Royal protection officers for Anne, Andrew and Edward have their firearms replaced by Tasers – The Sun

ROYAL protection officers for Anne, Andrew and Edward have had their firearms replaced by Tasers.

It is thought police guarding Harry and Meghan on visits back to the UK from their LA home will also just have the stun guns.

The “drastic measure” is part of a wide-ranging reduction of armed police protection for junior royals, politicians and diplomats.

Armed cover for the Princess Royal and brothers Andrew — who has withdrawn from public life over the Jeffrey Epstein affair — and Edward was removed in the past three weeks.

Met Police personal protection officers guarding the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles and William will continue to carry Glock pistols.

The cuts, boosting terror and gang crime cover amid a shortage of firearms officers, have caused anger.

Officers have also been told that their duties are now “advisory” and they are not to engage with potential attackers.

One source commented: “It has caused a lot of angst among firearms officers who until now have been trained to take a bullet if need be.”

Another said: “What are they supposed to do if it kicks off? Not intervene if someone is in danger but just shout advice at them? It’s crazy.”

Princess Anne was shot at in a 1974 kidnap attempt by Ian Ball.

Ex-Met Flying Squad commander John O’Connor said: “There are still people like Ball out there, dangerous lone wolves who nobody knows about.

“Replacing firearms with Tasers is nonsensical.

“The stun guns are hopeless over any kind of range.

“Even if they do hit the target, there have been examples where they have not managed to stop an attacker.”

The Royalty and VIP Executive Committee, a Home Office group, decides who gets armed protection.

The Met refused to comment.

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One in five Britons don't wash their pillows for FIVE YEARS

Sweet dreams? One in five Britons admits to sleeping on a pillow they haven’t washed in FIVE YEARS or more

  • Poll of 2,000 people discovered 20 per cent of them didn’t wash pillows often 
  • Women were much worse offenders than men, according to Silentnight study
  • Research warned that about ten per cent of the weight of a pillow that has not been washed for two years was made up of dust mites and dead skin cells 

One in five Britons admits to sleeping on a pillow they haven’t washed in five years or more.

A poll of 2,000 people discovered that 20 per cent of them confessed that they had used the same pillows for at least the past five years and had never washed them.

The study by bedding firm Silentnight also found that a further 41 per cent of us hadn’t washed our pillows in the past two years.

A poll of 2,000 people discovered that 20 per cent of them confessed that they had used the same pillows for at least the past five years and had never washed them (stock image)

The research warned that about ten per cent of the weight of a pillow that has not been washed for two years was made up of dust mites and dead skin cells. 

For pillows not washed for five years or more, that rocketed to almost 25 per cent of the weight of a pillow.

Surprisingly, women were much worse offenders than men, with just 35 per cent saying that they had washed the pillows in the past two years, compared to 45 per cent of men.

A spokesman for Silentnight said that not washing pillows could lead to a variety of allergies, including hay-fever-like symptoms and even eczema and asthma.

A study by bedding firm Silentnight also found that a further 41 per cent of us hadn’t washed our pillows in the past two years (stock image)

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MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Britain should be proud

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Britain should be proud. Now let’s find a way out of lockdown

Our hearts go out to the frontline staff in the NHS who – as we see by the tragic deaths of the brave and selfless nurses Areema Nasreen and Aimee O’Rourke – face dangers as great as any endured by soldiers in battle.

The Mail on Sunday also offers its sympathy and praise to the families of Health Service workers. Their hearts must ache with constant anxiety at this time.

The nation is entirely united behind these exceptional people, who without complaint take risks on our behalf, in some cases risks resulting from bad management and the failure to provide proper protective equipment, a true scandal which the Covid-19 affair has exposed and which must now be put right for good, without quibble, excuse or delay.

But national unity on other matters may be weakening, and the Government, in which some divisions are now emerging, needs to give serious consideration to what it does next. After several weeks of tightening shutdown, it is clear that some thought must now be given to how the country is to come out of its current state of economic inactivity and restricted personal liberty.

The Mail on Sunday also offers its sympathy and praise to the families of Health Service workers. Their hearts must ache with constant anxiety at this time (pictured, Paramedics walk past an ‘Ambulance Red Route’ sign at the ExCel centre in London, which has been made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak)

NHS nurse Aimee O’Rourke, 39, a mother of three died of coronavirus at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, where she worked

Mother of three Areema Nasreen, 36, who had no underlying conditions, died in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital, where she had worked for 16 years 

Plainly, it is impossible for the current arrangements to be imposed permanently. As the Queen will say tonight, we will in future be able to take pride in how we responded to the challenge. ‘Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.’ So far this is mostly so, and public patience and self-discipline have for the most part been exemplary, but it would be unwise for Ministers to imagine that this can or will go indefinitely, especially as the warmer weather approaches.

And that is not all. Beside the grief and loss caused by the coronavirus, another different but serious tragedy is unfolding. In the last 20 years Britain has become increasingly a nation of small business, living on tight margins and hard work. Now evidence is coming in that perhaps half of the country’s small businesses will run out of cash within eight weeks if the shutdown continues.

The implications of this for society as a whole, for incomes, livelihood and the taxation on which the NHS and our other services rely, are devastating. Like any other living body the economy cannot long survive lengthy inactivity.

The Queen will tonight deliver a rallying cry to the nation in which she expresses hope that the ‘quiet, good-humoured resolve’ of the British people will help to overcome the coronavirus crisis

This is not some crude ‘money versus lives’ bargain. The economy sustains life and health. It provides the walls and foundations of society. A weak economy means low tax revenue, the starvation of public services, lower standards of health and hygiene, worse schools and more crowded housing.

It is also worth noting that the nation’s legions of healthy older people suffer greatly from the shutdown of normal social activities, from gyms and clubs to churches.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson, plainly quite hard hit by his bout of coronavirus, deserves a great deal of public sympathy and encouragement.

It is no easy thing to lead a government under these trying circumstances even if you are in the best of health and surrounded by close friends and helpers.

We must all will him on, to take Britain to the next stage of its battle against the pandemic, and urge strongly that this next step may be one that offers us hope of rapid release from lockdown.

Plainly, caution and concern for precious human life must be paramount, but it is not impossible to combine both these aims into one sound policy.

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Clooney chum's journey from an anti-royal Trot to knight of the realm

Clooney chum’s journey from an anti-royal Trot to knight of the realm: Can Sir Keir Starmer, who focus groups find ‘dull, wooden and too lawyerly’, really make inroads into the Tories’ electoral lead?

As he knelt before Prince Charles in the Buckingham Palace ballroom, Keir Starmer’s emotions were characteristically difficult to read. Did his heart swell with pride as the knighting sword tapped his shoulder. Or did he feel a little conflicted?

After all, reflecting some years earlier, the lawyer said: ‘I got made a Queen’s Counsel, which is odd since I often used to propose the abolition of the monarchy.’

Yet he left his investiture in 2014 as a knight of the realm in recognition of his services to criminal justice and, however much it irked him, with his Establishment credentials firmly consolidated.

Some friends found the honour hard to reconcile with the firebrand politics of Starmer’s youth, just as they were discomfited when he led the Crown Prosecution Service, having previously been on the ‘other side’ as a defence barrister.

As he knelt before Prince Charles in the Buckingham Palace ballroom, Keir Starmer’s emotions were characteristically difficult to read. Did his heart swell with pride as the knighting sword tapped his shoulder. Or did he feel a little conflicted?

His knighthood has been ridiculed, too, by members of Labour’s hard Left, who say he is an Establishment stooge.

Starmer won yesterday’s vote because he convinced an outright majority of members that he is best placed to draw together Labour’s disparate elements. Calling for an end to factionalism and purges, he appealed to moderate centrists while placating radical Corbynistas.

‘I am a socialist,’ he told his local paper, the Camden New Journal. ‘I’m driven by the very deep inequalities that we’ve now got across the country of every sort: income, wealth, health, influence – it’s deeply ingrained.’

Pitching to Corbyn supporters, he promised ‘a very forward-looking radicalism’. Some critics cried opportunism but, of course, that is the trademark of most modern politicians. The bigger question now is whether the man who focus groups find ‘dull, wooden and too lawyerly’ can make inroads into the Tories’ electoral lead. Perhaps in an attempt to enliven his image, Starmer confided in a New Statesman interview last week that he moisturises every night.

Born in 1962, his father, Rod, was a tool designer, his mother, Jo, a nurse who suffered from Still’s disease, a rare auto-immune disorder characterised by fevers and rashes. Starmer spent long nights at her side in hospital – being inspired by her courage and devotion.

Starmer (pictured with his wife Victoria) won yesterday’s vote because he convinced an outright majority of members that he is best placed to draw together Labour’s disparate elements. Calling for an end to factionalism and purges, he appealed to moderate centrists while placating radical Corbynistas

After studying law at Leeds University and then at Oxford, he flirted with radicalism as part of the ‘editorial collective’ for a fringe magazine that vowed to challenge the ‘capitalist order’ and turn Labour into ‘the united party of the oppressed’.

He duly became a barrister at Middle Temple, where he focused on fighting human rights cases, engaging in battles to get rid of the death penalty in the Caribbean and in African countries. His commitment to the underdog was unstinting and he won many plaudits for it.

In 2008, despite having never prosecuted a criminal case, Starmer was an unorthodox choice as the new head of the CPS as Director of Public Prosecutions.

In a video for his leadership campaign, he claimed to have ‘stood up to the powerful’ as DPP. But others claim he pursued ‘victim-centred’ justice at the expense of the rights of defendants.

He was criticised for following fashionable liberal causes, and he also had to deal with phone-hacking and the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The latter led him to propose altering the tests used to assess complainants’ credibility in sexual violence cases, saying: ‘We cannot afford another Savile moment.’ His reforms culminated in guidance instructing CPS lawyers to focus on the credibility of complaints, rather than that of complainants.

Starmer’s influence on reforms still triggers anger to this day. One such critic is DJ Paul Gambaccini, who was investigated in 2013 over historic sexual abuse but later won damages from the CPS after the case against him was dropped.

Gambaccini accused Starmer of using his position to conduct a ‘witch-hunt’ against celebrities.

‘I have the most negative feelings about Keir Starmer imaginable,’ he said earlier this year. ‘Countless human beings were tormented because of him and he has never apologised. Keir is not only unsuitable to be leader of the Labour Party, he is unsuitable for any public position down to and including dog-catcher.’

I still fear the power of zealots who tolerated antisemitism and thuggery in the Labour Party, says former Home Secretary LORD BLUNKETT  

The long goodbye is over. Jeremy Corbyn’s exit spells the end of the power exercised by the very small clique around him. But it does not spell the end of a much wider group who still control the party’s machinery and decision-making processes.

Proclamations of unity and outbreaks of sweetness and light are, to say the least, premature.

However, at a time of darkness, there is sometimes a small shining light. A dismal chapter has closed in the history of the Labour Party and therefore, too, of this country’s functioning democracy.

After four-and-a-half years, the zealots of the hard-Left no longer hold the Labour Party. Meanwhile, the bulk of the membership has at last woken from its slumbers to recognise the catastrophe that befell the party in December when we suffered our fourth successive General Election defeat and ended up with fewer MPs than during the Michael Foot debacle of 1983.

The long goodbye is over. Jeremy Corbyn’s exit spells the end of the power exercised by the very small clique around him. But it does not spell the end of a much wider group who still control the party’s machinery and decision-making processes. Pictured: the new Labour leader Keir Starmer leaves his home yesterday morning

But this is only a beginning. The control of so many levers remains in the grip of those who tolerated antisemitism, ignored thuggery and bullying, and drove out decent people dedicated to the democratic parliamentary means of improving the lives of others.

The brutal truth is that, removing the influence of those who joined Labour only to destroy it, such as the organisers of the far-Left group Momentum, will require more than benign indifference.

After a similar hard-Left Militant Tendency attempted takeover in the 1980s, I was spat at as I walked into National Executive Committee meetings to play my part in expelling those who had joined Labour with the sole aim of taking over the party and betraying the people who had traditionally supported us.

Sir Keir Starmer’s challenge is to recognise that healing has a lot to do with delivering the right medicine, not merely covering up the wounds.

Inevitably, there is a temptation to concentrate on being a constructive Opposition. But it will not be enough, in the short-term, to articulate the demands for a dramatic improvement in testing for Covid-19 or to accelerate the distribution of personal protection equipment. Labour must also have a vision of how the nation should come together in the long period of recovery.

I supported Lisa Nandy to be leader because she expressed the hopes and fears of so many people who felt forgotten, politically isolated, and in some cases, downright antagonistic to the Labour Party. Her role will be crucial in ensuring those voices are heard.

With billions being spent by the Government to support furloughed workers, on grants and loans to businesses, and to pay for new applicants for Universal Credit, there will no longer be any immediate capacity to rebalance the economy.

Now is the moment for radical, ambitious and forward-looking policies. Not a comfort zone of indecision or complacency, but rather an understanding that the future belongs to the brave. Pictured: Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn

Many jobs will never re-emerge. Many small businesses will never recover. New ways of working, forced by necessity, may result in fewer employees and jobs with entirely different skills.

Most likely, the communities that suffered most from deindustrialisation in the 1980s and 1990s will be hit again. The same people worst affected by the global financial meltdown of 2008.

There will be lasting political consequences, as always after major traumas such as war.

Some think this will bring people together. I am not so sure.

Isolation, separation and the impact of substantial job losses, as well as the wiping out of savings and the loss of income for millions, may have the opposite effect.

All the more reason that Labour’s new leadership breaks from the schoolboy politics of those who surrounded Corbyn and who had no empathy with working people.

By necessity in this coronavirus crisis, the Conservatives have abandoned long-held dogma such as their ideological objections to the role of the State. For its part, Labour must set aside its own dogmas.

As the fourth Labour leader of the last five to be rooted in North London, it will be vital for Keir to reach out and embrace Britons living way beyond the M25.

To those who felt betrayed by Corbyn’s Labour, there must be a clear signal of internal change and party direction, as Tony Blair understood when driving through reforms to Labour’s constitution and dropping a commitment to State ownership.

The people whose votes we lost need to believe that we have really changed, and reverted back to the party that they loyally supported for generations and believed represented their interests.

Now is the moment for radical, ambitious and forward-looking policies. Not a comfort zone of indecision or complacency, but rather an understanding that the future belongs to the brave.

Hard left bullies spoil coronation for Labour’s new leader: Sir Keir Starmer storms to victory only to face immediate threat from activists not to betray Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy

    Sir Keir Starmer stormed to victory in the Labour leadership race yesterday only to face an immediate threat from hard-Left activists not to betray Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy.

    The fervently pro-Corbyn Momentum group reacted to Sir Keir’s overwhelming triumph by vowing to hold the new leader to account ‘and make sure he keeps his promises’.

    But the threat sparked fury from many MPs last night, with even one former Corbyn ally saying that such was the scale of the new leader’s victory that the hard-Left was now ‘just howling at the moon’.

    In a decisive result, Sir Keir defeated ‘Corbyn continuity’ candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy by winning more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round.

    Sir Keir Starmer stormed to victory in the Labour leadership race yesterday only to face an immediate threat from hard-Left activists not to betray Jeremy Corbyn ‘s legacy

    He was the top choice of party members, affiliates and registered supporters with 56 per cent of the vote – way ahead of Ms Long- Bailey on 28 per cent and Ms Nandy on 16 per cent.

    As Sir Keir already has the backing of most Labour MPs, party insiders said he was in a far more powerful position than Mr Corbyn ever was and could ‘take out’ the hard-Left if he wanted to.

    In a further blow to the Left, schools spokesman Angela Rayner was elected deputy leader with ardent Corbynite Richard Burgon pushed into third place.

    However, Sir Keir – who has promised to keep key Corbyn policies such as nationalising the rail and water industries – still left some MPs mystified last night over how different he would be.

    There is deep concern from Northern, Brexit-supporting Labour MPs over how Sir Keir, who backed Remain and represents a North London constituency, could appeal to the ‘Red Wall’ of seats lost to the Tories at the Election.

    And there has also been disappointment for years that while the Tories have had two female leaders, Labour refuses to give a woman the top job. Harriet Harman bemoaned this two years ago, saying: ‘It’s becoming a bit of a thing.’

    In an acceptance speech delivered via the internet because of the coronavirus crisis, Sir Keir warned his party had ‘a mountain to climb’ and that if change was required ‘we will change’.

    The fervently pro-Corbyn Momentum group reacted to Sir Keir’s overwhelming triumph by vowing to hold the new leader to account ‘and make sure he keeps his promises’

    But Sir Keir, who during the contest was careful not to antagonise Corbyn supporters, continued that approach yesterday by paying tribute to the former leader ‘as a friend as well as a colleague’ but vowing on antisemitism to ‘tear out the poison by its roots’.

    The promise failed to quell criticisms that he had failed to speak out strongly enough over the party’s handling of the issue while serving as Mr Corbyn’s Shadow Brexit Secretary.

    His spokesman also denied reports that he had already told Mr Corbyn’s former chief of staff Karie Murphy, strategy director Seumas Milne and party general secretary Jennie Formby that they would have to leave.

    Momentum, set up originally to protect Mr Corbyn’s leadership, responded with congratulations to Sir Keir but tweeted: ‘In this new era, Momentum will play a new role.

    ‘We’ll hold Keir to account and make sure he keeps his promises.’  

    Oxford MP Anneliese Dodds is being touted for Shadow Chancellor as Sir Keir today takes the key step of naming his front bench. Moderates are urging him to clear out Corbynista ‘dead wood’.

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    Emmerdale’s Lisa Riley reveals she had one and a half stone of excess skin sliced off as part of her weight loss journey – The Sun

    EMMERDALE star Lisa Riley has revealed she had almost one and a half stone of excess skin sliced off in an op as part of her astonishing 12 stone weight loss.

    The 43-year-old — Mandy Dingle in the ITV soap — cut out drinking and junk food after meeting fiance Al, 49, in 2012.


    The Loose Women regular said: “I started thinking about my own health.

    “People forget how gigantic I was."

    “With the skin removal I lost twelve stone, one pound.

    “The surgeon chopped off one stone, four pounds."

    “Since then my weight has more or less stayed the same.”

    She revealed she used to be the only one of her pals who scoffed three courses in restaurants.



    Lisa added: “Now, for lunch I eat either a bowl of soup or a plain jacket potato.

    "I’m never going to be size 28 again.”

    "I look at pictures of me back then and think: 'Who's that girl?' She doesn't exist any more."

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    Coronavirus nurse, 23, collapses and dies at home after 12-hour shift as mum says he didn’t have right protective kit – The Sun

    A NHS nurse collapsed and died after working a 12 hour shift battling on the frontlines against the deadly coronavirus.

    John Alagos is the third nurse and the youngest British medic believed to have died from the deadly COVID-19.

    ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

    After returning home from work on Friday following a night shift, John complained about suffering from a headache and a high temperature throughout the night, his mother told the The Mail on Sunday.

    Mrs Gustilo said that she had told her son to take some paracetamol before going to bed.

    She said: "After a few minutes, I found him turning blue in his bed."

    Mrs Gustilo immediately called the emergency services but paramedics were not able to resuscitate him.

    The devastated mum told The Mail on Sunday that her son told her that he had not been wearing the proper protective clothing while at work.

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    John was treating coronavirus patients at Watford General Hospital which declared a "critical incident" and shut their A&E department after a problem with their oxygen supplies.

    As of Saturday night the "critical incident" has ended and patients can attend Watford General as usual.

    Ms Gustilo said that her son did not have any underlying medical conditions.

    Tracey Carter, chief nurse at Watford General Hospital, told Sun Online: “Our staff are fully briefed on the symptoms of COVID-19 and we would never expect anyone to remain at work if they were showing these symptoms or indeed were unwell in any way.

    "We have always kept our staff updated on the latest PPE guidance to make sure they have the right level of protection for where they are working.

    "John was very popular and will be missed greatly by his colleagues. We cannot comment further on the cause of death at this stage."

    Last week two other nurses died of coronavirus believed to have been infected by patients.

    Areema Nasreen, a mum-of-three who had no underlying conditions, died in intensive care at Walsall Manor Hospital, where she had worked for 16 years.

    39-year-old Aimee O'Rourke, who is also a mother of three, died in intensive care at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent where she worked.

    The UK's death toll has increased by 708 to 4,353 in the last 24 hours, the UK's worst day ever.

    A five-year-old child, who had an underlying health condition, has become Britain's youngest coronavirus victim.

    The young victim is now believed to be the youngest Covid-19 death in Europe after a 12-year-old girl passed away in Belgium earlier this week.

    Previously, Britain's youngest coronavirus victim was "very healthy" 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, who died in hospital in London on Monday.

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    How Boris is taking lessons from his hero Churchill

    How Boris is taking lessons from his hero Churchill: ANDREW ROBERTS on how the Prime Minister is using Winston’s playbook to guide him through the coronavirus crisis

    It is a sobering thought, as Boris Johnson emerges from self-isolation, that coronavirus would probably have killed Winston Churchill had he caught it any time between his first serious bout of pneumonia in May 1943 and his fourth in February 1945. 

    Churchill was a male smoker in his 70s with a serious underlying health condition – a prime target for what Boris has dubbed ‘the invisible killer’. 

    Our wartime Premier, who survived Pathan spears in 1897, Dervish scimitars in 1898, Boer bullets in 1899 and German shells in 1916, would weirdly have been finally felled by a Chinese penchant for eating bats. 

    Even if he had died in 1943, however, and had never lived to see the Nazis defeated, Churchill would still have left a legacy of leadership second to none in world history. 

    Winston Churchill making the victory gesture outside of 10 Downing Street in June 1943

    As is clear from rereading Boris’s 2014 book The Churchill Factor that leadership has provided the template for our present Prime Minister’s entire approach to combating coronavirus, once the very different 21st Century peacetime – rather than 20th Century wartime – conditions are taken into account. 

    There was nothing invisible about the Luftwaffe, for example. So many of Boris’s stances in the present crisis derive straight from the Churchill playbook that it cannot be pure coincidence. 

    His early statement that loved ones would die provoked widespread criticism as supposedly hyperbolic and scaremongering, yet it was essential that he level with the British people in straightforward terms about the true nature of the threat. 

    Churchill was also criticised for making his first speech as Prime Minister about how the British people would need to expend ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’ to win the war, yet it was the right thing to do. 

    In September 1939, there had been official estimations of the total number of deaths from German bombing in the several hundreds of thousands, figures not unlike Imperial College’s prediction of 260,000 British deaths from coronavirus. 

    These prompted the government to close schools and evacuate children – in wartime to the countryside, today to their homes. 

    We sometimes forget that in our Finest Hour, some Britons engaged in panic-buying, hoarding and occasionally even looting during the Blitz, but they were condemned and despised by the majority of the population. 

    Far more widespread was an admirable altruistic instinct, one that thankfully still exists today and which the Johnson Government has unleashed superbly. 

    When on June 14, 1940, the War Office called for volunteers for what was to become the Home Guard, they expected half a million people to enlist. 

    In fact, one-and-a-half million did. Similarly, when the NHS asked for volunteers last month, they expected 100,000 or so to answer the call, whereas nearly three-quarters of a million brave and selfless Britons now have. 

    The sweeping new powers that the Johnson Government has given the police to use, if necessary, to enforce the lockdown are a powerful echo of the ’18B Regulation’ instituted by Churchill’s Government in May 1940. 

    Churchill considered imprisonment without trial to be ‘in the highest degree odious’, as he put it, and Boris has likewise said that ‘no Prime Minister’ wants to have to do what he has done either, but the public trust him to implement these powers in a restrained, intelligent, British way, which they overall have been (except perhaps in Derbyshire). 

    Looking to his hero, Johnson had no qualms in effectively nationalising the British economy overnight when the scale of the looming catastrophe became apparent, much as Churchill did in the period of Total War. 

    ‘He emerges as a man determined to palliate suffering,’ Boris writes of Churchill’s economic views, adding that, during the Great Depression, ‘it was a time to allay discontent, to abate the anger of the dispossessed; to help stave off revolt by providing the statefinanced response to manifest social injustice’. 

    In both Churchill’s and Johnson’s cases, the British people trust these massive incursions of the State into every aspect of British economic life to be as limited and short-lived as possible, unlike how they would be under a Corbyn government. 

    ‘To keep people together at a moment of profound anxiety,’ Boris writes of Churchill, ‘you need to ‘connect’ with them in a deep and emotional way. 

    It was not enough to appeal to the logic of defiance. He couldn’t just exhort them to be brave. He needed to engage their attention, to cheer them, to boost them. 

    Boris Johnson waves outside number 10 after delivering his first speech as Prime Minister in Downing Street Prime Ministerial handover, London, UK – 24 Jul 2019

    To move the British people, he needed at some level to identify with them – with those aspects of their character that he, and they, conceived to be elemental to the national psyche.’ 

    The 79 per cent of people who agree with the lockdown, and Boris’s own catching of coronavirus (though, of course, that was involuntary), are testament to his ability to connect, and are reminiscent of the 85 per cent of people who the Mass Observation organisation found supported Churchill during the Blitz. 

    Of course, Churchill was fortunate not to have the BBC to contend with, with its present-day interviewers insisting on Radio 4’s Today programme that Ministers ‘come clean’ over how long the lockdown will last, as though the Government had an exact date in mind and was deliberately covering it up. 

    Boris wrote that Churchill in 1940 was ‘patriotic to a degree that many have always considered hyperbolical and unnecessary, but which now, in the present crisis, seemed utterly right’. 

    What a shame, then, that the BBC’s constant griping against the Government presents such a tin ear to the public’s needs in this crisis, treating this massive national emergency as though it’s normal, Brexit-era business as usual. 

    In reply to the sneers of the antiChurchill historian Richard Toye, Boris has written: ‘Surely it doesn’t detract from Churchill’s reputation that he had robust criticism.’ 

    It certainly doesn’t, and fortunately the BBC’s carping attacks on Boris seem to have borne no fruit, with him enjoying a 72 per cent personal approval rating. 

    The speed with which the new Nightingale Hos­pital in London and the other huge regional hospitals are being created from scratch is a reason to feel pride in Britain, and is reminiscent of the sense of urgency that Churchill’s friend Lord Beaverbrook put into aircraft production in 1940. 

    One hesitates to equate Spitfires and ventilators as no historical parallels are ever exact – and Boris obviously did not foresee the virus threat in the way that Churchill long foresaw the Nazi one – but the fact is that British ingenuity and can-do attitude is being tested today, with even tighter schedules than in 1940, and not being found wanting. 

    Just as the organisation of the Norway Campaign was an embarrassing failure for Churchill during the Phoney War in April and May 1940, the dearth of coronavirus testing kits is clearly not the Government’s finest hour so far, but it will not define the story so long as Boris gets it sorted as soon as possible, as it is clear that he is straining every nerve to do. 

    Churchill’s liking for and trust in scientists such as Professor Frederick Lindemann, R.V. Jones and Sir Barnes Wallis – inventor of the Dambusters’ bouncing bombs – gave him a special edge not vouchsafed to many Prime Ministers, although he famously also said that scientists ‘should be on tap, not on top’.

    Boris has also surrounded himself with trustworthy, even scholarly figures such as Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser, who exude a sense of calm professionalism. 

    ‘There are so many people who have secretly or openly regarded his life as a pattern, example, inspiration and role model for their own,’ Boris has written of Churchill. 

    ‘That is why we need to dig into his essential nature.’ 

    As we stand perhaps still over a year away from a vaccine – as far as the Blitz was from Pearl Harbor – we can at least feel ourselves fortunate that our present leader is such a diligent student of the essential nature of Winston Churchill. 

    Andrew Roberts’s Churchill: Walking With Destiny is published by Penguin. 

    Source: Read Full Article

    British scientists develop 'early warning' coronavirus test

    British scientists develop ‘early warning’ home test that can detect the earliest signs of Covid-19 before any symptoms appear

    • British scientists are developing test that could detect early signs of coronavirus
    • Test could be delivered by post to house-confined Britons and taken at home
    • Lead professor called new test a ‘belt and braces’ option that could slow spread
    • It comes as 708 people who tested positive for Covid-19 died on Saturday 

    Scientists at Newcastle University have developed a test that could detect when someone has contracted the coronavirus before they display symptoms.

    The test could provide a result in seconds by detecting an early marker in the human body released after the immune system is provoked by infection.

    Though one of these markers – called neopterin – does not specifically identify Covid-19, it would show that the immune system has been activated.

    Crucially, it could act as an early warning sign, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

    The potential breakthrough comes as 708 people who tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK died on Saturday, taking the total to 4,313.

    It follows Government pledges to increase the number of tests for the Wuhan novel virus to 100,000 a day – though this is yet to be borne out.  

    Scientists at Newcastle University (pictured) have developed a test that could detect when someone has contracted the coronavirus before they display symptoms

    The home test could provide a result in seconds (pictured, nurse taking a swab at a coronavirus drive-through testing station at Manchester Airport)

    On Saturday, 708 people who tested positive for the coronavirus died in biggest 24-hour spike

    Colin Self, an emeritus professor at the university, called the new test a ‘belt and braces’ option that could slow the spread of Covid-19. 

    ‘The neopterin test provides us with a very early indication that someone has an infection,’ Prof Self told the newspaper. 

    ‘It would be a complementary test in conjunction with other testing regimes and would allow us to take a belt and braces approach to managing the disease.’

    Colin Self, an emeritus professor at the university, called the test a ‘belt and braces’ option that could slow the spread of the virus

    The test could be delivered by post to scores of Britons confined to their homes after Boris Johnson imposed an unprecedented lockdown. 

    It could be conducted at home using blood, saliva, or urine.

    Saturday’s record jump in fatalities to 4,313 coincides with a 3,735 increase of infections – the smallest 24-hour jump of cases in four days.  

    NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis hinted at the No10 press briefing on Saturday that the rate of infection had begun to ‘stabilise’. 

    But he warned against ‘complacency’ and urged Britons to adhere to lockdown rules, including resisting the temptation to flock outdoors to the UK’s parks and beaches this sunny weekend. 

    Michael Gove confirmed that the Midlands has seen the biggest rise in cases at 47 percent, while Yorkshire and the North East have experienced a 35 percent rise.

    The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster also revealed that Britain has taken delivery of 300 ventilators from China, while more will start being produced soon by a consortium of aerospace, engineering and F1 teams.

    ‘We’ve been buying invasive ventilators from partners abroad, including Germany and Switzerland, and today 300 new ventilators arrived from China,’ he said.

    Mr Gove said the Government is pushing manufacturing companies including Dyson to increase the number of ventilators available for coronavirus sufferers. 

    There are concerns that regional hospitals could see a surge in admissions similar to that seen in London, the epidemic of the UK’s viral outbreak. 

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    Scientist leading Sweden virus fight says UK lockdown has gone too far

    Scientist leading Sweden’s battle against coronavirus says Britain’s lockdown has gone too far as his country allows bars, restaurants and schools to remain open

    • Sweden’s face in fight against coronavirus has kept bars and restaurants open
    • Anders Tegnell said he was ‘disappointed’ when Britain abruptly altered strategy
    • Country is relying on citizens to control virus via distancing and good hygiene 

    The scientist leading Sweden’s coronavirus battle believes Britain’s lockdown has gone too far and says the UK Government should have stuck to its original strategy.

    Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, 63, fronts daily press conferences in Stockholm, leaving politicians to take a back seat.

    On his advice, Sweden has allowed bars, restaurants, schools, businesses and sports venues to remain open while relying on its citizens to control the virus through social distancing and good hygiene.

    Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, 63, fronts daily press conferences in Stockholm, leaving politicians to take a back seat

    Ironically, Dr Tegnell’s expertise comes from Britain – he has a masters degree in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

    In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, he revealed that Sweden was ‘following’ the UK’s original approach of resisting full lockdown and said he was ‘disappointed’ when we abruptly altered our strategy.

    ‘I am very sceptical of lockdowns altogether but if you ever do them, you should do them at an early stage,’ he added, referring to Britain’s delay in acting. 

    On his advice, Sweden has allowed bars, restaurants, schools, businesses and sports venues to remain open while relying on its citizens to control the virus through social distancing and good hygiene. Stockholm is pictured above on Saturday

    ‘At certain times I suppose they can be useful, if you are unprepared and need more intensive care facilities, for example, but you are really just pushing the problem ahead of you.’

    Dr Tegnell, whose measures are supported by the majority of Swedes, said: ‘So far, what we are doing is working. In a sense we are beating it, and I am confident we are doing the best we can in the circumstances.’

    He has received flowers and thousands of emails expressing gratitude. ‘Even my wife got sent flowers to thank her for lending me to the nation,’ he said. 

    ‘People wave and cheer when I cycle to work. Never has an epidemiologist been this famous.’

    A temporary intensive care ward opened yesterday in a Stockholm suburb but is not yet needed. ‘We have more intensive care beds than ever,’ said Dr Tegnell.

    In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, he revealed that Sweden was ‘following’ the UK’s original approach of resisting full lockdown and said he was ‘disappointed’ when we abruptly altered our strategy

    Sweden has recorded about 6,000 cases and 333 deaths – ten times fewer than the UK, although the country is believed to be a couple of weeks behind on the virus curve.

    ‘We put in a lot of effort trying to stop the disease from entering Sweden,’ said Dr Tegnell. ‘We also did a lot of testing and contact tracing. This bought us time for the health service to prepare.’

    Britain’s strategy changed when Imperial College London published a study suggesting avoiding lockdown could mean 250,000 deaths. Dr Tegnell, who sees the virus as a manageable risk, disagrees.

    ‘I still go to restaurants,’ he said. ‘We can’t kill all our services. And unemployed people are a great threat to public health. It’s a factor you need to think about.’

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    Fall Out Boy Greatest Hits Album To Debut On Vinyl

    An 18-track compilation of Fall Out Boy‘s greatest hits, Believers Never Die, is set to debut on vinyl on May 22 via Island/Ume.

    The compilation includes some of the band’s biggest singles from their pre-hiatus career such as, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” “Dance, Dance” and RIAA platinum-certified “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race.” The album also includes a couple of new songs and two rarities from the original LP released in 2009.

    Last November, Fall Out Boy released Believers Never Die – Volume Two, consisting of hits from the band’s post-hiatus songs.

    Overall, Believers Never Die – Greatest Hits draws from four studio albums, including “America’s Suitehearts” and “What A Catch, Donnie” from Folie à Deux and the band’s CD/DVD release Live In Phoenix, which features John Mayer on “Beat It.”

    The 2LP collection will be available on standard black vinyl, while uDiscover Music and Sound of Vinyl will also exclusively offer the release on neon yellow vinyl.

    Fall Out Boy is scheduled to hit the road this summer on the Hella Mega tour with Green Day and Weezer.

    Believers Never Die vinyl track list:

    “Dead on Arrival”
    “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy”
    “Saturday”
    “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”
    “Dance, Dance”
    “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me'”
    “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race”
    “Thnks fr th Mmrs”
    “The Take Over, The Breaks Over”
    “I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)”
    “Beat It”
    “I Don’t Care”
    “America’s Suitehearts”
    “What a Catch, Donnie”
    “Alpha Dog”
    “From Now on We Are Enemies”
    “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out”
    “Growing Up”

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