Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 10 May 2021

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

1

Starmer launches ‘messy’ reshuffle

Keir Starmer has demoted his shadow chancellor following last week’s disappointing election results. Anneliese Dodds will become the Labour Party’s chair - replacing deputy leader Angela Rayner, whom Starmer removed from the role on Saturday. The Guardian says Rayner has been handed the shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster post as well as a newly created position as shadow secretary for the future of work. The BBC says the “messy reshuffle” has “knocked” the Labour leader’s authority. 

2

Jerusalem braces for march

There are fears of further violence in Jerusalem today after Palestinians clashed with Israeli police for a third night in the city. Today sees the annual Jerusalem Day Flag March, in which young Israeli nationalists walk through Muslim areas in an act regarded as a provocation by Palestinians. A former Israeli defence official described the atmosphere in the city as like a powder keg ready to explode at any time, says The Times of Israel.

3

PM to loosen building rules

Boris Johnson will relax rules on building new homes in a bid to cement Conservative dominance of the Midlands and north for a generation, reports The Times. A planning bill in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech is intended to broaden rates of home ownership across small cities and towns. Ministers believe that home ownership was a key factor in many of the Conservative Party’s gains in last week’s local elections.

4

Gates worried by Epstein link

Melinda Gates has been working with divorce lawyers for two years due to her concerns over her husband’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, according to The Wall Street Journal. The couple announced last week that their 27-year marriage was “irretrievably broken”. Although they have not commented on the reasons for their divorce, the newspaper reports that Melinda Gates hired lawyers from several firms in 2019 to handle a split.

5

Shooting at Colorado birthday party

A gunman shot dead six people and then killed himself at a birthday party in Colorado Springs on Sunday. The motive for the shootings, which took place at a mobile home park where families had gathered in one trailer to celebrate, has not been established. “The suspect, a boyfriend of one of the female victims, drove to the residence, walked inside and began shooting people at the party before taking his own life,” the Colorado Springs Police Department said.

6

Italy beatifies anti-mafia judge

An Italian judge who was murdered by the mafia has been beatified, the final stage before sainthood. The Catholic Church honoured Rosario Livatino at a service in Sicily, 28 years to the day after he was declared a martyr. Livatino was working on a mass trial against mafia members when he was gunned down in his car. “As an exemplary judge who never succumbed to corruption, he sought to judge not to condemn but to redeem,” Pope Francis said later at a service in the Vatican.

7

Woman complains of Labour neglect

A former Westminster staff member says Labour abandoned her after she complained of being sexually assaulted and harassed by the party’s former MP for Hartlepool, Mike Hill. The unnamed woman told The Guardian that the party had shown no interest in her wellbeing for the past 18 months. “I was not at all well supported by the Labour party, who I feel owed me some duty of care,” she said.

8

Dead baby found in London canal

The body of a baby has been discovered in the Grand Union Canal in north-west London. The Metropolitan Police said officers and paramedics were called yesterday afternoon to the body of an infant found in the water near Old Oak Lane, Harlesden. An investigation is under way to establish the circumstances of the death ad the Met has urged the baby’s mother to “seek medical assistance” by dialling 999.

9

Laos suffers first Covid death

Laos has recorded its first Covid-19 related death, more than a year into the pandemic. A 53-year-old Vietnamese karaoke club worker died from the virus in the capital, Vientiane, according to health authorities. Her condition was complicated by diabetes and other medical issues. The southeast Asian country has suffered a rise in Covid cases since its New Year Holiday on April 14.

10

Tories disbar PCC candidate

The Conservative candidate set to be Wiltshire’s next police and crime commissioner was disbarred due to a historic drink-driving offence, less than 24 hours before the result was due to be declared. Jonathon Seed was tipped to be elected as PCC for Wiltshire and Swindon when votes are counted today, but a party spokesperson said the candidate will be unable to take up the job even if he wins.

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