Great Britain

Coronavirus UK news latest – Piers Morgan BLASTS Christmas lockdown easing saying people will ‘kill half their family’

PIERS Morgan has blasted Christmas lockdown easing saying it gives people a free pass "to kill half their family".

Speaking with the First Minister of Wales, the GMB host said he didn't want to be Scooge but warned that lifting coronavirus restrictions for five days over Christmas "doesn't make public health sense".

England is returning to a beefed up version of local lockdown restrictions once the national shutdown ends on December 2 until April, with "very few" parts of the country under the lowest tier 1 measures.

The tiered approach is seen by some Tory MPs as "lockdown by another name", with one rebel source saying almost 100 Conservatives have raised concerns about the crippling economic damage the tiers will cause.

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news, reaction and updates on the lockdown plans...

  • CUTTING IT FINE

    A salon owner who stayed open during lockdown now faces a £27,000 fine, after quoting the Magna Carta to defend her rebellion.

    Sinead Quinn has remained trading as the country is in a second national lockdown – which bans salons from running until December 2.

    She was initially given a fine of £4,000 for opening Quinn Blakey Hairdressers over the weekend.

    But the cost has now rocketed to £27,000 after council officers visited yesterday and today – slapping her with two £10,000 fines for still being open.

    The salon in Oakenshaw, near Bradford, had previously been given with a fines of £1,000 and £2,000 for defying government orders to close from November 5 in the face of rising Covid-19 cases.

  • UK COVID CASES & DEATHS

  • TIER SYSTEMS

  • TIERS FOR FEARS

    Boris Johnson has unveiled a tough new tier system to keep Covid under control tomorrow – and within days, Brits living across the country will know what restrictions they'll be facing.

    The Prime Minister will end the national lockdown, as promised, on December 2 – and Matt Hancock will tomorrow lay out which areas will be in which Tier.

    The Health Secretary will make a statement tomorrow detailing the different Tiers around England.

    Earlier this week, Mr Johnson announced each of the new local Tiers have been toughed up to keep coronavirus cases under control.

    And he warned “even more” regions will be placed in higher Tiers.

    Under the most drastic Tier 3 rules, pubs and restaurants will have to close.

    And even in Tier 2, pubs and bars can only stay open if they serve “substantial meals”.

  • PAY PROBLEMS

    Britain's NHS staff will get a pay RISE but millions of public sector workers will face pay freeze as Britain faces an “economic emergency”, the Chancellor announced today.

    The Chancellor said today he could not “justify” a widespread pay rise for public sector workers while private businesses bore the brunt of the coronavirus crisis.

    The wages of nurses, doctors and other NHS workers will go up next year to support them after their efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

    Mr Sunak set out today his comprehensive spending review and announced there must be a “pay pause” as he tried to fend off a disastrous economic fallout from record spending.

    Mr Sunak said today: “In such a difficult context for the private sector – especially for people working in sectors like retail, hospitality, or leisure… I cannot justify a significant, across-the-board pay increase for all public sector workers. Instead, we are targeting our resources at those who need it most.

    “To protect public sector jobs at this time of crisis, and ensure fairness between the private and public sectors, I am taking three steps today. First, taking account of the pay review bodies advice, we will provide a pay rise to over a million Nurses, Doctors and others working in the NHS. Second, to protect jobs, pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused next year. But third, we will protect those on lower incomes.”

  • TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT WILL EASE BURDEN ON COUNCILS NEXT YEAR BUT PUTS ONUS ON LOCAL AUTHORITIES SAYS CHAIRMAN OF COUNTY COUNCILS NETWORK

    Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, and leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said today: “This Spending Review will always be remembered as the one with Coronavirus as its prime focus.

    “The County Councils Network (CCN) has strongly argued the case for funding to meet additional costs created by the pandemic next year, and the £1.55bn of additional funds for councils is very welcome, as is the £300m for adults and children’s social care.

    “The CCN has long called for an income guarantee to compensate for losses in council tax and business rates income, and we strongly welcome today’s establishment of a compensation scheme at the 75% rate we specifically called for.

    “Today’s announcement will ease the burden on councils next year, especially in relation to the continuing costs of the Coronavirus.

    “But there is an onus on local authorities raising more from council tax to fund their social care costs, and with councils facing an underlying funding shortfall before the pandemic, they still face some difficult decisions next year on what services to reduce.

    “We will now be looking to the Local Government Finance Settlement for a fair allocation of resources which fully recognises county authorities’ pressures arising from Coronavirus and does not unduly penalise those councils if they choose to levy the social care precept.”

  • BLOOD, SWEAT & TIERS

    Boris Johnson is facing down a blue wall of opposition against London going into Tier 3 when lockdown ends.

    The PM has come up against multiple members of his own party as they fear the capital could go into the harshest restrictions next week.

    It will be revealed which area is under which tier tomorrow, but many MPs have already slammed the idea of London going into Tier 3.

    Before the second national lockdown it was in Tier 2, which saw Londoners unable to mix indoors with other households.

    MPs against Tier 3 imposed on the capital are demanding the Government publish a full analysis with the criteria and thresholds used to decide on the tiers.

    Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, told the Standard: “This looks like a political gesture to placate other areas.

    “There is no reason to be moved from 2 to 3, and they should now publish the cost/benefit analysis on such action.”

  • RISHI DISHES OUT

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a raft of measures in this afternoon's spending review designed to help people weather the coronavirus crisis.

    Here we take a look at each of the initiatives announced and explain how they will impact the cash in your pockets

  • LAST MOMENTS

    A shocking video filmed by an intensive care doctor shows what Covid-19 patients see for the last time before death.

    Dr Ken Remy, from Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri, created the harrowing video to warn people what could happen if they don’t follow restrictions.

    In the video posted to Facebook and reported by CNN, Dr Remy said: “I hope that the last moments of your life don't look like this.”

    While wearing his medical personal protective clothing, Dr Remy simulates a Covid-19 patient being intubated – when a breathing tube is inserted down their windpipe.

    Many of the most critically ill patients need oxygen support because the disease causes their lungs to stop working.

    Dr Remy, who has treated at least 1,000 Covid-19 patients, said: “The last moments a lot of folks unfortunately are seeing at the end of their lives are us administering medicines to make you sleepy, and me putting a breathing tube in you.”

    You can find the video here.

  • TORY MPS ACCUSE GOVERNMENT OF “STICKING FINGER IN AIR” TO DECIDE TIER AREAS

    Furious ministers have accused the Government of “finger in the air” decisions on where to plunge into harsher Tier 2 and 3 restrictions after lockdown ends.

    Tory MPs are ready for a fight if the majority of the country ends up under more severe rules, with the tier announcement expected tomorrow.

    MPs have warned it should not be a blanket approach across regions with differing rates, and claim the allocation markers are vague with no specific number thresholds.

    Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh blasted the criteria, telling MailOnline: “There is no assessment. it is all finger in the air… ''that seems a way to do it'.”

    The tier system, which the country was in before lockdown is due to be beefed up, making the restrictions even harsher.

  • COVID INFECTIONS FALLING IN OVER 60s IN EVERY UK REGION APART FROM EAST OF ENGLAND

    EVERY region has seen coronavirus infections fall for the over 60s – except one, according to the latest app data.

    New figures from the ZOE Covid Symptom Study show that the East of England has seen a gradual uptick in cases since the end of October.

    Professor Tim Spector tweeted: “The new tier system for Covid-19 in England will be based on 5 criteria- one is the rate in the over 60's.

    “The Zoe app will start to produce these maps so we can compare regions transparently.

    “Currently all downwards or flat except East England.”

  • SUNAK LIVE

    Concluding, Rishi Sunak told the Commons: “We in Government can set the direction – better schools, more homes, stronger defence, safer streets, green energy, technological development, improved rail, enhanced roads, all investments that will create jobs and give every person in this country the chance to meet their potential.

    “But it is the individual, the family, and the community that must become stronger, healthier and happier as a result. This is the true measure of our success.

    “The spending announced today is secondary to the courage, wisdom, kindness and creativity it unleashes. These are the incalculable but essential parts of our future, and they cannot be mandated or distributed by Government.

    “These things must come from each of us, and be shared freely, because the future, this better country, is a common endeavour.

    “Today Government has funded the priorities of the British people, now the job of delivering them begins.”

  • SHADOW CHANCELLOR LIVE

    Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said Rishi Sunak's public sector pay freeze will deliver a “sledgehammer” blow to consumer confidence, while the Government had mismanaged the finances on an “industrial scale”.

  • BORIS JOHNSON URGES IPSA NOT TO PROCEED WITH PAY RISE FOR MPS

    Boris Johnson has urged the independent body responsible for setting MPs' pay not to go ahead with its recommended increase.

    It comes after more than 50 Conservative MPs called on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) to impose a pay freeze for parliamentarians next year.

    In a letter to the interim chairman of the body, Richard Lloyd, the MPs rejected its recommendation for their pay to rise by £3,300.

    They argued that, with constituents facing financial uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, they should help to “shoulder the burden”.

    At Prime Minister's Questions, the issue was raised by Conservative Dehenna Davison (Bishop Auckland), who co-ordinated the letter signed by 52 Tory MPs.

  • SHADOW CHANCELLOR LIVE

    Ms Dodds pointed out that there was no mention of Brexit in the Spending Review 2020.

    She added that businesses need certainty.

  • SPENDING REVIEW DOCUMENTS NOW AVAILABLE

    The spending Review 2020 documents are now available on the Government's website.

    You can find it here.

  • SHADOW CHANCELLOR RESPONDS

    Anneliese Dodds said that the Chancellor clapped for key workers earlier this year however he is making many of them now face a pay freeze.

    She added that this will take money out of the economy.

    In contrast there has been many firms, who have links to the Conservative Party, winning contracts from the Government.

  • THE CHANCELLOR ON INFRASTRUCTURE

    “Our final priority is to deliver our record investment plans in infrastructure. Capital spending next year will total 100 billion pounds 27 billion pounds more in real terms than last year. Our plans deliver the highest sustained levels of public investment in more than 40 years.

    “Were publishing today a comprehensive new National Infrastructure Strategy.

    “To help finance our plans, I can announce we will establish a new UK infrastructure bank.

    Headquartered in the north of England, the Bank will work with the private sector to finance major new investment projects across the UK starting this spring.”

  • SUNAK ON AID BUDGET

    “During a domestic fiscal emergency, when we need to prioritise our limited resources on jobs and public services sticking rigidly to spending 0.7% of our national income on overseas aid, is difficult to justify to the British people especially when were seeing the highest peacetime levels of borrowing on record.

    “I want to reassure the House that we will continue to protect the worlds poorest: Spending the equivalent of 0.5% of our national income on overseas aid in 2021, allocating 10 billion pounds at this Spending Review. And our intention is to return to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows.”

  • SUNAK ON HEALTHCARE SPENDING

    “Next year, the core health budget will grow by 6.6 billion pounds, allowing us to deliver 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more general practice appointments.”

  • THE CHANCELLOR ON TOTAL DEPARTMENTAL SPENDING

    “Next year, total departmental spending will be 540 billion pounds. Over this year and next, day-to-day departmental spending will rise, in real terms, by 3.8% the fastest growth rate in 15 years. In cash terms, day-to-day departmental budgets will increase next year by 14.8 billion pounds.”

  • SUNAK ON PUBLIC SECTOR PAY

    “I am taking three steps today. First, taking account of the pay review bodies advice, we will provide a pay rise to over a million Nurses, Doctors and others working in the NHS.

    “Second, to protect jobs, pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused next year. But third, we will protect those on lower incomes.”

  • SUNAK ON DEBT

    “The economic impact of coronavirus, and the action weve taken in response, means there has been a significant but necessary increase in our borrowing and debt.

    “The UK is forecast to borrow a total of 394 billion pounds this year, equivalent to 19% of GDP. The highest recorded level of borrowing in our peacetime history. Borrowing falls to 164 billion pounds next year, 105 billion pounds in 2022-23, then remains at around 100 billion pounds, 4% of GDP, for the remainder of the forecast.

    “Underlying debt after removing the temporary effect of the Bank of Englands asset purchases is forecast to be 91.9% of GDP this year.

    “Underlying debt is forecast to continue rising in every year, reaching 97.5% of GDP in 2025-26. High as these costs are, the costs of inaction would have been far higher.”

  • SUNAK ON ECONOMIC FORECASTS

    “The OBR forecast the economy will contract this year by 11.3%, the largest fall in output for more than 300 years. As the restrictions are eased, they expect the economy to start recovering growing by 5.5% next year, 6.6% in 2022, then 2.3%, 1.7% and 1.8% in the following years.”

    “Our economic output is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels until the fourth quarter of 2022. And the economic damage is likely to be lasting. Long-term scarring means, in 2025, the economy will be around 3% smaller than expected in the March Budget.”

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