Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 11 April 2021

The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am

1

Charles praises ‘special papa’

Prince Charles has paid tribute to his late father, Prince Philip, saying: “My dear papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him.” There will be eight days of national mourning ahead of a televised funeral, which the BBC says will be a ceremonial event rather than a large state affair.

2

Hancock met Greensill

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been dragged into the Greensill controversy after The Sunday Times revealed he met former PM David Cameron and financier Lex Greensill for a “private drink” in 2019 to discuss a new payment scheme for the NHS. Hancock is the fourth minister to have been lobbied by Cameron on behalf of the company, which recently collapsed costing 440 jobs.

3

Pub boss in furlough row

Wetherspoons founder and chairman Tim Martin made millions of pounds from selling shares while his pub chain was claiming furlough cash, reports The Mail on Sunday. The controversial businessman, who still owns more than a fifth of Wetherspoons, sold £50m worth of shares in January. According to government figures, his business claimed more than £25 million in furlough money in the same month. MPs are calling on Martin to hand back the furlough cash.

4

Jab milestone reached

The UK has passed the milestone of 32 million first vaccinations. Meanwhile, second doses of the vaccines hit a daily record of 450,136, bringing the total with two jabs to 6,991,310 – more than 10% of the population. “We remain on course to offer a first vaccine to all those aged 50 and over by mid-April and all adults by the end of July,” said a government spokesman.

5

Industry asks shoppers to be nice

The British Retail Consortium is asking customers to be respectful to shop workers as thousands of non-essential retail stores prepare to reopen across England and Wales. The BRC says it is important that shoppers adhere to social-distancing rules and “queue considerately” when lockdown is eased tomorrow. It says the public “have a key part to play in creating a safe and enjoyable retail environment”.

6

Grahame dies after eating problems

Former Big Brother contestant Nikki Grahame has died at the age of 38. The media personality checked into a private hospital in March as she fought an eating disorder. Her manager told the BBC “with immeasurable sadness” that Grahame died on Friday morning. Former Big Brother presenter Davina McCall said she was “so desperately sad” to hear of the death of “the funniest, most bubbly sweetest girl”.

7

Man charged with hotelier murder

A 34-year-old man has been charged with the murder of one of Britain's wealthiest men. The hotelier Sir Richard Sutton, 83, died on Wednesday during an incident at a property near Gillingham, Dorset. A woman in her 60s – believed to be Sir Richard’s wife - was seriously injured in the incident and airlifted to hospital in Bristol. Thomas Schreiber, from Gillingham, has been charged with murder, attempted murder and dangerous driving.

8

Smart motorways cause ‘mayhem’

Scrapping the hard shoulder causes mayhem for emergency services trying to reach motorists injured on smart motorways, according to documents seen by the Sunday Telegraph. The files show Highways England staff had to offer to “hand stop” traffic and divert ambulances the wrong way down a carriageway to reach a motorist dying. In February, a coroner said smart motorways created an “on-going risk” of death.

9

Greek crime writer shot

A veteran crime journalist was killed in Greece on Friday. Giorgos Karaivaz was shot at least six times with a silenced weapon by two men on a moped outside his home in Athens. Commentators say Karaivaz may have been killed for his work, which covered organised crime and corruption. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has ordered a speedy investigation.

10

First female wins Grand National

Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Grand National with victory on Minella Times at Aintree. “I don't feel male or female right now. I don't even feel human,” 31-year-old Blackmore told ITV. One of the 40 runners, The Long Mile, was killed after suffering an injury while running on the flat between fences.

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