Around the UK
Across the UK: 5 things in the news you need to know about today
12 months ago
Matt Hancock’s WhatsApp leak shows he wanted to “frighten” us during pandemic
Matt Hancock told aides he wanted to “frighten the pants off everyone” to ensure compliance with Covid-19 restrictions, in leaked messages which reveal discussions over when to “deploy” details of a new strain.
The latest set of WhatsApp exchanges, published in The Sunday Telegraph, show how Hancock and others discussed how to use an announcement about the Kent variant of the virus to scare the public into changing their behaviour.
The messages, among more than 100,000 messages passed to the Telegraph by the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, show that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case suggested in January 2021 that the “fear” factor would be “vital” in stopping the spread of the virus.
We get an extra two hours in pubs, clubs and bars during this year’s extra bank holiday
Pubs, clubs and bars will be allowed to stay open into the early hours over the Coronation weekend.
Venues across England and Wales are able to continue serving customers for an extra two hours between Friday May 5 and Sunday May 7 to celebrate the King’s Coronation.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman will extend licensing hours from the normal 11pm to 1am to allow people to “enjoy an extra pint or two”.
The move was backed by a leading body in the hospitality sector as well as 77% of the public who took part in a month-long consultation.
It’s about to get even chillier with snow and ice warnings given for parts of the UK
A calm weekend will give way to a freezing start to next week as a cold snap is forecast to sweep across the UK.
The Met Office says much of the country will be dry on Saturday and Sunday, with only a few showers expected in parts of Scotland and eastern England.
However, temperatures are forecast to plummet on Monday and Tuesday with lows of minus 3C in Scotland and minus 2C expected in the north-west and east of England.
In Liverpool temperatures will reach highs of 4c over the next few days, with clear skies expected on Tuesday and Wednesday and light snow forecast for Thursday and Friday.
Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice are in place from early Monday morning to late Tuesday across northern Scotland and north east England, with the Yorkshire and Humber area also covered by a larger yellow weather warning on Tuesday.
The price of train fares across the UK are going up by almost 6%
Train passengers will be hit by the largest hike in fares for more than a decade on Sunday, despite record poor reliability.
Fares in England and Wales will jump by up to 5.9% on average, adding hundreds of pounds to the cost of many annual season tickets.
Rail minister Huw Merriman said the increase is “well below inflation and delayed”, but Labour described it as “savage” and public transport groups claimed passengers are not getting value for money.
PA news agency analysis of Office of Rail and Road (ORR) data found the annual fares rise is the largest since a 6.1% jump across Britain in 2012.
Examples of potential increases in ticket prices based on a 5.9% rise include:
– Anytime day single from Liverpool to Leeds: Up £2.35 from £39.90 to £42.25.
One of the UK’s most notorious prisoners faces parole hearing
Charles Bronson will make his latest bid for freedom at a public parole hearing this week.
The Parole Board review of one of the UK’s longest serving prisoners to decide whether he should remain behind bars begins on Monday, making him the second inmate in UK legal history to have his case heard in public.
Dubbed one of Britain’s most violent offenders, Bronson – who changed his surname to Salvador in 2014 after the artist Salvador Dali, has been in prison for much of the last 50 years, often spending time in solitary confinement or specialist units.
Bronson previously told how he was first sent to jail in 1968 and has held 11 hostages in nine different sieges – with victims including governors, doctors, staff and, on one occasion, his own solicitor.
He was sentenced in 2000 to a discretionary life term with a minimum of four years for taking a prison teacher at HMP Hull hostage for 44 hours. Since then, the Parole Board has repeatedly refused to direct his release.
In a Channel 4 documentary which aired last week, he said he can “smell and taste freedom” ahead of the parole hearing