Paul Waugh Profile picture
14 Sep, 10 tweets, 3 min read
NEW: Boris Johnson's Rule Of 6 has a controversial exemption - for grouse shooting and similar field sports.
Upto 30 people can gather to hunt with guns cos classed as a licensed outdoor sport.
EXCLUSIVE: Cab Office drafted special meeting on exemption…
HuffPost has learned that a special meeting of the govt's Covid-19 Operations sub committee - chaired by Michael Gove - was arranged for Saturday afternoon with just one item on the agenda: exemptions for shooting/hunting.
The meeting was pulled just a few hours beforehand with a message to ministers and officials that the issue would be discussed another time via correspondence. But then the regulations went up just before midnight the following day.
Some insiders think the govt axed the meeting and went ahead anyway cos they feared some ministers could have tried to block the exemption.
Govt sources say that it was the 'hunting/shooting' exemption that held up the entire Rule Of 6 regulations last night.
Hence being published just before midnight, hours after they were expected.
.@tracey_crouch: "Many will find this topsy-turvy prioritisation from govt

“I’ve had queries about choirs, community bands, addiction therapy groups, all of whom would be worthy of an exemption and instead we are scrabbling around prioritising shooting animals. It’s bonkers.”
Labour's @LukePollard: "Across the country, people are struggling to get COVID-19 tests anywhere near their homes.
"But the Conservatives are distracted with trying to exempt the bloodsport passions of their big donors from coronavirus regulations...
"It shows where this government’s priorities really lie.

“It is clear there’s one rule for the cabinet and their mates and another for the rest of us.”
Now @LeagueACS (League Against Cruel Sports) Chris Luffingham says the exemption “condemns many animals to being shot for ‘sport’".

“Lockdown offered animals a respite from the activities of hunters so we think the Government’s move to allow shooting is a backward step.”
UK govt spokesperson defends the exemptions: “We have exempted over thirty types of sport, exercise and physical activity such as football, rugby and other outdoor pursuits

“Outdoor activity is safer from a transmission perspective, and it is often easier to social distance."

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More from @paulwaugh

19 Sep
On @BBCr4today, Neil Ferguson contradicts Dido Harding suggestion that Sage modelling failed to predict the back-to-school demand surge.
"I should say Sage was never responsible for predicting demand for testing...The *test and trace system* has tended to plan for demand."
Ferguson did say that Sage did not anticipate the surge in testing demand - but that its job is to predict likely *infection levels*, not testing demand.

And adds that 97% of children have tested negative.
Here's what Harding told MPs on Thurs: “I don’t think anybody was expecting to see the really sizeable increase in demand that we’ve seen over the course of the last few weeks. In none of the modelling was that expected...We built our capacity plans based on Sage modelling.”
Read 5 tweets
18 Sep
Amal Clooney has quit as a UK govt envoy
And yes - it's over @BorisJohnson plan to break international law
The question for the govt is...which lawyers will they persuade to replace those who have resigned?
(Lord Keen has not been replaced as Advocate General for Scotland yet).…
Read 5 tweets
27 Aug
Corbyn's Office Ordered 2017 Election Campaign Funding Cuts For 'Moderate' Labour MPs, Ex-Campaigns Chief Reveals…
In his submission to the Forde inquiry, @PJHeneghan reveals names of MPs seen as critical of Corbyn, who the leader's office told him to take off list of key seats for funding.
He defied the order and kept funding going to them through a secret unit.
Says claims of 'sabotage' of Corbyn 2017 campaign are 'laughable' and that main aim was to maximise number of Labour seats in parliament.
Read 5 tweets
16 Jul
Cabinet Office Qs coming up.
I suspect @RachelReevesMP will raise this:

Spending Watchdog Urged To Probe Government's £5bn PPE Contracts…
Big news in same story too: McKinsey has been given a £800k contract for "Provision of Consultancy Services for Civil Service Modernisation and Reform".
The Cummings revolution has started.
Contract with @McKinsey started on 15 May 2020, ends
14 January 2021.
But info only published last night.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jul
Breaking: No.10 refusing to apologise for PM's remarks about care home deaths.
PM spokesman: “He was pointing out that nobody knew what the correct procedures were at the time...because the extent of asymptomatic transmission was not known."
Here is the full exchange between Lobby journalists and the PM's official spokesman.
Read in all its glory:
Read 4 tweets
7 Jul
Mark Adams chief executive of Community Integrated Care is clearly furious with @BorisJohnson for blaming care homes for covid deaths. Tells @BBCr4today PM has shown a "cowardly" "travesty of leadership" and now resorting to "Kafkaesque" rewriting of history.
His words are the most withering of any charity chief I've ever heard on the PM's handling of the pandemic.
@Keir_Starmer's #PMQs have just been effectively written. And probably Labour's attack ads.
Adams says 1.6m social care workers, "brave people on minimum wage often with no sickness cover", being blamed by the most senior politician in the country is "appalling".
Read 14 tweets

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