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- Where are the plans to help the children of the 'squeezed middle'?
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The Government is planning to expand classroom "bubbles" to open schools up to all children in time for the autumn term, the Education Secretary has revealed.
Taking the daily Downing Street briefing, Gavin Williamson said signs the virus was receding, saying that meant ministers could look at "making sure every child returns to school".
He added: "We've been creating bubbles of children in the classroom, creating a protective environment for those children.
"Currently that is at 15, what we would be looking at doing is expanding those bubbles to include the whole class."
538prom精品视频在线播放Mr Williamson also committed to the guarantee given by Boris Johnson earlier today that every child would return in September, saying he was aiming to get "every child back, in every year group, in every school".
538prom精品视频在线播放Speaking during a schools visit this afternoon, the Prime Minister said people should “watch this space” when it comes to relaxing social distancing rules for schools.
538prom精品视频在线播放“My message to parents is: schools are safe to come back to," he said. “Now is the time to come back, get your kids back into school.
538prom精品视频在线播放“On the social distancing measures - watch this space. We will be putting in further changes as the science allows.”
He said it was “absolutely” the Government’s commitment to get every pupil back in school in September “and I am sure we can get it done”.
Asked if he wanted every pupil to be able to go back five days a week, Mr Johnson said: "I do. I'm making no bones about it, I think that's the way forward for our country."
Read the latest updates below.
And that's it for another week
It's been a busy day, with a lot of focus on schools thanks to the Government's renewed efforts encompassed by the £1bn catch up fund announced this morning.
538prom精品视频在线播放Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Gavin Williamson have both made strong commitments to getting all children back in school by September, with suggestions the social distancing measures could be relaxed - which may come as a relief to teachers trying to work around the logistical challenges the 15-children maximum has presented until now.
However, nervous parents and staff might be less enthusiastic.
One big moment today that Number 10 will be hoping persuades people things are getting safer is the dropping of the Covid Alert Level from four to three. This is a judgement carried out independently of ministers by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, and agreed by the UK's four CMOs. However exactly what it signifies is still a little vague, given the country's R-rate is flat and the growth rate appears to be shrinking very slowly.
We also heard from Transport Select Committee chair Huw Merriman, who told this blog that the case for HS2 has been made weaker by coronavirus - and that the UK's transport systems, particularly the aviation sector, are under threat without support.
I'll be back again at the usual time on Monday, and leave you with Chopper's Podcast, featuring interviews with Greg Clark, Kate Nicholls and Tobias Ellwood.
What is the future of the humble pint? Listen below.
Summer school down to individual teachers, Gavin Williamson says
Asked if teachers should draw up catch up plans before the summer, Gavin Williamson says "all schools, even if pupils are not attending, should get in touch with those children to encourage and invite them in".
This will "give them the support to be able to catch up" before returning in September.
538prom精品视频在线播放Asked if teachers should work this summer, he points to the £1bn Covid catch up, and says one scheme will be to have children come back during the summer "but we recognise it's really important for the schools to tailor their plan" to the children they have.
Gavin Williamson urges people to holiday in Britain this year
Asked if there will be a plan for schools in the event of a second wave this winter, Gavin Williamson says "we always have to make sure there is proper, careful consideration for every eventuality".
Asked about the chances of people having a summer holiday this year, he urges people to visit "places right across England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland", noting that having grown up in Scarborough there are many lovely places across the UK.
He adds that Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, is working on the air bridges concept and will report back soon.
Williamson: Children should learn 'the good and the bad' of British history
Asked if children should be taught more about Britain's colonial past, Gavin Williamson says the curriculum covers the British Empire "and the incredibly rich history this nation has".
538prom精品视频在线播放He says it is "incredibly important" that children learn "all aspects of it - both the good and the bad".
We should be "incredibly proud" of our history, because "time and time and time again" we have changed things for the good.
Tolerance and respect are "at the cornerstone of everything this country does, and teaches in all of our schools, colleges and universities", he adds.
Gavin Williamson 'absolutely signed up' to PM's September guarantee
Asked once again about the PM's guarantee of full time education from September, Gavin Williamson says he is "very sorry" the Sky journalist is confused.
He says he is "absolutely signed up to the fact we want to bring back every child in every year group in every school".
They will consult with the sector before issuing guidance, he explains.
538prom精品视频在线播放Asked about the lack of interactive online learning for pupils at state schools, Mr Williamson says he has seen "some amazing efforts and some amazing work".
Just over the last few weeks, more than 12m lessons have been downloaded, he says, pointing to the Government's laptop scheme to ensure children from deprived backgrounds are online. Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom has been made available to every school so they can match what private schools are doing, he adds.
"The Covid catch up plan will help children, not just over the summer... but over the next year," he adds.
538prom精品视频在线播放"Every school around the country has delivered amazing support for children, sometimes through Microsoft Teams and Google... sometimes through teachers contacting those children."
538prom精品视频在线播放"This is a bigger effort we are making," he adds.
England ahead of Northern Ireland on schools, Gavin Williamson claims
A538prom精品视频在线播放sked about social distancing again, and the need for teachers to hear as soon as possible, Gavin Williamson says the Government has been "very clear" that ministers want to see all children in all classes from September.
He claims England is ahead of Northern Ireland, because nursery school, reception, year one and year six children are already back.
Further guidance will be published in the next two weeks so schools have time to prepare, and the DfE will continue to work with the sector, he adds.
538prom精品视频在线播放Asked why early years and 16-19 year old have been "cut out" from the funding at the last minute, Mr Williamson says they are looking at different ways to support both sectors.
School bubbles will be expanded to take whole school class, Williamson confirms
Turning to questions from the journalists, Gavin Williamson is asked about the September commitment made by the Prime Minister earlier, and how it is possible with social distancing.
Is the two metre rule going to be relaxed now the Covid Alert level has dropped to three?
538prom精品视频在线播放Mr Williamson says it is "vital to get children back into the classroom".
"Infection levels are decreasing," he adds. "This is all incredibly positive, and means we can ensure every child returns to school."
538prom精品视频在线播放There will still have to be protective measures to ensure children and all those who work in school are safe, he adds.
Further guidance will be issued in the next two weeks.
538prom精品视频在线播放The two-metre rule is currently being reviewed and will be reported into the PM and Cabinet to make a decision, but he can't give an exact date, he says.
538prom精品视频在线播放Gavin Williamson said: "We've been creating bubbles of children in the classroom, creating a protective environment for those children.
"Currently that is at 15, what we would be looking at doing is expanding those bubbles to include the whole class."
Government working on easier tests for children ahead of winter months, Williamson confirms
Turning to questions from the public, Gavin Williamson is asked what the Government can do to make tests easier for children.
538prom精品视频在线播放The Education Secretary says he as a parent worries about this an awful lot and steps are being taken to improve testing ahead of the winter months.
Asked when advice for those who are shielding will be made available, Mr Williamson says he understands how important this is to reassure people. "In the coming weeks, very shortly, we will be getting that advice out to them," he says.
Coronavirus has taught us to be flexible and adaptable, says Gavin Williamson
G538prom精品视频在线播放avin Williamson says the £1bn will not only help children in the short-term, and says it is on top of a £14bn package already going to schools.
Further information and guidance will be published in coming weeks to helps chools prepare for a full return in September.
Every child of every year group as the benefit of a first class education"
"The pandemic has dealt an unprecedented shock to our education system," he says.
The virus has taught us the need of being "flexible and adaptable where we need to be".
Gavin Williamson: We will not allow generation to lose out on education
Gavin Williamson says the measured return is "part of how we will recover and rebuild after this virus".
It is important to support them as they catch up, he adds.
The next part of our recovery will be to roll out "our hugely ambitious catch-up plan", he says. This will help "get them back where they should be".
"We will not allow an entire generation to lose out on their education, or accept lower expectations for them," he says.
The Education Secretary runs through the £1bn package announced by the Prime Minister earlier today, which includes a "targeted" £350m for deprived children.
School 'vital for every one of our children', says Gavin Williamson
Turning to schools, Gavin Williamson notes that the Government "did something different to virtually every nation" in keeping schools open for vulnerable children and those of key workers.
538prom精品视频在线播放He highlights the "phased and cautious" return that began with reception, year one and year six children, and said as announced this week, there will be "more flexibility for primary schools" who can bring back more pupils if they are able to.
538prom精品视频在线播放The Education Secretary thanks schools for bringing back children to a "warm and friendly" environment.
538prom精品视频在线播放"School is vital for every one of our children", he adds, confirming the commitment to bring all children back by September
He assures parents the wellbeing of children is "the absolute top priority for every one of us".
All four nations seeing steady decline, says Gavin Williamson
Gavin Williamson starts the Downing Street briefing by going through the daily data, and confirms the drop in the Covid Alert Level, saying in "all four nations there has been a continuing steady decrease in cases".
There have been an additional 1,346 cases confirmed in the last 24 hours, Mr Williamson says, which is why the R-rate remains at 0.7 to 0.9.
In total there are 354 coronavirus patients on ventilators and there were 494 hospital admissions yesterday.
T538prom精品视频在线播放here are now 5,030 people in hospitals, down 10 per cent from a week ago.
538prom精品视频在线播放 The final slide confirms the UK's death toll, with a further 173 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.
European Parliament warns EU tariffs will hit British farmers first
The EU will target British farmers first if the UK refuses to stick to level playing field guarantees in a trade deal with Brussels, the European Parliament has said.
538prom精品视频在线播放The warning emerged as France’s Europe Minister said on Friday that Britain couldn’t afford a no trade deal exit because of the economic impact of coronavirus.
Coronavirus and protests prompt rise in attacks on emergency service workers
A538prom精品视频在线播放ttacks on emergency services workers have soared by almost a quarter since last year, driven by coronavirus-related attacks and violent protests, figures suggest.
Provisional data from all 43 territorial forces in England and Wales shows an 18 per cent drop in overall crime, excluding fraud, in the four weeks to June 7, compared with the same period last year.
But assaults on emergency services workers rose by 24 per cent amid a string of coughing or spitting attacks, where Covid-19 has been used as a threat, as well as disorder during protests triggered by the death of George Floyd in the US.
538prom精品视频在线播放A National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) report published on Friday said: "These offences are recorded in relatively low volumes and it is thought the 24 per cent rise may be driven by increases in common assaults on police constables, including suspects spitting on officers while claiming to be infected with Covid-19.
"The latest rise follows an increase of 14 per cent reported last month and will include some assaults related to disorder in the wake of public protests in early June."
What to expect from today's Downing Street briefing
G538prom精品视频在线播放avin Williamson is giving the Downing Street press conference today.
538prom精品视频在线播放He is likely to spend the bulk of the briefing focusing on education, given the £1bn fund announced overnight.
Boris Johnson gave an interview earlier today in which he hinted strongly that the social distancing rule for schools could be relaxed, but it's unlikely he would delegate such an announcement when he's had the opportunity to make it himself.
538prom精品视频在线播放However ministers might feel some pressure to show a bit of ankle on areas including hospitality, given Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford's announcement today that more rules will be lifted and that tourism businesses including "self-contained accommodation" should prepare for visitors to arrive from mid-July (see 12:45pm).
Whatever happens, we will be tuning in from 5pm.
UCL renames buildings as it takes 'first step' in addressing link with eugenicists
L538prom精品视频在线播放ecture theatres and a building named after prominent eugenicists Francis Galton and Karl Pearson have been renamed, UCL has announced.
538prom精品视频在线播放The university said on Friday that the Galton Lecture Theatre had been renamed Lecture Theatre 115, the Pearson Lecture Theatre changed to Lecture Theatre G22 and the Pearson Building to the North-West Wing.
538prom精品视频在线播放Victorian scientist Francis Galton coined the term eugenics and endowed UCL with his personal collection and archive along with a bequest for the country's first professorial chair of eugenics of which Karl Pearson was the first holder, the university said.
It said that signs on the building and lecture theatres will be taken down with immediate effect while other changes to the names on maps and signposts will take place as soon as "practicable".
UCL president and provost Professor Michael Arthur said the move was an "important first step" for the university as it and acknowledges and addresses its historic links with the eugenics movement.
Friday Q&A with Huw Merriman: Labour has been 'upgraded' under Keir Starmer
Politics Live speaks with Transport Committee chair and Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman about the new Labour leader.
Lastly, what do you make of the new leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer? Does his style present a challenge to the Prime Minister?
Let’s not pretend it’s anything but an upgrade on the previous incumbent.
Keir Starmer QC is always going to be strong on forensic examination. That’s no bad thing.
Government will have to be at the top of its game to deliver the huge challenges to come. The sharper the pencil, the better the end product.
Elections, however, are not won at the dispatch box. Our party now has representation in all parts of the country so the key is to listen to it and keep our new base.
New Government data reveals growth rate is falling
T538prom精品视频在线播放he rate of spread of the coronavirus infection across the UK is shrinking, figures published by the Government for the first time show.
For the UK as a whole, the current growth rate is minus four per cent to minus two per cent while the estimate of the reproduction number, referred to as R-rate or R-value, remains at 0.7 to 0.9.
538prom精品视频在线播放The growth rate is negative in all areas of the UK except in London where it stands at 5 per cent to +1 per cent with an average R rate of 0.7 to 1.0.
Until today, the Government had only been giving details of the R-value of the disease - the average number of people an infected person is likely to pass it on to.
538prom精品视频在线播放However the growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day. It is an approximation of the change in the number of infections each day, and the size of the growth rate indicates the speed of change.
For example, a growth rate of plus five per cent is faster than a growth rate of plus one per cent, while a disease with a growth rate of minus four per cent will be shrinking faster than a disease with growth rate of minus one per cent.
Friday Q&A with Huw Merriman: Coronavirus has made the case for HS2 harder
Politics Live speaks with Transport Committee chair and Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman about the changes coronavirus is introducing to our transport needs.
Should HS2 be revised in light of the changes to people’s working life that are being brought in by coronavirus?
This will be fascinating. Already, the argument had switched from speed to capacity. Now, if people can meet virtually, rather than travelling from Manchester for a meeting in London, or vice versa, the existing infrastructure could arguably cope and we’d bank £100bn-plus in the process.
That said, and when private industry cannot invest, you arguably need big infrastructure projects to inject money into the system as a Keynesian way to stimulate activity.
What’s for sure is that the case for HS2 has just got even harder to make.
How will coronavirus change the country and our politics? Is a bigger state inevitable in the medium-to-long term?
538prom精品视频在线播放One thing is for sure; we will not recover unless we reduce the burden on industry. Let’s take HS2. Costs rise because of our obsession with platinum-plating the project, delays from legal challenges, a cumbersome planning process and objections from interest groups.
If we want to reduce the state, which I do, and get private enterprise delivering again then we have to set it free from strangulation.
The Chinese built a 500 mile railway in Africa in six years for £3.6bn. HS2 will cost 30-times that figure and take three-times longer.
538prom精品视频在线播放I’m not saying we can do that but there is a place in between and we need to move to it.
Coronavirus could infiltrate 90 per cent of care homes, Sage scientists were told
Sage scientists were warned that coronavirus could go on to infiltrate at least nine in 10 care homes in England, as the pandemic spiralled in April.
538prom精品视频在线播放At least 90 per cent of care homes were expected to see at least one case if transmission rates stayed stable, according to a document sent to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government.
538prom精品视频在线播放The authors of the paper, from the University of Manchester, also suggested that staff working in multiple care homes could be spreading the virus between them.
538prom精品视频在线播放It shows new reported outbreaks of Covid-19 in care homes "rose rapidly" in early to mid-March before plateauing from late March.
The authors write: "A natural conclusion is that with no change in disease transmission in future we might expect at least 90 per cent of care homes to report at least one case eventually if current reporting trends are maintained (currently about 20 per cent have reported such)."
Further 173 deaths recorded across the UK, says DHSC
T538prom精品视频在线播放here have been a further 173 deaths in the UK across all settings, after people tested positive for coronavirus, the Government has confirmed.
Some 42,461 people have now died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, the Department for Health and Social Care has said.
The Government figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which is thought to have passed 53,000.
538prom精品视频在线播放The DHSC also said in the 24-hour period up to 9am on Friday, 169,600 tests were carried out or dispatched, with 1,346 positive results.
538prom精品视频在线播放Overall, a total of 7,433,114 tests have been carried out and 301,815 cases have been confirmed positive.
The figure for the number of people tested has been "temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting" across all methods of testing.
Have your say on the schools catch-up fund
S538prom精品视频在线播放ome headteachers and unions have complained about the way the Government has launched its £1bn catch-up fund to help children make up for lost time in the classroom.
But ministers insist it's best that it is down to the individual schools to decide, and that this funding will help ensure no child is left behind.
Should schools be able to spend the cash as they see fit, acknowledging that different children will need individual approaches? Should they seek to adopt a long-term online approach? Or should they spend the cash on hiring new spaces and teachers that can take their additional requirements?
538prom精品视频在线播放Have your say in the poll below
Sky adds warning to films that may cause 'offence'
Films including Gone With The Wind, Flash Gordon and the animated version of Dumbo that are available on Sky Cinema now come with a warning that they contain "outdated attitudes, language and cultural depictions which may cause offence today".
The channel, which is also available on Now TV, has added a disclaimer to a number of titles to warn viewers about issues of cultural sensitivities and potentially offensive attitudes.
538prom精品视频在线播放It comes after streaming service HBO Max removed Gone With The Wind following criticism of its "racist depictions".
Former Education Secretary backs Government's £1bn catch up fund
D538prom精品视频在线播放amian Hinds has backed the £1bn schools catch up fund, saying it will help "the whole cohort" make up for lost time, as well as giving a particular boost to the most deprived children.
The former Education Secretary, who quit when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister last July, told Sky News said the sector had not been neglected, pointing to work that has been carried out during lockdown, but said there was "no substitute" for children being back in the classroom.
538prom精品视频在线播放Mr Hinds also said reducing the two-metre rule in schools, or increasing the classroom limit of 15 children would "open up lots of possibilities".
He added: "Clearly any kind of easing of those rules... opens up great possibilities and we need that to be in place for September so all children can come back to school."
Katharine Birbalsignh, founder and headmistress of Michaela Community School, praised the move, saying it would allow for additional tutoring and support the most vulnerable at weekends "perhaps with joining an extra class somewhere".
538prom精品视频在线播放But she said she was concerned about the summer for children who have been reluctant to work during lockdown, saying the bulk of teachers' work was likely to begin in Sepember.
"It's going to be very difficult. This time away undermines the habits they have honed over years," she said. However "much of that learning can be caught up in the autumn term".
It will be 'painful and expensive' to recover from economic cost of Covid, says PM
B538prom精品视频在线播放oris Johnson has said it will be "painful and expensive" to make up the economic cost of coronavirus, but insisted "we will come back".
Government borrowing surged to a new record high in May, hitting £55.2 billion and beating the newly revised £48.5 billion for April, following heavy spending in the face of coronavirus, according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) added that public sector borrowing - excluding banks owned by the state - was nearly nine times higher than the levels in May 2019.
It means the UK's debt mountain has also now grown to more than the entire country's output - gross domestic product - for the first time since 1963, officials added, to £1.95 trillion or 100.9% of GDP.
Asked about the debt levels during a visit to a school in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, Mr Johnson said: "There has been a massive lack of economic activity for a very long time - of course that is going to be a painful and expensive to make up.
538prom精品视频在线播放"But we are a very creative and dynamic society, we will come back."
England records further 46 Covid-19 deaths
A538prom精品视频在线播放 further 46 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 28, 221.
Patients were aged between 12 and 97 years old, and just two of them had no known underlying health conditions.
538prom精品视频在线播放Regionally, London and the South West had the lowest death rates in the 24-hour period, with two in each region, while there were three in the East of England. The North West was the worst affected region, with 17 recorded deaths.
There were seven in both the South East and the North East, eight deaths in the Midlands.
538prom精品视频在线播放It comes as the UK's Covid Alert Level has been dropped from four to three.
All children should return to school full time in September, says Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has said children of all ages in England should be able to return to school on a five-day-a-week basis in September.
Speaking to broadcasters during a Hertfordshire school visit on Friday, Mr Johnson said it was "absolutely" his aspiration that pupils of all ages will be back in the classroom for a full five days a week in September.
"I want a world in which, as far as possible, provided we can make classrooms safe and I think we can, I want every child, every pupil, every student, back in September. I'm sure we can get it done," Mr Johnson said.
538prom精品视频在线播放His comments came as the Government's £1 billion plan to help pupils catch up with learning came under fire from education leaders.
538prom精品视频在线播放Head teachers say they were not consulted on the details of the scheme which will see the most disadvantaged children in England given access to funds to pay for tutors, while the majority of the funding will be shared across schools to help pupils from all backgrounds affected by the lockdown.
Friday Q&A with Huw Merriman: Coronavirus poses 'huge financial and operational threat' to transport
Politics Live speaks with Transport Committee chair and Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman about the crisis posed to transport by lockdown - and what changes are needed to the UK's quarantine.
What are you hoping to see from the quarantine review on June 29? Have you been given any sense that air bridges/travel corridors are likely? What will happen to the aviation industry without this kind of measure?
538prom精品视频在线播放I do hear positive noises to indicate quarantine-free travel to countries with a lower infection rate than our own when we next review at the end of the month.
Given 13 of the 15 most popular countries we visit have a better rate than our own, I do not see the logic for the existing policy. It’s not as if it’s a quarantine where, like Australia, the 14 day stay is in a secure compound. Perhaps, for those countries, such as Brazil, who have higher infection rates than our own, we have a stricter quarantine than the current rules permit in return for opening air bridges to safer countries.
538prom精品视频在线播放The aviation industry will collapse, and tens of thousands of jobs will be lost, if we don’t bring in an international standard of health protection based on PPE and temperature testing and accept that social distancing doesn’t work in the air.
After 9/11 people flew again when they saw the increased level in security. Part of it is psychological. If we show a new way of travelling which people abide by, and stop putting obstacles in the way, the industry will come back.
Looking at the UK’s transport network, how serious a threat is the reduced usage likely to be in the medium-to-long term?
It’s a huge financial and operational threat. My rush-hour train carriage had only three people on it. If this continues, we’ll either see the Government permanently shouldering the burden of running and subsidising journeys which few people are taking or the networks will shrink.
If people work from home more often, we will find the cities contract and the rural areas become more desirable. The rail industry was about to reform with three day weekly travel discounts. These reforms need to be speeded up.
On the upside, fewer journeys means a reduced carbon footprint. Of all the sectors, transport was the only problem child, leaving larger carbon footprints. It had proven stubbornly difficult to tackle.
Given 70 per cent of this footprint came from surface transport, the reduction in carbon should soon become apparent.
Coronavirus may leave 'political scar on the young', study suggests
Coronavirus may leave behind a "long-lasting political scar" on the Generation Z, a new study suggests.
Individuals who experience an epidemic when aged between 18-25 are less likely to have confidence in political institutions and leaders, and harbour more negative attitudes towards elections, according to the Systemic Risk Centre at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
538prom精品视频在线播放An individual with the highest exposure to an epidemic, is 7.2 percentage points less likely to have confidence in the honesty of elections; 5.1 percentage points less likely to have confidence in the national government; and 6.2 percentage points less likely to approve the performance of the political leader in the remainder of their lives.
Paper co-author Dr Orkun Saka said: "his negative effect is large and persistent. Its largest and most enduring impact is on the attitudes of individuals who are in their impressionable late-adolescent and early-adult years when an epidemic breaks out.”
538prom精品视频在线播放Data for the paper was compiled using responses to the 2006-2018 Gallup World Polls and looking at epidemics since 1970. It included responses from 750,000 respondents from 142 countries.
Why is Swing Low, Sweet Chariot under the spotlight
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, the song beloved and somewhat mauled by England rugby fans, has become the new fault line as Black Lives Matter protests prompt organisations to rethink long-standing culture from statues to films.
538prom精品视频在线播放But do you know why? Far from being a simple rugby anthem, it started life as an American slave hymn.
Here, we look at the origin, history and meaning behind the Twickenham anthem - which the RFU are considering banning
Government spent £11m on failed contact tracing app
T538prom精品视频在线播放he Government awarded contracts worth more than £11m to companies to help develop its contact tracing app, which has been scrapped in favour of building one with Apple and Google.
538prom精品视频在线播放According to Government records published online so far, 11 contracts have been awarded to private firms aiding the app's development totalling £11,297,811.
Software firm Zuhlke Engineering was awarded more than £5 million across two contracts for development and support on the app.
The Department of Health and Social Care also awarded more than £4.8 million to developer VMware and its subsidiary Pivotal in three contracts for work on the creation of the app.
538prom精品视频在线播放A number of other contracts to several other firms were also awarded for work on security testing of the application, ranging in value from £67,000 to more than £162,000.
O538prom精品视频在线播放n Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended the Government's decision to abandon plans to develop its own app - which has been in testing on the Isle of Wight for more than a month - and instead use software built by Apple and Google.
Government's 'bully boy' approach to civil service criticised by Lib Dems
The Liberal Democrats have waded into the brewing row over why Sir Simon McDonald has stepped down as the senior civil servant at the Foreign Office (see 12:25pm).
538prom精品视频在线播放Sir Simon, who inadvertently became at the centre of a row when he told MPs it had been a "political decision" not to take part in an EU-wide procurement scheme at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, reportedly told staff he did not disagree with the decision to roll DfID into the FCO, but that he would not be in place to oversee it.
538prom精品视频在线播放The party's foreign affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: “Sir Simon McDonald’s premature departure from the FCO will raise many questions.
538prom精品视频在线播放“McDonald has been a constant voice of reason and his absence will be noticed at a time when the Government appear intent on undermining the UK’s position on the world stage.
“The Government’s bully boy approach to the civil service is dangerous and counterproductive at such a precarious moment in our country’s history.”
Lobby latest: Downing Street insists teachers consulted on £1bn catch-up plan
Downing Street has insisted the Department of Education worked closely with the sector, despite claims that headteachers were not consulted over the £1bn summer catch-up programme.
538prom精品视频在线播放The Prime Minister's deputy spokesman said: "The Prime Minister announced last week that we would bring forward a catch-up plan for the summer and beyond and he indicated last week that we would announce that this week. The Department of Education has been working with schools and headteachers and other such organisations in producing this announcement."
Asked whether schools would be expected to follow a set programme directed from Government, the spokesman said it was up to headteachers to decide how to spend the funding effectively.
538prom精品视频在线播放"We believe that headteachers of individual schools are best placed to make decisions that are best for their pupils," he added.
538prom精品视频在线播放"Which is why we provided them with the money for the catch up programme. We've been clear we expect that to go on interventions that benefit students the most, particularly areas such as small group tuition."
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to give today's daily Downing Street briefing.
Lobby latest: No comment on rumours top FCO official was sacked
Downing Street has refused to deny reports that the Prime Minister asked the top civil servant at the Foreign Office to step down in time for a replacement to take over following a merger with the Department of International Development.
Asked about the issue, the deputy spokesman for the Prime Minister read out a personal statement from Boris Johnson, who thanked Sir Simon McDonald for his "strong leadership" and the "fantastic support" he received as Foreign Secretary.
It continued: "He is an outstanding public servant who has dedicated himself to serving the best diplomatic service in the world. He leaves the department in excellent shape to make the most of the excellent opportunities that lie ahead for the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office."
538prom精品视频在线播放However, when pressed again, he said only that Sir Simon had completed the standard length of service completed by senior civil servants.
"Five years, which I believe Sir Simon has been standing for, is a standard length of tour in terms of a civil service role in the FCO. Simon has reached the end of his term and this is a moment to ensure we have a new permanent secretary for the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office."
Lobby latest: Downing Street declines to comment on app shambles
D538prom精品视频在线播放owning Street has refused to clarify whether Apple was informed of the announcement yesterday by Matt Hancock over plans to work with the tech giant on a new test and trace app.
Having decided to ditch the current version of the NHSX app, Mr Hancock said the Government would now work with Google and Apple on a hybrid version.
However, Apple claims not to have been consulted.
Asked whether this was true, the Prime Minister's deputy spokesman said: "We've worked closely with Apple and Google from the beginning, obviously we need to do so. We've agreed with them to take forward our work on estimating distance through the app that we developed and to incorporate that into their app."
He was also unable to say whether the Government would be required to pay Apple and Google for any work undertaken on the new app.
Lobby latest: Downing Street refuses to name air bridge countries
Downing Street is still unable to say which countries the UK is in discussions with other potential "air bridges" to enable quarantine-free travel this summer for British holidaymakers.
Asked about reports that Italy may be in contention, the Prime Minister's deputy spokesman said: "I've seen reports mentioning numerous countries, but so far future options on travel are still ongoing. That is where we are at the moment."
Don't ban rugby fans from singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, says Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has said people "should focus less on the symbols of discrimination" and instead focus on "the substance of the issue" after it emerged rugby fans could be banned from singing 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' at matches.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Thursday that it was conducting a review into the ‘historical context’ of the song over concerns it is inappropriate. A well-placed source said: “One option after consultations is to stop this being sung at matches.”
But speaking today, the Prime Minister said: "I certainly don't think there should be any prohibition on singing that song."
538prom精品视频在线播放He added: "Nobody seems to know the words. Before we start complaining about the song I'd like to know what the rest of the words are... it all dies out - how does it go on? That is my objection, my question."
Government working on 'other contingency plans' for September reopening
T538prom精品视频在线播放he Government is working on "other contingency plans" for schools fully reopening in September, a minister has admitted today, conceding there is still a question mark over whether every pupil will return to the classroom next term.
Nick Gibb told Sky News that while they were "determined" to get all children back from the start of the school year, ministers were also working on some alternative back-up plans in case.
The School Standards Minister said: "Our clear intention is that all pupils will return in September... We are working with the school sector, we're taking advice and we give schools plenty of notice in time to plan for that reopening in September.
"Of course, we're working on other contingency plans but the clear intention is that we'll have all children back in school in September."
Andrew Lloyd Webber to run theatre trials under lockdown
A538prom精品视频在线播放ndrew Lloyd Webber has said the theatre industry should be "positive" about its future, insisting performances can go ahead despite social distancing measures.
538prom精品视频在线播放The composer and peer told the BBC he was planning to run a trial at The London Palladium after Phantom Of The Opera continued in South Korea with strict hygiene measures and no social distancing.
"What I hope to do is to be able to demonstrate to the Government what has happened in Korea, at The London Palladium, hopefully in the first week of July," he said. "We're going to do a whole series of tests there to see whether or not it's going to work".
538prom精品视频在线播放Earlier this week Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said it would be very difficult for theatres to reopen their doors under current rules, but Lord Lloyd Webber has since been in touch with the Cabinet minister.
538prom精品视频在线播放"I would love to say that I think that they understood a little more," he told the Today programme. ""I sincerely hope that [a forthcoming report on the theatre] doesn't contain some of the things I've seen in some of their advice, one of which was a brilliant one for musicals - that you're not allowed to sing."
538prom精品视频在线播放His comments came after Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Hamilton and The Phantom Of The Opera were pulled from the West End for the rest of the year.
PM celebrates birthday with social distanced school visit
B538prom精品视频在线播放oris Johnson is celebrating his 56th birthday today, taking part in a socially distanced lesson during a visit to Bovingdon Primary School in Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
His visit comes after the announcement of a £1bn to help pupils catch up with their education before September after spending months out of school during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The scheme will see the most disadvantaged children in England given access to funds to pay for personal tutors, while the majority of the funding will allow schools to step in to cover lost teaching time.
538prom精品视频在线播放The Prime Minister said last week that school pupils would undergo a "massive catch-up operation over the summer and beyond" to get up to speed on work they have missed, with thousands of youngsters having been out of class since March.
'Self-contained' tourist firms can prepare to reopen from July 13
Mark Drakeford has told Welsh tourism businesses to start preparing for visitors before reopening later this month.
538prom精品视频在线播放Although the nation's 'stay local' restriction remains until July 6, the First Minister said tourist businesses can take bookings from July 13 "at their own risk".
He urged firms to use the next three weeks to plan to welcome visitors and "salvage some of the summer's season".
However, this only applies to those who are able to offer "self-contained accommodation", with their own kitchen and bathrooms, including hotels, B&Bs and caravans.
Wales to reopen shops from next week, Mark Drakeford announces
All non-essential shops in Wales will be able to re-open from Monday (22 June) as part the biggest unlocking of the coronavirus regulations to date, Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
Retailers will be able to resume trading if they can take all reasonable measures to comply with the physical distancing duty in Welsh law to reduce the spread of coronavirus and protect shop workers and shoppers.
538prom精品视频在线播放During his regular press briefing, the Welsh First Minister said he would make a "substantial" change to lockdown every Monday from now on. Pupils will be return to schools on June 29, and the requirement to stay local will be lifted from July 6.
The First Minister has also given visitor and tourism industry notice to start preparations to reopen if the spread of the virus continues to decline.
538prom精品视频在线播放Mr Drakeford said: “The threat of coronavirus hasn’t gone away but thanks to the efforts we have all made over the last few months, the number of people contracting coronavirus each day in Wales is falling, so too is the risk of meeting somebody with virus.
“Given the progress we have made, we are able to take some additional cautious steps to further unlock our society and economy. This includes more retailers being able re-open their businesses, as long as they take measures to minimise the risk to their staff and to the customers who visit their stores."
Sturgeon: Six further deaths from coronavirus in Scotland
N538prom精品视频在线播放icola Sturgeon is holding her daily briefing, confirming a further 27 positive cases have been recorded in Scotland, with a further six deaths among people who have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.
That takes the total number to 2,470, she says.
538prom精品视频在线播放The Scottish First Minister says it is "good and positive news" that the nation is now entering the second stage of the response.
FCO civil servant steps down ahead of DfID merger
T538prom精品视频在线播放he Foreign Office's most senior civil servant, who was at the heart of a row over the reason for the UK not joining an EU-wide procurement scheme, is stepping down ahead of its merger with the Department for International Development (Dfid).
538prom精品视频在线播放According to a Government spokesman, Sir Simon McDonald has told Foreign Office and Dfid staff on Friday morning he "fully respects a decision" for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), as it will be known from the autumn, to have a new permanent secretary.
He told staff: "I fully respect that decision. In any case I shall have completed five years as PUS (permanent under-secretary) in the FCO at the end of August.
538prom精品视频在线播放"I believe passionately that FCDO is the right move for our future overseas effort; the FCO's merger with Dfid is the culmination of my time here. But a new effort needs new leadership. Whoever (that is) will take on a simply wonderful job."
Sir Simon was the civil servant who two months ago was forced to retract his statement that ministers had made a "political decision" not to join an EU-wide scheme to source medical equipment.
He told MPs that ministers were briefed on "what was on offer" but said "no". But he later retracted his comments, saying he had "wrongly" told MPs that ministers been briefed on the scheme.
Watch again: Schools Minister explains the new catch-up fund
The Government unveiled a £1bn fund to help support schools as they attempt to make up for lost time in the classroom.
538prom精品视频在线播放With some children not returning to schools until September - possibly later - pupils could be missing out on six months of education, which could affect their life chances as they enter the world of work.
Watch Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb explain the plan.
Friday Q&A with Huw Merriman: Scrutiny is not as effective virtually
Politics Live speaks with Transport Committee chair and Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman about the problems posed by hybrid Parliament and what the Government's next steps should be in the crisis.
Do you think scrutiny can be properly carried out virtually? Leaving the lockdown aside, do you think Number 10 is allowing sufficient scrutiny?
No, I don’t think scrutiny is as effective virtually. Secretaries of State could choose which questions on the order paper to take because they had to do all in batches in order to social distance from junior ministers. This meant challenging questions did not always get called. Due to broadcasting resources, we had less time, and therefore fewer opportunities, to speak up for our constituents.
In the circumstances, I do feel No10 is allowing enough time for scrutiny. Jacob Rees Mogg, the Government’s Leader of the House of Commons, was always a champion of Parliament when a backbencher. He hasn’t forgotten that an effective Government is one which is kept on its toes by the legislature.
538prom精品视频在线播放I would like to see the daily Urgent Questions being taken by the relevant Secretary of State; it should not be pushed down to a junior minister whilst the boss does the photo call.
How would you rate the Government response during the outbreak? When should we start analysing this response?
It’s easy to be an expert in hindsight but this was the greatest emergency I’ve seen a Government handle in my lifetime and without precedent. It almost took out our Prime Minister.
The Government have done a good job but the challenge will now be to get people back to the new normal; this could be harder than getting people to lockdown.
I would like to see more factors beyond the control of the virus drive our decisions. Poverty, poor mental health, domestic abuse, failing to make an early diagnosis of terminal conditions and a lack of education and opportunity are also the cause of premature death.
One in six mortgages deferred under coronavirus support package
O538prom精品视频在线播放ne in six mortgages are being deferred as part of the Government's support package for those whose income has been affected by the pandemic, new figures reveal.
538prom精品视频在线播放In total 1.9 million mortgage payment deferrals have been offered in the three months since the support was launched, with an average of £755 per month of suspended payments, according to UK Finance. Some 1.2 million deferrals were approved during the first three weeks of the scheme.
538prom精品视频在线播放As the schemes begin to wind down, lenders are planning to contact borrowers before the end of their deferral period "with a range of options to ensure they are supported through the coming months, whatever their financial situation".
Borrowers who can afford to resume payments have been urged to do so. Alternatively, people may be granted a further full or partial payment deferral, a move to interest only payments for a period, or extending the term of the mortgage to reduce payments, depending on the borrower’s circumstances.
Government extends ban on evicting business tenants during pandemic
T538prom精品视频在线播放he Government has extended measures to prevent landlords from evicting businesses struggling due to the coronavirus crisis, it has been announced.
The extension will run until the end of September and comes as the Business and Communities departments launch a voluntary code of practice between landlords and tenants, including the hospitality and retail sectors.
Agree level-playing field compromise to secure Brexit deal, MPs urge
The UK should agree to compromise on the level-playing field to break the impasse in Brexit trade talks, MPs have said.
Boris Johnson this week said there was "no reason" why a deal couldn't be struck by July, saying it was time to put a "tiger in the tank". However, Number 10 and sherpa David Frost have stressed there will be no compromise on flagship issues such as the level-playing field and fisheries.
538prom精品视频在线播放But MPs on the Brexit Committee said ministers must "show where they are willing to move" by agreeing to follow "level playing field" terms as a base mark for UK standards when the transition period ends next year.
538prom精品视频在线播放MPs said an independent body could determine whether the change in standards "gave rise to an unfair competitive advantage" and whether any EU action was "reasonable".
The report also urges the EU to give its chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, "greater flexibility in his mandate" in order to increase the likelihood of a deal being struck.
Queen tells British business of her 'great pride' in their work
T538prom精品视频在线播放he Queen has spoken of her "great pride" in the contribution that British business is making to "champion trade and rebuild communities".
538prom精品视频在线播放The head of state's personal message of support for UK businesses was sent to the British Chamber of Commerce in the week many non-essential shops reopened as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased.
The Queen said in her message: "As many organisations around the country are reopening, I send my warmest best wishes and support to business communities throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and across the world.
"At a time of great difficulty for many, it is heart-warming to see the civic response and generosity of so many businesses, small and large, to the challenges posed, whether supporting the health sector or vulnerable communities.
"As patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, it gives me great pride to see the contribution you and your members are making to help firms, champion trade and rebuild communities.
538prom精品视频在线播放"I wish all businesses every success in their endeavours in the weeks and months ahead."
Friday Q&A with Huw Merriman: 'There was no Mogg Conga - it was more of a zombie queue'
Politics Live speaks with Transport Committee chair and Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman about life under lockdown and Parliament's hybrid system.
How are you finding lockdown personally - are you getting to spend quality time with family or are you sick of them all? What are you doing to keep sane?
Fortunately my hobbies are gardening and cooking and my exercise of choice is cycling and walking; so it’s been kinder for me than those who need a fix at the gym or go to the races. Work has been intense so an hour outside or in the kitchen has been a golden rule.
What has it been like to participate in the hybrid Parliament? Is it right that MPs now have to vote in person? Doesn’t the ‘Mogg Conga’ just increase the risk of transmission?
538prom精品视频在线播放The hybrid system worked really well. The electronic voting system never failed me (with the laptop ringing the division bell) and I was able to speak from home and only went into Parliament during April and May to chair the Select Committee.
Of course scrutiny was not as effective, and we’ve just had the largest extension of powers to Government since the Second World War, so it was right that we went back.
Queuing to vote from the other side of the bridge was a novelty but we are a nation who take pride in our queue. At the first vote, and despite being in the chamber to wind up the debate, Jacob went to the back.
I didn’t see a conga I’m afraid so that must be media fantasy. It was more of a zombie queue.
Matt Hancock hails drop to Covid Alert Level Three
The Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, has hailed the move to Covid Alert Level Three as "a big moment for the country".
The decision, announced just moments ago, means that although the epidemic is in general circulation, transmission is no longer deemed to be "high or rising exponentially".
538prom精品视频在线播放Mr Hancock said: “The UK moving to a lower alert level is a big moment for the country, and a real testament to the British people’s determination to beat this virus.
538prom精品视频在线播放“The government’s plan is working. Infection rates are rapidly falling, we have protected the NHS and, thanks to the hard work of millions in our health and social care services, we are getting the country back on her feet.”
Breaking: UK Covid Alert Level drops
The UK's Covid Alert Level has been dropped from Level Four to Level Three, after the Joint Biosecurity Centre's recommendations were backed by chief medical officers across the UK.
538prom精品视频在线播放The UK's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, and his counterparts Michael McBride (Northern Ireland), Gregor Smith (Scotland) and Chris Jones (Wales), said in a joint statement they had reviewed the evidence and supported the move to Level 3 across the UK.
"There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues," the statement said. "It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.
538prom精品视频在线播放"We have made progress against the virus thanks to the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure this progress continues."
Transport workers balloted over job loss threat
Workers on the Heathrow Express are being balloted for industrial action in a row over jobs.
538prom精品视频在线播放The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said more than 100 workers who are currently furloughed due to the Covid-19 crisis were threatened with losing their jobs.The jobs include sales and customer concierge roles, said the union.
The union said it would be an abuse of the Government's job retention scheme which is aimed at protecting jobs through the pandemic.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT is appalled that under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis, which has seen Heathrow Express workers furloughed, management have chosen to put a gun to our members' heads demanding they accept a total reorganisation, including moving half the workforce onto part-time contracts, or face unemployment.
"The union is demanding the immediate withdrawal of both reorganisation and redundancy proposals to allow collective bargaining to take place without the threat of unemployment.
"We have declared a dispute with Heathrow Express and have started balloting our members for industrial action."
Dominic Raab to hold crunch talks over Iran and Hong Kong in first Berlin trip
The Foreign Secretary will hold crunch talks with his E3 counterparts today over Iran's destabilising activities in the Middle East and China's new national security law in Hong Kong. .
Dominic Raab is making his first visit to Berlin in the role, meeting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The trio will focus on the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to de-escalate tensions, holding Iran to account for its destabilising regional activity, and keeping the door open for Iran to find a peaceful way forward.
538prom精品视频在线播放In January this year, the E3 triggered the Dispute Resolution Mechanism to preserve the nuclear deal and bring Iran back into compliance.
Mr Raab said: “International collaboration is vital as we continue managing the coronavirus pandemic, as well as working together on Iran and Hong Kong. The UK, Germany and France have a long-shared history and I look forward to continue working together to promote our common values.”
538prom精品视频在线播放The Foreign Secretary will also hold bilateral talks with Heiko Maas, where the pair will look to increase co-operation on a range of issues, such as PPE supply, climate change and the conflict in Libya.
Have your say on the schools catch-up fund
This morning the Government unveiled its £1bn schools catch-up fund in a bid to ensure no child is left behind because of coronavirus.
Schools will be given £650m to spend as they see fit, although they are advised to hire in-house tutors who can run extra classes for small groups of pupils throughout the academic year. A further £350m has been ear-marked to pay for tutoring for the most disadvantaged children in the country.
Nick Gibb this morning said summer schools would not be enough, and that headteachers needed to come up with longer-term plans.
Is it right that schools be left to use it at their discretion, or should the cash be used in specific ways? Have your say in the poll below.
The threat has passed, so why are our civil liberties still suspended?
Rather than a presumption towards liberty – that people should be free unless there’s a compelling reason to restrict – the coronavirus crisis has ushered in a new idea. That restrictions must stay, unless it can be proven that it’s safe to lift them.
But as Fraser Nelson writes, the threat has passed, so why are our civil liberties still suspended?
Labour would need to take Jacob-Rees Mogg's seat for majority without Scottish revival, says MP
Labour's decline could get worse before it gets better because of a long-term disconnect with working-class voters, the author of a major report into the party's poor 2019 election result has said.
Lucy Powell, Manchester Central MP and Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers, told the Today programme this morning that while Jeremy Corbyn, Brexit and a manifesto that was not credible were major factors in Labour's December defeat, the party's issues were more deep-seated and could get worse before they get better.
"The Red Wall has been crumbling for 20 years," she said. "The disconnect between Labour and traditional working class voters have trends that go far back... It is only if we move forward as one we can begin to climb what is now a significant mountain."
538prom精品视频在线播放"It could [get worse] because of the long-term trends in working class communities," she added. "There is no sign yet that that long-term decline shows any sign of abating."
As well as winning back voters in the North and Midlands, Labour also has to "have a real rethink about the situation in Scotland", because without reclaiming some seats north of the border "we would need to win Jacob Rees-Mogg's seat in North Somerset to win a majority again," she said.
Government borrowing reaches record high
G538prom精品视频在线播放overnment borrowing surged to a new record high in May, hitting £55.2bn following heavy spending in the face of coronavirus.
538prom精品视频在线播放Public sector borrowing - excluding banks owned by the state - was nearly nine times higher than the levels in May 2019, ONS figures show. It means the UK's debt mountain has also now grown to more than the entire country's output - gross domestic product - for the first time since 1963, officials added, to £1.95 trillion or 100.9 per cent of GDP.
The furlough scheme is expected to cost taxpayers £60bn by the time it closes in October, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "Today's figures confirm that coronavirus is having a severe impact on our public finances. The best way to restore our public finances to a more sustainable footing is to safely reopen our economy so people can return to work."
South Asian people most likely to die after being hospitalised by Covid-19: study
South Asian people are the most likely group to die from Covid-19 after being admitted to hospital across the UK, according to a new study.
538prom精品视频在线播放Data from 30,693 people admitted to 260 hospitals found a 19 per cent increased risk of death with coronavirus for those who were South Asian compared with white people.
Experts behind the study said 40 per cent of the South Asians in the group had diabetes - which was a "significant factor" in their increased risk of death.
538prom精品视频在线播放The data was taken from hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales from February 6 to May 8, with patient follow-up to May 22.
538prom精品视频在线播放The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, included 1,388 people of South Asian background (5 per cent of the total group), 266 who were East Asian (1 per cent), 1,094 who were black (4 per cent), 2,398 who were other ethnic minority (8 per cent) and 25,547 who were white (83 per cent).
Ethnic minorities were younger and more likely to have diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) but had fewer other underlying health conditions such as chronic heart disease or dementia than people who were white.
No difference was seen between ethnic groups when it came to the severity of illness on admission to hospital.
Retail sales bounce back - but are still down on pre-corona levels
While the Government is hammered over its failings on schools and the Test & Trace programme, there is one bright spot - a solid bounce in retail sales.
Sales volumes in May jumped 12 per cent compared with the previous month according to ONS figures published this morning, although they were still down 13.1 per cent compared with February, before the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was felt.
538prom精品视频在线播放Officials said non-food stores saw the biggest boost, helped with a 42 per cent increase in household goods store sales and the reopening of more DIY and hardware stores. Wider non-essential retail did not reopen until this month.
Online shopping hit a new high, making up 33.4 per cent of all sales, up from 30.8 per cent in April. Fuel sales have started to rise, but remained 42.5 per cent lower than February as governments across the UK continue to encourage people to maintain social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel.
Minister unable to confirm if England will follow Northern Ireland on schools plan
Nick Gibb, the Schools Standards Minister, was unable to confirm whether England would follow Northern Ireland in halving the two-metre rule for schools and guarantee the return of all pupils by September.
Yesterday Arlene Foster confirmed that the measure would allow class sizes to return to almost normal levels, with pupils in key year groups - seven, 12 and 14 - returning on 24 August, while the rest of the school population will go back to class at the start of September.
But challenged on this during an interview with the BBC's Today programme, and asked if he would guarantee their return, Mr Gibb could only repeat that it was the Government's "clear intention is that all children will back in school by September".
He added: "We have over one million children back in our school system. Every step is phased, it's planned, we have given schools a lot of notice.
"We are clear, our intention now is that we will have all children back in September," he repeated.
Schools can run summer camps - but they must make long-term plans, says minister
S538prom精品视频在线播放chools can use their share of the £650m catch-up fund to run summer programmes if they want - but it won't be enough to make up for the lost time in classrooms, a Schools Minister has said.
Nick Gibb told the BBC's Today programme it was down to invidivual teachers to determine "how best to ensure every child is able to catch up".
He added: "This money can be used by schools if they wish to have summer programmes, but it can't just be done over summer, it has to be done over the whole academic year."
538prom精品视频在线播放"You can’t just recover lost education in one month, you need a longer-term approach over the academic year, which is why this is such a significant amount of money," he added. "If schools want to run summer camps or catch up time for students they can, knowing this money is coming.
Schools catch up fund not available until September, minister admits
Schools won't get the cash to support catch-up work until the term beginning in September, Schools Minister Nick Gibb has confirmed.
538prom精品视频在线播放Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, Mr Gibb said: "The money will be paid in the academic year starting in September, but schools will know it's coming and be able to budget on that basis."
Headteachers will be able to determine how to spend their share of the £650m pot, Mr Gibb explained. There is an additional £350m for a National Tutoring Programme, aimed at the most disadvantaged young people over the 2020/21 academic year.
Talks still ongoing over contract tracing app, minister suggests
A Government minister has suggested that talks are still underway with Apple and Google to get the UK's long-awaited contact tracing app launched.
Matt Hancock revealed last night that despite undergoing weeks of trials on the Isle of Wight, he was still no closer to giving a date the app could be rolled out nationally.
538prom精品视频在线播放Asked if a deal to develop the app had been completed with the tech giants this morning, Nick Gibb the school standards minister told Sky News: "Well, that's a matter for the Health Secretary.
"He's working with Google and Apple, I don't know the details of the contracts that they have."
538prom精品视频在线播放Mr Gibb added: "What I do know is that we are working with Google and Apple to iron out these problems with the system to make it robust and accurate in how it tracks and traces."
Schools to decide which children get support from £1bn, minister says
E538prom精品视频在线播放nglish schools will be able to use a £650m catch-up fund "at their discretion" to help children catch up on missed work.
538prom精品视频在线播放Speaking on Sky News, Schools Standards minister Nick Gibb said the Government wants to ensure no pupils face any long-term detriment to their education as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "Nothing beats children being back in the classroom in terms of the quality of the education and we want to make sure that no child loses out, has any long-term detriment to their education as a consequence of this crisis.
"So that's why we're allocating this huge sum of money, £650m to schools to use at their discretion, to ensure that every child can catch up over the course of the next academic year."
Challenged over whether that could result in children who are not from deprived backgrounds - for whom an additional £350m has been earmarked - losing out, he said teachers could offer one-to-one support for all pupils if they wished.
Teachers "know the children best", he explained.