ir Keir Starmer has challenged Boris Johnson over the Government’s school catch-up funding plan saying it will “hold Britain back for a generation”.

The Labour leader, speaking at PMQs, said the Government plan only allowed for £50 per child. “Let me help the Prime Minister with the numbers,” he said. Equivalent programmes in the US are worth £1,600 per child, while in the Netherlands it is £2,500 per child, he said.

It comes as an estimated eight in 10 adults in England have Covid-19 antibodies in the week beginning May 17, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures, which show whether someone has had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated, are up from an estimated seven in 10, or 69.9 per cent, a month earlier. In Wales, an estimated 82.7 per cent have antibodies, in Scotland 72.6 per cent, while in Northern Ireland the figure is 79.9 per cent.

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No further Covid-19 deaths recorded by Stormont’s Department of Health

There have been no further Covid-19 deaths recorded by Stormont’s Department of Health in the last 24-hour reporting period.

There were another 105 confirmed cases of the virus recorded.

On Wednesday morning there were 18 confirmed Covid-19 inpatients in hospital, none of whom were in intensive care.


10,130 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus

A total of 10,130 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

Latest data shows that eight fatalities that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate were registered in the week to June 6, the same as the previous week.

One was under 65, two were in the 65-74 age group and five were aged 75 or over.

There were three deaths in South Ayrshire and two in Glasgow City and North Lanarkshire. The Scottish Borders recorded one death.

The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.


PMQ: Johnson says “lefty propaganda” is misrepresenting Government’s position on foreign aid.

Boris Johnson has claimed that the “lefty propaganda” is misrepresenting the Government’s position on foreign aid.

This is despite the fact that the rebellion is being led by Tory MPs including former PM Theresa May.

In response to SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and his criticism on the cuts to the aid budget, Johnson said: “Anyway, I think the answer is clear: the people of this country… were given a vote on this and many other matters very recently and I think they adjudicated very firmly in favour of the balance the Government is striking.

“We’re in very, very difficult financial times, but he shouldn’t believe the lefty propaganda you hear from people opposite. We’re spending £10 billion overseas. All they want to do is run this country down when we’ve increased spending on girls’ education alone to almost half a billion pounds,” he added.


PMQ: SNP Westminster leader criticises the PM’s aid cuts plan

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford opened by noting it is “time for heroes” as he wished the Scotland men’s national football team well for Euro 2020, before switching his focus to the Government’s overseas aid cut.

Mr Blackford told the Commons: “Later this week the Prime Minister will walk into the G7 summit as the only leader cutting development aid to the world’s poorest.

“At the very moment when global leadership is needed more than ever, this Tory Government is walking away from millions still struggling from the Covid pandemic and a poverty pandemic.

“The Prime Minister has been hiding on this issue for months. This is a Government on the run from their own moral and legal responsibilities, and on the run from their own backbenchers.

“But the Prime Minister can’t hide from this issue any longer and he can’t run from democracy in this House.

“Will he stand up today and commit to a straight vote in this House on his inhumane cuts, as demanded by the Speaker? Prime Minister, it is a very simple question: yes or no?”


PMQ: Will PM take lead and vaccine the world asks Starmer

Moving on from education, Starmer said the UK must lead at the G7 and not just host and urged for a clear plan to vaccinate the world.

Johnson said he would do so and that the UK was one of the first countries to authorise the AstraZeneca vaccine.

But Starmer said it would be more convincing if the UK was not cutting the aid budget.


PMQ: Boris Johnson says £3bn for school catch-up plan was just a starter

In response to Keir Starmer’s criticism on the school catch-up plan, where he said Boris Johnson failed to level up, the Prime Minister said the £3bn for the plan was just a starter.

He also said that Starmer “needs to do some catch-up on his own mathematics”, telling MPs: “In addition to the £14 billion I’ve already referred to, there’s already another £1.5 billion of catch-up – this is a £3 billion catch-up plan just for starters.

“It includes the biggest programme of tuition – of one-to-one, one-to-two, one-to-three tutorials – anywhere in the world.”

Mr Johnson said it was aimed at helping children who do not receive private tuition at the moment.


PMQ: Keir Starmer starts off pmqs with Kevan Collins school catch-up plan

Keir Starmer asked the PM why his own former education advisor, Kevan Collins, described the new funding as half-hearted and failing children.

He also contrasted the country’s catch-up Covid funding for pupils at £50 per child per year with the equivalent £1,600 in the US and £2,500 in The Netherlands

“In February, the Prime Minister appoints an expert to come up with a catch up plan for education.

“He’s a highly respected expert, consults widely and comes up with a plan. The treasury baulks at it and says we’ll only provide 10 per cent, yes one tenth, of what’s needed. The PM rolls over, and children lose out. So much for levelling up,” he added.


PMQ: Boris Johnson faces questions from Sir Keir Starmer and MPs ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall

Gavin Newlands, SNP, starts off Prime Ministers Question Time by asking about fire and rehire, which Boris Johnson said was unacceptable.

While Sir Keir Starmer kicked off his discussion by congratulating Boris and Carrie on tying the knot, and said he “wishes them a happy life together” before asking about education during the pandemic.


Government decision to award a contract to a company whose bosses were friends of adviser Dominic Cummings was unlawful

A Government decision to award a contract to a company whose bosses were friends of adviser Dominic Cummings was unlawful, a High Court judge has ruled

Campaigners took legal action against the Cabinet Office over the decision to pay more than £500,000 of taxpayers’ money to market research firm Public First, following the start of the coronavirus crisis in March 2020, and questioned the involvement of Mr Cummings.

Lawyers representing the Good Law Project said Mr Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s then-chief adviser, wanted focus group and communications support services work to be given to a company whose bosses were his friends.

Ministers, and Mr Cummings – who left Downing Street late in 2020 – disputed the Good Law Project’s claim.

Mrs Justice O’Farrell, who is based in London, considered rival arguments at a virtual High Court hearing in February and delivered a ruling on Wednesday.


21% of Black Brits and 12% of 16 to 29-year-old’s report vaccine hesitancy

One in eight (13 per cent) adults in Britain aged 16-29 reported vaccine hesitancy – the highest proportion of all the age groups and unchanged from the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said.

Black or black British adults were the ethnic group reporting the highest level of vaccine hesitancy, at 21 per cent.

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