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Mingling in the street will breach ‘rule of six’, says Patel
Families will be in breach of the new ‘rule of six’ ban on “mingling” if they stop to chat in the street or park, says Priti Patel, as police warned they risk being overwhelmed by “snitching”. Asked if two families of four stopping for a chat on their way to the park would be in breach of the rule of six, the Home Secretary said: “It’s mingling, I think it is absolutely mingling but you have to put this into context of coronavirus, and keeping distance and wearing masks.” Watch her comments. College of Policing guidance issued last night to police warned that mingling is only allowed within a single household or between two “linked” households where they have formed a support bubble. One group particularly affected is teenagers, as they are denied milestones like sweaty parties, scuffles and drunken hugs. Helena Pozniak reveals why the rule of six doesn’t work for young people and is not in anyone’s best interests.
Meanwhile, Matt Hancock said he will not “shirk from decisions on prioritisation” as he answered an urgent question in Parliament about the testing shambles that has left thousands across the UK unable to book a Covid-19 test. The Health Secretary said the UK is facing an “enormous challenge” with testing as the coronavirus “epidemic is growing” again. Our liveblog has the latest. It has also emerged Boris Johnson was warned not to call his mass testing plan a “moonshot” and encouraged not to set a target of ten million tests per day. Here is why.
Why UK food exports to the EU could become illegal
Brussels has warned farmers, businesses and animal welfare groups that it may be forced to ban all British exports of live animals and animal products such as cheese, beef, eggs, chicken and lamb from January 1. James Crisp reveals why European Commission officials have issued the warning. Yet the president of the European Commission is expected to say that a UK-EU trade deal is still possible but not at any price in her annual flagship speech tomorrow. Ursula von der Leyen’s address in the European Parliament in Brussels comes as Downing Street warns peers not to try to block controversial legislation overriding key elements of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Patrick O’Flynn analyses why the renewed efforts to block Brexit or dilute it yet again will only boost, not break, Boris Johnson. Our Refresher newsletter, out tomorrow, will give a clear explanation of the key sticking points of the UK Internal Market Bill. Sign up here. With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit back on the table, this is what it would do to mortgage rates and house prices.
Zoe Ball’s £1m pay rise as BBC unveils stars’ salaries
Zoe Ball has received a £1 million pay rise to become the BBC’s second highest-paid earner. Ball now has a salary between £1.36-1.365 million after taking over the Radio 2 breakfast show. She is second only to Gary Lineker in a newly published list of the corporation’s highest earners but may become its top earner next year after the Match of the Day host agreed to cut his salary by a quarter and curtail his social media use after agreeing a new five-year contract with the BBC. Tim Davie, the corporation’s director-general, announced the deal at the launch of the annual report but Michael Hogan reveals why the BBC is deluded to think it can ever tame Lineker. Meanwhile, Charlotte Runcie makes the case for Zoe Ball’s salary bearing no relation to her talent or popularity.
At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
‘Naughty Tory’ | Disgraced former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been jailed for two years after being convicted of three sexual assaults on two younger women. The 49-year-old declared himself a “naughty Tory” as he chased his first victim around his central London family home in summer 2007, moments after groping her while they shared a bottle of wine. He also groped a second woman while Dover MP in 2016. Read the judge’s comments as she sentenced him.
Around the world: Plants overrun Chinese towers
An experimental green housing project in a Chinese megacity promised prospective residents life in a “vertical forest”, with manicured gardens on every balcony. All 826 apartments were sold out by April this year, according to the project’s estate agent, but instead of a modern eco-paradise, the towers look like the set of a desolate, post-apocalyptic film. The problem? The mosquitoes love the plants too. Only a handful of families have moved into Chengdu’s Qiyi City Forest Garden because of an infestation, state media have reported. Click here to see how plants have almost entirely swallowed up some neglected balconies.
‘The Queen asked why heavy metal is so loud’