Handing over now to Andrew Sparrow, our political correspondent. Here’s wishing a good morning to you all.
told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
“What we have is a twin crisis, which is the crisis of the corona epidemic … and it is over with the crisis of Brexit.
“It is a crisis of unprecedented scale and it is going to get worse.
“So, the question really is how is the government responding, how should it respond?
And I have to say I was deeply disappointed in the speech the prime minister made in Dudley.
It was simply the sort of speech with a lot of proposals which were remarkably similar to what all governments have done faced with rising unemployment.
They announce packets of money in housing and transport and repairs for the health service … but they lack the one thing that is essential, and that is the local enthusiasm, energy and enterprise.
Blackman, the MP for Aberdeen North who was reprimanded by Commons officials for bringing her baby into a committee meeting in 2016, and criticised the lack of child-friendly working at Westminster, said she wanted to focus on her family and constituency work.
“Like many others, I’ve struggled with the impact that lockdown has had on my mental health,” she said.
There has been some speculation Blackman was considering running for Holyrood in the 2021 elections.
The under-fire housing secretary (he’s facing accusations of making an unlawful decision to help a Conservative donor dodge a multimillion-pound tax bill), Robert Jenrick, will address the Local Government Association conference this afternoon at an online event.
He’ll be grilled by councillors at a Q&A – expect questions about the upcoming changes to planning laws (as well as why Jenrick failed to listen to the objections of councillors over the controversial Westferry development.)
Perhaps worth noting is that an announcement on local government funding is expected today. Jenrick has a written statement listed on the Commons order paper.
Meanwhile, Jenrick is also facing a demand to appear before a parliamentary committee to respond to unanswered questions about his relationship with Tory donor Richard Desmond.
My colleague Rajeev Syal has the full details here:
In what is hardly a break for good news, it might nevertheless be worth stepping back from this morning’s breaking news for just a moment to flag a damning scoop from Channel 4 last night, which revealed the Department of Health issued safety warnings and orders to frontline staff to bin tens of thousands of protective masks and respirators that were deemed unsafe.
If you missed it, here’s the tweet:
And here is our full report:
Air bridge announcement delayed
The government has yet again delayed its announcement on which countries Britons can travel to and from without having to quarantine for 14 days on their return.
My colleague Kate Proctor has this report on growing pressure on the government to release the list of countries and end the confusion among holidaymakers:
Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s economic counsellor, said that mounting unemployment triggered by the Covid-19 crisis would require swift action to prevent lasting damage, and that spending on low-carbon projects could be used in response.
Speaking to MPs on the commons Treasury committee, she said countries such as the UK had an opportunity to “do public investment that also addresses the need for a greener planet, and at the same time as a jobs-rich recovery”.