Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits a Covid-19 vaccine centre in Glasgow.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits a Covid-19 vaccine centre in Glasgow.
Nicola Sturgeon could be gone as Scotland’s First Minister in weeks over the Alex Salmond affair, the Scottish Conservative leader has suggested. In an interview with The Telegraph, Douglas Ross said the Sturgeon-Salmond saga had brought “sleaze and scandal to the heart of Scottish politics”. At the centre of the row is whether Ms Sturgeon lied to the Scottish Parliament about what she knew, a potential breach of the ministerial code. She has denied any wrongdoing. Mr Ross said if the allegation is proved true Ms Sturgeon should “absolutely” resign, and even hinted it was possible she could go before the Holyrood elections in May. “We have lost first ministers through resignations here in Scotland for far less than what Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of,” he said. Asked if Ms Sturgeon could be gone by Christmas, he said: “I think there is a lot to come not just this year but in the next few weeks that would really threaten her as the head of the SNP and as First Minister. And that’s before we even get into the election campaign.” Mr Ross, the Tory MP from Moray who became Scottish party leader last August, was speaking on Thursday, one day before Mr Salmond gave evidence in Holyrood. Mr Ross said once the Scottish parliamentary committee probing the row had completed its work the UK civil service should also look into what happened. “Leslie Evans has to be answerable for her conduct and the questions that will arise from the Scottish Parliament committee,” Mr Ross told The Telegraph.
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ITV News has obtained footage of Shamima Begum after she learned she cannot return to UK. Ms Begum was seen staying silent as she walked through a refugee camp in Syria, where she is staying. The Supreme Court ruled today that she should not be allowed to return to the UK to pursue an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship. .
EU leaders have paved way for the introduction of coronavirus vaccine passports by the summer. “Everyone agreed that we need a digital vaccination certificate,” Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, told reporters after an EU virtual summit. Greece already has digital vaccination certificates.
Jordan Storey, 28, was tortured and subjected to a violent attack by a gang of four people at a flat in Newcastle, in February last year.
Alex Salmond has called on senior members of the Scottish government and the SNP, including Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, to resign over allegations of a conspiracy against him. During a highly-anticipated appearance before a Scottish parliament inquiry, the man who led the SNP for 20 years claimed Scotland’s current leadership had failed. The list of those he said should resign or consider their position included the Scottish government’s permanent secretary, its chief law officer, Peter Murrell, the chief executive of the SNP who is also married to Ms Sturgeon, and the first minister’s chief of staff.
Arlene Foster and senior DUP figures met with a group representing loyalist paramilitaries
It’s the WWE-style intro that will be scarred into most attendees’ minds forever
Lord Frost must drop his confrontational style of negotiating if Britain and the EU are to rebuild their strained relationship, Brussels sources have warned. The rebuke was angrily rejected by the Government, which insisted that former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost was “the best person” to reset UK-EU relations. Lord Frost, who negotiated the EU trade deal last deal, will oversee thorny talks over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol from Monday after being promoted to a minister in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet. During last year’s Brexit trade talks, he ruffled feathers in Brussels with his uncompromising insistence on the EU respecting the UK as a “sovereign equal”. "The EU and UK relationship is in dire need of more consensus, unfortunately Lord Frost is, so far, better known for confrontation,” an EU diplomat told the Telegraph. “Putting the relationship on ice is not an option. Britain and the continent are too close, too interlinked and there's too much going on affecting both sides of the English Channel.” “Based on evidence so far this year, the EU’s efforts can hardly be described as having promoted harmony,” a UK government source said. The source said that European Commission moves towards a coronavirus vaccine export ban and its short-lived threat to impose a hard border on the island of Ireland to enforce it were “concerning”. The source added, “We are working at pace to ensure a friendly and productive relationship. The best person to lead that effort is Lord Frost.” The EU warning came after reports that senior figures in Brussels hoped to “reset” the relationship with Britain. Relations have been further strained by rows over the implementation of new customs arrangements in Northern Ireland and the status of the EU's ambassador to the UK. An EU official said, “We know Lord Frost and I’m sure we will be more than capable of working with him and finding solutions.” Recent meetings between the two sides over the protocol have failed to find agreement on the extension of various grace periods to, for example, ensure continued supermarket supplies to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The RTE broadcaster reported that the reset could be a meeting between Boris Johnson and senior EU figures such as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The EU is due to ratify the new trade deal, which has been provisionally applied, in April. This would be a good moment to draw a line under past disagreements, especially if new agreements on the grace periods on the protocol can be agreed in time The EU official said, "This would be a nice thing to happen but we are not holding our breath. The timeline sounds about right. I’m not so sure if a ‘reset’ is possible, but I think it’s admirable that we’re at least trying." The reset would be aimed at drawing a line under the tetchy relations that have bedevilled London and Brussels since the UK left the Brexit transition period at the end of last year. A UK government spokeswoman said, “The deal we struck with the EU is the beginning of our new partnership in Europe, with new stability and certainty around our future relationship. “It will build on our shared history of friendship and cooperation, but as sovereign equals, with greater democratic autonomy and a clear, independent voice to speak and act on our priorities.” Britain and the EU were reported as nearing an agreement on a memorandum of understanding on financial services on Friday, which could be a small step to securing access to the Single Market for some UK firms.
Blair says collaboration on Covid could have cut three months off crisis. Former prime minister tells the Guardian the world must be better prepared for the next pandemic
Scotland's former first minister Alex Salmond accused the nation's government on Friday of acting illegally and lacking leadership in a bitter row with his successor that threatens to damage the Scottish independence movement. The feud between Salmond and his successor Nicola Sturgeon, has reached fever pitch in recent weeks, pitting the former friends against each other in a sparring match that could eventually put pressure on her to resign. Sturgeon has denied his accusations.
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Scientists hail ‘excellent news’ as findings reveal jab reduces asymptomatic infections
Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane warned on Friday that an inflationary "tiger" had woken up and could prove difficult to tame as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially requiring the BoE to take action. In a clear break from other members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who are more relaxed about the outlook for consumer prices, Haldane called inflation a "tiger (that) has been stirred by the extraordinary events and policy actions of the past 12 months". "People are right to caution about the risks of central banks acting too conservatively by tightening policy prematurely," Haldane said in a speech published online.
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