Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 November 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Sleaze purge could end consulting
MPs could be banned from having consultancy jobs like Owen Paterson’s under plans for a crackdown on sleaze being considered by the Commons standards committee. In another development, opposition MPs have called on Scotland Yard to investigate after it emerged that eight of the Conservatives’ past nine treasurers were offered peerages after donating millions to the party. The SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “It absolutely stinks.”
Hancock calls for NHS staff jabs
Matt Hancock said NHS workers should be legally required to get Covid vaccinations before the winter. Writing for The Daily Telegraph in his first major intervention since leaving the government, the former health secretary warned ministers against delaying mandatory jabs for nurses and doctors. “Having looked at all the evidence, I am convinced we must require vaccination for everyone who works not just in social care but the NHS – and get it in place as fast as possible,” he wrote.
Oil delegates dominate Cop26
There are more delegates at Cop26 associated with the fossil fuel industry than from any single country, the BBC reported. It said 503 people with links to fossil fuel interests had been accredited for the climate summit, compared with 479 from Brazil, which has the largest official team of negotiators. A campaigner said the fossil fuel industry “is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions”.
Bus set alight in Belfast
A bus was hijacked and destroyed on the outskirts of Belfast last night. Four masked men boarded the double-decker bus near Rathcoole in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, at about 7.45pm, ordered passengers to get off and set it alight. Days earlier another bus was burnt out by masked men in a loyalist area of Newtownards, County Down. The Guardian said the incidents have sparked fresh fears of Brexit-related violence in the region.
Sick people died challenging benefits decision
Around 100 people denied fast-tracked disability benefits for terminal illness died while challenging the decision, according to the end-of-life charity Marie Curie. Although patients can access benefits more quickly if their clinician says they have six months or less to live, the charity said it had “serious concerns about the DWP’s ability to recognise when a claimant was approaching the end of life and was in desperate need of support”.
GPs may be forced into poorer areas
Doctors would be prevented from taking new jobs in affluent areas under plans being considered by ministers. A senior official has proposed a regulator that could restrict where new practices can be set up, arguing the move would improve health in poorer parts of the country that have far fewer doctors. The Social Market Foundation think tank said that poor areas can have almost half the number of doctors per head as richer regions.
Growth slows ahead of ‘difficult winter’
A new study has found that British business output growth has fallen for the sixth month in a row amid a supply chain crisis, energy price rises and shortages of workers. The accountancy firm BDO said its output index fell from 105.23 points in September to 103.35 points in October, its lowest since the end of lockdown. “Businesses are facing an increasingly difficult winter,” said Kaley Crossthwaite, a BDO partner.
Shark kills man as family watches
A man originally from Britain has been killed by a great white shark off the coast of Australia as his wife and adult children watched from the shore. Paul Millachip was in the sea off Port Beach in Western Australia when he was attacked by a shark that was reportedly about 15ft long. His wife said the attack “came out of the blue” but local media said a large shark had been seen in the water earlier that day.
Lesbian couple challenge IVF cost
A married lesbian couple are to launch a “gay tax” discrimination case against the NHS after they faced higher IVF costs because of their sexual orientation. Megan Bacon-Evans, and her wife Whitney, say the NHS fertility branch has discriminated against them because they are gay. Before receiving NHS help from Frimley clinical commissioning group, same-sex female couples must pay for 12 intrauterine insemination or IVF treatments to “prove” medical infertility. Most heterosexual couples are required only to have tried to conceive for two years.
Study finds climate indifference
Few people are willing to change their lifestyle to save the planet, a new study has found. The survey in ten countries including the US, UK, France and Germany, found that citizens are alarmed by the climate crisis, but most believe they are already doing more to preserve the planet than anyone else, including their governments. The polling company which carried out the study said governments have to let people know “what the solutions are, and how we can fairly share responsibility for them”.