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Sir Paul McCartney says Las Vegas is the rockers’ graveyard ‘where you go to die’

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sir paul mccartney says las vegas is the rockers graveyard where you go to die

Sir Paul McCartney has slammed Las Vegas as the rockers’ graveyard ‘where you go to die’ as he admits ‘nothing attracts’ him about the idea of playing there.

Sir Elton John and Sir Rod Stewart have earned tens of millions of dollars playing at the Nevada city, but The Beatle has no intention of performing in Las Vegas.

Sir Paul, who celebrated his 78th birthday during lockdown, revealed to British GQ that he has ‘not really’ thought about performing solo residencies.

Sir Paul McCartney admitted that he has tried to avoid doing a residency in Las Vegas, as he said the Nevada city is the rockers' graveyard 'where you go to die'

Sir Paul McCartney admitted that he has tried to avoid doing a residency in Las Vegas, as he said the Nevada city is the rockers’ graveyard ‘where you go to die’

Sir Paul said: ‘That’s been something I’ve been trying to avoid my whole life. 

‘Definitely nothing attracts me about the idea. 

‘Vegas is where you go to die, isn’t it? It’s the elephants’ graveyard.’

Musicians who take residencies at a single venue, and are contracted to perform regular shows there, take a substantial cut of the earnings.

Sir Elton racked up a staggering $297million at the box office in Las Vegas during his two residencies, the Times reported.

He sold tickets worth $166 million from 2004 until 2009 and a further $131 million during his Million Dollar Piano show from 2011 until 2018.

Sir Elton said the groundbreaking nature of his first show, The Red Piano, ‘changed the image of Las Vegas a little’ after he initially was not sure if he wanted to do the residency.

His earnings were beaten by Celine Dion, who retired from her two residencies last year after making $681million from 2013 until 2019.

Performers are normally limited to 90 minute performances by the casinos, who make money back on the gaming floors. 

Sir Elton John earned $297million at the box office in Las Vegas during his two residencies. Pictured, Elton John performs his Red Piano show in Las Vegas in 2009

Sir Elton John earned $297million at the box office in Las Vegas during his two residencies. Pictured, Elton John performs his Red Piano show in Las Vegas in 2009

Musicians who take residencies at a single venue, and are contracted to perform regular shows , take a cut of the earnings. Pictured, Rod Stewart performs in Las Vegas in 2012

Sir Elton said the groundbreaking nature of his first show, The Red Piano (pictured), 'changed the image of Las Vegas a little'

Musicians who take residencies at a single venue, and are contracted to perform regular shows there, take a substantial cut of the earnings. Pictured, Rod Stewart (left) and Elton John perform in Las Vegas

Broadcaster and author Paul Gambaccini said Sir Elton used to have a similar opinion to Sir Paul about Las Vegas, but has changed his mind in the last ten years.

He told The Times: ‘In 1973 I did an interview with Elton for Rolling Stone. In it he gave a similar thought to Paul. But of course in the last ten years he has had the record-breaking seasons in Las Vegas.’

Sir Rod Stewart made $57.4million from 2011 until 2018, with his Rod Stewart: The Hits in Vegas shows attracting more than 500,000 people in seven years. 

Some of the world’s biggest stars, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Cher, have played residencies at Las Vegas.

Gambaccini said: ‘What Paul is saying represents the mindset of his generation, because every person in the 1960s thought that Vegas was for unhip people who are not making hits any more.

He added that Las Vegas’s reputation massively changed from being somewhere rock stars go when they are ‘washed up’ when the Caesar’s Palace casino built a theatre for Celine Dion.

John Meglen, Dion’s promoter, recalled: ‘Everybody thought we were crazy [because it] was kind of a place you went on the downside of your career.’ 

Sir Paul also told GQ that he is reluctant to do a residency on Broadway, like Bruce Springsteen did, as he does not want to just ‘follow a trend’. 

Sir Rod Stewart made $57.4million from 2011 until 2018, with his Rod Stewart: The Hits in Vegas shows attracting more than 500,000 people. Pictured, Carlos Santana joins Rod Stewart in Las Vegas in 2014

Sir Rod Stewart made $57.4million from 2011 until 2018, with his Rod Stewart: The Hits in Vegas shows attracting more than 500,000 people. Pictured, Carlos Santana joins Rod Stewart in Las Vegas in 2014

He said: ‘The idea is OK, but I think I’d just prefer to play with the band to a bigger audience, or even smaller – I don’t mind little clubs. 

‘I do a solo segment in the middle of my shows at the moment and to do a whole show like that, I’m not sure I fancy it.’

This comes as Sir Paul McCartney also revealed he found it ‘pretty hurtful’ when he was blamed for breaking up The Beatles when the group parted ways in 1970.

Reflecting on the misconceptions he faced during his time with the band, the singer, 78, spoke candidly with British GQ on Tuesday about how he felt at the time.

Saying people believed the band – which also consisted of John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – ‘hated each other’ after their split, Sir Paul clarified that the group simply had ‘disputes’ like any other family would.

Of common misconceptions, he said: ‘I suppose that when The Beatles broke up, perhaps there was a misconception that we all sort of hated each other. 

‘What I realise now is that, because it was a family, because it was a gang, families argue. And families have disputes. And some people want to do this and some people want to do that. 

Looking back: Sir Paul added that he didn't like when former band mate John Lennon wrote a song that criticised him when he sued Allen Klein for the band's music rights (pictured in 1963)

Looking back: Sir Paul added that he didn’t like when former band mate John Lennon wrote a song that criticised him when he sued Allen Klein for the band’s music rights (pictured in 1963)

‘So I think what came about after that … the only way for me to save The Beatles and Apple – and to release Get Back by Peter Jackson and which allowed us to release Anthology and all these great remasters of all the great Beatles records – was to sue the band. 

‘If I hadn’t done that, it would have all belonged to Allen Klein. The only way I was given to get us out of that was to do what I did. 

‘I said “Well, I’ll sue Allen Klein,” and I wasn’t told I couldn’t because he wasn’t party to it. “You’ve got to sue the Beatles.”‘

Sir Paul’s decision led to tensions between the former members, with John even writing his song How Do You Sleep? which overtly referenced his former band mate, creating even more ‘hurtful’ misconceptions.

‘I remember reading an article, an interview with Yoko, who, OK, she was a big John supporter, I get that, but in this article she goes, “Paul did nothing. All he ever did was book studio,” Sir Paul continued.

‘And I’m going, “Err? No…” And then John does this famous song, How Do You Sleep?, and he’s going, “All you ever did was ‘Yesterday”… And I’m going, “No, man.”

Struggle: Of John's song, Paul said: 'You see the atmosphere of "Let’s get Paul. Let’s nail him in a song..." And those things were pretty hurtful' (pictured in 1967)

Struggle: Of John’s song, Paul said: ‘You see the atmosphere of “Let’s get Paul. Let’s nail him in a song…” And those things were pretty hurtful’ (pictured in 1967)

‘But then you hear the stories from various angles and apparently people who were in the room when John was writing that, he was getting suggestions for the lyrics off Allen Klein. 

‘So, you see the atmosphere of “Let’s get Paul. Let’s nail him in a song…” And those things were pretty hurtful.’

During their time together, The Beatles became one of the most influential bands of all time with their releases making them the best-selling music act of all time. 

Out soon: Read the full feature in the September issue of British GQ

Out soon: Read the full feature in the September issue of British GQ

Sir Paul went on to look at more contemporary musicians, as he discussed his mental health and admitted he was determined not to struggle with ‘self-loathing’.

He said: ‘I remember talking to Lady Gaga about something we were doing together … and she was saying “Well, there’s the self-loathing.” And I think, “Sh*t, that’s the first time I’d ever heard anyone talk about that.”

And her, she was, like, at the top of her game, massively popular and everything she was doing was a hit, but she was just talking about self loathing. 

And I’m saying, “I kind of know what you mean, but I’m not allowing that. I’m not having that. It’s not a road I want to go down.” But you do get it. 

Any time you write a song, you’re going, “This is crap. This is terrible. Come on.” So I kick myself and say, “Get it better. If it’s terrible, get it better.” 

And sometimes someone will come along, someone who you respect, and say, “No, that’s great. Don’t worry about that,” and then show you a side to it that you didn’t notice and then you’ll go, “Oh yeah.”‘  

Read the full feature in the September issue of British GQ available via digital download and on newsstands Friday 7th August.

Icons: During their time together, The Beatles became one of the most influential bands of all time with their releases making them the best-selling music act of all time (pictured in 1964)

Icons: During their time together, The Beatles became one of the most influential bands of all time with their releases making them the best-selling music act of all time (pictured in 1964)

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A second national lockdown would put a million jobs at risk, warn hospitality chiefs

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a second national lockdown would put a million jobs at risk warn hospitality chiefs

The bosses of some of Britain’s best-known restaurants and bars last night warned a second national lockdown would devastate the industry and lead to a million more job losses.

They said a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in October would cripple hospitality firms, which are ‘only just recovering from life support’.

Will Beckett, chief executive of Hawksmoor, said further lockdowns ‘will be financially disastrous for most, and terminal for many,’ adding: ‘It will mean huge losses for the weeks we are closed, and reopens all the difficulties over rents with landlords.’

The bosses of some of Britain’s best-known restaurants and bars last night warned a second national lockdown would devastate the industry and lead to a million more job losses. A waitress is pictured above in a pub in Chessington, Greater London

The bosses of some of Britain’s best-known restaurants and bars last night warned a second national lockdown would devastate the industry and lead to a million more job losses. A waitress is pictured above in a pub in Chessington, Greater London

Restaurateur Des Gunewardena, chief executive of the D&D London group that owns Le Pont de la Tour, 20 Stories and Bluebird, said: ‘If Ministers tell people to eat out to save the economy in August, then stay at home in September, it looks as though they are panicking and don’t know what they are doing.’

Around 900,000 hospitality employees are still on furlough.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: ‘Without any additional Government support in a second lockdown, that’s the potential number of jobs that are at risk.

‘Even the businesses that have done well are only just breaking even.’

Martin Wolstencroft, the chief executive of bar chain Arc Inspirations, said a two-week lockdown would cost him £1.5 million in lost sales from his 17 bars in the North and force him to make further job cuts.

He said: ‘We shouldn’t be penalised for the shortcomings of others who are tarnishing the industry’s reputation and making the Government take away people’s civil liberties.’

Entrepreneur Jonathan Downey, who is closing his Soho bar Milk & Honey this month, said: ‘This will just be another million jobs gone. It’s like shooting the wounded.’

Bosses said a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in October would cripple hospitality firms, which are ‘only just recovering from life support’. A track and trace QR code is pictured above in London

Bosses said a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in October would cripple hospitality firms, which are ‘only just recovering from life support’. A track and trace QR code is pictured above in London

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Sasha Swire isn’t afraid to hurt people’s feelings writes CRAIG BROWN

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sasha swire isnt afraid to hurt peoples feelings writes craig brown

After two decades of being expected to grin and bear it, Sasha Swire has had her revenge. Diary Of An MP’s Wife contains a litany of abuse. Theresa May is ‘humourless’, Tony Blair is ‘a slimeball’, Julian Fellowes is ‘faintly ridiculous’, Jeremy Hunt is ‘oily’, Anna Soubry is ‘irritating’, Nadine Dorries is ‘mad’ and William Hague is ‘only ever interested in himself’.

And so it goes on – Dominic Cummings ‘looks like one of those odd amoebas you find in jars in school science labs’, Boris Johnson is ‘driven by jealousy’, Prince Charles‘s fingers are ‘like sausages’, and Prince Andrew‘s chairmanship of a group of businessmen is ‘excruciatingly painful to watch’. At various times, John Bercow is called ‘the dreaded’, ‘the little weasel’, ‘the little creep’, ‘the revolting’ and ‘that little goblin’.

Even Her Majesty the Queen gets it in the neck, for her failure to acknowledge the importance of Sasha Swire: ‘She fixes her beady eyes on me briefly, then swans past, not saying a word. She is telling me I am just a plus-one, not a player or heroine.’

In her introduction, Swire claims that ‘at no time did I write with the intention of publication’, though two sentences later she contradicts herself. ‘I can’t say the thought didn’t exist at the back of my mind’, she writes, ‘but I always pushed it away because I thought my family, my husband’s colleagues and my friends would see it as an act of betrayal.’

After two decades of being expected to grin and bear it, Sasha Swire, pictured, has had her revenge

After two decades of being expected to grin and bear it, Sasha Swire, pictured, has had her revenge

Which is, of course, what it is. When Swire’s good friend Samantha Cameron confided in her that she had drunk a large Negroni at breakfast before her husband’s resignation speech, was she expecting her to publish it?

‘Dave apparently recoiled from her gin-sodden breath,’ adds Sasha, for good measure.

Another friend, Amber Rudd, mentioned over lunch that working for Theresa May was ‘like having a dragon breathing down her neck… you can’t talk to her like a normal person; she is just very cold.’ In it went.

Her friend Kate Fall told her that ‘she bumped into Sarah Vine at some party, who said what an utter nightmare it was living with her husband’.

Scribble, scribble, scribble! Diaries are constructed from the ruins of broken confidences. Despite Swire having had ahem, ahem, no thought of publication, last year, ‘out of curiosity and somewhat foolishly’ she passed a few extracts to a top agent (by sheer luck, the same top agent who handled the diaries of Chris Mullin and Kenneth Williams and the memoirs of Ann Widdecombe).

‘And before I knew it, I was swept up in a publishing tornado.’

For tornado, read cheque. Needless to say, she justifies publication for feminist reasons. ‘I think it is very rare indeed to read a female perspective on what is still a very male-dominated and secret world.’

Oh, yes? Harriet Harman, Edwina Currie, Mo Mowlam, Barbara Castle, Shirley Williams, Margaret Hodge, Cherie Blair, Kate Fall, Christine Hamilton and Margaret Thatcher are just a few to have offered us the female perspective in memoirs or diaries.

In Swire's diaries, she says Dominic Cummings, pictured, 'looks like one of those odd amoebas you find in jars in school science labs'

In Swire’s diaries, she says Dominic Cummings, pictured, ‘looks like one of those odd amoebas you find in jars in school science labs’

‘I regret if I have offended anyone… I imagine some entries might offend without meaning to do so. If so, I apologise.’ She is being disingenuous.

In her entry for February 28, 2017, she observes that David Cameron is hard at work on an autobiography. Never backward in coming forward, she offers a warning. ‘Of course, unless he is prepared to settle scores and wash his dirty linen in public it won’t exactly fly off the shelves, and I doubt he will do that as he is too much of a gent.’

I wonder if Swire will extend her apologies to her own daughters?

She might not be on a par with Edwina Currie, who called one of her daughters ‘hard as nails’ in her diaries, and the other ‘so shallow and trivial’, and even outed one of them for having illegal underage sex.

Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that young Siena Swire will be thrilled at her mother telling the world about her crying fits, or her ‘unhealthy obsession’ with Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, who, in one passage, she stalks ‘up and down the King’s Road, such is her great love for him’.

On the other hand, while discretion may be the better part of valour, it is the worst part of a diary.

‘What is more dull than a discreet diary?’ asked the great political diarist Chips Channon.

The former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett once published a diary of 850 pages, having first excised anything personal: it was one of the dullest books I have ever read.

Samantha and David Cameron, pictured, are heavily referenced in the controversial book

Samantha and David Cameron, pictured, are heavily referenced in the controversial book

The self-portrait that emerges from Swire’s diaries is of a social blunderbuss, one of those irritating people who delight in saying the wrong thing. Of her relationship with David Cameron, she reflects, ‘He likes me because I am not remotely nervous around him; I’m cheeky, lewd and sometimes a little bit too challenging.’

And how! Over a grand dinner at Chequers, she shouts across at Cameron that his plans for Syria are all wrong. When Francis Maude complains to her that Theresa May is ‘so boring and grey’, she replies, ‘Pot calling kettle black, Francis. You were the most boring politician of the century.’

At a formal dinner at No 10, she tells Boris Johnson, ‘You can’t serve this food, it’s disgusting.’

She has a perverse fondness for setting people at their unease. In 2010, she sits next to the Countess of Wessex at an official dinner.

‘So, bet he didn’t tell you he was Royal when he married you.’

She looks at me, puzzled. ‘I knew he was a Royal, of course I did. What do you mean by that?’

‘It was a joke!’

‘Oh.’

Later, she concludes that Sophie Wessex is ‘definitely sad’. But the poor woman would probably have been all smiles if she had been placed next to someone else.

On the other hand, the best diarists have always been blabbermouths, eager and willing to hurt people’s feelings.

At various times, John Bercow, pictured, is called 'the dreaded', 'the little weasel', 'the little creep', 'the revolting' and 'that little goblin'

At various times, John Bercow, pictured, is called ‘the dreaded’, ‘the little weasel’, ‘the little creep’, ‘the revolting’ and ‘that little goblin’

Swire has clearly been influenced by the brilliantly witty diaries of the Thatcherite Minister Alan Clark. They even share some of the same targets, among them Michael Heseltine, William Hague and the Queen. But Swire’s waspishness lacks Clark’s iconoclastic precision: he once complained of Her Majesty’s ‘frumpish and ill-natured features’.

Inevitably, given that her role was subordinate to someone who was himself subordinate, many of Swire’s anecdotes are second-, or even third-hand. As the diaries roll on, it becomes increasingly obvious that she was often not in the same room, or even in the same country, when the events she describes occurred. Instead, she just scribbled down the anecdotes her husband Hugo told her on his return from this or that get-together.

Did he know that she was writing it all down? Judging by the book’s dedication ‘To Hugo – Sorry!’ it seems not.

Despite what you may have read in the papers, many of the diary entries are on the dull side: holidays in Wales, patronising remarks (‘I always find Amber so politically naive’) and hand-me-down political overviews (‘the fragmentation of British politics continues apace…’). She also offers her own predictions, most of which have been rendered defunct by time. Before the 2017 Election, she predicts that Theresa May ‘will walk it’ and that ‘Boris is clearly not a leader-in-waiting’.

The book is more successful as a revealing portrait of a posh public school coterie who, in a weird throwback to the 1950s, found themselves with the keys to No 10.

‘We are like kids in a sweet shop,’ she writes of those early days.

In an additional twist, she has such an innate sense of entitlement that she remains largely unaware of the full comic absurdity of her narrative. Her diary starts when Cameron becomes Prime Minister in 2010. Sasha and Hugo – who she describes, optimistically, as ‘renowned in political circles for his charm and humour’ – are out shopping for antiques when the call comes through from Dave, who offers him a job as Northern Ireland Minister. For the rest of the day, Hugo keeps asking her to repeat the words, ‘Yes, Minister’ because ‘he likes the tone’.

In Northern Ireland, the Troubles have only just begun. To her horror, Swire finds that two sets of curtains in their swanky new apartment at Hillsborough Castle have been whisked away by the wife of the Secretary of State. ‘I don’t care who she is, it’s bloody bad manners!’ says Swire. ‘I’m going straight to the top on this one!’ Without further ado, she puts a call through to No 10.

Even Her Majesty the Queen, pictured, gets it in the neck, for her failure to acknowledge the importance of Sasha Swire

Even Her Majesty the Queen, pictured, gets it in the neck, for her failure to acknowledge the importance of Sasha Swire

Later, when Hugo is moved to the Foreign Office, he is approached by a fellow Minister. ‘You couldn’t give me South America, could you, old chap? You know my wife is from Venezuela.’ The energetic scratching of backs continues throughout his career, and beyond.

After Hugo’s ministerial days are over, ‘Alan Duncan said en passant that he was putting his name forward to be Prime Minister’s trade envoy to the Pacific Alliance’. Nothing comes of it, but not to worry. ‘Hugo has quite an extensive list of directorships and chairmanships at the moment,’ notes Swire.

The right to preferment permeates the book: Swire regularly complains that her father, the former Defence Secretary Sir John Nott, has never been elevated to the House of Lords, and that, as an Old Etonian, her husband has been excluded from the Cabinet due to an absurd bias towards women and members of ethnic minorities.

But it all remains very chummy. Looking around the Camerons’ party in 2011, she concludes that ‘The closeness of this circle is unprecedented. They are all here, the ones that eat, drink, party together, they are all intimately interlocked… We all holiday together, stay in each other’s grace-and-favour homes, our children play together, we text each other, bypassing the civil servants.’

For no clear reason, five years later Cameron rewards Hugo with a knighthood in his Resignation Honours. There is bit of a hullabaloo in the press. ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about’ complains Swire. ‘Why can’t Dave pack out the list with his cronies if he wants to?’

Despite Hugo’s apparently renowned charm and humour, he comes across as more of an amiable klutz – the Mr Bean of the Foreign Office.

In South Korea he presses the wrong buttons in the loo, and emerges showered with water. Opening a school sports centre in Shanghai, he throws himself to the ground when the fireworks go off, thinking he’s under attack.

Back home, he mixes up his breath freshener and his lens-cleaning liquid, and complains that his glasses are permanently fogged up and his mouth tastes funny. Swire dutifully logs all these pratfalls. Could these diaries be an unconscious act of revenge?

It emerges that Sir Hugo’s chief claim to fame is that, in his youth, he enjoyed a brief fling with someone very glamorous. This is certainly what interests Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

‘Hugo!’ he shouts across the table at a No 10 dinner for departing MPs, ‘Did you s*** Jerry Hall?’

If he did, then he is linked not only to Mick Jagger but to Rupert Murdoch, and perhaps, via Wendy Deng, to Tony Blair. Well, knighthoods have been handed out for less.

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Boris Johnson backs MoS campaign to end lone births scandal

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boris johnson backs mos campaign to end lone births scandal

Boris Johnson has backed The Mail on Sunday’s campaign to end lone births, saying ‘no woman should have to go through labour alone’.

Nearly half of hospital Trusts continue to ban partners from attending either labour or scans, or both, because of draconian Covid-19 rules.

This newspaper is campaigning to end the scandal, which has left women to give birth or receive devastating news of miscarriages without support.

The Prime Minister said it is of ‘upmost importance’ that every hospital allows partners to be present in what are ‘incredibly special moments in people’s lives’.

The Government has published guidelines on how hospitals can safely do this, but many Trusts are refusing to implement it. Mr Johnson told The Mail on Sunday: ‘No woman should have to go through labour alone without the support of partners or loved ones.’

Boris Johnson has backed The Mail on Sunday's campaign to end lone births, saying 'no woman should have to go through labour alone'

Boris Johnson has backed The Mail on Sunday’s campaign to end lone births, saying ‘no woman should have to go through labour alone’

‘The guidance has changed to ensure pregnant women can have someone with them for vital appointments and throughout the birth of their child.’

He said Ministers have been working with NHS England to ensure every hospital follows the guidance. Since The Mail on Sunday launched the campaign last weekend, several Trusts have performed U-turns.

In one victory, Ruth Watson, whose husband had been banned from attending her 36-week scan tomorrow, was told he could be there after this newspaper reported her concerns.

Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS chief executive, said: ‘Wherever possible mums should be able to be accompanied by their partners for scans, antenatal visits and of course for childbirth. The Mail on Sunday is quite right to highlight the importance of getting this right.’

The Prime Minister said it is of 'upmost importance' that every hospital allows partners to be present in what are 'incredibly special moments in people's lives'. (File image)

The Prime Minister said it is of ‘upmost importance’ that every hospital allows partners to be present in what are ‘incredibly special moments in people’s lives’. (File image)

The chief midwife will be putting more pressure on hospitals that continue to ban partners from attending.

But former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says more action is needed to ensure all NHS trusts change their policies.

Writing in today’s Mail on Sunday, he says: ‘I don’t think a voluntary framework will end the arbitrary way these rules are being applied by some hospitals. A postcode lottery is unacceptable.’

A petition to allow partners at all stages of labour into all hospitals has attracted more than 418,000 signatures. Joeli Brearley of campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed said: ‘Pregnant women must be a priority considering the impact stress has on a growing foetus.’

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