Thursday morning UK news briefing: Starmer – public won’t want to show Covid certificates

They are his most critical comments on the idea to date. Sir Keir Starmer has told The Telegraph that using Covid passports for everyday social activities once the pandemic has eased would be against the “British instinct”.

The Labour leader said the Government must not leave it to individuals, such as pub landlords, to decide whether to make such checks.

He said: “My instinct is… there will be a British sense that we don’t actually want to go down this road.”

The remarks increase the possibility that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could struggle to find the votes to get any Covid passport proposals through the Commons.

The first indication of firm proposals is expected next Monday. Read about the flawed technologies behind vaccine passports that we know so far.

Political Editor Ben Riley-Smith has our exclusive interview with Sir Keir, in which he also attempted to reposition the Labour Party on crime and policing – and revealed his dream dinner party guests.

Sir Keir Starmer is today interviewed by Ben Riley-Smith

Sir Keir Starmer is today interviewed by Ben Riley-Smith


Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron announced strict new anti-Covid measures, including closing schools for three weeks – abandoning his efforts to keep France out of a third lockdown.

Europe Editor James Crisp says France’s slow vaccination campaign and Mr Macron’s refusal to lock down earlier have put him under huge pressure.

It came as Pfizer accused the European Union of hampering its Covid vaccine production. And Matt finds a vaccine joke in today’s cartoon.

Investigation: Killed by Covid caught in hospital

More than a fifth of the Covid deaths at some hospitals occurred after patients caught infections on wardsThe Telegraph can disclose. Freedom of Information requests to NHS trusts found that 3,264 people who caught coronavirus in hospital after being admitted for other conditions had died since March last year. The disclosure is likely to raise questions about whether infection control measures are adequate. Our Investigations team has some of the heartbreaking stories.

Barnard Castle considers Dominic Cummings statue

In the list of Britain’s top tourist attractions, it might struggle to rival the likes of Buckingham Palace or the Eden Project. But Dominic Cummings’ notorious lockdown-busting visit to Barnard Castle could soon be commemorated with a statue in the historic market town. Tourist chiefs argue the town should capitalise on the infamy Mr Cummings brought it with a life-sized bronze. See what the proposed statue could look like.

At a glance: Coronavirus morning briefing

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

‘I had to control him’ | Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck, was heard publicly defending his actions for the first time last night, saying he had to “control” the unarmed black man because he was a “sizeable guy” in bodycam footage shown at his trial. It airs Mr Chauvin’s perspective for the first time in the nearly ten months since Mr Floyd’s death. Rozina Sabur reports from Minneapolis.  

Around the world: Feeling squeeze at detention centre

A girl picks her way through other young detainees wrapped in foil sleeping bags on the floor of a detention centre for unaccompanied migrant children in Donna, Texas. The minors are housed in eight “pods” about 3,200 sq ft in size, many providing shelter for more than 500 young people. View our gallery of more striking world pictures.

The Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility. CREDIT: DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/AFP  

The Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility


Comment and analysis

Editor’s choice: Features and arts

  1. Royal baby ‘I chose a home birth in the US – good on Meghan for doing the same’
  2. Post-lockdown exercise | How to injury-proof your return to team sports
  3. Sharon Stone memoir review | ‘I could pick a pocket with a bit of practice’

Business and money briefing

Buckling point | Sanjeev Gupta’s sprawling steel empire is on the brink after creditors sought a court application to wind up one of his businesses. Bankers acting for Credit Suisse filed papers in the insolvency court to shut down Mr Gupta’s trading arm Liberty Commodities following the collapse of his key lender Greensill.  

Sport briefing

England 2 Poland 1 | John Stones helped secure victory, but only after gifting the Wembley visitors a goal that cancelled out Harry Kane’s early penalty. Read Chief Football Correspondent Jason Burt‘s World Cup 2022 qualifier report and Chief Sports Writer Oliver Brown‘s verdict.  

Bank Holiday baking

From a simple honey loaf cake to chocolate eclairs, bake up a storm for a seasonal sweet treat with three of the best spring baking recipes to try this weekend. View the recipes. Try our Cookbook newsletter.

And finally… for this morning’s downtime

‘Dogfishing’ | With the pandemic puppy boom still raging, the market is rife with fake adverts and ruthless dog breeders. Jess Spring tried to buy a puppy online – and nearly fell foul of a scam

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