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Sudan and Israel normalize ties in third deal brokered by Trump administration

WASHINGTON — Sudan will become the third Arab state to normalize ties with Israel in another historic peace deal brokered by the United States, President Trump announced Friday.

The deal, which would deepen Sudan’s engagement with the West, follows Trump’s conditional agreement this week to remove the North African nation from the list of state sponsors of terrorism if it pays compensation to American victims of terror attacks.

The Trump administration’s brokering of the deals as it works toward a Middle East peace deal has earned the commander-in-chief multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations.

It also delivers a foreign policy achievement for Trump just days before the U.S. election.

Recently, the United States brokered diplomatic pacts between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Jordan recognized Israel in the 1990s.

Netanyahu has made it a priority to forge ties with formerly hostile countries in Africa and the Arab world in the absence of any progress with the Palestinians during his more than a decade in office. The deal also is aimed at unifying Arab countries against their common adversary, Iran.

With Post wires

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Fake Covid marshals are stealing from homes, warn police

Fake Covid marshals are going door-to-door on hunt for rule breaches then steal from homes when let inside, warn police

  • Police forces and Trading Standards have warned fraudsters have new tactics
  • Fake Covid-19 marshals pretending to check for rule breaches before stealing 
  • Bedfordshire Police issued a warning after two men tried to enter a property 

Fake coronavirus mashals have been pretending to check for rule breaches and stealing from homes once they are let inside.

Police forces and Trading Standards warned fraudsters have been conning people by pretending they were told to enter people’s homes.

The tactic comes after con artists pretended to be healthcare workers offering bogus virus tests to get inside houses.

The mashals, called COVID-19 secure marshals, do not actually have any powers to enter people’s homes, enforce social distancing or issue fines.

Police forces and Trading Standards warned fraudsters have been conning people by pretending they were told to enter people’s homes. Pictured, a covid mashal in central London

Last month Bedfordshire Police issued a warning after two men tried to enter a property in Dunstable.

The fraudsters told the man he would be fined if he refused, but when the resident asked them for ID, which they could not produce, he refused to let them in and kept the security chain on the door.

One of the offenders stopped the door being closed with his foot, but left the scene after the man again refused to let them inside, police said.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has received reports of similar incidents involving people pretending to be COVID marshals and medical professionals to get inside people’s homes.

Katherine Hart, CTSI’s lead officer for doorstep crime, said that since lockdown began there have been a series of scams involving imposter marshals and that this could increase over winter.

Metrolink workers wore high vis jackets that urged social distancing in Manchester in July

She said: ‘Since March we have seen so many different instances of fraudsters using the pandemic as an opportunity to defraud the public.

‘These scams are shifting in their theme as the rules and regulations change with individuals now pretending to be COVID-19 secure marshals.

‘COVID-19 secure marshals will never come to your door unannounced and do not have the right of entry, or the right to issue fines.

‘This type of scam appears in many forms, and I have also received information about individuals pretending to offer flu vaccinations on the door – a concerning development as we enter flu season.

‘I am particularly concerned that elderly and vulnerable individuals may be at risk to this scam.

‘I ask the public and public authorities to spread the correct safeguarding information so that we can stop these unscrupulous individuals from ruining the lives of those already struggling during this challenging time.’ 

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Turkish man, 60, 'shot his ex-wife, 39, then tried to cover it up by grabbing her phone and texting himself'

A TURKISH man shot his ex-wife and tried to cover it up by sending a series of fake messages from her phone after her death, cops said.

Abdullah Kaya, 60, is accused of killing gym worker Hulya Gulluce, 39, at the home they shared in Belediye Evleri, Turkey on October 4.


Emergency services rushed to the scene after Hulya was found dead by her 17-year-old daughter at 7am.

Officers arrested Abdullah after reviewing CCTV at the family home.

Cops said he had sent a series of fake text messages between him and his ex-wife to cover his tracks.

Abdullah hoped to show that the couple were in a loving relationship with the messages, officers said.

He wrote "good morning my love" from his phone, and used her phone to reply in an equally loving way.

The couple were divorced at the time of Hulya's death, but Abdullah had persuaded his ex-wife to return to the family home to give the relationship another try, according to news outlet DHA.

Cops said Abdullah has admitted killing his ex-wife.

He remains in custody while the investigation continues.


 

 

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Europe warned COVID-19 is spreading quickly, further curbs loom

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Paris/Madrid: The coronavirus is spreading even faster than it did during the first phase of the pandemic, a French government adviser said on Friday, as authorities across Europe scrambled to try to contain the disease once again racing through the continent.

France, which is set to pass 1 million cases after posting a record daily total of more than 41,000 on Thursday, has been one of the countries hardest hit in the second wave and has imposed curfews across much of the nation.

A COVID-19 patient is flown from the Netherlands, where hospitals have been swamped with virus patients, to Germany for treatment.Credit:AP

COVID-19 patients occupy nearly half of all of France's 5000 intensive care beds and its well-regarded health system has been showing increasing signs of strain.

"The virus is circulating more quickly than in the spring," epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, who sits on the Scientific Council advising the French government, said.

The disease is in resurgence all over Europe, where daily reported cases have more than doubled in 10 days, crossing 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally.

"We are all afraid," said Maria, a 73-year old pensioner in Dolny Kubin, Slovakia, where officials were piloting a testing scheme the government plans to roll out across the whole country of 5.5 million. "I see what's happening and it is terrifying."

Around the continent, further restrictions are being planned by governments desperate to avoid a repeat of the blanket lockdowns that brought a measure of control in March and April at the cost of shutting down their whole economies.

Belgium, one of the worst-hit countries, whose foreign minister Sophie Wilmes went into intensive care this week, tightened restrictions on social contacts on Friday and banned fans from sports matches.

Poland, another of a string of countries to report record daily case increases, said it would close restaurants and bars for two weeks and limit public gatherings to five people.

In the Netherlands, a COVID-19 patient was flown from Flevohospital in Almere, 30 kilometres east of Amsterdam, to a German intensive care unit on Friday, the first such international airlift since the global pandemic first threatened to swamp Dutch hospitals in the spring.

It came amid soaring rates of infection in the Netherlands, where the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 24.58 new cases per 100,000 people on October 7 to 47.74 new cases per 100,000 on October 21.

In Spain, which passed the grim 1 million case milestone earlier this week, two regions, Castilla and Leon and Valencia, urged the central government to impose night-time curfews quickly to stem the spread.

Official data shows Spain already has the highest number of cases in Europe but the real picture may be even worse, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who said a nationwide antibody study suggested the actual total may be more than 3 million.

"If we don't follow precautions, we are putting the lives of those we love most at risk," Sanchez said in a televised address. "What we have to do is reduce mobility and social contact. There is no other solution."



Recession fears

How long the resistance to lockdowns will last is uncertain. The governor of Campania, the southern Italian region around Naples which has imposed a curfew and shut schools, announced plans for a total lockdown, saying "half measures" were not working.

"It is necessary to close everything, except for those businesses that produce and transport essential goods," Vincenzo De Luca said.

While health services have not so far been overwhelmed to the extent they were in the first wave, medical authorities have warned of a likely surge in demand for intensive care beds as colder weather forces more people indoors and infections spread.

The wave of public support seen at the start of the crisis has steadily eroded amid a welter of often confusing and contradictory public information on the latest restrictions and growing fears about the economic costs of the crisis.

Underlining the threat, a business survey showed service sector companies cutting back heavily as more and more consumers stayed home, raising the likelihood of a double dip recession this year in Europe's single currency zone.

The survey on Friday "adds to the evidence that the second wave of infections, and the new wave of containment measures, is taking a heavy toll on the economy," said Jack Allen-Reynolds at Capital Economics, a consultancy firm.

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Woman, 53, is still suffering from symptoms 10 months after catching Covid

A WOMAN is still suffering from coronavirus symptoms 10 months after catching the bug.

Nic Kimberley, 53, claims she was struck down with the virus last Christmas day after flying to the Caribbean for a winter holiday.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates



Nic, from Worcester, believes she caught the bug a few days before Christmas while mingling with Chinese passengers who landed at Gatwick Airport from Wuhan – the city where the pandemic originated.

She spent the entire week of her holiday in bed with a fever, lack of taste and smell and a cough – all classic symptoms of coronavirus.

When Nic returned to her home in Cheltenham, her symptoms persisted and she went to her GP who was baffled by her illness – and even suggested it could be swine flu.

Initial blood tests in February showed "abnormal results" – and doctors tested her for everything from Zika to Malaria and even Sars.

But her coronavirus diagnosis was only confirmed in June when she had a plasma test after taking part in the Oxford University trials – following months of hospital visits and debilitating symptoms.

Scientists said the earliest known person to contract coronavirus in the UK was a 75-year-old woman from Nottinghamshire who tested positive on February 21 – two months after Nic fell ill.

But the former BBC journalist now claims she is the UK's longest Covid-19 sufferer – and told of her horrific battle with the disease.

She said: "It was found my various organs and glands had not been working properly for quite a while.

I have never lost the chest pain. I find it difficult to breathe

"I lose my eyesight for a few hours here and there, then it comes back blurry.

"It is flaring virus, it sits and hides inside the body before coming out.

"It is the pattern for long Covid people like myself, that they are seeing."

She added: "I have never lost the crippling arthritic and joint pain. I have never lost the chest pain. I find it difficult to breathe.

"The longest period I've had is seven days when I start to feel almost back to normal.

"But the virus it teases you, the next day you can't stand up, and your ears have been bleeding.

"It is the most horrendous disease, it takes everything you have away from you."


Terrified Nic also said she has "no idea" if she will ever fully recover from her nightmarish battle with the bug.

As well as the physical toll, Nic said the strain of battling the disease has also had a huge impact on her mental health – and is using her experiences to warn young Brits of the dangers of Covid-19.

She continued: "I used to be a BBC radio journalist, I used to be eloquent and now my short term memory is gone, I would be beaten at Scrabble by a two-year-old.

"Young people think they are immune.

"I get so angry when I see the Covidiots – they need to know the reality."

Nic says she has found some comfort and support in the Long Covid Support Group, which brings together Brits who are still suffering from mysterious long term effects of the disease.

Scientists are currently uncertain about what causes "long covid" – and how to alleviate the debilitating symptoms.

Earlier this month, data from the Covid Symptom Tracker, used by four million Brits, found that 12% of people still had symptoms after 30 days.

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Businesses answer Marcus Rashford's call for free meals this Christmas

Operation: Feed the children: From sandwich shops to global giant McDonald’s… UK businesses answer Marcus Rashford’s call for free meals this Christmas

  • Hospitality businesses have now shown they ‘stand with Rashford, not the 322’
  • Some giants are involved in the move, including fast food franchise McDonald’s
  • Nigella Lawson backed a campaign to provide free meals to vulnerable children
  • Councils such as Southwark Council and Liverpool City Council also helping out
  • And smaller firms such as Aubergine Cafe in the Wirral, launched their missions

Cafes, pubs and restaurants are offering free school meals for local children during half term after MPs rejected a campaign started by footballer Marcus Rashford.

A vote on the measures was backed by Labour and made its way to Parliament this week – but was defeated by 322 votes to 261.

Now dozens of hospitality businesses have shown they ‘stand with Rashford, not the 322’, by supporting families during the school holidays.

Some business giants are involved in the move, with McDonald’s set to deliver a million meals for children in the next few weeks.

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson backed a campaign to provide free meals to vulnerable children, seeing it pass £35,000.

Councils including Redbridge Borough Council, Southwark Council, Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Liverpool City Council also said they would help out.

And smaller firms such as Aubergine Cafe in the Wirral, which is managed by Andrew Mahon and his wife May, have launched their own rescue missions for children.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants are offering free school meals for local children during half term after MPs rejected a campaign started by footballer Marcus Rashford (pictured  visiting charity FareShare in Manchester today)

Now dozens of hospitality businesses have shown they ‘stand with Rashford, not the 322’, by supporting families during the school holidays. Pictured: Fiona Crump, owner of the Castle Beach Cafe in Falmouth

Chef Scott Cope prepares a sandwich at the Pudding Pantry in Nottingham. They will be making free lunch boxes during half term for children who would get a free school lunch

Hospitality giants, councils and small firms rally to help vulnerable children

Local businesses and organisations:

  • The Greystones – Sheffield
  • Kingfisher Fish and Chips – Hull
  • The Courtyard – Birmingham
  • Farm Fresh – Nottingham
  • Rayrayz – Liverpool
  • Birchwood Autumn – West Lancashire
  • EJF Buffets and Banquets – Solihull
  • St James Church – Rawstenall
  • The Loft Cafe Bar – Bingley
  • The Gilt Rooms – Essex
  • Oliver’s – Surrey
  • Delphine Fish and Chips – Sheffield
  • Pearson’s Bar – Hull
  • Toast 2 roast – St Helens
  • The Panda Club – Liverpool
  • Manjaros – Middlesbrough
  • Mumtaz – Leeds
  • Barry’s Tearoom – Cumbria
  • The Rhubarb Shed Cafe – Sheffield
  • The Vale Cafe – Rothbury
  • Warrens Fruit and Veg – Watford
  • Jenny’s Brackley – Brackley
  • The Fun House – Whitehaven
  • Jo’s Place – Wilmslow
  • Bowring Park Cafe – Shropshire
  • Greenfields Farm – Telford
  • Minikin Art Cafe – Manchester
  • Babuls – Teesdale
  • The Sandwich Shop – Rotherham
  • Khandoker – Didsbury
  • The Hawthorne – Warrington
  • The Watering Can – Liverpool
  • The Pudding Pantry – Nottingham
  • Patna – Leek
  • Astoria Bar – Urmston
  • Belluno – Devon
  • Aubergine Cafe – Wirral
  • The Crown Inn – Bristol
  • The Courtyard – Wigan
  • The Handsworth – Sheffield
  • Bakers – Bolton
  • Lucid Games/Tranmere Rovers – Wirral
  • Royal and Derngate – Northampton
  • The VIllage Fish Bar – Bamber Bridge
  • Bik Smoke Brew Co – Surbiton, Kingston, Hammersmith, Weybridge, Chichester, Wokingham
  • Pavilion Street Kitchen – Cornwall
  • Count House Cafe – Cornwall
  • The Art House – Eastbourne
  • Market Hill Fisheries – Winterton
  • Kingfisher Fish and Chips – Hull
  • The Poachers – County Durham
  • Cafe Baraka – Cleethorpes
  • Jordan’s Cafe – Worthing
  • Duke’s Head – Great Yarmouth
  • Weoley Castle – Birmingham
  • Portofino Ristorante – Harrogate
  • Lillies Coffee Shop – Rotherham
  • Kimble’s – Billingham
  • No Bones – Hastings
  • Tintinhull Village Hall and Coffee Shop – Yeovil

Councils and regional authorities:

  • Greater Manchester City Region
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Redbridge
  • Oldham
  • Greenwich
  • Liverpool
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Doncaster
  • Southwark
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Wandsworth
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Lewisham
  • North Tyneside
  • St Helens Borough
  • Lambeth
  • Manchester City Council
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Knowsley Council
  • Birmingham City Council
  • North Tyneside Council
  • St Helens Borough Council
  • Hackney Council
  • Portsmouth Council
  • Shropshire Council
  • City of Wolverhampton Council 

McDonald’s funding will enable charity FareShare to redistribute food to families who need it most in the coming weeks.

UK and Ireland CEO Paul Pomroy said: ‘As a business we are committed to supporting and serving the communities in which we operate.

‘In these challenging times, we know it’s more important than ever to support those most in need.

‘When we temporarily closed our restaurants in March, our people, franchisees and suppliers rallied to provide surplus food and support to food banks and charities.

‘We were pleased that we were able to donate surplus food through FareShare and other organisations earlier this year, and we admire the fantastic work that FareShare continues to do to support families facing very tough situations.

‘I am pleased to support the distribution of one million meals to the families most in need this Autumn, and I wish to thank and congratulate FareShare for everything they’re doing.’

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell added: ‘McDonalds is showing real leadership in supporting the most vulnerable in society to get access to healthy food at this critical time.

‘The funding will enable the equivalent of 1 million meals to be redistributed to our charity network very swiftly, and we are very grateful for their urgent support.’

Celebrity chef Ms Lawson announced she was supporting a fundraiser set up by comedian Katy Brand to provide free meals.

It has passed £35,000 and Ms Brand said she was now aiming for £50,000, with the proceeds going to the charities FareShare, the Trussell Trust and Magic Breakfast.

Ms Lawson tweeted: ‘It shouldn’t have to be this way, but it is more important to feed a hungry child than argue about how it’s done.

‘Or rather, donate if you can and then do what’s necessary to stop those who make children going hungry policy.’

It comes amid a difficult time for the hospitality industry, with many business owners struggling to cope with the effects of coronavirus restrictions on their trade.

Rashford, who was made an MBE after forcing a Government U-turn on free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays, said he was ‘blown away’ by the support.

The Manchester United footballer tweeted: ‘Selflessness, kindness, togetherness, this is the England I know.

‘Add #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY to your tweets so I can track them. I will share as many as I can.’

Mr and Mrs Mahon from the Wirral are offering a free sandwich, cup of soup and piece of fruit to children over half term.

He said: ‘My wife and I, we saw the vote in Parliament. And we were a bit dumbstruck. It seems like such an own goal by Parliament.

‘They are talking about trying to balance the books, but you don’t do that by letting kids fall destitute in the middle of a national health emergency.’

Mr Mahon said for every request for help they have had, they have received more than 20 times as many offers of support, with people asking to donate money.

He said: ‘It’s very heartening. We weren’t expecting it.’

Chris Fletcher and Kerry Rossey are offering a free packed lunch at The Gingerbread House Cafe in Budleigh Salterton, Devon.

They have launched a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of providing the meals that has already raised more than £900.

Mr Fletcher said: ‘As parents ourselves we don’t believe any child should be hungry at any time.

‘We would like to offer a free child’s takeaway packed lunch which will include a sandwich, packet of crisps, piece of fruit and a carton of juice throughout half term.

‘We posted this on Facebook and have been overwhelmed with messages from businesses and local people wanting to donate to help us fund this.’

‘Thank you everyone for your support, we feel so proud to live in such an amazing community. 

Ms Crump said: ‘I didn’t know about Marcus Rashford sharing my post until someone and told me about it this morning’

Ozgur Babat, owner of the Portofino restaurant in Harrogate, which will be handing out free food boxes during half term

Mr Babat (pictured, one of the packages) will give them to any child who would normally get a free school lunch

‘It has been absolutely mad. It has been really good to see how everyone has come together and how many people have got involved.’

Fiona Crump, 56, is the owner of the Castle Beach Cafe – a tiny eatery that operates out the back of a shipping container in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Marcus Rashford helps out at charity that feeds vulnerable children

England football star Marcus Rashford and his mother yesterday visited a food charity which is naming a new warehouse in her honour after MPs voted down his plan to provide free school meals during the holidays.   

The pair’s visit to FareShare Greater Manchester came a day after a Labour motion for the meals scheme to be extended over school holidays until Easter 2021 was defeated in the House of Commons.

The campaign has been championed by Manchester United footballer Rashford, 22, who had called on people to ‘unite’ to protect the most vulnerable children after the vote.

Rashford visiting FareShare Greater Manchester at New Smithfield Market with his mother

Visiting FareShare with his mother Melanie, he said: ‘When we stumble, there will always be a community to wrap their arms around us and pick us back up.’ 

The football ace added that for many people this help will come from food banks staffed by ‘selfless’ volunteers who are dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable.

Hours after visiting the FareShare warehouse, Rashford heaped praise on local groups, businesses and schools which have done their bit for children in local communities. 

He forced a Government U-turn on free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays, and his petition urging the Government to go further in tackling child hunger hit 100,000 signatures just 10 hours after it was launched.

She said: ‘I didn’t know about Marcus Rashford sharing my post until someone and told me about it this morning.

‘I’m really angry that every one of the Cornish MPs voted against providing school meals and at the Government for their spending priorities.

‘I find that anger is useless unless you turn it into action and I wanted to do something with it.

‘I run a cafe so I thought what I can do is feed people. I’ll be making pack lunches like what children would usually take to school.

‘I have no idea how many I will be making – it could be two or it could be 2,000.’

Tony Dunn, 40, who owns the Rhubarb Shed Cafe in Sheffield, South Yorks., said it was ‘unconscionable’ to leave children hungry and was inspired by Rashford’s mission.

The father of three said it was paramount that communities came together as families have been struggling through the pandemic through ‘no fault of their own’.

His 60-seat café will offer children an option of a sandwich, cupcake or hot chocolate next Thursday and said they will keep serving food until they run out.

He said once they’ve run out they will find something else to cook up as ‘children should never go hungry’.

Mr Dunn, who has owned the café for ten years, said: ‘When I saw that the MPs voted against it I thought it was awful.

‘Children are completely innocent and they should never go hungry. It’s unconscionable to let something like this happen.

‘I’ve seen people say that parents on the dole should be feeding their children but our community was hit hard by this pandemic.

‘Many of the families who can’t afford food at the moment are people who have been working, but are now in a terrible situation through no fault of their own.

‘I think it’s just so important that as a community we come together and do every little bit we can.

‘Seeing Marcus Rashford fighting has inspired many people, and I’ve seen so many restaurants and cafes trying to help out in any way they can as a result.’

He added: ‘It’s sad that it took Rashford going through all of this for some change to happen but we must see the positives.

‘This is an incredible movement, and it’s great to see communities banding together.’

Mr Dunn, who runs the café with his wife Paula, 34, said he’s not a political person but that children going hungry ‘isn’t political’.

He said: ‘My wife and I have been working here for ten years and we’re the least political people you’ll ever find.

‘But children going hungry isn’t political. It’s something that just shouldn’t happen.’

Alex Stephens, owner of the Farm Fresh Market in Watnall Nottingham, with some of the sandwiches and drinks they will be providing free to local school children

Warren O’Connor (left) and Andy Aston (right) of Warren’s Fruit and Veg at their Friday stall in the car park of Ye Olde Greene Manne in Northwood. They will be handing out free fruit and vegetables during half term for vulnerable children

Primary headteacher offers parents of pupils on free school meals £15 to feed their children over half-term

A primary headteacher has offered parents of pupils on free school meals £15 to feed their children over the half-term after MPs voted against extending the scheme during the holidays. 

Marianne Allan, who runs Cambois Primary School in Northumberland, said she was stepping in after MPs voted against extending free meals over the holidays, despite the campaign from England hero Marcus Rashford.

Marianne Allan, who runs Cambois Primary School in Northumberland, said she was stepping in after MPs voted against extending free meals over the holidays, despite the campaign from England hero Marcus Rashford

The school has 88 pupils, more than half of whom are eligible for free school meals, and will be using money raised in donations for the foodbank that it also runs.

Mrs Allan said: ‘It is morally correct and it is the responsible thing to do. I was quite shocked how anybody could vote against feeding children.

‘We have a significant number of children who will be directly affected by this decision.’

She said parents were doing their best to provide for their children, but she was aware of some who had lost their job and had to wait six weeks for their universal credit to start.

Mrs Allan added that the local community and businesses were greatly supportive and that bakery giant Greggs helped the school run a breakfast club.

‘We have a trolley in each classroom and teachers make toast for the children,’ she said.

‘On Fridays they have a treat like a croissant, we give them fresh orange and fruit.

‘Teachers are making them breakfast every single day and we are funded by Greggs to do that.’ 

‘We can only do so much, but I think it’s so important that we lift people’s spirits as we’re going through incredibly difficult times.

‘We are going to be serving food until we run out and then we’ll get something else.’

London restaurant Group QOOT which owns brands by Chloe and The Lebanese Bakery said they would step in and offer free school meals for qualifying school children too.

The group of restaurants will offer a free main meal, side and drink before 1pm to school children on presentation of benefits document.

Scot Turner, QOOT Vice-President of Operations, said: ‘When the Covid crisis first hit, QOOT and many other operators in the hospitality industry ran initiatives aimed at helping those most in need.

‘While we continue to face unprecedented challenges, that commitment remains true, which is why we have been supporting Only a Pavement Away, to support London’s homeless and have now stepped up to pledge support for Marcus’s initiative with our London restaurants to offer free school meals, and urging our friends in the industry to get in touch and join us in supporting those children who are most vulnerable right now.

‘For all our customers we encourage them to sign the petition and for our fellow industry colleagues we urge you to register your interest.’

A number of councils have also said they will offer free school meals for vulnerable children.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said he would fund free school meals over half term, feeding approximately 19,800 children.

The council joins Liverpool FC and a host of local businesses who have offered help, food packs and meals to families struggling to put food on the table.

With the city now under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions and a lower government furlough in place, thousands more are in desperate straits.

Mayor Anderson said: ‘We’ve all seen Marcus Rashford’s campaign and I and my colleagues have all been really worried about kids going hungry in this city.’

He continued: ‘So today I am announcing that the council will stand by these kids and extend our own voucher scheme to make sure that 20,000 children will get the food they desperately need over the holiday.

‘Times are tough for this council and we have been hit hard, but we will never lose sight of how hard things are for people who are trying to make ends meet in this city and I’m proud to announce this support today.’

He added: ‘Hopefully this will make things a little bit easier for the families just trying to put food on their tables for their children in Liverpool.’

Labour-led Hammersmith and Fulham Council will give every pupil in need free school meal vouchers, equivalent to a £3 Tesco meal deal per day.

Food being prepared at the Portofino restaurant in Harrogate. They will be handing out free food boxes during half term for any child who would normally get a free school lunch

Ali Waterworth, with son Ruddi, founder of Ruddi’s Retreat in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, who will be offering a packed lunch for children

MP suggests shorter summer holidays to tackle food insecurity

Reducing the length of the school summer holidays could help tackle food insecurity, a Tory MP has said. Jonathan Gullis (Stoke-on-Trent North), a former secondary school teacher, made the call during a Commons debate on free school meals.

Mr Gullis told the Commons: ‘If we were to have a serious discussion about how to tackle this issue, one way in which we can do that is by reducing the summer holiday from six weeks to four weeks. Because it costs £133 per week on average, the costs of childcare, and if we take those two weeks and redistribute them, one in October half-term and one in the May half-term.

‘Therefore, we can help to bring down the cost of the summer holiday on the parents and enable those parents to better… access the food that they of course need. Free school meals are indeed important, but it is the role of the school to educate, not the role of the school to be the welfare state.’

It follows calls by former Tory education secretary Damian Hinds, who said earlier this month the school holidays should be staggered in 2021 to extend the tourism season. Earlier in the debate, Mr Gullis outlined his experience of teaching in schools in deprived areas.

He added: ‘I refuse to be lectured by members opposite who have not walked in my shoes. I spent eight years of my life working as a secondary school teacher in which the overwhelming majority was as a head of year working in some of the most disadvantaged parts of London and of Birmingham, seeing the impact of child poverty and child hunger and the impact of not having a stable family and good role models as well crime and drugs in a local community.’

Council leader Stephen Cowan said watching the vote was ‘cutting’.

He said: ‘I have seen a lot of kids who need food. I was in a school on Tuesday speaking to kids who have the free lunches now and they were explaining they have gone for days without a proper meal.

‘They were very sweet kids, and then I looked at the MPs who were so callously indifferent to that and I thought, how can that be happening in the fifth richest country on Earth.

‘There are so many things they spend money on, it’s a moral imperative.’

School breakfasts will be also delivered over the break to 600 pupils across the borough most in need of help.

Southwark Council leader Kieron Williams said the Government ‘failed, so we are stepping up’.

The London council will reallocate funds to pay for free meals over half term.

Birmingham City Council said it will provide 61,000 children in the city with free school meals vouchers over the half-term.

Councillor Ian Ward, Labour leader of England’s largest local authority, said: ‘With the Government failing to come up with a plan for those families with children reliant on free school meals, through next week’s half-term, Birmingham City Council will step forward.’

He added: ‘There are some 61,000 children in Birmingham who receive free school meals.

‘So we will be ensuring they get provided with a voucher during the half-term next week.’

Manchester City Council followed suit. Councillor Garry Bridges said: ‘We stand with Marcus Rashford. No child should go hungry during the holidays.

‘In the absence of Government support to ensure this, the city council is stepping in to fund the provision of a free lunch for all qualifying children this half-term.

‘We’re working with our schools and have also put extra money into our welfare support to make sure families who need meals for their children can get them.’   

How MPs voted on motion to extend free school meals 

MPs have voted against Labour’s motion to extend free school meals over school holidays until Easter 2021, by 322 votes to 261 – a majority of 61.

The division list numbers differ to those announced in the chamber, showing 319 no votes and 259 ayes.

Here is the breakdown of the division list published after the vote.

Ayes

Five Conservative MPs: Caroline Ansell (Eastbourne), Robert Halfon (Harlow), Jason McCartney (Colne Valley), Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot), Holly Mumby-Croft (Scunthorpe).

191 Labour MPs: Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington), Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth), Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow), Tahir Ali (Birmingham, Hall Green), Rosena Allin-Khan (Tooting), Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale), Fleur Anderson (Putney), Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South), Paula Barker (Liverpool, Wavertree), Margaret Beckett (Derby South), Apsana Begum (Poplar and Limehouse), Hilary Benn (Leeds Central), Clive Betts (Sheffield South East), Olivia Blake (Sheffield, Hallam), Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central), Tracy Brabin (Batley and Spen), Ben Bradshaw (Exeter), Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West), Nicholas Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East), Lyn Brown (West Ham), Chris Bryant (Rhondda), Karen Buck (Westminster North), Richard Burgon (Leeds East), Dawn Butler (Brent Central), Ian Byrne (Liverpool, West Derby), Liam Byrne (Birmingham, Hodge Hill), Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth), Alan Campbell (Tynemouth), Dan Carden (Liverpool, Walton), Sarah Champion (Rotherham), Feryal Clark (Enfield North), Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire), Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford), Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North), Neil Coyle (Bermondsey and Old Southwark), Stella Creasy (Walthamstow), Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham), Judith Cummins (Bradford South), Alex Cunningham (Stockton North), Janet Daby (Lewisham East), Wayne David (Caerphilly), Geraint Davies (Swansea West), Alex Davies-Jones (Pontypridd), Marsha De Cordova (Battersea), Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West), Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough), Anneliese Dodds (Oxford East), Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth), Peter Dowd (Bootle), Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington), Rosie Duffield (Canterbury), Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood), Angela Eagle (Wallasey), Clive Efford (Eltham), Julie Elliott (Sunderland Central), Chris Elmore (Ogmore), Florence Eshalomi (Vauxhall), Bill Esterson (Sefton Central), Chris Evans (Islwyn), Colleen Fletcher (Coventry North East), Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield), Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford), Mary Kelly Foy (City of Durham), Gill Furniss (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough), Barry Gardiner (Brent North), Preet Kaur Gill (Birmingham, Edgbaston), Mary Glindon (North Tyneside), Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston), Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South), Margaret Greenwood (Wirral West), Nia Griffith (Llanelli), Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish), Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley), Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East), Emma Hardy (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle), Harriet Harman (Camberwell and Peckham), Carolyn Harris (Swansea East), Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood), John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne), Mark Hendrick (Preston), Mike Hill (Hartlepool), Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch), Margaret Hodge (Barking), Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West), Kate Hollern (Blackburn), Rachel Hopkins (Luton South), George Howarth (Knowsley), Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton), Imran Hussain (Bradford East), Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central), Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North), Kim Johnson (Liverpool, Riverside), Darren Jones (Bristol North West), Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Kevan Jones (North Durham), Ruth Jones (Newport West), Sarah Jones (Croydon Central), Mike Kane (Wythenshawe and Sale East), Barbara Keeley (Worsley and Eccles South), Liz Kendall (Leicester West), Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton), Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon), Peter Kyle (Hove), David Lammy (Tottenham), Ian Lavery (Wansbeck), Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields), Tony Lloyd (Rochdale), Rebecca Long Bailey (Salford and Eccles), Holly Lynch (Halifax), Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston), Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham, Perry Barr), Shabana Mahmood (Birmingham, Ladywood), Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston), Rachael Maskell (York Central), Christian Matheson (City of Chester), Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak), Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East), Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden), John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington), Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East), Conor McGinn (St Helens North), Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North), Jim McMahon (Oldham West and Royton), Anna McMorrin (Cardiff North), Ian Mearns (Gateshead), Edward Miliband (Doncaster North), Navendu Mishra (Stockport), Jessica Morden (Newport East), Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South), Grahame Morris (Easington), Ian Murray (Edinburgh South), James Murray (Ealing North), Lisa Nandy (Wigan), Charlotte Nichols (Warrington North), Alex Norris (Nottingham North), Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central), Abena Oppong-Asare (Erith and Thamesmead), Kate Osamor (Edmonton), Kate Osborne (Jarrow), Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West), Sarah Owen (Luton North), Stephanie Peacock (Barnsley East), Matthew Pennycook (Greenwich and Woolwich), Toby Perkins (Chesterfield), Jess Phillips (Birmingham, Yardley), Luke Pollard (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport), Lucy Powell (Manchester Central), Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East), Angela Rayner (Ashton-under-Lyne), Steve Reed (Croydon North), Christina Rees (Neath), Ellie Reeves (Lewisham West and Penge), Rachel Reeves (Leeds West), Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde), Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Streatham), Marie Rimmer (St Helens South and Whiston), Matt Rodda (Reading East), Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton, Kemptown), Naz Shah (Bradford West), Virendra Sharma (Ealing, Southall), Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield), Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn), Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith), Cat Smith (Lancaster and Fleetwood), Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent), Karin Smyth (Bristol South), Alex Sobel (Leeds North West), John Spellar (Warley), Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras), Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central), Wes Streeting (Ilford North), Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton), Zarah Sultana (Coventry South), Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside), Sam Tarry (Ilford South), Gareth Thomas (Harrow West), Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen), Stephen Timms (East Ham), Jon Trickett (Hemsworth), Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East), Derek Twigg (Halton), Liz Twist (Blaydon), Valerie Vaz (Walsall South), Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green), Matt Western (Warwick and Leamington), Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test), Mick Whitley (Birkenhead), Nadia Whittome (Nottingham East), Beth Winter (Cynon Valley), Mohammad Yasin (Bedford), Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge).

46 Scottish National Party MPs: Hannah Bardell (Livingston), Mhairi Black (Paisley and Renfrewshire South), Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber), Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North), Steven Bonnar (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill), Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith), Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun), Amy Callaghan (East Dunbartonshire), Lisa Cameron (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow), Douglas Chapman (Dunfermline and West Fife), Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West), Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde), Angela Crawley (Lanark and Hamilton East), Martyn Day (Linlithgow and East Falkirk), Martin Docherty-Hughes (West Dunbartonshire), Dave Doogan (Angus), Allan Dorans (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock), Marion Fellows (Motherwell and Wishaw), Stephen Flynn (Aberdeen South), Patricia Gibson (North Ayrshire and Arran), Patrick Grady (Glasgow North), Peter Grant (Glenrothes), Neil Gray (Airdrie and Shotts), Neale Hanvey (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath), Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey), Stewart Hosie (Dundee East), Chris Law (Dundee West), David Linden (Glasgow East), Kenny MacAskill (East Lothian), Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar), Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Glasgow South), Stuart C McDonald (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East), Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow North East), John McNally (Falkirk), Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West), Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North), John Nicolson (Ochil and South Perthshire), Brendan O’Hara (Argyll and Bute), Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire), Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East), Alyn Smith (Stirling), Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West), Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central), Richard Thomson (Gordon), Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire), Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire).

Nine Liberal Democrat MPs: Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland), Wendy Chamberlain (North East Fife), Daisy Cooper (St Albans), Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale), Wera Hobhouse (Bath), Christine Jardine (Edinburgh West), Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon), Jamie Stone (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross), Munira Wilson (Twickenham).

One DUP MP: Jim Shannon (Strangford).

Three Plaid Cymru MPs: Ben Lake (Ceredigion), Liz Saville Roberts (Dwyfor Meirionnydd), Hywel Williams (Arfon).

Two SDLP MPs: Colum Eastwood (Foyle), Claire Hanna (Belfast South).

One Alliance MP: Stephen Farry (North Down).

One Independent MP: Claudia Webbe (Leicester East).

Tellers for the ayes were Labour MPs Bambos Charalambous (Enfield Southgate) and Jeff Smith (Manchester Withington).

Noes

318 Conservative MPs: Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty), Bim Afolami (Hitchin and Harpenden), Adam Afriyie (Windsor), Imran Ahmad Khan (Wakefield), Nickie Aiken (Cities of London and Westminster), Peter Aldous (Waveney), Lucy Allan (Telford), David Amess (Southend West), Lee Anderson (Ashfield), Stuart Anderson (Wolverhampton South West), Stuart Andrew (Pudsey), Edward Argar (Charnwood), Sarah Atherton (Wrexham), Victoria Atkins (Louth and Horncastle), Gareth Bacon (Orpington), Richard Bacon (South Norfolk), Kemi Badenoch (Saffron Walden), Shaun Bailey (West Bromwich West), Duncan Baker (North Norfolk), Steve Baker (Wycombe), Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire), Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire), Simon Baynes (Clwyd South), Aaron Bell (Newcastle-under-Lyme), Scott Benton (Blackpool South), Paul Beresford (Mole Valley), Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen), Saqib Bhatti (Meriden), Bob Blackman (Harrow East), Crispin Blunt (Reigate), Peter Bone (Wellingborough), Peter Bottomley (Worthing West), Andrew Bowie (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine), Ben Bradley (Mansfield), Karen Bradley (Staffordshire Moorlands), Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West), Suella Braverman (Fareham), Jack Brereton (Stoke-on-Trent South), Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire), Steve Brine (Winchester), Paul Bristow (Peterborough), Sara Britcliffe (Hyndburn), James Brokenshire (Old Bexley and Sidcup), Anthony Browne (South Cambridgeshire), Fiona Bruce (Congleton), Felicity Buchan (Kensington), Robert Buckland (South Swindon), Alex Burghart (Brentwood and Ongar), Conor Burns (Bournemouth West), Rob Butler (Aylesbury), Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan), Andy Carter (Warrington South), James Cartlidge (South Suffolk), William Cash (Stone), Miriam Cates (Penistone and Stocksbridge), Maria Caulfield (Lewes), Alex Chalk (Cheltenham), Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham), Jo Churchill (Bury St Edmunds), Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells), Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland), Theo Clarke (Stafford), Brendan Clarke-Smith (Bassetlaw), Chris Clarkson (Heywood and Middleton), James Cleverly (Braintree), Therese Coffey (Suffolk Coastal), Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe), Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire), Robert Courts (Witney), Claire Coutinho (East Surrey), Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon), Virginia Crosbie (Ynys Mon), James Daly (Bury North), David T C Davies (Monmouth), James Davies (Vale of Clwyd), Gareth Davies (Grantham and Stamford), Mims Davies (Mid Sussex), Philip Davies (Shipley), David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden), Dehenna Davison (Bishop Auckland), Caroline Dinenage (Gosport), Sarah Dines (Derbyshire Dales), Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon), Michelle Donelan (Chippenham), Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire), Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay), Oliver Dowden (Hertsmere), Jackie Doyle-Price (Thurrock), Richard Drax (South Dorset), Flick Drummond (Meon Valley), David Duguid (Banff and Buchan), Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green), Philip Dunne (Ludlow), Mark Eastwood (Dewsbury), Ruth Edwards (Rushcliffe), Michael Ellis (Northampton North), Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East), Natalie Elphicke (Dover), George Eustice (Camborne and Redruth), Luke Evans (Bosworth), David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford), Ben Everitt (Milton Keynes North), Michael Fabricant (Lichfield), Laura Farris (Newbury), Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness), Katherine Fletcher (South Ribble), Mark Fletcher (Bolsover), Nick Fletcher (Don Valley), Vicky Ford (Chelmsford), Kevin Foster (Torbay), Mark Francois (Rayleigh and Wickford), Lucy Frazer (South East Cambridgeshire), George Freeman (Mid Norfolk), Mike Freer (Finchley and Golders Green), Richard Fuller (North East Bedfordshire), Marcus Fysh (Yeovil), Mark Garnier (Wyre Forest), Nusrat Ghani (Wealden), Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis and Littlehampton), Peter Gibson (Darlington), Jo Gideon (Stoke-on-Trent Central), Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham), John Glen (Salisbury), Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby), Michael Gove (Surrey Heath), Richard Graham (Gloucester), Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald), James Gray (North Wiltshire), Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell), Chris Green (Bolton West), Damian Green (Ashford), Andrew Griffith (Arundel and South Downs), Kate Griffiths (Burton), James Grundy (Leigh), Jonathan Gullis (Stoke-on-Trent North), Luke Hall (Thornbury and Yate), Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon), Matt Hancock (West Suffolk), Greg Hands (Chelsea and Fulham), Mark Harper (Forest of Dean), Rebecca Harris (Castle Point), Trudy Harrison (Copeland), Sally-Ann Hart (Hastings and Rye), Simon Hart (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire), John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings), Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire), Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry), Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey), Darren Henry (Broxtowe), Antony Higginbotham (Burnley), Damian Hinds (East Hampshire), Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Adam Holloway (Gravesham), Paul Holmes (Eastleigh), John Howell (Henley), Paul Howell (Sedgefield), Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire), Eddie Hughes (Walsall North), Jane Hunt (Loughborough), Jeremy Hunt (South West Surrey), Tom Hunt (Ipswich), Alister Jack (Dumfries and Galloway), Sajid Javid (Bromsgrove), Ranil Jayawardena (North East Hampshire), Mark Jenkinson (Workington), Andrea Jenkyns (Morley and Outwood), Robert Jenrick (Newark), Boris Johnson (Uxbridge and South Ruislip), Caroline Johnson (Sleaford and North Hykeham), Gareth Johnson (Dartford), David Johnston (Wantage), Andrew Jones (Harrogate and Knaresborough), Fay Jones (Brecon and Radnorshire), David Jones (Clwyd West), Marcus Jones (Nuneaton), Simon Jupp (East Devon), Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham), Alicia Kearns (Rutland and Melton), Gillian Keegan (Chichester), Julian Knight (Solihull), Greg Knight (East Yorkshire), Danny Kruger (Devizes), Kwasi Kwarteng (Spelthorne), John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk), Robert Largan (High Peak), Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire), Edward Leigh (Gainsborough), Ian Levy (Blyth Valley), Andrew Lewer (Northampton South), Brandon Lewis (Great Yarmouth), Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset), Chris Loder (West Dorset), Mark Logan (Bolton North East), Marco Longhi (Dudley North), Julia Lopez (Hornchurch and Upminster), Jack Lopresti (Filton and Bradley Stoke), Jonathan Lord (Woking), Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet), Cherilyn Mackrory (Truro and Falmouth), Rachel Maclean (Redditch), Alan Mak (Havant), Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire), Anthony Mangnall (Totnes), Scott Mann (North Cornwall), Julie Marson (Hertford and Stortford), Theresa May (Maidenhead), Jerome Mayhew (Broadland), Karl McCartney (Lincoln), Mark Menzies (Fylde), Johnny Mercer (Plymouth, Moor View), Huw Merriman (Bexhill and Battle), Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock), Robin Millar (Aberconwy), Maria Miller (Basingstoke), Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase), Nigel Mills (Amber Valley), Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield), Gagan Mohindra (South West Hertfordshire), Robbie Moore (Keighley), Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North), David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale), James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis), Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills), Kieran Mullan (Crewe and Nantwich), David Mundell (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale), Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall), Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire), Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst), Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North), Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire), Neil O’Brien (Harborough), Guy Opperman (Hexham), Owen Paterson (North Shropshire), Mark Pawsey (Rugby), Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead), John Penrose (Weston-super-Mare), Chris Philp (Croydon South), Christopher Pincher (Tamworth), Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane), Victoria Prentis (Banbury), Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin), Jeremy Quin (Horsham), Will Quince (Colchester), Tom Randall (Gedling), John Redwood (Wokingham), Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset), Nicola Richards (West Bromwich East), Angela Richardson (Guildford), Rob Roberts (Delyn), Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury), Mary Robinson (Cheadle), Andrew Rosindell (Romford), Lee Rowley (North East Derbyshire), Dean Russell (Watford), David Rutley (Macclesfield), Gary Sambrook (Birmingham, Northfield), Selaine Saxby (North Devon), Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam), Bob Seely (Isle of Wight), Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire), Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield), Alok Sharma (Reading West), Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell), David Simmonds (Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner), Chris Skidmore (Kingswood), Chloe Smith (Norwich North), Greg Smith (Buckingham), Henry Smith (Crawley), Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon), Amanda Solloway (Derby North), Ben Spencer (Runnymede and Weybridge), Mark Spencer (Sherwood), Alexander Stafford (Rother Valley), Andrew Stephenson (Pendle), Jane Stevenson (Wolverhampton North East), John Stevenson (Carlisle), Bob Stewart (Beckenham), Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South), Gary Streeter (South West Devon), Mel Stride (Central Devon), Rishi Sunak (Richmond (Yorks)), James Sunderland (Bracknell), Desmond Swayne (New Forest West), Robert Syms (Poole), Derek Thomas (St Ives), Maggie Throup (Erewash), Edward Timpson (Eddisbury), Kelly Tolhurst (Rochester and Strood), Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon), Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole), Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire), Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed), Laura Trott (Sevenoaks), Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling), Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes), Matt Vickers (Stockton South), Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet), Robin Walker (Worcester), Charles Walker (Broxbourne), Jamie Wallis (Bridgend), David Warburton (Somerton and Frome), Matt Warman (Boston and Skegness), Giles Watling (Clacton), Suzanne Webb (Stourbridge), Helen Whately (Faversham and Mid Kent), Heather Wheeler (South Derbyshire), Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley), John Whittingdale (Maldon), Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire), James Wild (North West Norfolk), Craig Williams (Montgomeryshire), Gavin Williamson (South Staffordshire), Mike Wood (Dudley South), William Wragg (Hazel Grove), Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth and Southam), Jacob Young (Redcar), Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon).

One Independent MP: Julian Lewis (New Forest East).

Tellers for the noes were Conservative MPs Tom Pursglove (Corby) and Leo Docherty (Aldershot).

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What time is Wales going into lockdown today?

THE Welsh Government says a "sharp and deep" lockdown coinciding with half-term hols will avoid a more damaging one later on.

So, when does the two-week "fire-break" lockdown hit Wales?

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

What time is Wales going into lockdown today?

Wales will enter a two-week "fire-break" lockdown from 6pm on Friday, October 23.

The aim is to protect the country's NHS from being overwhelmed by the resurgence of coronavirus.

The measures will last 17 days until November 9.

What are the lockdown rules in Wales?

People will be asked to stay at home and to leave only for a limited number of reasons, including exercise, buying essential supplies, or to seek or provide care.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said supermarkets would only be able to sell "essential" items during the firebreak to ensure a "level playing field" for retailers forced to shut.

They will not be allowed to sell things such as clothing and hardware.

Staff will be told to prioritise the sale of "important" essential goods during the 17-day lockdown.

Critics said the announcement would cause "confusion" and urged the Welsh Government to publish a list of retailers that will have to close.

People will not be able to meet indoors or outdoors with anyone they do not live with, with exceptions for those living alone.

All non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses will close, along with community centres, libraries and recycling centres, while places of worship will also be shut other than for funerals or wedding ceremonies.

Food shops, off-licences, pharmacies, banks and post offices will be allowed to remain open.

When does lockdown end in Wales?

Wales will be in a fire-break lockdown for 17 days until November 9.

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Warrington will go into Tier 3 lockdown next Thursday as Nottingham on the brink of stricter rules

WARRINGTON is set to be plunged into Tier 3 lockdown from just after midnight next Thursday morning after local leaders agreed a deal this morning.

And Nottingham is also on the brink of being given the harshest lockdown measures as MPshave crucial talks with ministers this morning – but infection rates have fallen by a third.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates




Warrington Borough Council said it had agreed £5.9 million in coronavirus support as it will be pushed into Tier 3.

Leader of the council Russ Bowden, said: "Across Warrington, we have seen our case numbers remain stubbornly high, with more people being admitted to hospital and, upsettingly, more people being taken by the virus.

"As we approach winter, we need to take urgent action to drive down the number of coronavirus cases in our town.

"After negotiations with the Government, we have agreed a package of measures and funding for Warrington that means our businesses and residents will get extra support.

"This has been a difficult decision but we need to prioritise the health of our most vulnerable and elderly people, and we also need to protect hospital capacity as far as possible.

"We will not stop speaking up for those who are most vulnerable or at risk during the pandemic."

Council chief executive Steven Broomhead and Mr Bowden agreed the measures after a call with the PM's top aide Sir Eddie Lister and deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries.

The current infection rate in Warrington at 347.6 cases per 100,00, and eight people have died at Warrington Hospital in the last two days.

It would mean bars and pubs that cannot serve meals will have to close.

And people will not be able to meet up with people from other households indoors or outdoors, except for a few public places.

Other venues including casinos, betting shops and soft play areas could also be forced to shut.

Despite a fall in the number of cases in Nottinghama, major hospitals were forced to postpone surgeries last night and local leaders said they were in discussions with the Government over fresh restrictions.

The infection rate in Nottingham has plummeted by a third in one week, in a hopeful sign things could be improving.

The number of cases per 100,000 fell a shocking height of 926.7 cases in the week up to October 11 to 610.1 in the week to October 18.

There were also mounting fears of the North East being thrown into Tier 3, but talks with the Government were paused after case rates fallen.

But data from the Public Health England surveillance report show the fall is minimal – down from 293 cases per 100,000 to 253.

Nottingham MPs will discuss with Government ministers the possibility of fresh measures this morning, after a two hour meeting between the Government and the leaders of the Nottingham city council, Nottingham county council, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe and Gedling.

The leaders were shown grim data on the state of the spread of the virus in Nottingham and the surrounding areas.

All of those areas are expected to be thrown into tough Tier 3 restrictions as soon as next week.

They have only been in Tier 2 measures for a little over a week, despite having the worst infection rate in England a fortnight ago.

Local leaders in Liverpool, Manchester and South Yorkshire all had extensive meetings with ministers and Downing Street aides before they were given the strict new rules.

It comes after NHS Nottingham Universities Trust made the worrying announcement yesterday they were postponing non-urgent surgeries.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly stressed that the ability of local NHS services to cope with all kinds of treatment is one of the crucial tests on whether an area needs further restrictions.

The over-stretch hospital trust said last night: "We have made the difficult decision to postpone some of our non-urgent surgery and appointments until 6 November following a dramatic increase in the number of patients with Covid-19 in our hospital."

More than 200 coronavirus patients have been admitted to the hospital over the last few days and every day nearly another full ward of people are being brought in.

At least 16 of the patients are desperately unwell and receiving treatment from critical care staff.

The trust warned: "This surge is now at levels similar to April and is combining with our normal winter emergency pressures.

"Unfortunately this means that we’ve had to make this difficult decision to pause some of the treatment we offer."

Hospital admissions take a couple of weeks to catch up with the huge jump in infections so the fall in infections over the last 7 days won't have had a chance to have an impact of strained ICU wards.

Greater Manchester was plunged into Tier 3 today and South Yorkshire will follow from just after midnight tomorrow.

 

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Biden says ‘I’ve never taken penny from a foreign source’ and brands Rudy a ‘Russian pawn’ over Hunter emails

JOE Biden on Thursday night said he’s never “taken a penny from any foreign source” – as he called Rudy Giuliani a “Russian pawn” over the Hunter Biden email scandal.

During the final debate against President Donald Trump, Biden said “nothing was unethical” about his son working for Ukrainian and Chinese companies.

Hunter has come under fire in recent weeks after the New York Post reported on a laptop – that apparently belonged to Biden’s son – that was dropped off at a repair shop in Delaware last year.

The Post was given a copy of the hard drive by Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, who Biden said on Thursday “is being used as a Russian pawn.”

The article reported about an alleged “smoking gun email” Hunter received from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Ukrainian gas company Burisma’s board.

Critics of Biden have often tried to attack and question his relationship with Ukraine and now, they’re claiming Hunter played a role in connecting them.


Hunter joined the board of Burisma in 2014, around the time Biden was helping conduct the Obama administration’s foreign policy with Ukraine.

Trump and his supporters have alleged that Biden pushed for the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor to protect his son and Burisma from any investigation.

Biden did push for the prosecutor’s firing – but that’s because he was reflect the official position of not only the Obama administration, but many western countries because the prosecutor was seen as “soft on corruption.”

The Post story claims that Hunter introduced Biden to Pozharskyi less than a year before Biden pushed to fire the prosecutor.


The Biden campaign has said such a meeting as reported never took place – and the former VP himself called the entirety of the reporting a “desperate smear campaign against his family.”

With just 12 days before the election a composed Trump came out on top in the final debate – as he stayed on message in a more disciplined way compared to the pervious debate.

Last night, the president said he takes “full responsibility” for the spread of coronavirus in the US, but padded himself on the back when speaking on the strong economy he built for the country prior to the virus.

The president was far more subdued in Thursday’ debate compared to his last appearance against Biden three weeks ago, where he frequently interrupted Biden throughout the debate.

President Trump was also seen taking diligent notes as Biden spoke – something he has tended to avoid in the past.

However, it is unclear how Trump’s performance will impact the election as a record 47million Americans have already voted.

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Coronavirus R rate drops – but all areas still above crucial 1

BRITAIN'S R rate has dropped this week as cases of the coronavirus start to level off across the country.

The current R value – the number of people an infected person will pass Covid-19 on to – is estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.4.

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It comes after data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that England recorded 35,000 new cases of the virus a day from October 10 to 16.

Last week it was reported that there were an average of 27,900 new cases a day and this figure was a 62 per cent increase from September 25 to October 1.

The R rate has dropped from last week when it sat between 1.3 and 1.5.

R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.

 

An R number between 1.2 and 1.4 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people.

Across the English regions – the R rate currently sits between 1.2-1.4.

The South West currently has the highest R rate range and sits between 1.3 to 1.6 and has a growth rate of five to nine per cent each day.

The UK as a whole has a growth rate of three to six per cent each day.

A growth rate between three and six per cent means the number of new infections is growing by three per cent to six per cent every day.

'Restrictions are working'

In the East of England, the R rate is currently between 1.2 and 1.4 and the region has a growth rate of three to six per cent.

Last week London was moved from Tier 1 restrictions to Tier 2 – which means people cannot mix in households if they do not live together.

The R rate in London is currently between 1.1 and 1.3 and the capital has a growth rate of two to five per cent.

The Midlands also has an R rate between 1.1 and 1.3 and the same growth rate as London.

What does R rate mean?

R0, or R nought, refers to the average number of people that one infected person can expect to pass the coronavirus on to.

Scientists use it to predict how far and how fast a disease will spread – and the number can also inform policy decisions about how to contain an outbreak.

For example, if a virus has an R0 of three, it means that every sick person will pass the disease on to three other people if no containment measures are introduced.

It's also worth pointing out that the R0 is a measure of how infectious a disease is, but not how deadly.

Nottingham- which is in the East Midlands is currently one of the most infected places in the country but has so far managed to stay out of Tier 3 – with the local council in ongoing talks with the government.

Nottingham currently has 610.1 infections per 100,000 of the population and sits just behind Knowsley which has 662.9.

The North East and Yorkshire, as well as the North West have the same rate and London and the Midlands.

The South East sits between 1.2 and 1.5 with a growth rate of four to seven percent.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the tiers system is working to push the R rate down again – as he again rejected another national lockdown.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday he said the R rate was around half of what it would be if there were no rules and restrictions put on the country.

"There are clear signs that our collections actions are working", he added.

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