£37bn Test and Trace has ‘no clear impact’ and other stories

MPs are criticizing the NHS Test and Trace System, saying there’s no evidence that it has contributed to a drop in coronavirus cases.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee has challenged the government to justify what it calls a ‘staggering investment’.

The program cost £22 billion in its first year and a further £15 billion was set aside for it in last week’s budget.

The Committee’s report also found that there was an over-reliance on consultants and some contact traces only had enough work to fill half their time.

Baroness Dido Harding, head of Test and Trace has defended the system and said ‘we should be proud of the government’s scheme’.

Piers Morgan leaves Good Morning Britain

Piers Morgan, co-host of Good Morning Britain, has quit the ITV breakfast show as a result of a backlash against his critical opinions on Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. 

Photo: Piers Morgan behind the scenes | Source: thisiscow 

On Tuesday, Morgan walked off set after a clash with the weather presenter Alex Beresford over his position against the Duchess of Sussex’s comments on the Royal Family. 
This morning Morgan doubled down on his criticisms, which included skepticism over her suicidal thoughts. 

After receiving 41,000 complaints over his remarks, including one sent on Meghan’s behalf, the ITV’ presenter has to face an Ofcom investigation.  

Morgan said that his departure was ‘amicable’ and, while the programme was on air on Wednesday morning, he tweeted that he refuses to retract the comments which led to his exit. 

Sarah Everard, arrested police officer ‘not on duty’

In a statement from Scotland Yard this morning, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave has said that the arrested officer was not on-duty at the time of Everard’s disappearance. 

Photo: Sarah Everard | Source: MET Police

The officer and a woman were arrested in Kent yesterday in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard, who was last seen in Clapham on March 3rd.  
Detectives are now searching woodland and a property in Kent. 

Everard’s family and police have issued appeals for any information in relation to the disappearance.

Wagamama owner to raise £175 million 

The owner of Wagamama and Frankie and Benny’s is asking its shareholders for £175 million of new investment, as it tries to ride out the pandemic.  

The Restaurant Group said it needed the extra money to pay down its debts after sales dropped 57% last year.  

The company has already permanently closed some of its outlets due to Covid-19 hospitality restrictions.  

Andy Horby, chief executive of TRG remained hopeful, saying that the company has ‘good and profitable opportunities’ post lockdown.   

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