Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 2 Nov 2020
Johnson to address MPs as lockdown rebellion grows
Boris Johnson will tell the House of Commons there is “no alternative” to a nationwide lockdown as he faces growing fury from Conservative MPs over the suggestion that the new “stay at home” order could be extended beyond 2 December and into the new year. The Times says up to 40 backbenchers are prepared to vote against the measures on Wednesday.
Opinion poll ‘giving Joe Biden anxiety’ on election eve
CNN says a new opinion poll is “giving Trump backers hope and Democrats anxiety” on the eve of election day. The survey of likely voters in Iowa has Trump leading Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by a 48% to 41% margin. This suggests the US president is in a far stronger position than assumed, particularly it if is reflected in crucial battlegrounds such as Michigan and Wisconsin. Overall, however, Biden has had a commanding and consistant poll lead.
Government promises to ban chlorinated chicken
Ministers have promised to not allow chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef on supermarket shelves, in defiance of demands from the US that animal welfare standards be loosened as part of any trade deal. The international trade secretary, Liz Truss, and the environment minister, George Eustice, also insist they will put the recently established trade and agriculture commission on a statutory footing with a new amendment to the agriculture bill.
Farage announces launch of anti-lockdown party
Nigel Farage is to relaunch the Brexit Party as an anti-lockdown party called Reform UK. Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Farage and former Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice argue that “lockdowns don't work” and say their party will back “focused protection” from Covid-19 only for the most vulnerable, to allow the rest of the population to develop herd immunity.
Veteran foreign correspondent Robert Fisk dies at 74
Robert Fisk, the award-winning Middle East reporter, has died at the age of 74. The Irish Times reports that he was admitted to hospital in Dublin after falling ill at his home on Friday, and died shortly afterwards. The Independent, which published much of his work, says Fisk was “the most celebrated journalist of his era”.
Food banks report influx of middle-class families
Charities say the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a new demographic of middle-income families into food banks. Often self-employed or business owners, the so-called “newly-hungry” have mortgages and cars but have been plunged into crisis by pandemic-related job losses and gaps in the social security system.
Prince William caught the coronavirus in April
Prince William reportedly contracted Covid-19 earlier this year, at a similar time to his father, the Prince of Wales, palace sources have told the BBC. According to The Sun, William says he did not tell the public about his positive test result because “there were important things going on and I didn't want to worry anyone”.
Michael Gove denies being the cabinet leaker
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancasrer Michael Gove has denied that he was the cabinet minister who leaked details of the new Covid restrictions three days before No. 10 intended to announce them. The Daily Telegraph says Boris Johnson was “furious”, “incandescent” and “raging” after, as one source put it, “someone got very chatty” and released details of the government’s plans. Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr if he leaked the information, Gove replied: “No.”
Charlton joins ranks of football stars with dementia
The football legend Sir Bobby Charlton has been diagnosed with dementia. The England World Cup winner, 83, won three league titles, a European Cup and an FA Cup during 17 years with Manchester United. News of the diagnosis follows the deaths of his older brother Jack in July and fellow World Cup-winner Nobby Stiles last week, both of whom had also been diagnosed with dementia.
Tommy Robinson arrested at anti-lockdown rally in London
The former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was arrested during a rally in London yesterday. Footage shared on social media shows the 37-year-old, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, being led away by police officers. The Guardian says the right-winger was arrested for breaking coronavirus restrictions.