Dominic Cummings pushed through award of £580k Covid deal to Vote Leave ally

Former No 10 adviser pressed civil service to urgently approve polling contract, saying he had ‘ordered it’ from PM Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Dominic Cummings personally called a former colleague on the Vote Leave Brexit campaign and asked if his company would work for the government on its response to […]

Vaccine passport plan intended to coax young to have jabs, says Raab

Foreign secretary says government will not ‘hold country back’ because some are not getting vaccinated Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The government is using the threat of domestic vaccine passports to coax and cajole people into getting fully vaccinated, the foreign secretary has admitted. Dominic Raab said ministers did not want […]

Boris Johnson claims stop and search is ‘kind and loving’. He’s gaslighting Black people | Katrina Ffrench

Tough police tactics always backfire. If the prime minister wants to cut knife crime, there are far more effective ways Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, that a policy of “fighting crime” can quickly morph into punitive policing and an attack on civil liberties. For the record, I am not anti-police, nor am I against […]

Tory crime strategy will increase risk of major public disorder | Letters

Cllr Mark Blake says an enforcement approach to curb youth violence will fail, while Prof Saville Kushner says stop and search will undermine democratic policing. Plus letters from Mary Jones, TG Ashplant, Susan Ellery, Lynn Beudert and Christopher Reilly Boris Johnson’s announcements around his crime reduction strategy are worrying and predictable (Weird and gimmicky’: police […]

Horny dogs: what can Boris Johnson do about his pet Dilyn’s romantic urges?

It’s important to remember that dogs don’t hump things only for sexual reasons – it could be that they are overexcited, attention-starved or have a bladder infection Name: Horny dogs. Age: Since the first time a dog humped a caveperson’s leg. Continue reading…

‘Weird and gimmicky’: police chiefs condemn Boris Johnson’s crime plan

PM’s attempt to grip agenda flounders amid criticism he has ignored evidence on stop-and-search Police chiefs have condemned Boris Johnson’s high-profile strategy to tackle crime as “weird and gimmicky”, while plans to increase stop-and-search were criticised for ignoring the evidence. The crime initiative was supposed to show the Johnson government gripping the agenda. But senior […]

The pandemic has opened up a deep rift within the Conservatives. It will grow | Polly Toynbee

How can Britain recover without greater public spending? The tax-cutting party has no answers Something strange is happening within the political party famously ruthless in its pursuit of power and keeping hold of it. Its still popular prime minister, with an 80-seat majority, has only just marked his second anniversary, and has faced little threat […]

Johnson could rethink national insurance rise after Tory backlash

At least five ministers are said to oppose plans for increase to fund crumbling social care system Boris Johnson could rethink plans for a national insurance rise to fund an overhaul of social care, after a significant backlash from cabinet ministers and Conservative MPs. At least five cabinet ministers are said to oppose plans for […]

Labour announces launch of ‘new deal for working people’

Keir Starmer says initiative to provide good jobs is necessary as economy emerges from Covid crisis Labour is to launch a “new deal for working people” this week, as Keir Starmer seeks to put creating more secure, better-paid jobs at the heart of his offer to voters. The world of work is one of two […]

How England’s ‘pingdemic’ took a heavy toll on the Tories

It was billed as a return to freedom, but the week ended with empty supermarket shelves and cancelled trains as many thousand workers – including the PM and chancellor – self-isolated Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Last weekend, as MPs prepared for their long summer holiday break from Westminster, a senior […]

Who’ll defend our right to a free press? Not the ex-hack in No 10 | Nick Cohen

Journalists have every right to be fearful of the prime minister’s proposed legislation Boris Johnson is an ex-journalist who wants to send working journalists to prison. Boris Johnson is an opponent of the “nanny state” who will give the courts the ability to jail anyone who reveals the abuse of state power. Judge him by […]

Sucks to be him! How Henry the vacuum cleaner became an accidental design icon

Henry is a fixture in millions of homes – including 10 Downing Street – despite almost no advertising. Meet the man behind a curiously British success story In March this year, photos of the government’s glitzy new briefing room, where Boris Johnson’s new media chief was set to host daily press conferences, leaked to the […]

Living with Covid and extreme individualism | Letters

Readers respond to a piece by Aditya Chakrabortty in which he addresses collective responses to social crises and Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic “Coprophagic cynicism”: Aditya Chakrabortty is in a fine fury (After Covid, the climate crisis will be the next thing the right says we ‘just have to live with’, 22 July). He […]

Gold medals are illusory, world-class public facilities should be the goal | Barney Ronay

Watering the soil of cultural participation would leave a greater legacy than any number of British Olympic champions There was a memorable moment at the emotional zenith of the London Olympics, back in that strange time when it seemed so vitally important the home Games was a success, so deeply shocking that George Michael played […]

Prog rockers sussed out Boris Johnson years ago | Brief letters

The price of ‘freedom’ | New phrases | Genesis | Brexit plank | Spelling disaster Let me get this right: lockdown was damaging the economy through the restrictions imposed on trade and commerce. So “freedom” is declared. But the accompanying upsurge of the Johnson variant and increase in infections, and ensuing “pingdemic”, brings the economy […]

UK says it wants to substantially rewrite Northern Ireland Brexit protocol

Blueprint for alternative arrangement published as sources say protocol was flawed at conception The UK has launched an audacious bid to rewrite a key plank of the Brexit deal, saying the Northern Ireland protocol was flawed at conception but served its purpose to get the UK out of the EU as “one country”. The European […]

Dominic Cummings pulls back the curtain and declares his genius

PM’s former adviser tells BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg how he had planned to get rid of Boris Johnson from the start Dominic Cummings had clearly given his interview with Laura Kuenssberg some careful consideration, because he was dressed in recognisable clothes rather than his normal sartorial enquiry, “what would happen if Anya Hindmarsh designed a prison […]

Boris Johnson’s ‘get Covid, live longer’ quip an echo of Oxford study

Was prime minister’s anti-lockdown view informed by paper from Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine? An Oxford University paper dubbed by the Daily Mail an “anti-lockdown” plan has emerged as the likely inspiration behind Boris Johnson’s messages declaring “get Covid and live longer”. The WhatsApp messages revealed by his former chief aide, Dominic Cummings, showed the prime […]

If Johnson didn’t believe the ‘NHS overwhelmed stuff’, why was he clapping? | Rachel Clarke

In public he called doctors and nurses heroes. Now we know what he really thought: that we were crying wolf over Covid Last October, in their first joint television appearance, Boris Johnson and his then fiancee, Carrie Symonds, showered praise on frontline NHS workers for their “courage and dedication” during the pandemic. “Thank you – […]

The Guardian view on Covid confusion: government inconsistency will be deadly | Editorial

The prime minister wants to have it all ways. As usual, other people will pay the price “My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it,” Boris Johnson declared many years ago. The joke has served his career so well that he has often returned to the theme, making promises without fretting […]

Boris Johnson to delay social care reform plans until autumn

Holdup comes as latest negotiations flounder with the three key players self-isolating Boris Johnson has delayed plans for a tax rise to fix the crumbling social care system until the autumn, amid worries about the proposal from within his own party. The prime minister had hoped to be able to make the announcement before recess […]

Higher taxes look like only way to fix UK’s social care crisis

Analysis: Boris Johnson has delayed his reform plans – but an increase in national insurance or another tax seems on the cards • Boris Johnson to delay social care plans until autumn The reason governments of both left and right have taken so long to sort out Britain’s social care system comes down to one […]

Covid vaccine certificates to be compulsory for crowded venues in England

Ministers hope move for venues such as nightclubs will boost vaccine uptake among young people Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Vaccine passports will be compulsory to enter packed venues such as nightclubs in an extraordinary U-turn announced by Boris Johnson hours after clubs were allowed to open for the first time […]

Dominic Cummings tells BBC PM denied Covid would overwhelm NHS

Former aide says Boris Johnson held out on October lockdown because those ‘dying are essentially all over 80’ Boris Johnson denied the NHS would be overwhelmed and said he was not prepared to lock down the country to save people in their 80s, texting his adviser “get Covid and live longer,” according to new WhatsApp […]

Ministers mull national insurance rise to fund social care

Boris Johnson refuses to recommit to Tory manifesto promise not to raise taxes Ministers are considering a national insurance rise – described as a social care and health levy – in order to overhaul the UK’s social care system, as Boris Johnson refused to recommit to the Tory manifesto promise not to raise taxes. The […]