Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 7 June 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
PM faces aid cut rebellion
Boris Johnson could face defeat in the Commons today over government cuts to the UK’s overseas aid spending. More than 30 rebel Conservative MPs want the prime minister to restore a commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on international development. Ministers reduced aid spending to 0.5% this year - a cut of almost £4bn - saying it was hard to justify the previous sum given record levels of borrowing during the pandemic.
G7 tax deal may exclude Amazon
The global corporate tax deal announced in London over the weekend may let Amazon off the hook, experts are warning. Finance ministers from the G7 group of wealthy nations agreed a landmark deal intended to make international companies pay more tax. However, some measures would apply only on “profit exceeding a 10% margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises”, according to a statement from the G7. This would rule out Amazon, which had a profit margin in 2020 of only 6.3%.
Ministers ‘open’ to delay
Ministers are “absolutely open” to delaying the June 21 unlocking, Matt Hancock said on Sunday. Amid mounting speculation that the final re-opening may be put back, the health secretary said: “We said in the roadmap that June 21 is the date by which we would not take Step 4 before that date and that we would look at the data. That is exactly what we are doing.”
Meghan and Harry name baby
Buckingham Palace says the Queen is “delighted” after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the birth of their second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The Queen’s 11th great-grandchild was born on Friday at a hospital in Santa Barbara, California. Lilibet was the Queen’s nickname when she was a child. Boris Johnson has sent his “many congratulations” to the couple.
PM urged to delay Whitty gong
Boris Johnson has been encouraged not to award Professor Chris Whitty a knighthood until after the inquiry into the government’s handling of the Covid pandemic. The Chief Medical Officer has been tipped for an award honours due to be announced this weekend. Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP, said: “I think we should wait until the inquiry.” Another Conservative MP said: "We should wait until we can determine whether his advice has been effective or not.”
Boko Haram leader reported dead
The leader of Boko Haram has killed himself, rival Islamist militants have claimed in an audio recording. The Islamic State West Africa Province said Abubakar Shekau died detonating explosives on himself after a battle between the two groups. However, he has been reported dead on several previous occasions, most recently last month. Neither Boko Haram nor the Nigerian government have confirmed the death. Under his leadership, Boko Haram has staged bombings, kidnappings and prison breaks.
Arrest over China stabbing spree
Police have arrested a suspect over a knife attack that left six people dead and 14 injured in the eastern Chinese city of Anqing on Saturday. The suspect is an unemployed 25-year-old man who was “venting anger over things not going well in the family”, the authorities said in a statement on the social media site Weibo. Of the 14 injured in the attack, one remains in severe condition.
Biden to press PM on Northern Ireland
Joe Biden will urge Boris Johnson not to renege on the Northern Ireland Brexit deal when they meet for the first time this week. The US president will reportedly use a bilateral meeting with the prime minister at a G7 summit to express Washington’s support for the Northern Ireland protocol. He is expected to warn that the prospects of the US trade deal with the UK will be damaged if the situation remains unresolved.
Cricketer suspended over tweets
England’s Ollie Robinson has been suspended from international cricket pending an investigation into historical racist and sexist tweets. The messages, from 2012 and 2013, were revealed while the pace bowler was making his England debut against New Zealand at Lord’s. Robinson will leave the England camp and return to his county Sussex. In one tweet he used the n-word and another in another post he wrote: “My new muslim friend is the bomb #wheeyyyyy.”
Jab benefits on dating apps
Dating app users who have been vaccinated will be rewarded with free premium features if they share their vaccine status to potential “matches”. Under a new initiative to target vaccine hesitancy, Tinder, Match, Hinge, Bumble, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, OurTime and Muzmatch have signed up to the scheme. The BBC says there will be no way of verifying whether those displaying the badge have genuinely had the vaccine.