Categories
World News

Boris Johnson refuses to speak about movements of his father Stanley

‘I make it normal practice not to comment on my family’: Boris Johnson refuses to speak about ‘the movements and doings’ of his father Stanley after he ignored his Prime Minister son’s ‘essential travel only’ advice to jet off to his Greek villa

  • PM’s father Stanley Johnson is spotted at a tavern last night in Pelion, Greece
  • It comes after he flew to villa in brazen defiance of pandemic travel warnings
  • Foreign Office guidance still says no Britons should travel unless it is essential 
  • At press conference tonight, the PM refused to comment on father’s movements
  • Said he will not comment on the ‘movements and doings’ of his family members

Boris Johnson has refused to speak about the ‘movements and doings’ of his father Stanley who flew to Greece in a brazen defiance of pandemic travel warnings.

Stanley Johnson, 79, jetted to his four-bed mountain-view home in Pelion this week – ignoring Foreign Office guidance which says no one should travel unless it is essential.

The former Tory Euro-MP dodged Greece’s ban on direct flights from the UK by flying from Luton to Athens via Bulgaria, sharing videos and images of his journey online.

At tonight’s coronavirus press conference, the Prime Minister refused to comment on his father’s movements.

When asked why the public should obey all the rules when his father and top aide Dominic Cummings had not done, he replied: ‘Durham Police made it clear they were not pursuing that.

Boris Johnson has refused to speak about the ‘movements and doings’ of his father Stanley who flew to Greece in a brazen defiance of pandemic travel warnings

‘I make it a normal practice not to comment on the movements and doings of my family.

‘When you look at what the British public have done over the last three months it has been a phenomenal effort to follow the guidance and get this thing under control.

‘People have worked together and done an absolutely heroic job. We have got to keep that going now.’ 

Stanley Johnson was photographed last night looking at his mobile phone with a glass of red wine on a table while sitting alone at Martha’s restaurant at Horto in Mount Pelion, Greece 

Last night, Stanley Johnson was photographed looking at his mobile phone with a glass of red wine on a table while sitting alone at Martha’s restaurant in Horto village.

Mr Johnson also failed to condemn his father’s actions earlier today, telling LBC Radio: ‘I think you really ought to raise that with him. I am not going to get into details of family conversations. 

‘I think the overwhelming majority of the British people have understood what needs to be done and have been very prudent, and that is the right thing to do.’ 

Local residents told Magnesia News that Martha’s is Stanley Johnson’s favourite restaurant in the area – and his dinner included fresh fish, Greek salad and red wine. 

The Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson was spotted at the tavern in Greece last night

They added that he has otherwise rarely left the villa since arriving in the country this week, and has not been spotted in the village at any other time.

Boris Johnson has also gone to the restaurant when in the village, and chose to visit the area with his now-fiancée Carrie Symonds for New Year’s Eve in 2018.

Speaking from his villa – which he lets out to tourists – Stanley Johnson said Greek officials were happy to allow him in and the ban only seemed to apply to ‘bulk arrivals’ of British holidaymakers.

MPs said the incident ‘stinks of one rule for them and another rule for the rest of us’ and claimed it echoed No 10 aide Dominic Cummings’ infamous lockdown trip to Barnard Castle.

Stanley Johnson posted a selfie on his Instagram feed during his trip to Greece on Wednesday

More than 400,000 sunseekers are thought to have had their Greek holidays ruined by government delays in relaxing the global travel warning, along with Greece’s decision to ban direct flights from the UK until July 15.

During the lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said foreign summer holidays are effectively cancelled following the Foreign Office travel warning.  

Also today, Mr Shapps disclosed that Greece was not on the initial list of countries from which travellers to England would no longer be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Mr Shapps said a decision on whether to add Greece to the list would have to wait until at least July 15 when the government in Athens will decide whether to lift its restrictions on travellers from the UK.

Mr Johnson travelled to his mountain retreat in Pelion, outside Athens, pictured, where he claimed he was making it Covid secure ahead of the letting season for holiday makers 

He said that if Mr Johnson senior returned to the UK before that date he would have to self-isolate for a fortnight ‘which he will be happy to do’.

Asked whether is visit to his villa constituted ‘essential business’, Mr Shapps said it was ‘up to an individual to decide’.

‘There is certainly no law against it. This is travel advice,’ he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

‘But what isn’t up to an individual to decide is when they return from that location then they will need to self-isolate, they will need to do that quarantine for 14 days.’

Boris Johnson did not condemn his father today, telling LBC Radio (pictured): ‘I think you really ought to raise that with him. I am not going to get into details of family conversations’

As a Greek news website branded Stanley Johnson’s trip ‘unbelievable’, MPs urged Boris Johnson to explain why his father appears to be bound by a ‘different set of rules’ to those imposed on ordinary holidaymakers.

Labour’s aviation spokesman Mike Kane said: ‘The Government have been all over the place with their plans for a quarantine or air bridges, but what is clear is that the guidance is against any foreign travel at the moment.’

Speaking in the Commons, Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael said: ‘This is simply further evidence that when it comes to following the rules, it is one rule for the Conservatives and one rule for everyone else.

‘Whilst the Prime Minister is continuing to ask people to make huge sacrifices… he must reflect on how much of a kick in the teeth these reports will be.’

Stanley Johnson flew via Sofia, Bulgaria to avoid Greece’s ban on direct flights from the UK

Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan, a shadow minister and A&E doctor, wrote on Twitter: ‘Most people have been following the guidelines and socially distancing – not everyone will get a holiday this year.

‘Those closest to the Prime Minister have different rules though.’ 

Fellow Labour MP Kate Osborne added: ‘They’re laughing directly in the face of people up and down this country. Shame.’

Liberal Democrat Jamie Stone said the incident ‘stinks of one rule for them and another rule for the rest of us’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his father Stanley at a book launch in London in 2014 

The Foreign Office currently advises British nationals ‘against all but essential international travel’. It is up to travellers to decide whether their trip is essential.

Mr Johnson said on Wednesday night: ‘I’m in Pelion on essential business trying to Covid-proof my property in view of the upcoming letting season. I need to set up distancing measures at the property because they’re taking it very seriously here.’

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘In relation to Foreign Office advice, that is what it is – it is advice. It is for individuals to make judgments themselves.’

Stanley Johnson declined to comment further yesterday.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson begs the public to behave when pubs open TOMORROW

‘We’re not out of the woods yet’: Boris Johnson begs the public to behave when pubs open TOMORROW warning local lockdowns WILL be imposed if coronavirus surges – amid fears R rate is creeping up

  • Boris Johnson has appealed for the public to show restraint on ‘Super Saturday’ but pubs can open at 6am 
  • Prime Minister’s spokesman said the early start is to avoid all-night lock-in parties beginning at 12.01am  
  • Critics worry about ‘mixed messages’ as police fear disorder and NHS fears drinking related illness and injury
  • Poll shows that 90 per cent of voters are dubbing tomorrow ‘Stupid Saturday’ – and it could also be a washout

Boris Johnson tonight begged the public to behave when pubs open tomorrow, warning he will not hesitate to impose local lockdowns if coronavirus starts to surge again.

At a Downing Street press conference to mark lockdown easing in England, the PM struck a nervous tone as he insisted the ‘risks are obvious’ and the country is ‘not out of the woods yet’.

He insisted that while the government is taking the ‘biggest step yet’ towards normality and hopes to spell out a timetable for opening up more sectors next week, danger was still lurking just below the surface. Mr Johnson said he would be treating himself to a pint – but only one.

Meanwhile, chief medical officer Chris Whitty delivered a stark message that the virus was a ‘long way from gone’ and a second wave is a ‘real possibility’, while science head Patrick Vallance pointed out transmission is much more likely indoors.  

The cautionary note came as police brace for chaos as bars get up and running for the first time since March tomorrow. Legally they will be allowed to open as early as 6am – although No10 stressed that standard licensing rules will still apply. 

Meanwhile, new figures have suggested that the R rate might have crept upwards in some parts of the country, although the overall estimate remains between 0.7 and 0.9. 

A survey of 15,000 pubs has found that 42 per cent will open tomorrow, a further 17 per cent are reopening later in July and the rest either don’t know or are waiting to the end of the summer at the earliest. 

Critics have called tomorrow ‘Stupid Saturday’ amid fears of heavy drinking, rowdy behaviour and most significantly concerns that there could be a spike in coronavirus cases – while mayhem on the roads are also predicted 10million drivers expected to clog the roads, especially those heading away on holiday after almost four months of lockdown.

But Mr Johnson said the key was for everyone to ‘enjoy summer safely’. ‘Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together, and we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again,’ he said.

‘Because we are not out of the woods yet. The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that. If it starts running out of control again this Government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.

‘Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-Secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.

‘So as we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British people to do so safely.’  

In other developments today as England prepares to take another critical step in the crisis:

  • Hair salons are preparing to open at midnight and work until morning to meet the frenzied demand from Britons aching for a post-lockdown trim;
  • Churches can also reopen for services including weddings of no more than 30 people – but 75,000 couples have already postponed walking down the aisle over the past three months;
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is finally paving the way for summer holidays today by releasing a list of 60 quarantine-exempt countries – but fears have been raised that plans for mass screening for covid-19 at airports could cause ‘log jams’ in the terminals;

At a Downing Street press conference to mark lockdown easing in England tomorrow, Boris Johnson struck a nervous tone as he insisted the ‘risks are obvious’ and the country is ‘not out of the woods yet’

Northern Ireland has got a jump on England by opening pubs a day earlier. Pictured is the Dirty Onion in Belfast today

Screens are being put up on the Atlas Bar and cafe in Manchester as the new era of going out for drinking and food begins tomorrow

Sylvester Kowalczk pictured measuring 2m to put social distancing stickers on the floor at the Ship and Whale pub in Rotherhithe, south London

Beer is deliveed this morning at The Cricketers in Chelmsford, Essex, as England’s tens of thousands of pubs and bars can start serving again 

Nearly 75,000 couples postpone their weddings in just three months due to coronavirus lockdown 

Nearly 75,000 weddings and same-sex civil partnership ceremonies have been postponed in England since lockdown began more than three months ago.

Weddings will be allowed to take place again from tomorrow on ‘Super Saturday’ with a maximum of 30 people who must maintain social distancing measures.

But the Office for National Statistics has estimated that 73,400 marriages have been postponed along with 300 same-sex civil partnerships between March 23 and today.

Guests at post-lockdown weddings must avoid singing unless behind a screen, not consume any food or drink and avoid playing instruments that must be blown into.

More than 250,000 weddings usually take place in the UK each year, but most couples have been affected by restrictions that came into force in March. 

It comes as a couple from Staffordshire who will be among the first to get married in England since lockdown began said they ‘didn’t want to delay it any longer’. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘I do want people to feel that it’s safe to go and enjoy themselves and enjoy hospitality.

‘But it’s got to be done in a responsible way.’

The premier said the government had “all sorts of measures in reserve” in the event of a flare-up in infections.

But he said the focus would be on local action, as has happened in Leicester, with a national lockdown “the response of last resort”.

In a grim assessment, Prof Whitty said a second wave would be a threat for a ‘very long time to come’.

“This possibility will exist with us for a very long time so we have to prepare for that and that’s a lot of preparation going on so the best thing to do is to make that as unlikely as possible,” he said.

He urged the public to stick to social distancing measures, saying: “If individuals, families and firms do not take them seriously the possibility of a second wave goes up sharply.”

Prof Whitty added that the coming of winter also poses a threat in terms of a second wave of Covid-19 cases.

‘Either side of the path that we are on there are risks,’ he said.

‘And we are going to have health problems, and economic problems, for sure.

‘So, what we are trying to do is walk this narrow path. There is no perfect time, there is no perfect, exact way of doing it.

‘What this is is an attempt to balance, as best we can, in a way that makes it possible for society to be as close as possible to normal, whilst living alongside this virus – which we will have to continue to do.

‘This virus is a long way from gone. But, it is not going to be gone for a very, very long time.’

The move to allow pubs to reopen from 6am tomorrow will disappoint some punters who had hoped for establishments to open from midnight tonight. 

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said today that the regulations ‘mostly come into force at 12.01am’ tomorrow.

They added: ‘The reopening of pubs and bars specifically comes into force at 6am. That would just be in the event anybody would attempt to try to open at midnight.’

A poll by ITVs Good Morning Britain (GMB) showed nearly 90 per cent of voters are dubbing tomorrow ‘Stupid Saturday’ instead of ‘Super Saturday’. 

Social media users appear far from excited about pubs in England reopening, with many tweeting they will keep clear of boozers tomorrow. 

While some want to stay away from the possible ‘carnage’, others are concerned about a potential rise in cases of Covid-19.

Mr Johnson said there was a need to proceed ‘carefully and cautiously’. 

‘Tomorrow we come to step three of the plan that I set out on May 10, that everybody, I think, has understood, or huge numbers of people have understood and followed very carefully and very closely,’ he told LBC.

‘And it’s because people stuck to that plan that we’re now able to carefully and cautiously open up hospitality tomorrow. And my message is really for people to enjoy summer sensibly and make sure that it all works.’  

The PM will use a Downing Street press conference today to warn that the Government could ‘put on the brakes’ and bring back severe restrictions if there is a surge in cases, as has been witnessed in Leicester. 

The relaxation in England is set to be a key test of the progress made by imposing draconian restrictions on March 23 to halt the spread of Covid-19.   

The PPE on show in Belfast today gives a glimpse of how pubs will look in England when they reopen tomorrow

Beer barrels arrive at the Windsor Castle pub in South Kensington, west London, ahead of pubs reopening tomorrow

A poll by ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) shows that nearly 90 per cent of voters are choosing to dub ‘Super Saturday’ as ‘Stupid Saturday instead’

Social media users tweeted that they will be keeping clear of pubs in England tomorrow

Hairdressers gear up to open salons at midnight with Perspex screens, visors and NO magazines while you wait as many are booked up for FIVE WEEKS in advance 

Salons are preparing to open at midnight and work until morning to meet the frenzied demand from Britons aching for a post-lockdown trim.  

After three months shuttered, hairdressers will be working flat out from tomorrow when the country ushers in the next big easing of restrictions.

Confronted with a rammed appointment book for the next five weeks, salons are eager to start welcoming clients as soon as possible.

Charlotte’s Academy in Cowes, Isle of Wight, has bookings for 20 customers from one-minute past midnight until 8.30am, where they will be dealt with by a team of three hair stylists. 

Meanwhile Sunderland salon owner Debra Adamson has agreed to open on the hour for a loyal customer who failed to find an appointment after they were quickly snapped up following Boris Johnson’s announcement last month. 

 

‘We’ve put a lot of thought into this, he said. ‘We feel now is not the right time for is. We’d like to avoid that first wave of enthusiasm as people return to the pubs on what is typically the busiest drinking day of the week.

‘Our first concern is the health and safety of our staff and customers.  

Official pleas for calm tomorrow are being echoed by the public, as social media users tweet about keeping clear of pubs in England on ‘Super Saturday’. 

‘In a pandemic, pubs have a new licence, a licence to contaminate, a licence to kill,’ one social media user tweeted this morning. 

Another post read: ‘Why is the reopening of pubs tomorrow being called Super Saturday? Carnage Saturday seems more appropriate.’

One person commented: ‘Is anyone actually going to the pub tomorrow or are they are all doing the same thing and ‘wait until it dies down’?’

‘#StayHomeSaturday #ProtectNHS,’ one tweet read. ‘StopTheSpread. Drink at home, don’t risk spreading Covid-19 please.’

Another said ‘if I see anyone going to the pubs on reopening I will unfriend u on sight’, while one added: ‘The list time this country had a super Saturday, we were celebrating incredible sports people winning gold medals. Now they are using the phrase to celebrate pubs reopening and people most probably getting drunk. 

‘Change the phrase, because tomorrow is not going to be super.’ 

Pub landlord William Douglas told GMB today that he has chosen not to reopen Docks Beer in Grimsby amid concerns for health and safety.  

Social media users tweeted that they will be keeping clear of pubs in England tomorrow

Tomorrow is expected to be a wash-out as pubs in England reopen after months of lockdown

Traffic jams alert as 10million motorists plan to hit the road on Super Saturday to escape homes for an overnight stay, poll finds

A third of drivers will take to the road this weekend to celebrate the easing of the lockdown, according to the RAC.

More than 10million of us will be escaping our homes for an overnight stay on July 4, the motoring group’s poll found.

The date has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ due to pubs and restaurants reopening. Officials are now braced for chaos on what is expected to be the busiest weekend on the roads this year, as many choose to avoid public transport for fear of infection. 

It marks a stark contrast to two months ago, when the traffic on the roads plummeted to mid-1950s levels.

A fifth of motorists, equivalent to 6.5million, are planning overnight stays with friends or family, while around two million drivers will head off for ‘staycation’ breaks at campsites, the poll found. 

Some 680,000 drivers plan to visit caravan sites, while one million will stay in hotels, B&Bs or other self-catering accommodation. 

The weekend traffic forecast is certainly worrying residents in the former fishing town of St Ives in Cornwall. 

Officials fear that cars blocking up the narrow, winding roads will make it hard for tourists to follow social distancing rules when on foot, increasing the risk of a second wave of coronavirus. As a result, the streets have been closed to most traffic during the day.

A ‘keep left’ system will also be introduced. Officials said the plan ‘reflects the town’s almost unique challenge of accommodating 220,000 visitors (on top of a higher number of day trippers) with a resident population of approximately 11,000’.

A document published by St Ives Town Council, Cornwall Council and St Ives Business Improvement District said: ‘Even in a normal year, pedestrians are in conflict with vehicles, crushing on to the pavements to allow them to pass.’

Those heading on staycations this summer will have to adhere to new safety measures, with guests expected to remain more than 1m apart from others.

There will also be contactless check-ins, increased hygiene measures and guests will not be permitted to welcome any visitors during their stay.

 

‘We announced on social media a few days that we wouldn’t be reopening on July 4 and would be delaying reopening. We had hundreds of messages of support and no negative feedback, so we feel that decision is vindicated.

‘We are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. It will be later in July and possibly even in August. We are mindful of that spike in Leicester. 

‘We hear that Doncaster down the road, 53 miles down the road from us, is not far behind. This disease has not gone away. 

‘We’re one of the busiest pubs in North East Lincolnshire and when we do reopen it is absolutely essential that we do so with all the correct processes in place and we can manage what can be up to 400 people in this building – which is a challenge.’

Today, Mr Johnson will paint the easing as a means of supporting the livelihoods of bosses and their employees but warn ‘we are not out of the woods yet’.

‘They are our local restaurants, hairdressers, libraries, museums, cinemas, and yes, pubs. 

‘They are also hotels, B&Bs, indeed much of our tourism industry,’ he will say, according to an extract released to the media ahead of the speech.

‘All these businesses and their workers have put in a heroic effort to prepare their venues for this reopening, to work out a way to trade in a way that keeps their customers safe.

‘But the success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly. 

‘We must not let them down. The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that. If it starts running out of control again the Government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions. 

‘Anyone who flouts social distancing and Covid-secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.’

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson’s message was that people should not ‘overdo it’.

Asked if Mr Johnson would be visiting a pub or restaurant tomorrow, the 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.’

The spokesman added that it would be ‘plain for all to see next week what he’s been doing at the weekend’ if he gets his blonde mop trimmed over the weekend.

It comes after the Treasury was forced to delete a tweet from its official account on Wednesday evening urging people to ‘grab a drink and raise a glass, pubs are reopening their doors from 4 July’.

A Treasury source said: ‘We got it wrong on this and the tweet was quickly removed.’

More than 80% of Britons would strongly back second lockdown if coronavirus cases spike, new poll finds 

By Jack Wright for MailOnline

More than 80 per cent of Britons would strongly back a second lockdown if Covid-19 cases spike, a new poll finds.

Over eight in 10 people said they would back lockdown if there were a second spike as most of the nation prepares to ease restrictions.

The YouGov/Sky poll found almost eight in 10 people (78 per cent) said they would self-isolate for 14 days if asked by an NHS test and trace app.

Almost 70 per cent said they would follow an instruction to self-isolate from a smartphone app.  

Six per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they would oppose a second lockdown, compared with 4 per cent of those polled who were 65 and over.

The poll also reveals how nervous people remain about socialising and relaxing in lots of settings which are just about to open up.

70 per cent polled said they would be nervous about going to the pub and  would not go to the cinema.

71 per cent would not go on public transport and 73 per cent are not comfortable going abroad.

60 per cent polled would not go to shopping centres and restaurants. 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson coronavirus press conference: What time is the PM's speech today?

CORONAVIRUS daily press briefings were scrapped after Boris Johnson announced the easing on lockdown restrictions on July 4.

But the briefings will return this evening. Here is everything we know about the upcoming announcement.

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

What time is Boris Johnson's speech today?

Boris Johnson is expected to begin the coronavirus press briefing at 5pm.

The speech will be available to watch on The Sun YouTube page, BBC and Sky News.

What is Boris Johnson expected to announce?

In his speech tonight Boris Johnson is expected to warn the public Super Saturday.

Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and salons will reopen for the first time in three months.

The PM is expected to advise the public on following the lockdown rules that will be in place tomorrow.

If the public follows the rules in place it will stop the possibility of a second coronavirus outbreak.

What did Boris Johnson say in his last speech on coronavirus lockdown?

On June 23, Boris Johnson made a statement in the House of Commons, announcing the latest measures that will come into force on July 4.

In his opening address, the PM said that they still believe there is no risk of a second wave.

The first item to be revealed was that the two-metre social distancing rule will be changed from July 4.

Mr Johnson said "where it is possible, keep two metres apart", but he added that it will be reduced to one metre plus where not possible.

This means that one metre must be obliged, while other measures like wearing face masks should be followed.

Two households can meet indoors or outside – but no more than two households can meet except outdoors like in parks.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson added that these do not have to be the same two households, for example children can meet one set of grandparents one week, and the others the following week.

Much to the cheers of the Commons, the PM revealed pubs and restaurants will be able to open from July 4.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson faces furious backlash over father's Greek trip

Fury grows at Stanley Johnson’s jaunt to Greece: PM faces furious backlash after his father disobeyed lockdown rules for trip to mountain-top villa

  • Stanley Johnson posted images on Instagram about his trip to Athens 
  • Johnson, 79, bypassed Greece’s ban on UK flights by routing through Bulgaria
  • Rivals claimed there is one rule for Conservatives and another for the public 
  • Number 10 said the government guidelines were ‘advice for individuals’  

The Prime Minister faced a furious backlash yesterday after his father flew to his Greek villa in brazen defiance of pandemic travel warnings.

The Mail yesterday revealed that Stanley Johnson, 79, jetted to his four-bed home – ignoring Foreign Office guidance which says no one should travel unless it is essential.

The former Tory Euro-MP dodged Greece’s ban on direct flights from the UK by flying from Luton to Athens via Bulgaria, sharing videos and images of his journey on Instagram.

Stanley Johnson posted a selfie on his Instagram feed during his trip to Greece on Wednesday

Mr Johnson travelled to his mountain retreat in Pelion, outside Athens, pictured, where he claimed he was making it Covid secure ahead of the letting season for holiday makers 

Mr Johnson flew via Sofia, Bulgaria to avoid Greece’s ban on direct flights from the UK

Speaking from his mountain-view villa in Pelion – which he lets out to tourists – Mr Johnson said Greek officials were happy to allow him in and the ban only seemed to apply to ‘bulk arrivals’ of British holidaymakers. MPs said the incident ‘stinks of one rule for them and another rule for the rest of us’ and claimed it echoed No 10 aide Dominic Cummings’ infamous lockdown trip to Barnard Castle.

More than 400,000 sunseekers are thought to have had their Greek holidays ruined by government delays in relaxing the global travel warning, along with Greece’s decision to ban direct flights from the UK until July 15.

During the lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said foreign summer holidays are effectively cancelled following the Foreign Office travel warning. As a Greek news website branded Stanley Johnson’s trip ‘unbelievable’, MPs urged Boris Johnson to explain why his father appears to be bound by a ‘different set of rules’ to those imposed on ordinary holidaymakers.

Labour’s aviation spokesman Mike Kane said: ‘The Government have been all over the place with their plans for a quarantine or air bridges, but what is clear is that the guidance is against any foreign travel at the moment.’

Speaking in the Commons, Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael said: ‘This is simply further evidence that when it comes to following the rules, it is one rule for the Conservatives and one rule for everyone else. Whilst the Prime Minister is continuing to ask people to make huge sacrifices… he must reflect on how much of a kick in the teeth these reports will be.’

Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan, a shadow minister and A&E doctor, wrote on Twitter: ‘Most people have been following the guidelines and socially distancing – not everyone will get a holiday this year.

‘Those closest to the Prime Minister have different rules though.’ Fellow Labour MP Kate Osborne added: ‘They’re laughing directly in the face of people up and down this country. Shame.’

Mr Johnson, pictured with a friend, would not comment when approached yesterday 

Liberal Democrat Jamie Stone said the incident ‘stinks of one rule for them and another rule for the rest of us’.

The Foreign Office currently advises British nationals ‘against all but essential international travel’. It is up to travellers to decide whether their trip is essential.

Mr Johnson said on Wednesday night: ‘I’m in Pelion on essential business trying to Covid-proof my property in view of the upcoming letting season. I need to set up distancing measures at the property because they’re taking it very seriously here.’

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘In relation to Foreign Office advice, that is what it is – it is advice. It is for individuals to make judgments themselves.’

Stanley Johnson declined to comment further yesterday.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson says staying on furlough forever 'not healthy for Brits or the economy'

BORIS Johnson has warned that the nation can't stay on furlough forever – as it's "not healthy" for them or the economy.

The PM is being urged to extend the furlough scheme beyond October for parts of the economy which are unable to open up again.

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

The mayor of Leicester, which has been put into the first local lockdown, has asked for support offered earlier in the pandemic to be restored in the city.

The Government has confirmed that people will be able to be put back on furlough in the city – for as long as the scheme lasts.

From July Brits are able to be furloughed part-time, and employers will have to start paying contributions from August.

In an interview with the Evening Standard today the PM said it was time to be “absolutely frank” and say to Britons that staying at home is “not, in the long-term, healthy either for the economy or for you”.

He refused to be drawn on whether the scheme would be extended.

“I’ve got to be very, very blunt with you," he said.

“We’ve spent £120 billion supporting people, it’s a huge commitment and we have put our arms around people.

"The best way forward for us now is to work together to beat the virus and get the economy back on its feet."

He said: “I think people need to recognise that the particular restrictions that furlough places on you are not, in the long term, healthy either for the economy or for you as an employee.”

He is clear it cannot keep being extended, telling the paper: “You are keeping people in suspended animation. You are stopping them from actually working.

"I am being absolutely frank with you, we are pushing it out until October but in the end you have got to get the economy moving.”

During a speech in Dudley earlier this week, the PM also stressed: "We want to get back to life as normal for as many as possible, as fast as possible."

How does the furlough scheme work?

ANY UK organisation with employees can apply to furlough their workers, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

It’s up to your place of work to apply to the scheme, meaning you won’t need to contact the government yourself.

To access the scheme, your employer must comply with the following:

  • Designate employees who cannot do their jobs due to the coronavirus measures put in place by the government
  • Notify those employees of their new “furloughed” status
  • Submit information to HMRC about furloughed employees to set up a system for reimbursement and about existing systems that will facilitate payments

To be furloughed, you must have been on a payroll on March 19.

Workers can ask previous employers to rehire and furlough them, even if they left for another job, but firms don’t have to do this.

The furlough scheme did, however, close to new applicants on June 10.

From September, employers will have to pay those contributions plus 10 per cent of salaries.

Then from October they will have to pay those contributions plus 20 per cent of salaries.

We've put together a guide to how furlough affects you, including pay, annual leave rights and how it works if you're on maternity or sick leave.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW

Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson threatens new lockdown as he warns Brits not to be 'reckless' on July 4

BORIS Johnson today threatened another lockdown if people are "reckless" and ruin Super Saturday by not following the rules.

The PM warned ahead of pubs and restaurants opening again at the weekend that the public must do their bit to stay safe.


In an interview with the Evening Standard this lunchtime, he said: “Do not undo the sacrifices you have made with reckless behaviour …

"We do not want to see businesses have to close again."

The Government has insisted that the whole nation – or just parts of it – could be locked down again if cases spike once again.

This week Leicester became the first city to have restrictions reimposed after a rise in cases.

Shops were ordered to shut again and pubs will not open as planned on Saturday.

Some of the other rules included to keep people safe from Saturday will include:

  • Pubs will be allowed to show the football – but only with the sound on quietly to stop droplets spreading when people shout
  • People are only allowed to go to the pub with one other household
  • Customers will have to leave their contact details with pubs or restaurants for 21 days – so they can be tracked if there is an outbreak
  • A limit on numbers inside a venue at any one time
  • People should be encouraged to use contactless payments rather than cash
  • Customers should stay seated at the table and wait to be served rather than going up to the bar
  • Tables must be as spaced out as possible to keep a distance, and venues should be kept ventilated

Police fear that the opening up of huge parts of the economy will cause chaos at the weekend.

They are preparing for a New Year's Eve situation with increased violence, clashes with police and anti-social behaviour.

Today Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots not to dash across the border to get a pint in England – as she relaxed rules for people north of the border to have to stay near their own homes.

Rules ordering people not to go within five miles of where they live will be lifted, she said.

But pub beer gardens in Scotland are not scheduled to reopen again until July 6.

From 15 July, all holiday accommodation can open up, along with indoor areas of pubs and restaurants and hairdressers and barbers.

 

 

And London Mayor Sadiq Khan issued warnings today too, saying: "This Saturday should not be seen as a 'Super Saturday'."

Additional police will be on patrol in London at the weekend to "encourage people to remember rules around #COVID19," he added.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW

Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson's dad Stanley, 79, flies to Greek villa flouting PM's 'essential travel only' rules

BORIS Johnson's dad flew to Greece last night despite the government saying Brits should not travel abroad unless it is essential.

Stanley Johnson, who turns 80 next month, touched down in Athens last night to visit his mountain villa in Pelion.

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



He posted a selfie inside an airport while wearing a face mask and posted a pair of Instagram videos to his 140,000 followers showing his plane coming in over Athens.

The former Tory MEP had flown via the Bulgarian capital Sofia because the Greek government has banned direct flights from the UK until July 15 due to the UK's Covid-19 rate.

Speaking from the balcony of his villa in northern Greece last night, Mr Johnson told the Daily Mail: "I'm in Pelion on essential business trying to Covid-proof my property in view of the upcoming letting season. 

"I need to set up distancing measures at the property because they're taking it very seriously here. 

"The Greeks are trying to stop bulk arrivals from the UK but they were quite happy to have me coming in. 

"All they wanted to know where I was coming from and what I was doing. Then I had my temperature taken and was swabbed twice.

"We must get these air bridges set up as soon as possible. From what I've seen the arrival of the British will not be a danger to the Greeks because they're so careful here."


 

It comes as the PM prepares to give Brits the green light for travel to up to 95 countries that effectively ends the government's blanket quarantine policy.

But some of the countries on the list, likely to be published today or tomorrow, still have restrictions on people travelling in from the UK.

It is understood some countries have raised questions over the safety of opening to UK holidaymakers following the coronavirus outbreak in Leicester. 

Mr Johnson's trip to Greece as echoes of Dominic Cummings' revelation that he drove from London to Durham during lockdown.

The Prime Minister's top aide went to Durham to ensure his son would have childcare.

He later drove his family to the town of Barnard Castle to test his eyesight and sit by a river for 15 minutes.

Despite the rules containing no exceptions to allow Mr Cummings' trip, the Prime Minister defended his chief adviser's actions.

Mr Johnson has landed a book deal to reissue a thriller novel from 1982 he wrote about a mysterious virus and one man's fight to stop a deadly pandemic.

Originally titled The Marburg Virus, it is now to be called The Virus.

He said: "Yes, I predicted this outbreak. I was working in Brussels at the time and I'd already written four thrillers by then. The Marburg Virus was my fifth thriller, which was based on a visit I made to that small town in Germany which in 1967 had a tremendous outbreak of a disease."

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW

Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson vows to uncover Britain’s Covid mistakes saying he owes it 'to the tens of thousands who died'

BORIS Johnson has vowed to uncover Britain’s Covid mistakes saying he owes it “to the tens of thousands who died before their time”.

In a strong hint that a public inquiry will be held into the pandemic, he said there will come a time to probe what went wrong.

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

And he hit out at “sluggish” bureaucrats for failing to act swiftly enough as the blame game gets under way.

Speaking in Dudley yesterday, the PM said: “I know that there are plenty of things that people say and will say that we got wrong.

“And we owe that discussion and that honesty to the tens of thousands who have died before their time to the families who have lost loved ones.

“And of course there must be time to learn the lessons, and we will.”
Bojo said the coronavirus pandemic had highlighted the need to fix the social care system and reform the public sector.And he took a swipe at bureaucrats who failed to quickly respond to Britain's worst crisis since the Second World War.

He said coronavirus “brutally illuminated” the “problems in our social care system, the parts of government that seemed to respond so sluggishly so that sometimes it seemed like that recurring bad dream when you are telling your feet to run and your feet won’t move.

“And yet we must also go further and realise that if we are to recover fully.”

At least 43,575 people have died from coronavirus in the UK – one of the biggest death counts in the world.

Opposition politicians have furiously demanded a public inquiry into why the tragic toll is so high.

Ministers have faced searing criticism over PPE shortages, the failure to quickly ramp up testing, and the care home crisis.

 

 

In a major speech in Dudley this morning the PM vowed to get the country back on track with a "New Deal" programme of building and investment – and fast tracking £5billion of spending dubbed Project Speed.

The PM vowed a Roosevelt-style plan to pick up the country and get it going again – predicting an even bigger economic crisis than in 2008.

And he announced what he said was "the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War" by cutting red tape to revitalise the nation's high streets.

In a bold rallying cry he told voters in the Blue Wall seats the Tories won last December that his Government hasn't forgotten their “mission to unite and level up” the UK.

Alongside his programme he confirmed £12billion of funding for a homes plan – first revealed at the Budget – that will support up to 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next 8 years.

Included in that will be a 1,500 unit pilot of ‘First Homes’ to people buying a home for the first time – at a 30% discount.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW

Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Theresa May slams Boris for appointing Brexit negotiator with 'no experience' in security into top job

THERESA May has slammed Boris Johnson's decision to promote Brexit negotiator David Frost to become the country's new security chief.

The furious former PM blasted the move and questioned the quality of advice the Government will receive on critical issues like the terror threat.

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

In an angry Commons exchange with Michael Gove she said Mr Frost was "a political appointee with no proven expertise in national security".

She contrasted this with "the expert independent advice" she received during her time as Home Secretary and in Downing St.

Mr Gove hit back that it was right for the PM to "choose an adviser appropriate to the needs of the hour".

He added that Mr Frost, a former ambassador to Denmark, had been dealing with "delicate questions of national security" in his talks with the EU.

Labour's shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said appointing a political ally to the role was "dangerous territory".

He said: "Any government should have objective and at times challenging advice from its national security adviser."

Tory MP Peter Bone said the PM was right to hire a supporter, but suggested Mr Frost go through a US-style confirmation hearing.

The PM has split the roles of Cabinet Secretary and National Security Adviser following the resignation of Sir Mark Sedwill.

No 10 has announced Mr Frost will take up the latter, but will also continue to lead talks with the EU until they're done.

The Cabinet Secretary job, which doubles up as head of the civil service, will be advertised to current and former Whitehall department chiefs.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Boris Johnson unveils bumper £5bn 'new deal' recovery plan with a third off thousands of homes for first-time buyers

BORIS Johnson has today promised thousands of discounted homes for first-time buyers in a multi-billion pound package to help Britain "build, build build" our way out of the coronavirus crisis.

In a major speech in Dudley this morning the PM vowed to get the country back on track with a "New Deal" programme of building and investment – and fast tracking £5billion of spending dubbed Project Speed.

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



The PM vowed a Roosevelt-style plan to pick up the country and get it going again after an even bigger crisis than 2008.

And he announced what he said was "the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War" by cutting red tape to revitalise our high streets.

He told voters in the Blue Wall seats the Government is on a “mission to unite and level up” the UK.

Alongside his programme he revealed £12billion of funding for a homes plan that will support up to 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next 8 years.

Included in that will be a 1,500 unit pilot of ‘First Homes’ to people buying a home for the first time – at a 30% discount.

The huge discounts will stay and be passed down the generations, with the idea that it keeps the homes affordable for years to come.

  • New building rules will allow empty buildings to be transformed into new homes without the red tape – known as 'Project Speed'
  • Old retail buildings can be turned into cafés or other services without requiring planning permission – in a boost for Britain's high streets
  • £1.5billion will be spent on hospital repairs
  • £1bn to fund 10-year school rebuilding programme and £560m school upgrades and repairs
  • Some £900million will be allocated to “shovel ready” projects, mainly in the Midlands and North
  • Vowed to plant 30,000 hectares of trees

The PM said today: "We will build fantastic new homes on brownfields sites and other areas, with better transport and other infrastructure, that could be suitable and right for development.

"We will address that intergenerational injustice and help young people get people the housing ladder the way their parents and grandparents could.

"We will build better, we will build greener, and faster."

As he revealed his plan to help Britain get back on its feet, he said:"It is time not just for a new deal, but a fair deal for the British people.

"This government is determined to use this crisis finally to tackle this country’s unresolved challenges of the last three decades.

This government is determined to use this crisis finally to tackle this country’s unresolved challenges of the last three decades.

"We will build the homes, fix the NHS, solve social care, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity, productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite, and level up.

"To that end, we will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster.

He added: "This is a programme for jobs, jobs, jobs – because it's by building, building, building… that we will get the jobs this nation needs."


He vowed again not to return to the years of "what people called austerity" seen in previous administrations to cope with a financial crash.

"The world has moved on since 2008," he added.

It is time not just for a new deal, but a fair deal for the British people.

But he warned that the coronvirus was still "circling like a shark in the water" and Britain must continue to work to keep it at bay.

"We are preparing now – slowly, cautiously – to come out of hibernation.

"We cannot continue simply to be prisoners of this crisis."

The PM also warned that there would be a rocky economic time ahead and jobs would be lost.

"We know in our hearts that the furloughing cannot go on forever," he said.

"We also know that jobs people had in January are not coming back, at least not in that form."

But the PM refused to put a number on how many jobs might go in the end.

And he stressed that he was "not a communist" but said he thinks it is the job of Government to create the conditions for a free economy which can create more jobs.

 

Boris refused to rule out tax rises to pay for the crisis in future, and his big building scheme.

"I remain absolutely certain we need to make sure we keep the tax burden in so far as we possibly can is reasonable and we continue to be a competitive market economy.," he said.

"You know where my instincts are and what I would like to do, they are of course to cut taxes where ever you possibly can.

"The difficulty is we have a generational challenge now. We have to take our country forward."

 

But he stressed that Britain must remain competitive as it exited the EU, to keep businesses in the country and stop them from going elsewhere.

"You need to make sure as we leave the EU, the fiscal environment has to be as competitive as it possibly can be," he said.

"I want brilliant British ideas being translated into brilliant British companies."

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW

Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.

Get Britain’s best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article