Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 9 May 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
PM calls ‘Team UK’ Covid summit
Boris Johnson has invited the leaders of the devolved nations to a summit on how “Team UK” can recover from the Covid crisis. The prime minister has congratulated the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford on their re-elections and invited them to a meeting “to discuss our shared challenges and how we can work together in the coming months and years to overcome them”.
Keir Starmer sacks Rayner
Labour’s deputy Angela Rayner has been sacked from her roles as party chair and campaign coordinator. The move comes after a series of disastrous election results for Labour, as it lost control of several councils and suffered defeat to the Tories in the Hartlepool by-election. Labour’s former shadow chancellor John McDonnell accused Sir Keir Starmer of “scapegoating everyone apart from himself”.
Child hurt in Jerusalem clashes
There has been a second night of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in Jerusalem. Officers fired stun grenades and deployed a water cannon after protesters hurled stones. Palestinian medics said 90 Palestinians were wounded, including a one-year-old child. Israeli police said one officer was hurt. Palestinians are upset by what they see as oppressive restrictions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Carriage cracks cause rail disruption
Intercity rail services on busy lines face “prolonged” disruption after cracks were found on high-speed train carriages’ chassis. Amid growing cancellations, Chris Heaton-Harris, the rail minister, warned that “disruption is likely for a prolonged period”, particularly on Great Western Railway. Several Hitachi 800 model trains were taken out of service for safety inspections on Saturday.
Narrow victory for Khan
Sadiq Khan has been elected as mayor of London for a second term, following a victory that was less emphatic than expected. The Labour candidate won 55.2% of the popular vote, after entering a run-off with Tory hopeful Shaun Bailey when neither managed to secure a majority in the first round of voting. Former actor Laurence Fox lost his deposit after attracting just 1.9% of the vote.
Deaths in Kabul blast
At least 30 people have been killed and 52 were injured in an explosion near a high school for girls in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The Ministry of Interior said the blast happened close to the Sayeed-ul-Shuhada School in the Dasht-e-Barchi area yesterday afternoon. Officials have not revealed the cause of the explosion and there has been no claim of responsibility.
Rocket disintegrates over ocean
Debris from a Chinese rocket has disintegrated over the Indian Ocean, China says. The rocket, which had been hurtling back towards Earth, was mostly destroyed during the re-entry, but parts landed at a location 72.47° East and 2.65° North. The US has criticised China’s handling of the situation, with Washington saying Beijing should have acted “in a safe and thoughtful mode”.
Hugging to be allowed
Hugging friends and relatives will be allowed from next week, Boris Johnson will announce today. The prime minister is expected to add that everyone should use their “personal judgement” and their “common sense” when it comes to hugging after May 17. Care home residents in England will be allowed to go on low-risk trips.
Animal emotions to be recognised
Animals with a backbone will have a legal right to feel happiness and suffering, thanks to an Animal Sentience Bill to be announced next week. The legislation will rule that animals are aware of their feelings and emotions, and can experience joy and pleasure, as well as pain and suffering. Environment secretary George Eustice told the Sunday Telegraph that “sentience” will apply to “anything with a spinal cord”.
Man Utd lose sponsor after protests
Manchester United have missed out on a lucrative new training kit deal after the Manchester-based company The Hut Group got cold feet due to the supporters’ campaign to boycott the club’s commercial partners in protest at the Glazers’ ownership. The Observer says United’s group managing director was told on Friday that THG had pulled out of the £200m contract.