Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 6 November 2021

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

1

EU warns Britain over Article 16

Britain could be on the brink of a trade war with the EU after Brussels warned of “serious consequences” if Downing Street suspended the post-Brexit deal. The EU commissioner Maroš Šefčovič said that “we have seen no move at all from the UK side” following talks. There are fears the UK could trigger Article 16, which allows either side to take unilateral “safeguard measures” that would suspend parts of the deal agreed by Johnson with Brussels if it causes “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties”.

2

Thunberg says Cop26 a ‘PR event’

Greta Thunberg told a climate rally in Glasgow that Cop26 has turned into a “PR event”. The 18-year-old attacked global leaders for turning the urgent talks into a “greenwash festival” and said that “drastic cuts” were needed to halt climate change, adding that the conference is a celebration of “business as usual and blah blah blah”. The previous day, the Swedish said suggested that summit talks were becoming a “greenwashing campaign” for politicians and business leaders.

3

Police phones ‘should be trawled’

Police officers should face spot checks of their phones to tackle “revolting” misconduct including misogyny, the chief inspector of constabulary has said. Sir Tom Winsor said random trawls of phones could act as a deterrent for officers who had shared photographs of crime scenes, inappropriate jokes and racist, sexist and homophobic slurs. His comments followed the admission this week by Metropolitan Police constables that they photographed the bodies of two murdered sisters and shared them with colleagues on WhatsApp.

4

Vaughan suspended from BBC slot

Michael Vaughan has been withdrawn from his BBC 5 Live radio show after a second Asian cricketer said that he heard the former England captain make a racist comment. Vaughan had revealed that he is named in the 100-page report on claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire but added that he was “gobsmacked” to be in the report. He has denied the allegations. Roger Hutton, the Yorkshire chairman, resigned over the club’s handling of the allegations against it.

5

Booster jab bookings to open

People living in England will be able to book Covid booster jabs a month in advance as the government scrambles to speed up the rollout. Presently, people cannot book their top-up vaccines until six months after their second dose but from next week, those aged 50 and over, and those most at risk, will be able to book from five months after their second Covid jab. “Please do not delay - come and get the jab to keep the virus at bay,” said Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary.

6

Charles to watch Barbados handover

The Prince of Wales is to visit Barbados to witness it officially becoming a republic, after its people voted to remove the Queen. The Prince, invited in his role as future head of the Commonwealth, will be “guest of honour” at the celebration events later this month. On November 30, Sandra Mason, the island’s governor-general dame, will be sworn in as the new head of state, replacing the Queen. The people of Barbados have voted to “fully leave our colonial past behind”.

7

Clashes at Million Mask march

Hundreds of activists clashed with police in central London on Bonfire Night. The Metropolitan Police said eight officers were injured and 12 people arrested after protesters wearing Guy Fawkes-style masks gathered at Trafalgar Square, with some throwing fireworks at police. A crowd watched an effigy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson being burned. One activist said the rally, which is known as the Million Mask March, is “a couple of fingers in the direction of the establishment”.

8

Johnson to hide holiday cost

Boris Johnson is refusing to declare the full cost of a free holiday he took to southern Spain, where he stayed in a villa owned by Lord Goldsmith. The prime minister has listed the holiday in his ministerial register of interests but No 10 said yesterday that he will not declare the trip to Marbella in the Commons register of interests. This means he can avoid stating the full cost of his getaway.

9

Russian diplomat ‘was undercover officer’

A Russian diplomat found dead on the pavement outside the embassy in Berlin last month is believed to have been a secret agent for a Russian intelligence agency. The body of the 35-year-old diplomat was found on October 19 after apparently falling from an upper floor of the Russian embassy building in the German capital. German security officials believe he was an undercover officer for Russia’s FSB, the internal security and counterintelligence service.

10

Oxford ‘hypocrisy’ over Mosley cash

Oxford University has been accused of hypocrisy after accepting a multi-million pound donation from the Mosley family. The Telegraph reported that the establishment was given £6m from a trust set up by Max Mosley to house the fortune he inherited from his father, Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists. “The university has gone off the scale in wokery,” said Prof Lawrence Goldman, a former vice-master of St Peter’s College, “but they take money from a fund established by proven and known fascists”.

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