Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 Jan 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Republicans turn against Trump
Pressure is growing on Donald Trump as two Republican senators turn against him. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said: “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage.” Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said he thinks Trump “committed impeachable offenses”. Democrats say at least 180 members of Congress would co-sponsor an article of impeachment they intend to introduce next week.
New testing for asymptomatic
The government says regular rapid testing for people without coronavirus symptoms will be made available across England this week. Fast turnaround tests will be given to every local authority, prioritising key workers unable to work from home during the lockdown. The news comes after the number of people who have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test reached 80,000.
Poll finds Boris fatigue
A new opinion poll has found that more people think Boris Johnson should resign as prime minister than think he should continue in office. The survey for The Observer found that 43% thought he should resign, while 40% said that he should remain as leader. However, most Conservative voters (87%) think Johnson should stay on as leader, with just 7% thinking he should resign.
Capitol ‘Shaman’ arrested
The man pictured with a painted face, fur hat and horns inside Congress on Wednesday has been arrested. Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, is in custody on charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct. Chansley, who also calls himself the QAnon Shaman, “carried a spear, approximately six feet in length,” said a statement from the federal attorney.
Whitty warning on deaths
England’s chief medical officer is warning that emergency patients will be turned away from hospitals, causing “avoidable deaths”, unless the public starts obeying lockdown rules. Writing for The Sunday Times, Professor Chris Whitty warns that everyone who meets friends and family unnecessarily is a “link in a chain” that threatens the lives of vulnerable people.
Police get tough on lockdown
Police officers have been told to fine people £200 if they believe they are in breach of the rules and refuse to return home. The news comes as footage emerged showing three officers surrounding a woman for allegedly leaving her house more than once in a day. Another four officers appear to arrest a woman for what she claims was “sitting on a bench” on the seafront.
SNP demands billions for Brexit
The Scottish National Party has asked Boris Johnson to pay billions of pounds in compensation to Scotland for the impact of Brexit. Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in the British parliament, said the prime minister and his party “must apologise to Scottish businesses and pay compensation to Scotland for the long-term damage they are doing to our economy – costing us billions in lost trade and growth”.
Queen and Philip get vaccine
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have received Covid-19 vaccinations, Buckingham Palace has announced. The jabs were given on Saturday by a household doctor at Windsor Castle. A royal source said the Queen decided to make public that she had the vaccination to prevent further speculation. It is hoped that the news will give sceptical members of the public more confidence in the vaccine.
Tax deadline relaxed
People who file their tax returns late will not be fined if they have been affected by Covid-19 under new rules. The Sunday Times says self-employed people will be shown “unprecedented leniency” by HM Revenue & Customs and will be able to file a “Covid excuse form”. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is considering extending the deadline January 31 for all taxpayers, perhaps until as late as March.
Harry and Meghan quit Instagram
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Harry and Meghan, who have more than 10 million Instagram followers, are rejecting social media as part of their new “progressive role” in America, with a source close to the couple saying they were “very unlikely” to return to platforms in a personal or professional capacity.