Matt Hancock tells Britons they can expect 'a happy and free great British summer' THIS YEAR

The Health Secretary said he was confident that a high percentage of the UK population would have had their jab within the next six months, enabling a roll-back of restrictions in place since the new year.
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Jack Grealish: England midfielder enjoying being backed by fans
Having made his senior international debut in September, the 25-year-old has quickly established himself as a favourite with the Three Lions faithful.
7 m
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Boris Johnson And Treasury 'Split' Over North's Biggest Rail Project
Boris Johnson’s key rail “levelling up” pledge to deliver a new line across the north of England is under threat from Treasury moves to cut costs in the project, sources have told HuffPost UK.Johnson committed to delivering a key part of the £39bn Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) plan - a brand new line between Leeds and Manchester via Bradford - soon after becoming prime minister in July 2019.Now, amid reports of wider Treasury demands to rein in Johnson spending pledges, sources told HuffPost UK of a “split” between the PM and No.11 over the plans.It is believed that no decision on funding will be made until the government’s long-awaited integrated rail plan is published.But three sources told HuffPost UK the Treasury is attempting to delay the publication of the plan to coincide with chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review in autumn, while No.10 wants it made public as soon as possible.A source close to the discussions said they feared that delaying the decision until the spending review would mean “curtains” for a new NPR line, and possibly the eastern leg of the HS2 high-speed rail link to Leeds.The source said: “There is a split between No.10 and No.11 on how they want to do this.“Treasury is saying - let’s work out where we can identify savings on this project.“And if you kick it into the spending review and look at the whole thing in the round, then that gives them more opportunity to cut parts of it but still claim they are delivering transformational connectivity.“But apparently Boris is adamant he wants to build as much of it in full as possible, and wants to get the integrated rail plan out sooner rather than later in order to get on with it.”It came as government documents leaked to The Yorkshire Post suggested that officials are considering increasing the funding for upgrades to the existing Leeds-Manchester Transpennine link instead of funding a new line, at a much lower overall cost of £10bn.Another source said: “The Treasury approach seems to be ‘how can we do this on a shoestring’”“It is doing its usual thing, it doesn’t really believe in the levelling up agenda.“From the start, it wanted a £10bn NPR project.” They added: "Boris is committed to building the thing.“Sunak has been captured by the Treasury and wants to be in that sound money Conservative space.“Boris wants to be in that freewheeling transformative prime minister mode.”Both sources told HuffPost UK that the Department for Transport has long believed that the main benefits of NPR could be delivered through upgrades rather than a new line.“It would turn a £40bn project about building two new lines creating a fast rail network from Liverpool to Hull, to a cut price one of long overdue upgrades which just paper over the cracks of what is currently a Victorian railway network,” one said.Johnson was warned that abandoning NPR would be a “hammer blow” to the north and communities like Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, where the Tories are hoping to unseat Labour in a crunch by-election next week.A new line could benefit voters in the seat by reducing overcrowding on the existing Transpennine link that passes through nearby Dewsbury, while also providing a new, fast railway from Leeds.Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “In the prime minister’s first major policy speech in Manchester, he committed to building northern Powerhouse Rail across the Pennines.  “Rumours that this commitment will be broken are deeply concerning for northern leaders who are working towards rebalancing the economy.“The North was promised HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in full - to be abandoned now, just as we begin a recovery from the pandemic, would be a hammer blow.“We need reassurance and certainty that there is no substance to these rumours - which means an integrated rail plan published before the summer recess.“We need a new high-speed rail station built in Bradford city centre and we need to start construction on the eastern leg [of HS2] from Leeds in order to unlock connectivity benefits early. “That includes getting more frequent and reliable services from the north-east to Sheffield.”HuffPost UK understands that the government has not yet made any decisions on the rail link, and that the document leaked to The Yorkshire Post outlined one of several options. Responding to questions on NPR on Monday, Johnson’s official spokesperson said: “There was speculation that we were going to scrap Northern Powerhouse Rail and that’s incorrect.”But the spokesperson was unable to say whether the government was still committed to a new Leeds-Manchester via Bradford line.A government spokesperson added: “The integrated rail plan will soon outline exactly how major rail projects, including HS2 phase 2b, the Transpennine route upgrade and other transformational projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to deliver the reliable train services that passengers across the north and Midlands need and deserve.”Related...Boris Johnson Says July 19 'Looking Good' For End Of LockdownMatt Hancock Says He 'Will' Scrap Isolation Rules For Double-JabbedAngela Rayner Promises Investigation Into 'Vile Islamophobic' Newspaper Briefing
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Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell set to miss England vs Czech Republic as they isolate over Covid-19 fears
'The pair will be kept away from the rest of the England players'
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England squad: Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount isolating after Billy Gilmour’s positive Covid-19 test
England have confirmed that Chelsea duo Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount are isolating following Billy Gilmour’s positive Covid-19 result.
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Waitress assaulted and forced into car after chasing group who walked out without paying
“The waitress was taken into the vehicle and the suspects drove away with the waitress in the vehicle,” police statement read.
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Government accused of fat shaming children as school weigh-ins to return
Primary school-aged children are to be measured as the new school year starts in September amid fears the pandemic has sparked an obesity crisis, but the proposal has been met with backlash.
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Infected blood scandal survivor left ‘angry’ after death of school friends
Gary Webster, 56, was a pupil who went to Lord Mayor Treloar College from 1975 to 1983 and was later diagnosed with HIV and Hepatitis C.
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WiFi bug means iPhone will break if you join strangely named network
Joining a WiFi network with an unusual name is enough to temporarily break an iPhone, a security researcher has found.
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Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell isolating after contact with Billy Gilmour, England confirm
The England duo came into contact with their Chelsea teammate following the game with Scotland on Friday
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How do we know that Dominic Cummings doesn’t care what the media thinks? He tells them every 20 minutes
It’s odd because if you were to describe someone who really cares what the media think, they would sound an awful lot like Dominic Cummings
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England gear up for crunch Czech Republic clash – Monday’s sporting social
England head to Wembley on Tuesday looking to bounce back from their poor showing against Scotland.
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Man left for dead by racists 50 years ago ‘didn’t let them stop his success’
‘I was left in a pool of blood with a fractured skull and a busted body. In broad daylight.'
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Millionaire loses fight to cut down trees and save him two mile journey
The supermarket chain owner's plan prompted more than 150 objections.
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Grade-II listed mansion mentioned in Domesday Book goes on the market for £15million
Dinton Hall, located near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, is one of the grandest country houses for sale in Britain today with a rich history, including a tragic fire.
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Murder probe launched after man, 29, dies following stabbing in High Road, Whetstone
Police have launched a murder investigation after a man stabbed in a high street brawl died in hospital.
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California man arrested in 42,000-pound pistachio heist as thieves target $5.2bn industry
It was the second “major bust” by the Tulare Sherriff's Office in the past year
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Anthony Joshua takes another swipe at Tyson Fury but remains hopeful fight can take place at the end of the year
Joshua set to fight Oleksandr Usyk in September.
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Hundreds of homes get go ahead in north Manchester as part of £4bn regeneration
Collyhurst Village is the latest scheme within the Victoria North masterplan to get planning permission
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Who could Wales play in the last 16 of Euro 2020?
Three possible opponents
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Newly elected Iran president wants nuclear talks but says he won’t meet with Biden
Asked whether he will meet with President Joe Biden, Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi said “no”
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Portal designer joins Xbox as cloud gaming senior director
Xbox has confirmed on Twitter that it has hired Kim Swift, best known for her work on Portal, as a new senior director for cloud gaming.
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Jealous mum glassed woman with broken vodka bottle at NYE party
Courtney Thompson has been jailed for the 'shocking and horrific attack'
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Scottish civil servants to stop investigating complaints against government ministers
Reforms come after controversy surrounding sexual harassment claims against Alex SalmondScottish civil servants will be stripped of their role investigating complaints against government ministers after the controversy surrounding sexual harassment claims against Alex Salmond.Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond’s successor as first minister, said on Monday her government had accepted it needed sweeping reforms to its handling of ministerial misconduct allegations and its ethics policies, after three independent reports criticised its policies. Continue reading...
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World champion cyclist Mark Cavendish could barely get up stairs after virus
As he makes a shock return to the Tour de France former world champion Mark Cavendish tells James Moore how he beat the virus that almost ended his cycling career
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Cummings steps up criticism of PM Johnson’s suitability for office
Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings criticised the Prime Minister for a lack of focus.
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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson confirms he will run to become next DUP leader
In a statement on Monday evening, Sir Jeffrey called for unity to oppose the Northern Ireland Protocol.
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We 'signed' Harry Kane for Man City and the transfer results were amazing
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has again been linked with a big-money transfer to Manchester City this summer.
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WWE legend Mick Foley reveals how ‘bad’ mistake actually saved his life in iconic Hell In A Cell match
The match could have been fatal.
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Donald Trump's top security chief warns UK over Russian and Chinese cyber threat
General HR McMaster was giving evidence to Parliament's National Security Strategy Committee
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There are solutions to the housing crisis, but none of them are Tory | Polly Toynbee
Boris Johnson wants to ‘build, build, build’ but he needs property prices to keep rising. And it’s first-time buyers who are hitEnjoy the schadenfreude as angry Tories lacerate their party for losing the Chesham and Amersham byelection. The defeated candidate, Peter Fleet, bitterly lashes out at “the appalling state of our local roads” – though Tory Buckinghamshire is a low-spend, low-tax county and his Tory government halved all council funding.Enjoy the contradictions as Fleet says local Tories “want to hear more about traditional Conservative values” that “restore fiscal discipline”, fearing “a return to a bloated public sector” which stifles private enterprise and “demands ever higher taxes”. Telegraph letter-writers pile in with every favourite gripe explaining the defeat: “the expensive vanity project that is HS2”, “over-the-top Covid laws” and “inaction over illegal cross-Channel migration”. Continue reading...
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More than 70 companies urge Senate to pass voting rights bill
Pressure building from US businesses as Republicans poised to reject critical voting rights legislation
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Love Island's Liberty Poole predicted she'd land a place on the show last year
Marketing student Liberty Poole is heading for Love Island next week and if her tweets from last summer are anything to go by it seems the 21-year-old knew she was destined for the villa
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Below Deck Sailing Yacht’s Alli Dore announces she’s pregnant with her first child: ‘Our little ocean baby’
A Below Back baby boom.
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Woman 'in her 30s' killed in Wigan house fire
Emergency services were called to St James Grove, in Poolstock, on Sunday afternoon
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Lieutenant Colonel becomes one of most senior army officers to be jailed
Lt Col Adam Roberts received Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) from the military to keep two of his three sons at Old Buckenham Hall, a boarding school in Ipswich, Suffolk.
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Trump 'wanted to quarantine Americans infected with COVID on Guantanamo Bay'
Trump then brought up the idea a second time, forcing aides to quash the plan fearing the backlash over putting members of the public on the Caribbean island with terrorism suspects, the book claims.
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Drag Race UK series 3 has finally been announced – and we couldn’t be any more excited
We can't wait!
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Amputee ex-serviceman pays out thousands after company leaves him without a roof
Alan and Amiee Bigland, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, contacted Roofs For U Ltd after Amiee, 73, picked up a card advertising their services at a local shop
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New sanctions against companies linked to Myanmar military regime
The military launched a coup in Myanmar in February.
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Jos Buttler commits to every England match until end of Ashes after needed rest
Jos Buttler has missed England's last five Test matches due to the rest policy and his time at the IPL but with a busy summer and winter coming up the wicket-keeper batsman is ready to go flat out
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Israel cites progress in laser that shoots down drones
The Israeli military says it has successfully tested an airborne high-power laser that can shoot down drones, technology it hopes to deploy on a larger scale in the coming years
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US hitting encouraging milestones on virus deaths and shots
The U.S. is reaching a pair of encouraging milestones as the COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on the nation continues to loosen
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Comment on Tour guide who lured croc attack twins to nesting ground is ‘shady’ German who drove skull and crossbones motorbike by Jon Lockett
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Dad accused of cheating after furious partner finds ‘wrong’ Father’s Day card
She smashed his laptop, phone and TV because she thought he had been keeping a second family secret.
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This Royal Academy shop row risks hindering understanding more than helping it
Perhaps the gallery felt it was making a gesture of support, but this course of action risks cutting off important conversations
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Mystery as police unable to ID body of man found washed up at cove by tourists
The man was discovered at Sennen Cove in rough sea conditions, but police have been left with no leads as to who the man may be, despite widespread inquiries and checks on missing persons, an inquest heard
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Working from home has benefits – for employers | Letters
Risks and maintenance costs are transferred to workers, writes Terry Kelly, while Janet Poliakoff believes it reduces carbon emissions and Caroline Mozley is glad there is still a choiceYour report that HSBC is planning to cut its global office footprint by 40% as a result of requiring its staff to work from home is somewhat misleading (Morgan Stanley boss tells US staff to be back in office in September, 15 June). In reality, what HSBC and a host of other companies are planning to do is cut the cost of their office footprint by transferring the square footage they pay for in town and city centres to the homes of their staff. So the total office space such companies use is not reduced, it is simply transferred, along with the cost, to the staff who are required to work from home.The implication, of course, is that HSBC et al will enjoy enormous cost savings in terms of rents, building maintenance and, not least of all, business rates, by moving commercial premises to residential settings. Quite apart from issues of planning (ie, residential premises being used for commercial purposes), there is the question of whether someone who uses their home officially for business purposes should be paying towards the shortfall in business rates that local authorities will lose out on as businesses vacate their city/town centre premises – not to mention the knock-on effect on service industries that depend on office workers for their livelihood. Also, who pays for cleaning the home/office space that employees use on behalf of their employer? Presumably the employee. Continue reading...
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