Council and mayoral elections across England on 6 May are a challenge for both main party leaders.
Council and mayoral elections across England on 6 May are a challenge for both main party leaders.
The Government must recognise the vaccination status of British travellers and ditch “illogical” plans to force them to take tests, say the UK’s leading aviation and travel bosses. In a joint article for The Telegraph, which can be read in full below, the chief executives of BA, Heathrow, easyJet, Manchester Airport Group and Jet2 say the “over-abundance of caution” by the Government is out of kilter with other European countries and threatens millions of Britons’ holiday plans. They say it is illogical to require fully vaccinated British holidaymakers to pay £60 per person to take a PCR test when returning from a safe “green” list country judged by the UK to be low risk, with minimal Covid infections or variants. Even the EU – “not known for rash decisions when it comes to vaccines and the precautionary principle” – is allowing holidaymakers with proof of vaccination to sidestep tests and quarantine, they say. “Instead of taking advantage of the success of the vaccine programme, the Government risks closing the UK off from the rest of the world,” they warn. “Travel even from green countries will still require arrivals into the UK to take a ‘gold-standard’ PCR test … a huge barrier to travel for most people and despite assurances from the Government that tests would be affordable.” Their appeal comes as ministers are due to decide on Thursday which countries will be “green”, allowing quarantine-free travel from May 17. The “tiny handful” is expected to include Gibraltar, Malta, Israel, Iceland and possibly Portugal.
Memoirs of negotiation show how Brussels lost trust in Downing Street team
Nicola Sturgeon has downplayed her plans to hold a second independence referendum as she urged Scots to re-elect her based on her experience and leadership during the pandemic. In an election day message to voters, the First Minister claimed the SNP was the only party with a “serious programme for Government” and claimed her “overriding priority” if re-elected would be to keep people safe. On the final day of campaigning on Wednesday, she sought to exploit anger at the UK’s Brexit deal within the fishing industry during a trip to Aberdeen, and then travelled to Alford, in the Aberdeenshire West constituency, which the nationalists are hoping to win from the Tories. She also made trips to Dumbarton, where the SNP is vying to take Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie’s seat, and her own Glasgow Southside constituency, where she is deafening a majority of more than 9,000 against Anas Sarwar. She said: “As First Minister I haven’t got everything right over this past desperately difficult year but I have worked my hardest every day and brought total commitment to the task of keeping Scotland safe. "If I am given the privilege of being re-elected as First Minister my promise to Scotland is to continue to bring all my experience and focus to the overriding priority of keeping you and your family safe. "Thanks to the people of Scotland who have given up so much to tackle the pandemic, the incredible work of our NHS, and the brilliant vaccination programme we can be optimistic that better times lie ahead. “In this election, only the SNP is offering a serious programme for government for these serious times.” She highlighted a string of SNP manifesto pledges, including free NHS dental care, before launching an attack on Boris Johnson and the Tories, warning that despite over the health service being fully devolved, "our NHS is definitely not safe in their hands". She only briefly mentioned her plan to hold a new independence referendum by 2023 in her plea to voters, saying Indyref2 would be held only “once the Covid crisis has passed”. Meanwhile, Alex Salmond made a final appeal to independence supporters to help him back to Holyrood to deliver a “supermajority” of MSPs in favour of separation. Polls have suggested that his new Alba Party may not win a single seat. However, he has claimed it is on course to win representation at Holyrood and has set a target of winning at least eight seats. He urged members of the “independence family” to back his party with their second votes, claiming supporting the SNP with regional ballots was a waste of time as Ms Sturgeon’s party would get “nothing at all on the regional list”. The SNP won four regional MSPs in 2016, with Holyrood’s voting system meaning the better a party does in constituencies the harder it is to win regional seats. He said: “An SNP vote is sometimes described as a wasted vote. It's actually worse than that, an SNP vote on the second ballot paper actually lets unionist Labour and Tory MSPs in by the back door.” Key seats to watch in the 2021 Scottish election
The creator of Line of Duty has insisted that viewers enjoyed the finale, despite evidence to the contrary. Fans rushed to express their disappointment on Sunday night when the series drew to a downbeat close. Jed Mercurio said that “the perceived levels of dissatisfaction have been exaggerated in the echo chamber of social media”, and claimed that the BBC’s audience research was more positive. However, the research showed that the finale was the least popular episode of the series. After posting the research findings on Twitter, he was confronted by viewers who maintained that the ending had been a letdown, with lowly Det Supt Ian Buckells unmasked as the corrupt “fourth man” linked to a string of murders. In his first comments on the criticism since Sunday’s episode was broadcast, Mr Mercurio said: “No one disputes the Line of Duty finale divided social media opinion but the audience research so far shows a far less extreme picture.
A fleet of French fishing boats has descended on Jersey after threatening to blockade the island's main port over a post-Brexit fishing rights row. The UK has sent two Royal Navy ships to Jersey "as a precaution" - HMS Severn and HMS Tamar are patrolling the waters around Jersey this morning.
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, on Wednesday won her outstanding copyright claim against a British tabloid after London's High Court heard neither Queen Elizabeth nor a former senior royal aide claimed ownership of a letter she had written to her estranged father. Meghan, 39, wife of the monarch's grandson Prince Harry, won a privacy action against the Mail on Sunday in February after it printed parts of the letter she sent to her father Thomas Markle in August 2018. While she won much of her claim without needing a trial, judge Mark Warby had said the issue of who owned copyright to the letter still needed to be decided because of the possible involvement of senior aides.
India reports on average 300,000 new cases every day
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid tasked with forming a governmentPresident Reuven Rivlin chooses another candidate to build a government after Benjamin Netanyahu fails to meet deadline ‘After two years of political paralysis, Israeli society is hurting,’ Lapid said in a statement Photograph: Sebastian Scheiner/AP
The children’s book could not have been better timed, to mark Archie’s second birthday on Thursday 6 May as Harry and Meghan prepare to welcome a daughter into the world in the coming weeks. Focusing on fatherhood, the Duchess’s literary debut, The Bench, is set to share the “special bond between father and son.” Featuring an all-too-familiar illustration of a ginger-haired soldier lifting his cute baby son in the air, there is a clear sense that this first foray into the written word could not be more personal for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Indeed, it was based on a Father’s Day poem Meghan originally wrote for Harry in 2019, a month after Archie was born. Yet as copies of The Bench, illustrated by Californian artist Christian Robinson, are set to hit bookshops on June 8, what might readers make of a couple with their own obvious Daddy issues shining the spotlight so firmly on fatherhood?
The 12-year-old claimed wearing masks 'risks causing children serious harm' to their physical and mental health.
Squad of 36 being named by Warren Gatland at 12.30pm Alun Wyn Jones to captain, with Sam Simmonds selected Austin Healey: why I'd drop Owen Farrell Joe Marler gutted to miss out on trip to South Africa Telegraph readers - and writers - name their squads
Holidaymakers could need paper Covid vaccine certificates The destinations likely to be on the travel 'green list' this summer The destinations most likely to be on the 'amber list' Sign up to the Telegraph Travel newsletter Australia will remain closed to the majority of international arrivals until at least the start of 2022, the Government has said. "We won't be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year with great ease," Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told The Australian on Thursday, citing "uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of Covid, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness." This marks a delay in earlier plans for the country, which is behind on its vaccination drive target, to open its borders by October of this year, presenting a major blow to those who have been separated from their overseas loved ones for more than a year and counting. When international travel does restart, it is likely to begin with 'bubbles' shared with nations including Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam, Trade Minister Dan Tehan stated last week. It comes as New Zealand today stopped quarantine-free travel to Australia's state of New South Wales following the discovery of two cases announced in Sydney. Health department secretary Brendan Murphy said in January: "Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don't know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus. And it's likely that quarantine will continue for some time." Scroll down for more of the latest news
Facebook Oversight Board announces decision on ex-president’s access to platform
A ban on Donald Trump from using Facebook has been upheld by the social network’s oversight board – though the group raised concerns about the indeterminate duration of the measure. The former US president was blocked from the platform indefinitely following violent clashes in the US Capitol on January 6, which Mr Trump was blamed for inciting. Videos shared across the 74-year-old’s social accounts called those who stormed the Capitol “patriots” and said: “We love you.”
Fans will remember Laverty as a key character from season one
Royal Marine boarding squads may seize control of French fishing vessels if they block Jersey’s main port, a former head of the Navy warned today. Lord West unleashed a barrage of criticism against French threats to blockade the harbour and cut off the island’s electricity supply, branding it more a “19th Century way of behaving rather than 21st Century”. “They no doubt have on board Royal Marine boarding parties and we are used to boarding foreign vessels and indeed UK vessels,” he told Times Radio.
Singer has denied new allegations that he raped, cut and locked Smithline in a soundproof room
Tui is offering testing packages costing a fraction of standard prices to ‘make travel a possibility’.
“How am I supposed to believe anything they say?”
A mother bear was spotted coaxing her young cubs over a cement highway barrier in Whistler, British Columbia, as seen in a video recorded on May 4.Taken by James Hamilton, the footage shows the mama bear walking along the barrier while the young cubs scream for help and try to climb over the concrete barrier.Hamilton is overheard in the video encouraging the small cub, saying, “Go on, you’ve got it!” and “Come on, buddy!”Speaking to Storyful, Hamilton said that the small cub never could make it, so the bears climbed back over and crossed the highway at a different place and disappeared into the woods. Credit: James Hamilton via Storyful