UK News UK facing winter of discontent over Covid-19 and no-deal Brexit, warns SNP
North East lockdown: 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and ban on household mixing
New local restrictions are being introduced in northeast England - including a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and a ban on people mixing with others outside their household. Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the measures in a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday morning after the government's talks with North East councils and local MPs.They will come into force from Friday in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.
Boris Johnson risks leading Britain into a “winter of discontent” given impending Covid-19 and Brexit turmoil, the SNP’s Westminster leader has claimed.
Ian Blackford said the country faces other “major threats” beyond the prediction of a surge in Covid-19 cases, as he pressed the Westminster Government to extend the furlough scheme.
'Circuit break': PM considering national restrictions on social lives to curb infections
Boris Johnson is considering the introduction of new national restrictions - possibly as soon as next week - as the prime minister races to try and get a handle on the spread of coronavirus. With COVID-19 cases now doubling every seven to eight days, the government is looking at introducing nationwide restrictions for a short period to try to "short-circuit" the virus and slow the spread of the disease.Government figures stressed the plans being drawn up stopped short of a full national lockdown, as seen in the spring, when the country was told to "stay at home".
Prime Minister Mr Johnson defended the Government’s support packages, later telling MPs that further measures will be brought forward.
But he also argued it would not be sensible to extend the existing furlough scheme in its present form beyond October.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Blackford said: “There’s another set of numbers and all of this is of the Tory Government’s own making.
“One million jobs at risk if furlough ends early, a £30 billion-a-year bill to the taxpayer from a no-deal Brexit, and today we learn 7,000 trucks queuing for days at Dover.
“If those numbers become a reality, the Prime Minister is leading us into another winter of discontent.
“Our First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon) has shown leadership on all fronts during this pandemic. However, the responsibility and power for extending the furlough scheme lie with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.
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“The Prime Minister must announce an immediate extension, no half measures, no half-baked projects, to this vital and life-saving scheme. Will the Prime Minister show the leadership required and save the jobs?”
Mr Johnson responded: “I notice that both (Mr Blackford) and (Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer) now support an indefinite extension of the furlough scheme… that’s what he said.
“What we will do, as I’ve said throughout, is continue to put our arms around the people of this country going through a very tough time and come up with the appropriate, creative and imaginative schemes to keep them in work and keep the economy moving.”
Mr Blackford said that the last thing Scots at risk of losing their jobs due to the furlough scheme ending want is a hug from Mr Johnson.
Boris warns critics of 'many more deaths' as he brings in new lockdown
The Prime Minister said he was 'deeply, spiritually reluctant' to make the changes but they were necessary in order to avoid a dramatic surge in deaths and a new total lockdown.In a televised address to the nation the Prime Minister, flanked by a Union Jack, said he was 'deeply, spiritually reluctant' to make new 'impositions, or infringe anyone's freedom' after unveiling new measures in Parliament today.
He said: “Yesterday, the only reassurance the Prime Minister gave those Scottish workers (was) saying that he would throw his arms around them. Prime Minister, I can tell you the last thing those 61,000 Scots are looking for is a hug from you.
“They need the security of knowing that they can hold on to their jobs and incomes, for themselves and their families.”
Mr Johnson responded: “I can imagine that (Mr Blackford) doesn’t want a hug from me, but that was a metaphor and what we’re… perhaps it’s physically incarnated by the £12.7 billion of Barnett consequentials that we’re seeing come from the UK Exchequer to support people across the whole of our country.”
The SNP’s Neil Gray (Airdrie and Shotts) pressed the Prime Minister to extend the furlough scheme and help people on legacy benefits.
Mr Johnson told the Commons: “Of course the Government is going to come forward with further measures.
“I don’t think it’d be sensible simply to extend the current existing furlough scheme in its present form beyond the end of October, but we will do everything we can to support businesses, support those in jobs and indeed the self-employed.”
Game of Thrones showrunners on why they didn't include major book character, Lady Stoneheart
George R.R. Martin still believes Lady Stoneheart should have made the final cutDavid Benioff and D.B. Weiss have previously discussed the decision, but never in quite this much detail. For a new behind-the-scenes book, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, the showrunners revealed why they decided not to include Lady Stoneheart, and it has a lot to do with Martin's still-secret plans for the character.
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Nicola Sturgeon urges MP Margaret Ferrier to quit over ‘dangerous’ rule-breaking .
The MP travelled between Glasgow and Westminster while infected with Covid-19.The Scottish First Minister said she has spoken to the MP, who had the SNP whip withdrawn after the incident emerged, and “made clear my view that she should step down”.