United Kingdom

Politics • European • United Kingdom
United Kingdom removes Andorra, Bahamas and Belgium from safe travel list
Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps Credit: Richard Townshend (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

British Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced Thursday that Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium were removed from the Covid-19 Travel Corridors list. The decision means passengers arriving from those countries will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

On Twitter, Shapps said: "Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium and The Bahamas from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors in order to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days."

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Aberdeen under lockdown again after new COVID-19 outbreak
Empty streets in Aberdeen
Empty streets in Aberdeen Credit: Rab Lawrence from Aberdeen/Scotland / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Aberdeen has gone back into lockdown due to the city's growing COVID-19 outbreak. Restaurants and pubs had to close by 17:00 on Wednesday and further restrictions, including no-house-visits, have been imposed until at least next Wednesday.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke of a "significant outbreak" after infections rose to 54 confirmed cases, all linked to the Hawthorn Bar. Patrons of the Hawthorn Bar who are linked to the cluster had visited a total of 28 other venues, possibly infected others there.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Mahatma Gandhi possibly to become first non-white person on British coins
Mahatma Gandhi possibly to become first non-white person on British coins
Credit: Elliott & Fry / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has started supporting a campaign that is to help the recognition of black and minority ethnic (BAME) people in shaping modern Britain.

The Royal Mint Advisory Committee has now started working on a coin that will feature Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the independence movement in India who was assassinated in August 1947 just five months after the end of the British rule.

Sunak has stated that "black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities have made a profound contribution to the shared history of the UK".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Irish politician John Hume dies aged 83
John Hume in 2008
John Hume in 2008 Credit: Óli Gneisti at en.wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

Irish politician and former SDLP leader John Hume has died at a nursing home in Derry on August 3 at the age of 83. He had suffered from dementia since the late 90s.

From 1979 to 2001, he was the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and was described as "the man who kept hope alive". Hume was a leading player in the peace process in Northern Ireland and won Nobel Peace Prize alongside David Trimble in 1998.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Boris Johnson Halts Further Lockdown Easing
Boris Johnson Halts Further Lockdown Easing
Credit: U.K. Prime Minister / Wikimedia Commons (Open Government Licence v3.0)

PM Johnson halts lockdown easing in England for at least another two weeks to slow down rising coronavirus infections, saying it was time to "squeeze the brake pedal." This results in venues such as bowling allies, casinos and close-contact services having to remain closed until 15 August. Mandatory face masks will be extended to indoor venues, including cinemas, museums and places of worship.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
UK Government Secures 60m More Doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Glaxo Smith Kline Offices on the Great West Road at Brentford
Glaxo Smith Kline Offices on the Great West Road at Brentford Credit: Maxwell Hamilton / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The UK government signed a deal with drug giants GSK and Sanofi for 60 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. This is the country's fourth COVID-19 vaccination deal. The UK previously secured 100m doses from AstraZeneca and 90m doses from the alliance between Valneva, BioNtech and Pfizer.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
UK government implements two week quarantine for returners from Spain
Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport
Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport Credit: unsplash.com/Roberto Arias

The government of the United Kingdom has announced that a mandatory two-week quarantine will be implemented for all returners and travellers from Spain following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Health Minister Robin Swann has stated that "the advice from the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser is that a negative Covid-19 test immediately on return from Spain would not exclude infection - so a period of self-isolation would still be required" and that "public health considerations must take priority".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Boris Johnson hopes for 'significant return to normality' by christmas
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement outside 10 Downing Street
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement outside 10 Downing Street Credit: UK Prime Minister's Office (Open Government Licence v3.0)

PM Boris Johnson reveals plans for further easing of restrictions in England as he plans for a "significant return to normality" by Christmas, though he added was hoping for the best but "planning for the worst." Johnson encourages people to use public transport again and hands decisions on work-from-home-rules to employers starting August 1.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Captain Tom Moore has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth
Arise, Captain Sir Thomas Moore!  Today The Queen conferred the Honour of Knighthood on @captaintommoore  at an Investiture at #WindsorCastle.
Arise, Captain Sir Thomas Moore! Today The Queen conferred the Honour of Knighthood on @captaintommoore at an Investiture at #WindsorCastle. Credit: @RoyalFamily via Twitter

Captain Tom Moore, the British WWII veteran who raised £32 million for health care workers by walking laps in his garden, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth on Friday. In the Queen's first official engagement in person since the Covid-19 lockdown, she praised the 100-year-old veteran and thanked him for the donation he had raised.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Boris Johnson unveils £3 billion NHS funding plan in preparation for possible second Covid wave
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: Number 10 (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

PM Boris Johnson unveiled £3 billion of funding for the NHS in England in preparation for a possible second Covid wave during winter. Further additional funds will also be directed towards Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Johnson pledged the increase of the daily Covid test capacity to at least half a million until late October.

The extra funding comes as the country is preparing for a winter that could possibly see a virus that's "more virulent" alongside "the usual annual winter pressures."

"We're making sure we're ready for winter and planning for the worst," Johnson said.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
UK bans Huawei from 5G networks
Huawei Office Building
Huawei Office Building Credit: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine (Public Domain)

The UK government announced Tuesday a ban on Huawei 5G wireless network equipment. The ban requires all existing Huawei 5G tech to be purged entirely from the country's network by the end of 2027.

UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Following US sanctions against Huawei and updated technical advice from our cyber experts, the government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks.".

Huawei said in a statement: "Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicised, this is about US trade policy and not security."

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Face Coverings Compulsory in England Starting 24 July
Woman wearing face mask inside a clothing store
Woman wearing face mask inside a clothing store Credit: unsplash.com/Arturo Rey

After PM Boris Johnson had urged the English population to wear face mask inside shops, face coverings will be compulsory in England from 24 July on, following Scotland and other European countries. Labour had previously demanded "urgent clarity" and called the ministers' response "slow and muddled", questioning the time until the regulation takes effect. 

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Nigel Farage has been reported to police for alleged break of quarantine rules
Nigel Farage has been reported to police for alleged break of quarantine rules
Credit: Nigel Farage screenshot Facebook

The former leader of the Ukip party Nigel Farage has been reported to the police by Liberal Democrat acting leader Sir Ed Davey. Farage had posted a video on social media on Saturday showing him outside. Sir Ed Davey argued that from it is known through Farage's "social media posts that he was in America on 20 June, and he was pictured at a Trump rally that evening. Given the current requirements for visitors returning to the UK to isolate for 14 full days on their return, Nigel Farage appears to be in violation of the quarantine".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Bristol Pub Named After Edward Colston Renamed 'Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface'
Former Colston Arms Pub asking for name suggestion on Facebook: "All suggestions welcome & encouraged. #theartistformallyknownas #blacklivesmatter #colstoninthdrink #pubbymcdrunkface"
Former Colston Arms Pub asking for name suggestion on Facebook: "All suggestions welcome & encouraged. #theartistformallyknownas #blacklivesmatter #colstoninthdrink #pubbymcdrunkface" Credit: Facebook: Colston Arms

A Colston Arms Pub in Bristol, named after slave trader Edward Colston with the Royal African Company, has temporarily rebranded as 'Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface'. The pub had previously placed a sign outside its doors that read "We are listening. Black Lives Matter."

"There hasn't been a lot of chatter about our name since the statue came down, but I thought we'd be inundated with suggestions. We thought we'd give the pub a temporary name to kick off some discussion about it and get the ball rolling," Paul Frost, Colston Arms' landlord, told Bristol Live. "Myself and pub owners Admiral Taverns are going to listen carefully to people's suggestions before settling on a new name," he added.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
City of Leicester sees lockdown tightened as Covid-19 cases rise
Matt Hancock at the House of Commons
Matt Hancock at the House of Commons Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

The British Government has imposed a tight lockdown on the English city of Leicester after a local increase on the number of Covid-19 cases. The lockdown mandates all non-essential shops to close on Tuesday, and schools will follow closing on Thursday.

On Monday evening, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons the city had "10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week". He also said that "We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester."

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Six people stabbed in Glasgow, attacker shot dead
Six people stabbed in Glasgow, attacker shot dead
Credit: Ninian Reid (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Police Scotland has stated that after an attack in Glasgow the situation is under control and that there is no danger to the "wider public". A male suspect had previously attacked multiple people with a knife, and six people are receiving treatment in a hospital for their injuries. The called armed police officers shot the suspect inside the Park Inn hotel, where the attack is believed to have happened. One police officer has been injured, and the suspect has been shot dead.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
England to lift most restrictions on July 4
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street, April 2020
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street, April 2020 Credit: UK Prime Minister's Office (Open Government Licence v3.0)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would lift most lockdown restrictions by July 4 while speaking to the House of Commons on Tuesday, saying "today we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end and life is beginning to return to our streets and our shops."

Pubs, museums, cinemas and restaurants are set to reopen alongside other amenities such as hotels, places of worship and outdoor gyms while still adhering to social distancing rules.

Johnson added that Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland would take their own approach in lifting restrictions.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive free internet access to help pupils with online studies
10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive free internet access to help pupils with online studies
Credit: unsplash.com / Glenn Carstens-Peters

To combat inequality and disadvantages within pupils as they are forced to study remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, the telecommunication provider BT has announced that 10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive vouchers for internet access for half a year. The Department of Education will distribute these vouchers to families as School Standards Minister Nick Gibb stated that the goal is to "make sure no child, whatever their background, falls behind as a result of coronavirus".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
United Kingdom announces "Covid summer food fund" after celebrity campaign
Marcus Rashford, FIFA World Cup 2018
Marcus Rashford, FIFA World Cup 2018 Credit: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro) / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

After a public campaign by Manchester United's player Marcus Rashford, the spokesperson of prime minister Boris Johnson has stated that "the prime minister welcomes Marcus Rashford’s contribution to the debate around poverty, and respects the fact that he has been using his profile as a sportsman to highlight important issues". This came after Boris Johnson had announced that the food program providing free school meals would be extended over the summer at a cost of £120m. The program had previously been extended over the Easter break and every entitled family would receive a voucher at the end of the term over £15 per week that can be spent in supermarkets.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
London Black Lives Matter protester rescues anti-protester from being "killed" as protests clash

During a clash of two protest groups at the Black Live Matters London demonstrations and anti-demonstrations a man helped a protestor of the anti-demonstration group up and carried him out of a group to prevent him from harm. The man stated that other people "created a barrier around him, and I was the last one to come in. I scooped him up into a fireman's carry and marched him out with the guys around me, protecting me and shielding me and protecting this guy from getting any further punishment".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Far-right protestors clash with the police in London
Protesters clash with police in London
Protesters clash with police in London Credit: Sky News (Reproduction)

Far-right protestors, mostly middle-aged white men, attacked the police with bottles and occasionally scuffled violently with officers as they staged a counter-protest to anti-racism Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations in central London.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel described the violence as "thoroughly unacceptable thuggery" with London Mayor Sadiq Khan urging residents to stay away from protests this weekend amid a "high" risk of violence in the city.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Parliament of Scotland votes for immediate export stop of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to the United States
Tear gas usage during protest
Tear gas usage during protest Credit: unsplash.com/Koshu Kunii

With 52 votes to 0 votes and 11 abstentions, the Scottish Parliament has passed a motion that calls the government of the United Kingdom to "immediately suspend all export licences for tear gas, rubber bullets and riot gear to the US" and states that it "stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
“Don’t be fooled, Rhodes was a racist” – Protestors Demand Removal of Oxford Statue

In 2015 students at Oxford University had first demanded the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes, a leading figure in British imperialism. Now, five years later, hundreds of students and residents have gathered at Oriel College at the University of Oxford, once again, to demand the removal of the statue.

Oxford student and one of the protest's organisers told the Independent that many of their demands had fallen on deaf ears but that students would continue to “object to the institutional practises that are symbolised by objectionable iconography such as that of Cecil Rhodes”.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Statue of 18th-century slave owner Robert Milligan taken down in London
Statue of Robert Milligan with Black Lives Matter sign
Statue of Robert Milligan with Black Lives Matter sign Credit: Chris McKenna (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A statue of 18th-century slave owner Robert Milligan has been removed from its place in London’s docklands.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, earlier announced a review of all of London's statues and street names, saying any with links to slavery "should be taken down".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
UK has provided sensitive medical records to tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Palantir

The government of the United Kingdom has given several technology companies access to medical data which include gender, race, physical and mental health conditions, personal contact details, political affiliation, and other data points. The data-sharing agreements have been published by the website OpenDemocracy and law firm Foxglove. In exchange for the data, the United Kingdom receives "technical, advisory and other support" from Google and the Foundry data management software from Palantir for only £1.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Colston Hall, in Bristol, to change its name by fall
Colston Hall, Bristol, UK
Colston Hall, Bristol, UK Credit: Ben Mills

Colston Hall released a statement about the historic concert hall name change, that was announced in 2017, and expected to happen by fall 2020. The change reflects concerns over the association of Colston with the slave trade.

"Following the Black Lives Matter protests and the removal of the Edward Colston statue in #Bristol yesterday, we would like to reassert our commitment to changing the name of Colston Hall and give an update on the timescale for doing so.".

"The current name does not reflect our values as a progressive, forward-thinking and open arts organisation – we want it to be representative of the city, a beacon of its values of hope, diversity and inclusion." wrote the concert hall in a Twitter thread this Monday.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
BLM protesters in Bristol topple slave trader statue
Statue of Edward Colston being pushed into Bristol Harbour
Statue of Edward Colston being pushed into Bristol Harbour Credit: BBC (Reproduction)

Black Lives Matter protesters in Bristol, England, pulled down the statue of Edward Colston and then rolled it into the city's harbour.

Colson, a slave trader that was on the board of the Royal African Company in the 17th century and his statue was erected in the centre of Bristol in 1895.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Brexit talks had no 'significant progress'
London Street art
London Street art Credit: Annie Spratt

The latest talks between European Union and United Kingdon on post-Brexit trade seem to have have ended with limited progress.

While the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier stated there were no "significant areas of progress", his UK counterpart, David Frost, claimed that "Progress remains limited but our talks have been positive in tone,".

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Scottish First Minister Sturgeon Says to Put Pressure on Donald Trump
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the #StopTrident rally at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 27th February 2016.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the #StopTrident rally at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 27th February 2016. Credit: Garry Knight from London, England / CC0

In an interview with Hits Radio Network on Friday morning, Nicola Sturgeon was asked to give her opinion on the current situation in the United States. Asked whether she believed, Trump was racist, Sturgeon responded that "sometimes it's hard not to conclude that," but added that she couldn't see inside his head. Though she deems it important to put pressure on Donald Trump and America, she urges to also "not forget that we have our own houses to put in order as well". Sturgeon is serving as the fifth First Minister of Scotland in and adds that "a parliament that is still in its 21 years of existence had too few people elected to it from our ethnic minority communities, it’s never had an ethnic minority woman elected to it."

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Former PM Theresa May Criticises Johnson's Brexit and Covid-19 Plans
Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street in 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street in 2018 Credit: Number 10 / Public Domain

Theresa May has taken a stab at Boris Johnson's government while speaking in The House of Commons on Wednesday. May, who had kept mostly quiet in the last months, said that Johnson's government had “rightly been focused on keeping people safe” but warns that “International air travel is necessary for trade. Without it, there is no global Britain. So instead of bringing in measures to close Britain off from the rest of the world, why is the government not taking a lead in developing an international aviation health screening standard, to save jobs and ensure that Britain is open for business?”

May also warned of security implications of a no-deal Brexit, demanding reassurance that the UK would have “access to the quantity and quality of data it currently has” such as air passenger name records as of 1 January 2021.