PM hopes schools reopen in March and other stories

Boris Johnson has expressed his hopes for schools in England to reopen some time after the half-term recess, stating that this could happen the week beginning 8th March.

Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons – Gloucester Primary School, Peckham

This comes after the PM also announced that the government will release its plan for lifting lockdown restrictions during the week beginning the 22nd February.

Schools in England and Wales are currently only open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, with all other children learning remotely.

Johnson has also said that children eligible for free school meal packages are set to receive these until they are allowed back to school.

PM criticised for mistakes made during pandemic

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under scrutiny for his decision making processes, leading the UK to become the country with the highest death rate per capita in the world.

Today, Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer told the Commons: “In isolation any of these mistakes are perhaps understandable. Taken together it’s a damning indictment of how the Government has handled this pandemic.”

In response, Bori Johnson told the Commons: “All I can say, having listened carefully to what (Sir Keir Starmer) had to say, is that everybody will have to answer questions at the end of this… And, let me put it this way, all politicians will be asked what they did, what we did collaboratively, working together for the people of our country to beat this virus.”

Vaccine factory evacuated after ‘suspicious package’  

Factory workers at Wockhardt UK, one of the country’s largest pharmaceutical companies, have had their industrial unit in Wrexham evacuated.

The company  provides ‘fill-and-finish’ for Covid-19 vaccines. 

Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, issued a statement saying: “We are working with local police and the military to find out more about this incident. Thank you to the security personnel who are on-site to protect lives and ensure the safety of our vaccine supply.” 

The incident is currently being dealt with by the ‘Gold’ division of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit.  

It is unknown at this time whether production has been affected.

Manchester Arena inquiry: Private security firm errors

The inquiry into the deadly terror attack on the Manchester Arena in 2017, which killed 22 people, heard evidence today from Richard Horwell QC, on behalf of Greater Manchester Police.

Source: Wikimedia Commons – Manchester Arena

Much of the evidence focused on SMG, the company which owns and operates the arena, and alleged failings in their security and counter terrorism measures.
Mr Horwell said there was a “tendency by SMG to blame us for it’s inadequacies, or distance itself in taking an active role in matters concerning security.”

He continued to explain that SMG were responsible for the searching of every bag on the night in question, and the fact they “did not know about government guidance for good searching practice might be thought surprising”.

The inquiry continues.

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