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Monday, December 6, 2021

Wednesday evening UK news briefing: More than 30 migrants die after boat capsizes in English Channel

It comes as the new German government is to make the country more welcoming to migrants, under plans announced today. 

The coalition led by Olaf Scholz will provide new ways for asylum-seekers to reach Germany legally, including humanitarian visas. 

Mr Scholz is expected to be sworn in as chancellor in two weeks’ time after he sealed a coalition deal today, ending the Angela Merkel era. 

Read a profile of the man once described by Der Spiegel as “the embodiment of boredom in politics”.

‘Working class dementia tax’

Meanwhile in Westminster, Sir Keir Starmer claimed in a fiery Prime Minister’s Questions that Boris Johnson’s social care plan is like a “classic Covent Garden pickpocketing operation”, in which people are distracted while being robbed. 

Having altered the way the cap on care costs is calculated, so it no longer includes council contributions towards total fees, the plan will “pick the pockets of the poorest” while leaving the richest protected, the Labour leader said, accusing the Government of having created “a working class dementia tax”. 

It comes as a new poll has found Mr Johnson’s personal ratings have slumped to their lowest level – but Labour is still struggling to cut through. 

After questions were raised following the Prime Minister’s now infamous Peppa Pig speech, Jeremy Black wonders whether we expect too much from our leaders.

No babies allowed

The other drama in Westminster came from the youngest member seen in Parliament in recent times. 

Labour MP Stella Creasy was told babies are not allowed in the Commons after bringing her three-month-old son to the House. 

The Speaker of the Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle has ordered a review into the situation after Ms Creasy received an email reminding her of Commons rules, following the Walthamstow MP’s appearance in the Hall on Tuesday with her son, who is breastfeeding. 

MPs have reacted with dismay to the no-baby-rule but Joanna Williams writes that Ms Creasy can’t have it both ways on childcare. 

Alys Denby says take it from a mother, home working isn’t good for women.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: The Lovely Bones whodunnit

When Alice Sebold wrote of her own horrific rape and how she bumped into her alleged attacker on the street, her memoir launched a glittering literary career. But the man she accused in ‘Lucky’ has now been cleared after 16 years in prison, flaws in the case having been exposed during production of a film based on Sebold’s experiences. Anthony Broadwater, a handyman who has always maintained his innocence, was finally released as a judge deemed his conviction an injustice. Read how ‘Lucky’ was in the process of being filmed when the executive producer of the adaptation became sceptical of Mr Broadwater’s guilt after the first draft of the script came out because it differed so much from the book.

Wednesday interview

‘Am I entitled to write a black character? Sure’

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