UK coronavirus live: Leicester mayor says there is no need to delay lockdown easing

UK official death toll rises by 25; parents in England face fines if they refuse to send children back to school in SeptemberLeicester council ‘frustrated’ with ministers over local outbreakBoris Johnson pledges ‘Rooseveltian’ economy pushFA...

UK coronavirus live: Leicester mayor says there is no need to delay lockdown easing

UK official death toll rises by 25; parents in England face fines if they refuse to send children back to school in September

In his Times Radio interview this morning Boris Johnson confirmed that he was ruling out a return to austerity (see 10.01am) In adopting this stance, he is adopting a position first championed by Jeremy Corbyn. Both men would be horrified by the comparison, and their actual policies are very different, but Corbyn won the Labour leadership in 2015 partly by saying the party should reject austerity outright, instead of just proposing a milder version of it (as Ed Miliband was accused of doing).

One conventional analysis of what Johnson is doing to the Conservative party is to say that he is moving it to the left on economics, while keeping it on the right on cultural or values issue. Happily, this would put him more or less where the average voter is, as a new report (pdf) for the UK in a Changing Europe project shows. Based on a survey of MPs by Ipsos MORI and new analysis of data from the Economic and Social Research Council’s party member’s project and from the British Election Study, it compares the views of the average voter on economics (left/right) and on values (authoritarian/liberal) with the views of Tory and Labour members, MPs, voters and councillors/candidates.

Labour across the organisation, whether a member, whether you have run for office for Labour, or whether you are a Labour MP – can be found in the bottom left quarter. The Conservatives – again, at every level – sit in the top right quarter. The voters sit in a different quarter altogether – the top left. Labour is relatively close to its voters on economic issues but is way out of kilter on social issues. For the Conservatives, the opposite is the case.

Schools in England will be urged to deploy Covid-secure “year bubbles” of up to 240 pupils under government plans to get all children safely back in the classroom from September, Paul Waugh is reporting in a story for HuffPost.

Continue reading...