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‘Why?’ Nick Ferrari erupts at Boris Johnson over UK lockdown easing in fiery interview

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Nick Ferrari exploded at Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a fiery interview on LBC this morning. Ferrari pointed out a series of “inconsistencies” in the Government’s plan to ease the country’s lockdown measures. He said: “I can go to the pub but I can’t go to the gym, why? I can have a haircut tomorow but not go to a nail bar, why?” 

Ferrari added:”I can have a driving lesson, but I can’t walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. 

“You’re an intelligent man, how have these come about?”

Boris Johnson said that the measures were chosen as the best way to fight the pandemic. 

He added: “These are a valid points but there are reasons.” 

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The interview on LBC is Boris Johnson’s first phone-in since his recovery from coronavirus.

Mr Johnson will also give a press conference at Downing Street later today.

The Prime Minister is expected to urge people to support the “heroic effort” put in by businesses all over the country.

Saturday marks the day pubs and restaurants finally re-open across the country.

Mr Johnson said he and his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, would be going out this weekend in an evening with the Evening Standard on Thursday.

However, he refused to offer further details, saying: “We have plans, we are definitely going to mark the event.”


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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson warns people not to ‘overdo it’ as pubs prepare to reopen on Saturday

Downing Street has warned people not to “overdo it” when the coronavirus lockdown in England is eased this weekend.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will be able to welcome customers for the first time in more than three months on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When he announced the major relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown, Boris Johnson said “our long, national hibernation is coming to an end” and “life is returning to our streets”.

But as the weekend nears, the prime minister’s spokesman has said: “We do want people to be able to enjoy themselves but at the same time, now we have got coronavirus under control we need to keep it under control.

“The guidance is there, we want people to follow it and then we can make more progress together in the fight against coronavirus.

“The PM has said that it is important that people don’t overdo it.”

Mr Johnson will appear at a Downing Street news conference on Friday ahead of the easing of the restrictions.

Hairdressers and barbers will also reopen on Saturday, as will hotels, leisure facilities and tourist attractions.

Asked if the PM would be visiting a pub or restaurant himself on Saturday, his spokesman said: “He’s talked about his enthusiasm for a haircut and pint previously but I don’t know exactly what he’s doing on Saturday yet.”

When asked if Mr Johnson would get a haircut, he responded: “It will be plain for all to see next week what he’s been doing at the weekend if that does happen.”

The two-metre social distancing rule will also be reduced.

From Saturday, people will be required to keep one-metre apart from others, while also taking measures to mitigate the risk of transmitting the virus.

This includes wearing a face mask on public transport, regular handwashing, being outside and limiting time spent with others.

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Boris was 'flippant' to tell seaside 'show some guts' before major incident

The Prime Minister has been given a grilling for telling seaside towns to ‘show some guts’ days before a major incident was declared at a packed Bournemouth Beach.

Boris Johnson was also accused of being too slow to act on a surge of coronavirus cases in Leicester due to ‘lost’ data, meaning the city has now been put on the UK’s first local lockdown.

Challenging Downing Streets’ attitude to lifting the lockdown at today’s PMQs Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘The Prime Minister can’t just bat away challenge. These are matters of life and death, other people’s livelihoods.

‘An example of this, last week the Member for Hove (Peter Kyle) asked the Prime Minister how can seaside towns be expected to cope with likely influx of visitors to beaches and parks during the hot weather?

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‘The Prime Minister replied, show some guts. Two days later Bournemouth beach was closed with 500,000 visitors, a major incident was declared. Does the Prime Minister now regret being so flippant?’

Johnson replied that he was making it ‘absolutely clear that as we go forward with our plan, our cautious plan for opening up the economy, it is very, very important that people who do represent seaside communities, places where UK tourists will want to go, should be as welcoming as they can possibly be’.

He added: ‘But it is also vital that people have to behave responsibly and that is why the scenes in Bournemouth were completely unacceptable and that is why we stick to the advice that we have given.’

Sir Keir also asked the PM why the Government was ‘so slow to act’ to implement a lockdown in Leicester after it knew of a spike in virus cases.

He told the Commons: ‘At the daily press conference on June 18 the Health Secretary said “there’s an outbreak of Covid-19 right now in parts of Leicester”.

‘Yet it was only on Monday evening this week that the Government introduced restrictions. That’s a delay of 11 days during which the virus was spreading in Leicester.’

More to follow.

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Theresa May slams Boris for hiring security adviser with 'no proven expertise'

Theresa May has blasted Boris Johnson’s choice of new national security adviser as a ‘political appointee’ with ‘no proven expertise’.

Speaking in the Commons, she paid tribute to the departing NSA and chief civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill – but fumed over the decision to replace him with David Frost, who is the chief EU trade negotiator and Europe Adviser to Mr Johnson.

The appointment has also been criticised by a former chief civil servant, Gus O’Donnell, and a former NSA, Peter Ricketts, who feared it could undermine the impartiality of the security advice the PM receives.

It is the first time Ms May has openly attacked Mr Johnson’s government since she stepped down last summer.

Singling out Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, Ms May said: ‘On Saturday, my right honourable friend said we must be able to promote those with proven expertise. Why then is the new national security adviser a political appointee with no proven expertise in national security?’

Mr Gove had attacked the ‘whirligig of Civil Service transfers and promotions’ in a speech to the Ditchley Foundation on the same day Mr Sedwill’s resignation was announced.

He said: ‘We must be able to promote those with proven expertise in their current role to perform the same, or similar, functions with greater status and higher rewards without them thinking they have to move away from the areas they know and love to rise in their profession.

‘We would not ask an Orthopaedics Registrar to become a psychiatrist in order to make consultant. So why should we require an expert in agriculture negotiations with the EU to supervise the Universal Credit IT system to see their career progress?’

Mr Sedwill held both the position of national security adviser and Cabinet Secretary, the most powerful civil service role, whereas the two roles will now be held by different people.

Mr Gove said previous NSAs were not all ‘steeped in the security world’ and said some were ‘distinguished diplomats’ like Mr Frost.

Ms May glared and shook her head as he gave his response.

In response to further questions by a Labour MP, he said: ‘The broader point is that David Frost is involved in one of the most complex diplomatic negotiations ever conducted and a diplomatic negotiation that relates specifically to defence and security cooperation as well as tariffs and trade.

‘He has been a civil servant for decades and it is the case that Mark Lyall Grant and Kim Darroch, who were national security advisers, were not people who were steeped in the world of intelligence and security.

‘They were gifted diplomats and gifted civil servants and they were, as David will be, supported by a superb team in the national security secretariat.’

Like Mr Frost, Mr Darroch held a number of diplomatic roles with the Foreign Office and was the PM’s Europe adviser for several years.

However his responsibilities included briefs on the Soviet Union and satellites towards the end of the Cold War, according to the New Statesman.

His successor, Mr Lyall Grant, had served mainly in ambassadorial roles and senior Foreign Office postings.

Neither men had the extensive security background of Mr Sedwill, who had held military-facing and counterterrorism roles in the Foreign Office and the United Nations respectively.

Before Ms May’s comments, Mr Gove claimed the civil service commissioner has agreed the job of national security adviser ‘can be regarded as a political rather than necessarily civil service appointment.’

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Boris says 'we can't be prisoners' to virus as he unveils plan to help econonomy

The Prime Minister has said the UK ‘cannot be prisoners’ to coronavirus as he unveiled plans to boost Britain’s economy.

He admitted it seems ‘a bit premature’ to talk about a post-Covid plan when the disease is still spreading across the country. But in a speech this morning at Dudley College of Technology Boris Johnson stressed the need to get Britain back on its feet an ‘unleash the potential’ of the ‘entire country’.

Part of the ‘new deal’ unveiled the PM includes a £5 billion project for infrastructure projects. He also promised to spend £1 billion on rebuilding schools over the next decade with construction expected to start on the first 50 sites from September 2021.

It comes after the UK economy shrank at the fastest pace since 1979 in the first quarter of 2020 as many businesses were ordered to close their doors during the coronavirus lockdown. Johnson said: ‘We must work fast because we’ve already seen the vertiginous drop in GDP.’

With a pledge to ‘build, build build, the PM announced plans to speed up government infrastructure spending and ‘scythe through red tape’ around planning to make property development easier.

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He added: ‘I believe in building people up: giving everyone growing up in this country the opportunity they need. Whoever you are, whatever your ethnicity, whatever your background, and there are certain things that are indispensable for that opportunity: the hospital you’re born in, the schools you go to, the safety of the streets where you grow up.

‘And this Government has not forgotten that we were elected to build 40 new hospitals – and we will. Matt Hancock is setting out the list in the next few days, and that is just the beginning.’

Johnson also said the Government would not ‘wait’ to fix the problems in social care, and said plans were being finalised. He added: ‘It’s time that the system recognised that talent and genius are expressed as much by hand and by eye as they are by a spreadsheet or an essay.’

Referencing figures which suggest a pupil from a London state school is 50% more likely to go to a top university than one in the West Midlands, he said: ‘That is not only unjust – it is such a waste of human talent. We will unleash the potential of the entire country.’

More to follow.

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says it would be a ‘mistake’ to go back to austerity because of pandemic

It would be a “mistake” to go back to austerity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister has said.

Boris Johnson told Times Radio there will be some “bumpy times” as the country recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak.

He said the coronavirus had been a “disaster” and an “absolute nightmare for the country”.

But the PM said the government would be “doubling down” on its levelling up agenda and investing in the economy.

It would be a “mistake” to go back to austerity, Mr Johnson added, saying he would be setting out a plan to “bounce forward” following the pandemic.

The government has already promised a decade-long schools rebuilding plan, with £1bn for 50 projects and another £560m for school repairs.

Mr Johnson said an economic effort like the one seen in the US under President Franklin D Roosevelt as it dealt with the Great Depression in the 1930s was needed for the UK.

“This is the time to invest in infrastructure, this is the time to make those long-term decisions for the good of the country,” the PM said.

“You have to be careful and the chancellor will be setting out our plans in the spending review in the autumn.

“But in the end what you can’t do at this moment is go back to what people called austerity, it wasn’t actually austerity but people called it austerity, and I think that would be a mistake.

“I think this is the moment for a Rooseveltian approach to the UK.”

A total of 43,550 have died in the UK with COVID-19, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Asked if he was still worried that total deaths and the infection rate remained too high, Mr Johnson said : “Every day I worry.

“Local hospital admissions are coming down, so are the death numbers.

“They are much, much lower than they were a few weeks ago and that is encouraging.”

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