close

Debenhams on Oxford Street in London last night. The 242-year-old brand entered administration and shops will shortly close

Debenhams on Oxford Street in London last night. The 242-year-old brand entered administration and shops will shortly close

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Boris Johnson said there was a 'compelling case' for the regional tiers as he faced a Commons showdown over his new coronavirus rules

Boris Johnson said there was a 'compelling case' for the regional tiers as he faced a Commons showdown over his new coronavirus rules

Boris Johnson last night overcame the largest Tory rebellion of his premiership for his new tier system to clear the Commons by 291 to 78, with abstaining Labour MPs getting the vote across the line 

PM suffers biggest revolt of his premiership – but wins tiers vote  

Boris Johnson got his brutal post-lockdown tiers approved by the Commons last night thanks to Sir Keir Starmer’s tacit support after suffering the biggest Tory revolt of this Parliament as more than 50 Tories defied the whip. 

The new three-tier system was signed off by a margin of 291 to 78 and came into force at midnight after Labour opted to abstain, despite complaining the regime was not tough enough and there was not enough support for hospitality firms which have been crippled by government shutdowns.    

While the headline 213 majority was healthy, the rebellion of 55 Tories – including Julian Lewis, who is suspended – made the uprising the biggest of this Parliament yet, after 44 previously went against the pubs curfew. 

Another 17 appear to have abstained, though it is not clear how many were given permission to stay away. Sir Keir also suffered his own revolt, with 15 defying the whip, alongside Jeremy Corbyn and eight DUP politicians. 

Though the Labour move guaranteed No10 victory, it left Mr Johnson exposed to the anger of his own benches. Had all the opposition parties voted against the Government, the PM would have easily been defeated.

The rebellion may have permanently dashed the possibility of using blanket shutdowns to suppress the virus in the future, and is likely to have set off alarm bells in No10 as the premier’s authority continues to wane. 

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As England woke up to eased restrictions of varying degree: 

  • Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said two scotch eggs would be ‘a starter’, 24 hours after Environment Secretary George Eustice said one is a substantial meal for the purposes of buying alcohol in pubs in Tier 2. But Mr Gove added to the confusion by saying later it could also count as a main meal;
  • Sir Keir Starmer was accused of ‘playing politics’ in the middle of the pandemic after he ordered his MPs to sit out the crucial vote tonight on the rules that will replace lockdown; 
  • Stratford-on-Avon District Council mounted a legal challenge against being placed into Tier 3; 
  • Mr Gove has denied that Britons will need ‘immunity certificates’ to go to the pub – despite a fellow minister raising the prospect yesterday;
  • Mr Gove pointed to Wales as an example of how lockdown should not be done, after it announced pubs will be forced to close at 6pm and banned from selling alcohol drinks from Friday as the country faces new curbs just weeks after the ‘firebreak’ ended; 
  • The Government announced a further 603 Covid deaths on Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 59,051. 

Gym boss Andreas Michli, 34, was mobbed by supporters tonight as he threw his doors open on the stroke of midnight.

The owner was fined £67,000 and taken to court last month by Haringey Council after a stand-off with more than 30 police officers over three days at the Zone Gym in Wood Green, North London.

But last night he was back in business and welcomed around 60 people through his doors – and boasted the prime minister had been swayed by his protest.

As crowds queued up to get back on the treadmills, Mr Michli told MailOnline: ‘There’s no doubt in my mind we succeeded in changing the Prime Minister’s mind about allowing gyms to open.

‘He saw what was going on and he listened. But the war goes on and now it’s not just about gyms anymore. I feel like I’m fighting on behalf of businesses of all kind.

‘So many business owners are suffering, so it’s great to see the buzz here tonight and the excitement now that we are opening up again.’

Among those first in the door was personal trainer Sophia Sammee, 35, from Friern Barnet, North London who said: ‘You can see the happiness in people’s faces here tonight.

‘Everyone is buzzing that lockdown is over.’ This gym has been my home and I really wanted to be here on the stroke of midnight. Andreas was brave to stay open and I was proud to support him.’

Paralegal Dennis Adjei-Sarpong, 26, said: ‘There are so many smiles here tonight now that this place is back open. People just want to get lost in their work-outs and their fitness again. I myself can’t wait to hit the weights. It’s a great moment.’ 

Paralegal Dennis Adjei-Sarpong, 26, said: ‘There are so many smiles here tonight now that this place is back open. People just want to get lost in their work-outs and their fitness again. I myself can’t wait to hit the weights. It’s a great moment.’ 

Zone Gym in Wood Green in North London welcomed around 60 people through his doors at the stroke of midnight

Zone Gym in Wood Green in North London welcomed around 60 people through his doors at the stroke of midnight

Zone Gym in Wood Green in North London welcomed around 60 people through his doors at the stroke of midnight

Mr Michli told MailOnline: 'There's no doubt in my mind we succeeded in changing the Prime Minister's mind about allowing gyms to open'

Mr Michli told MailOnline: 'There's no doubt in my mind we succeeded in changing the Prime Minister's mind about allowing gyms to open'

Mr Michli told MailOnline: ‘There’s no doubt in my mind we succeeded in changing the Prime Minister’s mind about allowing gyms to open’

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The UK recorded another 13,430 coronavirus infections and 603 deaths in the past 24 hours as England exits shutdown

The UK recorded another 13,430 coronavirus infections and 603 deaths in the past 24 hours as England exits shutdown

The UK recorded another 13,430 coronavirus infections and 603 deaths in the past 24 hours as England exits shutdown

Just 18 local authorities see Covid cases rise 

Just eighteen authorities in England have seen a rise in Covid-19 cases over the most recent week, according to official figures that call into question whether 99 per cent of the country needs to be in the toughest two tiers of lockdown.

Only eight areas – Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Maidstone, Medway, Tonbridge and Malling, Boston in Lincolnshire and South Ribble in Lancashire – will be subject to Tier Three restrictions, which will see all pubs, bars and restaurants forced to shut.

The other areas that have seen a spike in infections – Mendip, Torridge, Surrey Heath, Woking, Basildon, Harlow, Ipswich, North Norfolk, Peterborough and Waltham Forest – will fall under the second harshest bracket. Residents living in Tier Two will be banned from mixing indoors with other households.

It means the other 297 lower-tier authorities in England – home to around 53million people – saw a fall in coronavirus cases in the seven-day spell ending November 25, the most recent week of data.

Despite Public Health England data showing Covid outbreaks are shrinking across the rest of the country, 55million people will find themselves living in either Tier Two or Tier Three when the national lockdown ends tomorrow.

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Mr Michli clocked up a fortune in fixed penalty notices only to rip them up on his Instagram channel and invite members back to his gym -only for magistrates to close him down.

Despite breaking the law during lockdown he says he had been swamped with messages of support from well-wishers across the country.

‘I’m not paying the fine and if Haringey Council want the money then they will have to take me to court, because I’m not handing over a penny. I feel like the public have swayed behind me and it’s an incredible feeling.

‘We were expecting a big crowd at twelve because we’ve had so many people saying on social media they wanted to be here for when the doors open.

‘We’ve had a lot of love and support from across the country backing us. Because we’re a 24-hour gym, it made sense to open on the stroke of midnight.’

Mr Michli has 1,200 members but social distancing rules mean he will be limited to 85 members in his gym at any one time.

‘We will be following the government guidelines relating to how many people can be on the premises at any one time. And we will be enforcing social distancing. Still it’s a big step back to normal life.’ 

Wild Wednesday is also expected to see a blitz of high street stores as people look to snap up gifts weeks out from Christmas.

It will be fuelled by a bargain bonanza from Debenhams which has slashed prices on handbags, shoes, boots, watches and dresses.

The chain has become the latest high street casualty and will be liquidated in the New Year after rescue talks with JD Sport fell through, drawing a line under 242 years of trading and jeopardising 12,000 jobs.   

Late Tuesday night there was a 20-minute wait ‘due to exceptional demand’ with over 300,000 trying to get on to the website at one point, and the total number of shoppers topping one million.

A bruising year for the retail sector amid the pandemic climaxed this week when both Debenhams and Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group collapsed. 

Arcadia, which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burton, tipped into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. 

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