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I'm one of the freelancers who makes British theatre happen. Who will secure our future? | Fiona Laird

Saving buildings and administrative jobs is pointless without protecting artistsMuch to the surprise of many in theatre, the government recently announced a generous arts “bailout” package of £1.57bn. But the government still risks finishing the job that coronavirus started – providing nothing more to the theatre industry than dust sheets and packing...

UK coronavirus live: no plans to make people wear masks in offices, says Matt Hancock

News updates: all the day’s UK Covid-19 developments, ahead of PMQs with Boris Johnson and Keir StarmerNurses not wearing masks led to A&E closure, inquiry findsInfection rate in England fell sharply month before lockdown liftedGlobal coronavirus updates – live 9.17am BST Luxury British brand Burberry is to cut 500 jobs worldwide, including 150...

The only real question about face masks is: what took England so long? | Devi Sridhar

Wearing face coverings protects us, protects others – and could help prevent a second wave. Yet our leaders have dithered againAfter going around in circles about the merits of face coverings for months, England has made them mandatory in shops from 24 July. Just like the delays and endless commentary in March and April about whether testing, tracing...

Steve Bell’s If ... Boris eats out to help out, with lots of Bolly

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Brexit was meant to make Britain global. It has made us friendless | Rafael Behr

A strategic partnership with the EU is not on Boris Johnson’s agenda, and any alliance with the US will be dictated by Donald TrumpIt is not a secret that Britain is leaving the EU. The coronavirus crisis has dominated 2020 but not obliterated memory of the years before. Still, to be on the safe side, the government is spending £93m on a Brexit refresher...

When secret coronavirus contracts are awarded without competition, it's deadly serious | George Monbiot

Deals worth billions have been granted by a government willing to brazen out disgrace until outrage subsidesThis stinks. It stinks worse than any of the other carrion this government has buried. Every day for the past fortnight, I’ve been asking myself why this scandal isn’t all over the front pages. Under cover of the pandemic, the government has awarded...

Rishi Sunak's capital gains tax review may usher in higher taxes on wealthy

Chancellor’s directive to focus on how people escape CGT ‘feels like starting pistol for a tax grab’, says analystWealthy households could be in line for tax rises to claw back the cost of extra spending during the coronavirus pandemic, after the government called for a wide-ranging review of capital gains tax.Rishi Sunak surprised backbench Tory MPs...

Huawei decision 'may delay 5G by three years and cost UK £7bn'

Experts say small towns and rural areas will be hardest hit by UK ditching Chinese firmSmall towns and rural areas across the UK will be hardest hit by delays of up to three years in the rollout of 5G mobile technology, experts have said after ministers announced that Huawei will be stripped from networks by 2027.The total cost to the economy could...

England's free school meals scheme to close for new claims over summer

Families who become eligible for vouchers during holidays will not be able to benefitChildren in England who become eligible for free school meals (FSM) after the summer holidays have begun will miss out on the government’s voucher scheme, it has been confirmed.Campaigners had recently welcomed the government’s decision to extend the national free school...

Steve Bell on Johnson and Trump finally wearing masks — cartoon

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