Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 3 May 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Social distancing ‘to be scrapped in June’
The “one metre-plus” social distancing rule will be abandoned from June 21 so that all restaurants, pubs, theatres and cinemas can reopen fully, reports The Times. Although masks will have to be worn in some cases the move will mean venues can reopen at full capacity for the first time in 15 months. Meanwhile, the BBC unlimited numbers at funerals will be allowed in England from 17 May.
Top Tory turns on PM
A senior Tory has called for Boris Johnson to resign if he breached ministerial rules over the refurbishment of a Downing Street flat, reports The Guardian. Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said that Johnson should “of course” quit if he is found to have breached the code. The development comes amid new claims that undeclared donations have been sought to bankroll the prime minister’s lifestyle.
Joy at pilot gig in Liverpool
A pilot concert in Liverpool yesterday saw 5,000 music lovers crowding into a festival tent with no masks and no social distancing. All of those present had agreed to “act as guinea pigs” for scientists studying the safety of mass events. A negative Covid test was a condition of entry and they will be asked to take a second test on Friday. The BBC says “a lot is riding on the success” of the event.
Iran ‘trying to swing Scots vote’
Iran is attempting to swing the Scottish parliamentary elections in favour of pro-independence parties to destabilise the UK, according to a controversial think tank. The Henry Jackson Society says cyber specialists acting on behalf of Tehran are posing as natives sympathetic to Scottish independence, and encourage real users to share pro-separatist content. “Iran has shown itself to be a country which engages in Russian-style disinformation campaigns,” claimed the report.
Police fail to solve 1m burglaries
Police have failed to solve almost one million burglaries in the last five years, reports the Daily Telegraph. Burglary is not regarded as a policing priority, with some forces no longer dispatching an officer to investigate the crime. In the absence of CCTV or forensic evidence, the case will often be closed within hours. Data shows that since October 2015, a total of 964,197 domestic burglary investigations ended without a suspect being identified.
Locals hit by Cornwall boom
Demand for property in Cornwall has risen by more than 140% - the highest growth rate of any county in Britain. More than 15m people searched for properties in Cornwall in the first quarter of this year, compared to around six million in the same period of 2019. Sky News says the property boom is putting further strain on locals trying to get on the ladder.
Deaths as ‘smuggling’ vessel overturns
Three people died and more than two dozen were hospitalised after a wooden boat capsized during a possible human smuggling operation just off the San Diego coast. After lifeguards, the US coast guard and other agencies responded to reports of an overturned vessel, they realised “it was going to be a bigger situation with more people,” said San Diego Lifeguard Services Lieutenant Rick Romero.
Clashes at Berlin protest
At least 93 police officers were injured and 354 people arrested in Berlin during Labour Day protests over the weekend. There were clashes on Saturday evening between police and demonstrators in the Neukölln area, with police claiming that some protesters threw stones and bottles at officers and set fire to bins. Berlin city official Andreas Geisel said the violence had “nothing to do with political protest”.
Hereditary peers told to prove worth
The new Lord Speaker says hereditary peers should prove their worth in the House of Lords to avoid being expelled as part of a thinning-out of the upper chamber. “One of my aims would be for the House of Lords to be more outward-facing, to demonstrate the range of experience and expertise that there is in the House of Lords, and engage with society even more,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
Match off after Old Trafford protest
Manchester United’s clash Liverpool was postponed after about 200 fans broke into Old Trafford to protest against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club. “This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities,” said the Premier League as it announced the postponement. Reports say that the protesters caused criminal damage and forced some staff to lock themselves into rooms for safety.