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‘Mummy dearest? No, I never want to see her again’: Daughter on why she cut off her mother for ever

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mummy dearest no i never want to see her again daughter on why she cut off her mother for ever

Pulling back my narrow shoulders, I clung to the handlebars of my little red bike as I watched the other children being hugged and kissed by their mothers. 

I felt a ­familiar hollowness in my chest. It was my first day at school, and while every other child in my class was there with a parent, I was all alone. 

To the other kids, I must have seemed tough, precociously resilient. If their parents had noticed the little girl arriving alone, they’d probably have wondered why. 

Describing her mother, Dr Mariette Jansen said: 'My world orbited hers, not the other way round'

Describing her mother, Dr Mariette Jansen said: 'My world orbited hers, not the other way round'

Describing her mother, Dr Mariette Jansen said: ‘My world orbited hers, not the other way round’

Maybe they thought that my mother was ill or that I didn’t have one at all. 

The truth was harder to explain. I’d arrived alone for one simple reason: my mother didn’t like getting up in the morning and couldn’t be bothered to take me to school. 

Watching the other parents bid tearful goodbyes, I just shrugged, and thought: ‘What’s the big deal anyway?’ 

That’s just how it is when you grow up with a cold, narcissistic mother like mine — you can’t allow yourself to feel, not really. 

If you registered every daily hurt and disappointment, you’d never survive. 

My mother’s lie-in was far more important than my first day at school — I knew that. 

I also knew that the moment I got home, 

I’d rush to find her, to kiss her cheek and tell her how pretty she looked in her dress. 

She might nod, maybe even smile, but no way would she say: ‘Tell me about school darling.’ 

My world orbited hers, not the other way round. 

Later, like every other evening, we’d sit at the dinner table — me, my father, my older brother and my younger sister, all glued to my mother, telling her how good the dinner was and vying to make her laugh. 

I’d flatter and cajole her and do anything to avoid one of her terrifying rages, the cruelty of her tongue. 

Speaking from her Surrey home, Dr Jansen has shared her experiences of growing up with a mother diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder

Speaking from her Surrey home, Dr Jansen has shared her experiences of growing up with a mother diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder

Speaking from her Surrey home, Dr Jansen has shared her experiences of growing up with a mother diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder

I’d try to make her smile until the tension in my body would make my tummy hurt, because all I wanted in the world was her approval, a gift as rare as rainbows. 

As a mother myself, how I now long to reach out to that anxious, hurt child, to scoop her up in my arms and say: ‘This isn’t normal. One day it will stop.’ And now, finally, it has … A year ago, at the age of 61, I decided to cut all ties with my nasty, narcissistic mother. If she’s still alive, she’ll be almost 90, and living alone in my native Holland. 

I am her only surviving child and I know some friends are shocked by my decision. 

‘How can you turn your back on your own mother?’ is what they would ask. 

I get their thinking, but really what’s unforgivable is neglecting your children, failing to show them any affection, deliberately pitting one against the other — and that’s exactly what she did. 

I know now that my mother has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). 

I can see this from a professional perspective, having trained as a psychotherapist after meeting my English husband and moving to the UK nearly 30 years ago. 

People with NPD display five key traits: they have an inflated view of themselves, they possess an overriding sense of entitlement, they attempt to control and manipulate others, they cannot handle criticism, and they lack empathy and emotional awareness. 

My mother to a T. 

NPD is rarely diagnosed. Because narcissists don’t suffer themselves, they have no need of a diagnosis. 

They’re secure in the knowledge that they’re perfect and that the world should revolve around them. 

It’s their victims who bear the brunt of their entitled and cruel behaviour, and it’s for them I’ve written my narcissism survival guide called From Victim To Victor, in which I share my own experiences and provide advice on how to escape from a narcissist. 

Writing the book felt like I was lifting the lid on a terrible secret. So it was with relief that I read that ­Donald Trump’s niece Mary, has just published an explosive memoir of her dysfunctional family, too. 

In it, she brands her famous uncle ‘a lying narcissist.’ 

Mary, who is a clinical psychologist, believes Donald developed narcissistic tendencies in order to impress his cruel and sociopathic father Fred who terrorised and divided his five children, contributing, she says to her own father’s early death from alcoholism. 

The White House dismissed the damning memoir as ‘a falsehood’ and Trump’s younger brother Robert tried, unsuccessfully, to block the publication of the book. 

Like Trump, my mother came from a large, wealthy family where money was everything, and weakness was scorned. 

My grandfather owned a mill, and Mummy, as I used to call her, grew up in a huge house with a marble staircase. 

She considered her siblings to be competition and was always desperate to outdo them. 

She had to have the best-looking husband, the biggest house, the first child. 

For her, the regular ski holidays in Davos and the extravagant gifts which my father — a mild-mannered, gentle soul, who lived in his dominant wife’s shadow — showered her with were quite simply her right. 

Looking back at my entire childhood, I can only recall one moment of maternal kindness. 

I was eight at the time, and I was recovering from tonsillitis and lying in bed with a temperature. 

I remember my mother coming in and resting her cold hand on my brow. 

It was a moment so fleeting that I was never quite sure whether it had happened or not. 

But for years afterwards, I played that scene over and over in my mind. 

She’d loved me for a second, hadn’t she? 

'Handsome and mild-mannered, my father was a successful dentist, but he lacked Mummy’s confidence — making him her perfect prey,' writes Dr Jansen, pictured with her parents in 2001

'Handsome and mild-mannered, my father was a successful dentist, but he lacked Mummy’s confidence — making him her perfect prey,' writes Dr Jansen, pictured with her parents in 2001

‘Handsome and mild-mannered, my father was a successful dentist, but he lacked Mummy’s confidence — making him her perfect prey,’ writes Dr Jansen, pictured with her parents in 2001

For my mother, life was all about belonging to the best tennis club, talking to the most powerful person in the room, taking centre stage — getting what she wanted. 

I sometimes wonder if she’d married someone else whether she’d have turned out differently, because Papa’s blind adoration only enabled her narcissism. 

Handsome and mild-mannered, my father was a successful dentist, but he lacked Mummy’s confidence — making him her perfect prey. 

He was so grateful to be with such an attractive, self-assured woman that he’d do anything to keep her happy. 

‘Your mother is so sweet and loving,’ he told me as we were making her breakfast one morning when I was 10. 

‘She does so much for us.’ 

How could his reality be so different from my own? 

Keeping quiet was so much easier than speaking up. That was the first rule — and the second was never, ever draw attention away from Mummy. 

I did that once, not realising the mistake I was making. 

I must have been 11 or 12 when I announced one night over the dinner table that I had some news. ‘I got top marks in the history test,’ I told my family proudly. 

As Papa smiled, Mummy’s face hardened with fury. 

‘That’s nothing to brag about,’ she snapped. ‘If you have a good brain, the least you can do is to use it.’ 

If she was mean and unpredictable at home, the picture my mother presented to the world was very different. 

She and my father worked hard to create the illusion of a happy, successful family. 

We’d all play tennis together, and on Sundays, Papa would play the piano for the church choir, accompanied by us children on various instruments. 

Dr Jansen has now penned a book From Victim To Victor, on the experience of having a mother with NPD

Dr Jansen has now penned a book From Victim To Victor, on the experience of having a mother with NPD

Dr Jansen has now penned a book From Victim To Victor, on the experience of having a mother with NPD

Whether we were at church or at the tennis club, I could always sense my parents smiling smugly at each other: ‘Look at us,’ they seemed to be saying. ‘Aren’t we just perfect?’ 

That was the thing with them both, everything was for show. 

Every year on my mother’s ­birthday, my father would throw her a huge party at home, and the routine never changed: she’d sweep down late to make an entrance, he’d serenade her on his grand piano. 

Then we’d all watch her unwrap her ludicrously expensive gifts. 

You’d think that we siblings managed to find comfort in each other, but our mother drove a wedge between us. 

While I was close to my brother, my younger sister and I never were, and that was just how Mummy liked it. 

At 18, I finally escaped to go to university, to study communications, and it was then I discovered I could no longer hide from my feelings, and I developed bulimia. 

For three days, I’d gorge on Mars Bars and crisps, which I’d follow up with three days of starvation — it was a routine I kept up for almost 20 years. 

As an adult, I started to see Mummy more clearly. 

On one level, I knew exactly what she was, but on another, I still craved her love, that cool palm against my forehead. 

The self-doubt was excruciating. 

That is the power of the narcissist, they make you question your own reality, to constantly strive for acceptance. 

I guess that’s why it was so easy for me to fall for a man just like my mother. I spent nine years with a narcissist boyfriend. 

Nine years of never being seen, of being mocked and ignored. 

When the relationship finally ended, I was barely speaking to my siblings. My sister and I later discovered that our mother was telling us both lies about the other, keeping us at loggerheads. 

I don’t know how my life would have turned out if I hadn’t met my lovely English husband Iain when I was 37, and later, moved to England to be with him and retrain as a psychologist. 

After being so sure that I didn’t want children, I gave birth to my son James in 1999 and his brother Ollie three years later. 

The love I felt for them was overwhelming although I was glad that they were both boys. 

After my dreadful ­relationship with my mother, I was terrified of having a daughter. 

With Iain’s love and support, I slowly conquered the bulimia and with therapy, I managed to work through the complicated feelings I had about my childhood. 

I also faced my fears about becoming a narcissist myself. I was terrified that I’d subconsciously learned to be in some ways like my mother. 

But although I’ve inherited her temper, I can now see we’re not at all alike. 

My children are the centre of my world and always have been. 

I’m happy when they’re happy and that’s the way it should be. It was important to me that my parents got to know their only grandchildren, and I made regular trips back to Holland. 

Not that there was much of a rapport. Papa was sweet enough with them, I guess, but Mummy soon grew bored with running around after ­little boys. 

Over the years, I grew closer to my sister, Anneke, who revealed how much she hated our mother. 

She died of lung cancer five years ago. She was only 52 and her life hadn’t been a happy one. 

I lost my brother Janjo too, in 2008 when a heart condition he’d had since birth got the better of him. 

Without the anchors to my family, I felt it was time to set myself free. ‘I can’t be part of your lives any more,’ I told my parents over the phone one night. 

They tried to reason with me, my mother’s voice rising with rage, but after a lifetime of doubt, I was ­suddenly sure. 

The last time I saw my parents was at my brother’s funeral in 2008. Papa died last year, and although I didn’t get to say goodbye, I ­definitely felt some grief. 

I even called my mother to check how she was — but that was it. I’ve had no contact with her since. I haven’t been tempted to call her during the pandemic either — I don’t care how she is. If that sounds harsh, I make no apologies, because until you’ve dealt with a narcissist, it’s impossible to describe the relief of finally breaking away.

  • From Victim To Victor by Dr Mariette Jansen is available on Amazon for £12.95 (paperback) and £7.26 (Kindle).

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Cheating vicar is banned from preaching for life after admitting to an ‘inappropriate relationship’

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cheating vicar is banned from preaching for life after admitting to an inappropriate relationship

A cheating vicar has been banned from practising as a priest for life after admitting to a ‘close and inappropriate relationship’ with someone other than his wife. 

The Reverend Martin Baldock also admitted failing to protect a vulnerable adult.

Mr Baldock is now retired but served as Vicar of St Edward the Confessor Church in Dringhouses, York, from 2000 to 2017.

In addition to the church’s ‘penalty of prohibition’ from practising as a priest, Mr Baldock, who was also chaplain at both York College and St Leonard’s Hospice and was Rural Dean of York, has lost the honorary title of Canon of York.

The news of his behaviour will be a ’cause of real shock and distress at St Edward’s, and for others hurt by his actions too,’ said the Bishop of Selby, the Rt Revd Dr John Thomson.

The Reverend Martin Baldock admitted to a 'close and inappropriate relationship' with someone other than his wife, and also to failing to protect a vulnerable adult

The Reverend Martin Baldock admitted to a ‘close and inappropriate relationship’ with someone other than his wife, and also to failing to protect a vulnerable adult

‘This is deeply upsetting news for the Parish of Dringhouses, where Mr Baldock was held in respect and affection for 17 years, and where many members of the church and community trusted him with their deepest and sometimes their most sensitive feelings and experiences.

‘The Church of England expects the very highest standards of conduct from its clergy in both their personal and their professional relationships, and in this case those relationships have gone wrong.

‘The individuals most closely involved in this situation, and the people of Dringhouses Parish and at St Edwards are in my prayers, as they and their Vicar, Richard Carew, come to terms with this news while they work and pray to rebuild the community of love and trust that has always been at the heart of this parish.’

The Diocese of York said Mr Baldock, who now lived in retirement in the Midlands, had been subject to proceedings in 2019 under the Church of England’s Clergy Discipline Measure, and admitted two counts of misconduct while in his post in York.

Mr Baldock is now retired but served as Vicar of St Edward the Confessor Church in Dringhouses, York, from 2000 to 2017

Mr Baldock is now retired but served as Vicar of St Edward the Confessor Church in Dringhouses, York, from 2000 to 2017

The charges are that he was ‘conducting a close and inappropriate relationship with a person not his spouse over a sustained period’ and ‘failing to protect a vulnerable adult through not having due regard to the Church of England’s safeguarding regulations’.

The report read: ‘He accepted the penalty of prohibition from practising as a priest in the Church of England for life, imposed by the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Williams.

‘The Diocese of York is not aware of any other issues concerning Martin Baldock’s years in Dringhouses – but anybody with any safeguarding concerns at this or any other church in the Diocese of York should contact the police, the relevant archdeacon or the Diocesan Safeguarding Team (safeguarding@yorkdiocese.org) as soon as possible.’

It added that he was conferred with the honorary title of Canon of York in 2017 before the concerns had been raised, and the title had now been withdrawn, and the diocese would be making no further comment to protect the identities of those involved.

The Bishop of Selby, the Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, said news of Mr Baldock's behaviour will be a 'cause of real shock and distress at St Edward's, and for others hurt by his actions too'

The Bishop of Selby, the Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, said news of Mr Baldock’s behaviour will be a ’cause of real shock and distress at St Edward’s, and for others hurt by his actions too’

When Mr Baldock retired in 2017, aged 65, the local paper, The Press, reported how he had left his church in great shape, with a refurbished church hall serving as a hub for Dringhouses and the congregation increased from 120 to 150.

Mr Baldock, who has been approached for comment, was brought up in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

The son of a pharmacist, Mr Baldock was a chorister at the Priory Church and went on to study pharmacy at Nottingham Universtiy. 

He met his wife Sue at university and the pair moved to Zambia together where Martin worked as an administrator and pharmacist for three years.

According to his profile on the St Edward the Confessor Church website, it was while on a visit to a church in Zambia that Martin felt was ‘the first place he ever heard of a Jesus who was part of everyday life’.

He returned to Nottingham University to study theology and was ordained in 1985 at Wells Cathedral, starting his career in the church at a Nailsea near Bristol.

He also worked as the vicar of Brampton for 11 years, before becoming the vicar of St Edward’s in 2000, where he was appointed Rural Dean of York, a post he held from 2004 to 2012.

His ministry was successful enough to garner an honorary Canon of York Minster position in 2017, before he retired after 17 years at the parish.

He retired to Newham with his wife Sue.  

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Boris Johnson admits coronavirus outbreak could be doubling every 20 days

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boris johnson admits coronavirus outbreak could be doubling every 20 days

Coronavirus cases in the UK could be taking as long as 20 days to double in number, Boris Johnson admitted today as he rowed back from startling claims made by his top scientist only yesterday.

Sir Patrick Vallance warned the doubling time had dropped to just one week, during a televised address to the nation. And he made the terrifying prediction that the UK could be on course to hit 50,000 cases per day by mid-October, unless the outbreak is brought under control.

But Mr Johnson today appeared to distance himself from the pair, as he stood in front of the House of Commons to unveil a wave of new measures designed to stop the spread of the disease, including making the Army available to help police enforce stringent new coronavirus rules.

The Prime Minister, who warned ‘this is the moment when we must act’, told MPs the figure was – ambiguously – somewhere between one and three weeks. Sir Patrick didn’t confess the range could be up to twenty days yesterday, and at the peak of Britain’s first wave, the doubling time of cases was just three days.

Experts lashed out at the ‘implausible’ claim, insisting there was simply no scientific basis for the extraordinary number of infections Sir Patrick had warned about. The stark prediction saw the chief scientific adviser and his colleague, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty , dubbed Professor Gloom and Dr Doom.

Data based on diagnosed cases now suggest the outbreak is taking two weeks to double, rising from an average of 1,022 infections a day on August 22 to 2,032 on September 7 to 3,929 yesterday. Spain and France, whose outbreaks the UK is feared to be on par with, have yet to get anywhere close to the dreaded 50,000 cases a day mark.

One expert, Professor David Paton, said data had been presented unfairly to the public and demanded: ‘If they’ve got an explanation [for why the data was presented like that], then let’s hear it.’ Other critics accused Number 10 of deliberately trying to ‘scare’ people and Piers Morgan urged No 10 to tell the British public how they arrived at 50,000.

It comes as the UK statistics regulator today revealed it has had to ‘step in’ seven times during the pandemic to alert Government departments to ‘transgressions’ when ministers have quoted data that is not then quickly made available to the public.

The head of the Office for Statistics Regulation described such incidents as ‘disappointing’ and said the principle of ensuring such data is published must be ‘more strongly embedded’. Giving an example, he said he had to contact the Department of Health when a figure for the distance people were travelling to get a Covid-19 test was quoted ‘quite widely in the public domain, but the underlying data weren’t available’. 

Experts threw cold water on the dramatic graph presented by Sir Patrick and Professor Whitty, saying it was 'implausible' that case numbers would outstrip France and Spain by so much

Experts threw cold water on the dramatic graph presented by Sir Patrick and Professor Whitty, saying it was ‘implausible’ that case numbers would outstrip France and Spain by so much

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced a tightening of lockdown rules, including a requirement for pubs and restaurants to shut at 10pm, which he said could last for another six months

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced a tightening of lockdown rules, including a requirement for pubs and restaurants to shut at 10pm, which he said could last for another six months

As he unveiled his raft of new measures today, Mr Johnson said in Parliament: ‘I’m sorry to say that as in Spain, France and many other countries we have reached a perilous turning point. 

‘A month ago, on average, around a thousand people across the UK were testing positive for coronavirus every day. The latest figure has almost quadrupled to 3,929. 

‘Yesterday the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser warned that the doubling rate for new cases could be between seven and 20 days with the possibility of tens of thousands of new infections next month.’

The 3,929 figure the PM referred to is the average number of coronavirus cases diagnosed each day in the week leading up to yesterday, September 21. That has almost doubled from 2,032 on August 22, suggesting a doubling time of two weeks. 

However, testing is still only expected to be diagnosing around half of the true number of Covid-19 cases. The Office for National Statistics estimates that 6,000 people per day are catching the virus in England and Wales, a figure which almost doubled from September 3 to 10. But the estimate was before the ‘Rule of Six’ officially kicked in, meaning the measure could have helped to slow the speed at which the outbreak is growing. 

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The most recent published estimates of the epidemic doubling time – a measure of how fast cases are growing – put it at between seven and 17 days.

The REACT mass testing study, carried out by Imperial College London in conjunction with the Government, predicted on September 11 that it could be as fast as one week (7.7 days) based on test results from between August 22 and September 7.

Using longer term data from tests dating back to July 24, a more conservative estimate was made of a doubling time of 17 days – two-and-a-half weeks. 

Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty, holding a one-off televised briefing together yesterday, warned the public about the worst case scenario.

The chief scientific adviser said: ‘If that [rise in cases] continues unabated and this grows, doubling every seven days, then what you see, of course, let’s say there were 5,000 today, it would be 10,000 next week, 20,000 the week after, 40,000 the week after, and you can see that by mid-October, if that continued, you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October, per day.’

The doomsday prediction was met by outrage in the scientific community, with critics accusing the advisers of ‘scaring people’ and touting ‘implausible’ numbers.

Professor David Paton, an industrial economist at the University of Nottingham, said he was ‘shocked’ at the way the chief scientists presented infections data.

The number of people officially testing positive – now thought to be approximately half the number of true infections – has doubled once a fortnight over the past month

The number of people officially testing positive – now thought to be approximately half the number of true infections – has doubled once a fortnight over the past month

Sir Patrick stressed yesterday that his sobering scenario of 500,000 cases a day was based on a lot of unknowns. And he said it was 'not a prediction'

Sir Patrick stressed yesterday that his sobering scenario of 500,000 cases a day was based on a lot of unknowns. And he said it was ‘not a prediction’

NICOLA STURGEON BANS SCOTS FROM VISITING EACH OTHER IN THEIR OWN HOMES 

Scots will be banned from visiting each other in their own homes from tomorrow, Nicola Sturgeon said today as she reintroduced stringent lockdown rules.

The First Minister said that a ‘high proportion’ of new cases in the country were linked to transmission within private homes where social distancing and ventilation were more difficult than outdoors or public buildings.

She spoke to MSPs at Holyrood minutes after Boris Johnson has unveiled new lockdown measures in England, saying that his steps did not go far enough and her advice was that it ‘will not be sufficient to bring the R number down’ north of the border.

Addressing reports that measures in Scotland could be in place for up to six months, the First Minister said she hoped that would not be the case.

She told MSPs: ‘It is certainly the case, until scientific developments such as a vaccine change the game in the battle against Covid-19, it will have an impact on our lives.

‘That doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I am announcing today will be in place for six months.

‘By acting early and substantially, our hope is that these new measures will be in place for a shorter period than would be the case if we waited longer to act.’

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Reeling against yesterday’s presentation he said in a blog today: ‘Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance are eminent scientists and it is inconceivable that they did not know what they were doing in the briefing. 

‘On one level, they have accomplished their aim: the media is dutifully reporting the frightening ‘50,000 cases by 13th October’ figure and the groundwork has been prepared for the PM’s speech telling us what new restrictions he will be imposing on the country.

‘However, the price of politicising statistics is that you risk undermining public trust in government science.

‘If that is the long term effect of yesterday’s briefing, I wonder if Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick will continue to think it was a price worth paying.’

Professor Paton pointed out that top officials and politicians have warned that the UK is likely following what is happening in France and Spain.

Those nations have recorded a significant rise in daily infections in recent weeks, and hospitalisations and deaths have gone up alongside them.

But they are nowhere near 50,000 per day – with an average 11,105 cases per day in Spain and 10,116 in France.

‘Of course, no-one knows with absolute certainty what will happen to cases in the UK over the next few weeks,’ Professor Paton added.

‘Indicating the likely number of cases if the UK followed Spain or France would not have been an unreasonable approach for Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance to take. 

‘So why didn’t they? The obvious suspicion is that 7,000-10,000 cases per day by mid-October might just not have been scary enough for people to accept imminent new restrictions on their way of life.’

Professor Paul Hunter, a a medical expert at the University of East Anglia, said: ‘What they presented is the very worst possible case, given the state of the epidemic at the moment.

‘I think it is pretty implausible we will be seeing 50,000 cases a day by the middle of October. 

‘It’s important to bear in mind that they were not making a prediction, they were presenting an illustration of what would happen if cases continued to double, which they almost certainly will not.’

Professor Chris Whitty (right, with Sir Patrick Vallance on the left) appealed to the public’s selflessness in adhering to the rules and not just assuming they could 'take their own risks'

Professor Chris Whitty (right, with Sir Patrick Vallance on the left) appealed to the public’s selflessness in adhering to the rules and not just assuming they could ‘take their own risks’

STATS REGULATOR HAS HAD TO STEP IN SEVEN TIMES TO GET DATA PUBLISHED

The UK statistics regulator has had to ‘step in’ multiple times during the pandemic to alert Government departments to ‘transgressions’ when ministers have quoted data that is not then quickly made available to the public.

The head of the Office for Statistics Regulation described such incidents as ‘disappointing’ and said the principle of ensuring such data is published must be ‘more strongly embedded’.

Ed Humpherson, director general for regulation, said there has been a number of occasions on which he has had to intervene by contacting a department to tell them underlying data which is quoted by senior figures should be made available.

He told the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee: ‘We still find occasions where rightly, a minister from any one of the four administrations, a minister will answer a question using information that they have available to them and that’s quite appropriate and right.

‘Sometimes that information isn’t available publicly. And again that’s fine, if they know the answer to the question they should give the answer.

‘But we see that that is not then followed up by their departments making the data available publicly, and you’ll know chair that we’ve stepped in on seven occasions because I always copy you in to the interventions.’

Committee chairman William Wragg thanked him for ‘highlighting various transgressions’.

Mr Humpherson said it is mostly an issue of ‘awareness’ that figures need to be published once quoted, and that they ‘haven’t had very many repeat offenders’.

He told the MPs that it should be ‘a matter of course’ that the department makes the quoted information available, adding: ‘We will continue to intervene, but I’d much rather we didn’t have to.’

Giving an example, he said he had to contact the Department of Health and Social Care in England when a figure for the distance people were travelling to get a Covid-19 test was quoted ‘quite widely in the public domain, but the underlying data weren’t available’.

He also had to contact NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government when data on antibody testing had been quoted but was not available in the public domain.

In Northern Ireland he contacted health officials when the daily dashboard publication was suspended.

He said: ‘I wrote to the head of the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and said, you know, it’s not sufficient just to announce your numbers by Twitter, you need to put them out in a structured, orderly way.’

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The University of Buckingham’s Professor Karol Sikora, who has regularly been critical of the Government’s coronavirus response, said: ‘They’re so negative. The graph for the worst case scenario, for 50,000 cases a day by next month, it’s just scaring people.’

And Steve Brown, a self-employed consultant with 20 years of experience analysing statistical models, told MailOnline: ‘It’s a model. All models are wrong, but some are useful. Whether this one is useful depends on the purpose for which it was intended; if the purpose was to scare everyone, then it seems to have worked quite well, but if the purpose was to make an accurate prediction then less so.’ 

Mr Brown said it was possible advisers were ‘deliberately playing up the worst case’.

‘We know that SAGE is deliberately using personal fear to drive behaviour, that is documented in the minutes and is their policy,’ he said.

‘Although the graph presented by the Government advisors may not have been intended as a prediction, many people will understandably see it as such.’    

Dr Joshua Moon, a global health researcher at the University of Sussex, reiterated that the UK was taking action to avoid this ‘if nothing else was done’ projection.

He told MailOnline: ‘Spain and France actually did things to bring the rate of transmission down. The UK is doing more again to bring transmission down.

‘The trend is based on a standard epidemic curve which is exponential rather than linear so the calculation is based on the current doubling-rate rather than projecting it based on the current rate of case increase.

‘This is a more accurate depiction of how epidemics spread and the exponential growth of epidemics if they are left to their own devices.

‘In a no change scenario 50,000 cases per day is a somewhat realistic estimate. Do I think we will actually get to that? No. But there is a value in knowing the worst-case scenario.’

Piers Morgan, raging about the prediction on Good Morning Britain today, said: ‘If you want the headlines to be 50,000, that’s the figure you use, that’s what they did. 

‘But they haven’t explained, actually, what they’re basing it on given that in every other country nobody is projected to be anywhere near that by the middle of October. 

‘And that’s the problem. That the people who are sceptical about this, and don’t want any action, are saying ‘why have you reached that figure?’ And that’s what Boris Johnson has to answer – is to tell the British public why have we arrived at 50,000?’ 

It comes as the UK statistics regulator today spoke of having to get government departments to publish data they have quoted, saying the principle of ensuring such data is published must be ‘more strongly embedded’. 

Ed Humpherson, director general for regulation, said there has been a number of occasions on which he has had to intervene by contacting a department to tell them underlying data which is quoted by senior figures should be made available.

He told the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee: ‘We still find occasions where rightly, a minister from any one of the four administrations, a minister will answer a question using information that they have available to them and that’s quite appropriate and right.

‘Sometimes that information isn’t available publicly. And again that’s fine, if they know the answer to the question they should give the answer.

‘But we see that that is not then followed up by their departments making the data available publicly, and you’ll know chair that we’ve stepped in on seven occasions because I always copy you in to the interventions.’

Committee chairman William Wragg thanked him for ‘highlighting various transgressions’. Mr Humpherson said it is mostly an issue of ‘awareness’ that figures need to be published once quoted, and that they ‘haven’t had very many repeat offenders’.

He told the MPs that it should be ‘a matter of course’ that the department makes the quoted information available, adding: ‘We will continue to intervene, but I’d much rather we didn’t have to.’

Giving an example, he said he had to contact the Department of Health and Social Care in England when a figure for the distance people were travelling to get a Covid-19 test was quoted ‘quite widely in the public domain, but the underlying data weren’t available’.

He also had to contact NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government when data on antibody testing had been quoted but was not available in the public domain.

In Northern Ireland he contacted health officials when the daily dashboard publication was suspended.

He said: ‘I wrote to the head of the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and said, you know, it’s not sufficient just to announce your numbers by Twitter, you need to put them out in a structured, orderly way.’

Also before the committee was Professor Sir Ian Diamond, national statistician for the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

He said while there is a ‘rocky road’ ahead in the coming months there is ‘much better data’ now on coronavirus ‘so the Government has the information on which to make early decisions’.

Sir Ian said: ‘My view, very strongly, is that we are about to enter a rocky road but we have much better information than we had for the first wave on which to plot a route.’

He said as well as its household infection survey, the ONS also has surveys running in communal establishments such as care homes and prisons and will soon have some for schools and universities. He added that ‘it is not impossible that we will do airports and ports’.

Sir Ian was asked whether the increase in incident rate of coronavirus is nationwide and whether, therefore, measures are needed on a national basis.

He told the committee’s MPs: ‘One of the things that we are definitely seeing is that we, unlike some other European countries, do have a pandemic which is largely nationwide.’

He added: ‘My view is that at the moment we have a national – in England – largely national pandemic but one which is concentrated in urban areas.’

Asked about testing and tracing statistics which are published weekly, Mr Humpherson said they are ‘unquestionably more reliable, and they’ve improved out of all recognition’.

He added: ‘In fact, in some ways I now think that the test and trace information for England is more comprehensive than it is for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.’

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Bosses blast Boris over ‘unclear and inconsistent’ working from home guidance

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bosses blast boris over unclear and inconsistent working from home guidance

Business bosses today savaged Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he endorsed working from home as part of a series of strict coronavirus measures – warning it would be at the expense of the pandemic-ravaged economy.

Mr Johnson set out a raft of new restrictions in the face of rising Covid-19 infections, including the directive to avoid workplaces if possible.

But the new advice came just 21 days after he told his Cabinet ‘People are going back to the office in huge numbers across our country and quite right too’.

And it gave businesses less than 24 hours to work out whether they were coronavirus-secure enough to stay open, as well as wonder whether anyone would still turn up on Wednesday after the Prime Minister’s advice.

The restrictions also signalled a hammer blow to smaller businesses who relied on footfall from office workers to survive.

Mr Johnson’s switch from office to home working came as the economy was starting to show signs of recovery after Britain’s high streets had become ghost towns during lockdown.

The new measures also prompted an avalanche of calls between workers and bosses about whether they would still be in offices. 

Employment law expert Alicia Collinson told MailOnline: ‘I think there will be a lot of conversations like that tonight and tomorrow.’ 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been condemned for mixed messages and advice

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been condemned for mixed messages and advice

The British Chambers of Commerce said before the announcement that ‘Unclear and inconsistent guidance on day-to-day working life will sap business and consumer confidence at a delicate moment for the economy’.

After the PM gave his speech to the commons BCC Director General Adam Marshall added: ‘Businesses understand that further restrictions are necessary to tackle the rising number of Coronavirus cases, but these measures will impact business and consumer confidence at a delicate time for the economy.

‘Businesses, their employees and customers need to see a clear road map for the existing restrictions and those that may be introduced in the future.

‘This must include transparent trigger points, and clarity about the support available to protect jobs and livelihoods.

‘The government should waste no time in setting out a comprehensive support package for firms forced to close or reduce capacity through no fault of their own.’

The measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson come amid mounting fears of mass unemployment when the furlough scheme for workers ends next month.

In London there had been many office blocks completely deserted during the pandemic

In London there had been many office blocks completely deserted during the pandemic

Business hubs, including Canary Wharf pictured, were like ghost towns with no workers

Business hubs, including Canary Wharf pictured, were like ghost towns with no workers

Businesses were also warned by Mr Johnson that they face fines of £10,000 and could be closed if they breach new Covid-19 regulations.

Ray Berg, managing partner of law firm Osborne Clarke, told the Financial Times it had planned to get a quarter of staff back in but was not sure whether it still would continue.

He added: ‘In the City, I felt we were approaching something like critical mass which was enabling restaurants and shops to open.

‘Confidence was returning and revenue has been up quite sharply compared to the spring/summer.

‘This feels like a kick in the teeth in some ways but we will follow what the government advises.’

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, said: “A second national lockdown would be devastating for our economy, so it’s right to prioritise bringing infections under control.

The U-turn came as many officer staff had started returning to work after strict lockdown

The U-turn came as many officer staff had started returning to work after strict lockdown

“But there can be no avoiding the crushing blow new measures bring for thousands of firms, particularly in city centres and for our hospitality sector employing over four million people.

“It is vital that all announcements of restrictions go hand in hand with clarity on the business support that protects jobs.”

Should I stay or should I go? What is the law on working from home?

Office workers and bosses could be locked in talks about working from home – amid fears some staff could refuse to go in or stay home.

Alicia Collinson, solicitor at Leeds employment specialists Thrive Law, said the rules were different from the last strict lockdown. 

She told MailOnline: ‘What we saw last time was specifically the Government work at home when you can.

‘We advise employees to speak to employers. If it’s possible the employee disagrees but actually their boss says they can still come in, to not do so would be failure to follow reasonable management instructions.

‘It won’t be like last time when people weren’t able to leave their homes. The economy needs to keep going and with furlough stopping it’s about people keeping their jobs.

‘If someone said they weren’t going in because Boris Johnson said it was better to work from home, the employer would have to explain why this wasn’t possible. It is not actually law for us to be at home.

‘I think there will be a lot of conversations like this tonight and tomorrow. The use of the word ‘possible’ means that the employer decides if it is possible.’ 

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Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said small firms and the self-employed will be “dismayed” at another six months of restrictions.

He said: “Many businesses – particularly those at the heart of our night-time economy and events industries – are now seriously fearing for their futures.

“Having lost the summer, a lot of them would’ve been pinning their hopes to increased trade in the run-up to Christmas. Their plans are now in disarray.”

He added: “Some of those who’ve taken on emergency finance will be finding that the initial injection of funds will not be enough to keep them afloat for another two quarters.”

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said the new rules could be a “fatal blow” to many pubs, cafes and their suppliers and made a plea for targeted support for the sector once furlough ends.

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said the country was at a critical point in the fight against coronavirus.

He added: ‘Some hospitality businesses will undoubtedly be disappointed and the guidance on homeworking is a major change just when employees were returning to the office.

‘We must not hide away from the fact that a return to homeworking will not be easy for some employers and employees. 

‘Some roles are suited to homeworking while others are not. There is productivity to consider, and it may be problematic from a HR management perspective as well as for those people who do not have ideal homeworking conditions.

‘Many businesses have already carried out a huge amount of work to make their offices Covid-safe and now face implementing fresh working practices.

‘There will be an economic impact from the new measures but the Government is in a high-stakes balancing act and a full national lockdown is the very last thing anyone wants.’

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