PM puts focus on crime and Covid recovery while battling allegations
Boris Johnson is seeking to focus attention on tackling crime and the coronavirus recovery amid signs a string of allegations may be damaging the Tories’ ahead of the elections.
The prime minister said today he had ‘no doubt’ the economy ‘will bounce back strongly’ from the pandemic in a pitch to voters before polls open across Britain on May 6.
He made the pitch as two new surveys suggested the Conservatives’ lead over Labour has been cut ahead of local elections in England and votes for the parliaments in Scotland and Wales.
Vaccinations ‘to begin for secondary school pupils from September’
Secondary school pupils will reportedly be offered Covid-19 vaccinations from September under plans being developed by the NHS.
Health service officials are compiling planning documents that include a measure to offer a single dose of the Pfizer jab to children aged 12 and older when the new school year starts, according to the Sunday Times.
Pfizer has said trials of its vaccine in children aged 12 to 15 showed 100 per cent efficacy and a strong immune response. The plans depend on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation due this summer.
Foreign secretary gives BBC £8m to tackle global disinformation
The BBC World Service has been given £8m to help tackle disinformation and inaccurate news reporting around the world, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has announced.
The money will be used to support investigative journalism by the BBC World Service and improve digital engagement with the broadcaster’s reporting overseas.
Raab said: ‘In a world where states and criminal gangs twist the news to exploit others, it is vital to safeguard independent and objective news reporting around the world.’
Kia EV6 pricing revealed
Kia has confirmed that its new electric EV6 will cost from £40,895 when it goes on sale in the UK later this year.
The crossover is the first car to be built on Kia’s new electric vehicle platform. Every UK model gets the larger 77.4kWh battery pack capable of up to 316 miles between charges, while ultra-fast charging can top up the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in under 20 minutes.
Prices continue up to £48,395 depending on the spec, although the figure for the top-level GT is yet to be announced as it’s not on sale until 2022. First deliveries of the other models are expected to begin this October.
Thousands wave off navy flagship ahead of first deployment to Far East
Thousands of well-wishers packed the harbour walls in Portsmouth yesterday to wave off the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth as she set sail for exercises and her first operational deployment to the Far East.
The £3bn aircraft carrier sailed out of Portsmouth to cheers from the crowds who filled the walls and beaches.
There were few signs of social distancing among the well-wishers who waved Union Flags and held banners saying farewell to their loved ones who will be at sea for about seven months.
Car Dealer Podcast: Special edition quiz
No further coronavirus deaths recorded in Northern Ireland
There have been no further deaths of people who previously tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.
The Department of Health said yesterday there had been another 90 cases of the virus confirmed in the last 24-hour reporting period. The death toll from Covid-19 remains at 2,145, according to the department’s figures.
It followed Northern Ireland taking a major step out of its lockdown restrictions on Friday, with many hospitality and non-essential retail outlets reopening their doors after four months of closure.
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Meet Colin the Batterpillar!
This isn’t just any deep-fried cake – this is a deep-fried Colin the Caterpillar cake.
A chip shop in East Kilbride covered the birthday cake in batter and fried it as part of a special promotion.
The stunt at Emanuel’s comes after Marks & Spencer started legal action against Aldi over the rival’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar product. Chip shop owner Ricky Brandon told the PA news agency: ‘It’s a wee bit silly but hopefully they’ll just cancel it and let (Aldi) do their thing.’
Bank holiday washout
There’ll be more showers and sunshine in most areas today, says the BBC, with the rain thundery and heavy in some regions. It’ll also stay chilly for this time of year again although any winds will be light.
The showers will lessen during the evening, with some clear spells as a result. However, there’ll be more clouds across the west, and Northern Ireland will have rain tonight.
Sadly, there won’t be much sunshine or warmth on Bank Holiday Monday, with things becoming overcast, and blustery and heavy rain developing in most areas during the morning. Northern Scotland, meanwhile, will see showers, which could turn wintry higher up.