United Kingdom

Thursday evening news briefing: Local lockdown fightback begins

Mark Dolan is waging war on Covid tyranny. The comic's coronavirus stance has seen him branded an anti-vaxxer, an anti-masker, and a David Icke-like conspiracy nut. Not true, he tells Tom Fordy

Read the full interview

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice: Features and arts

  1. 'The Kate Effect changed my life' | What happens when the Duchess wears your earrings
  2. No more bonking? | Why the news retro words are in danger of being lost is bamboozling us
  3. The birth of the Spitfire | The wild air races that led to Britain’s greatest aircraft

Business and money briefing

Tunnel vision | Sadiq Khan's Transport for London has taken control of Crossrail from the Department for Transport as talks continue on additional funding to finish the long-delayed project. TfL, which will operate and maintain the railway, said the transition would help ensure "seamless" decision-making on the new link. Read on for details.

Sport briefing

England squad | Man Utd captain Harry Maguire has been named in England's 30-man squad for the upcoming games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark. Manager Gareth Southgate was forced to drop the 27-year-old from his last squad after Maguire was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and bribery following an alleged incident on Mykonos. He has appealed the verdict. Read who else made the squad.

Tonight's TV  

London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year, ITV, 9pm | The second part of this documentary series sees matters grow ever more desperate during lockdown at London Zoo and its sister attraction Whipsnade Zoo. Read on for more.

And finally... for this evening's downtime

The man taking Channel 5 upmarket | With other TV companies courting younger viewers, Channel 5 head Ben Frow is bucking the trend – with great results. He tells Anita Singh about its new dawn, "snooty" critics and poaching All Creatures Great and Small.

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Mayor 'does not accept' tougher lockdown measures

The lockdown rebellion has begun. The Mayor of Middlesbrough has said he is prepared to defy new tighter restrictions revealed by the Government. Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning announced a ban on all social mixing between people in different households in the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. He also recommended that people only visit care homes in exceptional circumstances, and guided against all but essential travel. However, Middlesborough mayor Andy Preston said in a video statement: "I do not accept these measures." Our coronavirus liveblog has the latest. Here is an explanation of the latest local lockdown rules facing those areas and read an analysis of the chances of a second national lockdown.

The friction over local lockdown measures applies yet more pressure to the weight being carried on the Prime Minister's shoulders. It comes after Boris Johnson's father Stanley apologised after he was pictured in a shop without wearing a face mask. Click here for the images. Associate Editor Camilla Tominey details how the once-popular Prime Minister has now found himself in a sea of uncertainty, and the politics of coronavirus is just one of the challenges he is facing. Watch her video analysis of the four reasons he is struggling right now.

EU launches lawsuit against UK over treaty breaches

The European Commission has launched legal action against the UK, after MPs passed the Internal Market Bill, which overrides parts of the Brexit divorce treaty. Brussels had set Britain an end of month deadline to withdraw clauses in the Bill relating to Northern Ireland, which it said broke the Withdrawal Agreement and international law. As she launched legal proceedings, the Commission's president Ursula von der Leyen said the draft bill "is by its very nature, a breach of the obligation of good faith". Watch her address here. The move sent the value of the pound tumbling as concerns about the potential for a no-deal Brexit increased.

Jenni Murray's subtle message in final Woman's Hour

For Dame Jenni Murray's final edition of Woman's Hour, after 33 years as its presenter, she received one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a British subject: Mary Berry sent a cake. But the show was not all sweetness. There was a savoury bite to it, too. The fearless broadcaster, muzzled by her BBC overlords in recent years, deftly bit back on her final day. Charlotte Runcie reveals how she gave a subtle nod to perhaps the most divisive issue in contemporary feminism: the interaction between sex and gender identity. Meanwhile, here are the 33 best things that happened in Jenni Murray's 33 years on Woman's Hour.

At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Nicholas Lyndhurst’s son dies | The son of Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst has died aged 19. Archie Lyndhurst, an actor best known for playing Ollie Coulton in Bafta-award winning CBBC comedy So Awkward, was discovered at his family home in Fulham.

Around the world: Worst fighting since 1990s

Armenia and Azerbaijan rejected calls for a ceasefire and accused each other of targeting civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday, as Russia and France repeated calls for peace talks amid the worst fighting in the breakaway region since the 1990s. Azerbaijani and Armenian forces intensified their artillery firing today in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is controlled by ethnic Armenian separatists who declared independence from Azerbaijan in a war from 1991-94. That conflict, which killed 30,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands, has been largely frozen in recent years, despite intermittent clashes. Read on for more.

Thursday interview

'Wearing a mask is an act of virtue signalling'

Football news:

Hans-Dieter flick: I Hope Alaba will sign a contract with Bayern. Our club is one of the best in the world
Diego Maradona: Messi gave Barca everything, brought them to the top. He was not treated the way he deserved
Federico Chiesa: I hope to leave my mark in Juve. We will achieve great results
The Coach Of Benfica: I don't want us to look like the current Barcelona, it has nothing
Guardiola on returning to Barca: I'm happy at Manchester City. I hope to stay here
Fabinho will not play with West ham due to injury
Ronald Koeman: Maradona was the best in his time. Now the best Messi