Top story: Johnson under pressure from Starmer and Tory MPs
Morning everyone. This is Martin Farrer bringing you Mondays top stories.
Sir Keir Starmer says the government still has huge questions to answer over Matt Hancocks affair with his former aide Gina Coladangelo. As Downing Street struggles to contain the fallout from the scandal, the Labour leader stepped up the pressure on a number of key questions surrounding the scandal, including over how Hancocks old university friend came to be appointed to a role paying up to £15,000 a year. Starmer said the government had to come clean about how Covid contracts were awarded when Hancock headed the Department of Health, in particular his use of private emails that bypassed disclosure rules when doing government business. Other questions included why Coladangelo was given a parliamentary pass by another health minister, and about how the CCTV images that led to Hancocks downfall were leaked. Caroline Slocock, who founded the Civil Exchange thinktank, said she had quite significant concerns that the focus on Hancocks breach of Covid rules had let him off the hook for potentially an abuse of public money.
Javid takes reins on Covid Sajid Javid is expected to confirm today that England will have to wait another three weeks until the final easing of Covid restrictions. After taking over as health secretary following Matt Hancocks resignation over the weekend, Javid is scheduled to make a statement to MPs to announce that step 4 of lockdown easing will take place on Monday 19 July and not 5 July, as was recently suggested by Boris Johnson. It comes as the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, and six of the UKs most senior military commanders have been forced to self-isolate after Gen Sir Nick Carter, the head of the armed forces, tested positive for coronavirus. The surge in new cases has been blamed on the Delta variant, which is also forcing countries around the world such as Australia, Thailand and Malaysia back into lockdown, prompting concerns that it is outrunning the rollout of vaccinations.
Pain that cant be seen A growing number of young adults are suffering from chronic pain that seriously affects their lives, with the rise blamed on obesity, sedentary lifestyles and stress. Although the number of people overall beset with chronic pain remained steady between 2011 and 2017 at about 15.5 million, a new study finds that the proportion of sufferers aged 16-34 rose dramatically from 12% to 34% in that period. The report kicks off a week-long series of articles, including a look today at the growing realisation that pain can be a disease itself and how the impact of long Covid will greatly increase the number of people suffering chronic pain around the world.
Trump deadline Prosecutors in New York have given Donald Trumps lawyers 24 hours to say why criminal charges should not be filed against his family business, according to a report last night. Todays deadline is another strong signal that the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, and the New York attorney general, Letitia James, are considering criminal charges against the Trump Organization as an entity, according to sources quoted by the Washington Post.
Batley clash Labour activists in the Batley and Spen byelection have been pelted with eggs and kicked in the head while on the campaign trail. Tracy Brabin, the newly elected mayor of West Yorkshire, said she was leafleting with colleagues, volunteers and campaigners in Batley on Sunday when they were followed, verbally abused and physically assaulted by a group of young men.
Le Pen thwarted Marine Le Pens far-right party has once again failed to win control of any French region after the completion of the second round of voting in local elections. The Rassemblement National had hoped to take the Provence-Alpes-Côte-dAzur region but an alliance of rival parties to form a republican front thwarted her hopes despite RN winning 43.4% of the vote. Le Pen said local democracy was in crisis. About two-thirds of voters failed to turn out.
The male lion being confiscated in Phnom Penh. Photograph: CAMBODIA’S MINISTRY OF ENVIRONME/AFP/Getty Images
Cat flap A lion being kept as a pet in a home in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh has been confisacated by authorities, and defanged and declawed after it appeared on a TikTok video. The 18-month-old male, weighing 70kg, had been imported from overseas by the owner, a Chinese national, to be raised in his home, officials said.
Today in Focus podcast
Guardian music journalist Harriet Gibsone tells the scary, sad and surprisingly funny story of going through early menopause and hoping for a baby.
Lunchtime read: Belinda Carlisle: I was born a rebel
Photograph: Nick Spanos
Belinda Carlisle was the lead singer in the pioneering all-female band the Go-Gos who took on the sexist music industry at a cost. As she prepares for a UK tour, she tells Emine Saner about overcoming addiction, the medias obsession with her weight and finding happiness in her 60s.
After being cancelled last year, today sees the return of Grand Slam tennis to the UK as Wimbledon gets underway despite a discouraging weather forecast. There is also home disappointment before a ball has been hit in anger after Johanna Konta, No1 womens tennis player, was forced to withdraw after a member of her team tested positive for Covid-19. Dan Evans says that he committed to the Tokyo Olympics after deciding to prioritise representing Great Britain over the US hardcourt season. Cristiano Ronaldo exited the Euros after Thorgan Hazards strike saw Belgium advance to the quarter-finals, but the Portugal captain does not have the look of a man whose race is run. The Netherlands were reduced to 10 men after Matthijs de Ligts red card, and Frank de Boers side unravelled as Patrik Schick struck again to book the Czech Republics quarter-final place against Denmark. Englands footballers have been subjected to sustained abuse online during their matches at Euro 2020, an analysis by the Guardian reveals.
Mathieu van der Poel, the grandson of Tour de France legend, Raymond Poulidor, won the 183.5km second stage of the 2021 race to the steep climb of Mûr-de-Bretagne, to move into the overall lead. Nelly Korda won her first major title by taking the Womens PGA Championship by three shots at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Max Verstappens victory at the Styrian Grand Prix achieved the extraordinary feat of leaving the mighty Mercedes simply impotent. Keely Hodgkinson beat Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie in a thrilling 800m race at the British Athletics Championships. And Tammy Beaumont cemented her status as the worlds No1-ranked batter in ODIs, hitting an unbeaten 87 as England cruised to victory against India.
The financial watchdog has ordered the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, one of the worlds largest, to stop all regulated activity and issued a warning to consumers about the platform, which is coming under growing scrutiny globally. The FTSE100 is on course for a modest dip this morning. The pound is on $1.388 and 1.164.
The papers
The Guardian splashes on Sir Keir Starmers attempt to put pressure on the government over the resignation of Matt Hancock. PM still has big questions to answer over Hancock, it says. The Mirror leads on how Hancock could receive a parting payout Disgusting while the i focuses on Whitehall security row after Hancock CCTV leak.
Photograph: The Guardian
The Telegraph reports on a busy day for Hancocks successor Javid to push for easing of restrictions and the Mail is concerned about the Lost children of lockdown and how up to 100,000 pupils have not returned to school. The Times leads with Patel plans for migrants to be held in offshore and the FT has Binance banned from Britain as global crypto crackdown widens. In Scotland, the Record leads with anger about Hancock: While Hancock canoodled, Robert died alone without meeting his grandchild. The Scotsman reports on hopes for full football stadiums next season: Leitch: Stadiums could be full of fans from August 10.
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