March 31, 2023

UK Covid live: ‘extra precautions’ may be needed in England after 19 July, warns PM

Latest updates: Boris Johnson says England is in ‘final furlong’ in route to opening up,...

Latest updates: Boris Johnson says England is in ‘final furlong’ in route to opening up, but suggests further restrictions may be used after 19 July

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  • Angela Rayner forced to deny plans for Labour leadership bid
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2.31pm BST

Public Health England has published its latest Covid surveillance report (pdf). As PA Media reports, it shows Covid case rates in all regions of England are continuing to increase. PA says:

North-east England has the highest rate, with 346.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 27 June, up sharply week-on-week from 175.3. This is the highest rate for the region since the week ending 10 January.

North-west England has the second highest rate: 325.3, up from 244.3.

Our weekly #COVID19 surveillance report also shows that case rates continue to be highest in the North East.

Read the full report here:

Hospital admission rates for #COVID19 are currently highest in the North West.

Read it here:

2.25pm BST

Turning back to Labour, George Eaton from the New Statesman says the Socialist Campaign Group, which represents the most leftwing Labour MPs, have not got the numbers to launch a leadership challenge against Sir Keir Starmer.

The Socialist Campaign Group met last night and concluded that they couldn’t get the 40 MP nominations needed to challenge Starmer, I’m told.

But a left candidate would only need 20 nominations if Starmer resigned.

Around 6-7 members of the Socialist Campaign Group are prepared to back Angela Rayner, I’m told.

The path to a leadership challenge against Starmer is extremely narrow. It’s like people have forgotten 2016 where 162 MPs backed a challenger and they still could not oust a sitting leader.

There are clear differences – I think Starmer would quit if 162 MPs said they backed his challenger – but all the grown-ups in the Labour party have written off the possibility this time

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