The Daily Telegraph today splashed what looks like a remarkable story. He cites research claiming that lockdown measures imposed during the first wave of Covid in 2020 may have only saved 1,700 lives in England and Wales. The report says:
The foreclosure saved just 1,700 lives in England and Wales in spring 2020, according to a landmark study which concludes the policy’s benefits were ‘a drop in the bucket compared to staggering collateral costs “imposed.
Scientists from Johns Hopkins University and Lund University reviewed nearly 20,000 studies on measures taken to protect people from Covid around the world.
It’s the reference to Johns Hopkins University that makes this sound particularly authoritative. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is world-renowned, and during the pandemic, its Coronavirus Resource Center has been one of the best sources of pandemic information.
But the report was not actually produced by the School of Medicine. It was published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, the UK’s best-known libertarian think tank for inspiring Liz Truss and some of the ideas for her disastrous mini-budget. The report was written by three people, one of whom, Steve Hanke, is an academic at Johns Hopkins University. But he is an economics professor, not a public health specialist, and he is described in the IEA report as a well-known currency and commodities trader.
When Boris Johnson was Prime Minister, he regularly attacked Labor for their failure to build new nuclear power stations while in power. He claimed that this is part of the reason for the country’s energy security problem.
While visiting Hinkley Point C in Somerset this morning, the new nuclear power station which is still not operational, Keir Starmer claim that the Conservative government is to blame. He will point out that the Labor Party has announced master plans for 10 nuclear reactors in 2009, and that none of them are operational.
Here is a Labor list showing what happened to the 10 projects.
And here Ben Quinn And Kiran Staceythe story of Starmer’s visit.
Government WhatsApp groups were never used to make major decisions during Covid and instead relayed information and discussed coffee orders, James Bethela former health minister, argued. Walker Stone has the story here.
Good morning. Rishi Sunak delivers a speech in Kent this morning and takes questions from reporters. According to No 10, he will ‘provide an update on his plan to stop the boats and the progress we have made over the last six months’ (since he gave his statement to MPs in December on his plans to ‘ stop the boats”). But journalists will have plenty of other topics to ask him questions about, such as his government’s legal action against the Covid investigation.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Sunak will claim this morning that a sharp drop in the number of Albanians coming to the UK to seek asylum shows his plans are working. In their story, Charles Hymas Daniel Martin And Amy Gibbon report:
The Prime Minister will cite a sharp drop in the number of Albanians arriving as proof that a tough stance on deportations will deter illegal migrants.
Figures have fallen from around 30% of arrivals in the Channel last year to 1-2% in the first four months of this year.
It is understood that thousands of Albanians are being hunted down and targeted by Home Office immigration officials for deportation, although Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick admitted on Sunday that the government had so far only sent back hundreds of Albanians who had arrived in small boats.
A team of 400 social workers has also been put in place to expedite the backlog of 16,683 Albanian asylum applications, and immigration and law enforcement officials are pursuing thousands more. , many of whom fled.
But Sunak can see that even people who support what he is trying to do on illegal immigration are unimpressed with his progress update. In its article, the Daily Mail said the update would likely be “disappointing”, and it quotes Sir Iain Duncan Smithformer Conservative leader, asking why so few Albanians (“hundreds”, immigration minister Robert Jenrick said yesterday) have been removed. Duncan Smith said:
Is the public service simply not doing what it is supposed to have done? We have to have a real reason why, with a full deal that people are renting, we didn’t go into priority mode and literally kick those people out.
There must be a full explanation from the Home Office as to why this did not happen.
And in the Daily Express, which is the Conservative newspaper normally most reluctant to criticize the government, Martyn Browndeputy political editor of the paper, states in an analysis that “none of the new measures [announced by Sunak to deal with illegal immigration] apparently had a real impact”.
Here is the program for the day.
Morning: Keir Starmer visits Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset.
11 a.m.: Rishi Sunak is holding a press conference in Kent, where he will outline what he sees as the progress made over the past six months in tackling illegal migration.
12:15 p.m.: Humza Yousaf, First Minister of Scotland, delivers a speech to business leaders.
2:30 p.m.: Michael Gove, the leveling secretary, answers questions in the Commons.
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