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Political Correspondent for The Guardian. Also: @SPAjournalism trustee, #MHFA and #LFC fan 🏳️🌈. Ex: Sky News, HuffPost UK and The Times.
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Exc: Tory MPs say government whips have put pressure on people not to rebel in key Commons votes by threatening to withhold Towns' Fund money.
Other tactics said to have been used to keep MPs in line include threatening to not sign off critical defence party funds for those in Tory-held marginals.
And warning those who lose out in the boundary review they may not get selected for another seat.
No denial from No10 or CCHQ.
A Tory source said chief whip Mark Spencer was “always happy to offer support to those colleagues who he finds in the government lobby”.
Another insisted “engagement with colleagues is totally normal”.
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At least one Conservative association has already paused campaigning for the local elections, following the death of Prince Phillip. Suspect more and from other parties will follow.
Lib Dems confirm they've suspended campaigning nationally in light of Prince Philip's death.
Labour also suspending political campaigning across the country - sounds like cross-party talks taking place to come to an agreement on how long for.
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Exclusive: Ministers will tomorrow discuss a proposal drawn up by the Cabinet Office to introduce vaccine and testing certification, for when international travel is allowed again.
If approved at the COVID-O meeting, responsibilities will be divvied up between government departments:
DFT to set up certification infrastructure, Cabinet Office to to lead on formal engagement with other countries and international organisations.
NHS will also be told to make sure people can access their vaccine status for outbound travel.
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BREAKING: Residents in two parts of Woking, Surrey to be offered COVID tests after two people with no travel links tested positive for the variant discovered in South Africa.
Ruth Hutchinson, Director of Public Health for Surrey, said: “This is a precautionary measure - the more cases of the variant we find, the better chance we have at stopping it from spreading further."
A total of 105 cases have now been discovered of the South Africa variant in the UK, says Surrey Local Resilience Forum.
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This is coming a little late, as I'm trying to stay off Twitter on non-work days...
2020 was rubbish, particularly as someone who loves meeting new people and spending all hours of the day in a pub.
But I did some pieces I'm proud of and wanted to share:
My biggest highlight was getting to cover the US election from Washington DC.
Just before polling day, I went to find people whose friends and relatives had died of COVID-19.
I'll never forget their stories or anger at the White House administration.
Closer to home, I also uncovered that useless coronavirus tests were being sent out, with recipients told to bin the kits because they weren't able to be returned and processed.
They were still included in the government's testing total.
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