The long-awaited report into Russia’s influence on UK politics could soon be cleared for publication, after Downing Street confirmed MPs will vote on Monday to re-establish a key intelligence committee. A No 10 spokesman said the committee would be encouraged to publish “as soon as possible”.
At the same time, Boris Johnson has nominated Chris Grayling to lead the influential intelligence and security committee, which has not sat for a number of months. Recently, Mr Grayling’s disastrous privatisation of probation services was entirely undone and the service renationalised.
It came as Rishi Sunak defended his £30bn mini-Budget plan but admitted the UK was “entering one of the most severe recessions this country has ever seen”. Economists have warned Britain could face decades of tax rises to repair its battered public finances, with borrowing set to soar.
The chancellor admitted that “we can’t sustainably live like this ... and over the medium term we can and we will return our public finances to a sustainable position”.
He also said there would be “significant” unemployment as a result of Covid-19.
On the economic front, Oliver Dowden announced on Thursday evening that gyms could reopen from 25 July, subject to conditions, while outdoor arts performances would be able to resume from 11 July. Recreational sports, once teams publish approved guidance, can also restart from 11 July, the culture secretary said.
Meanwhile, Brexit talks broke up a day early due to, as Michel Barnier put it, “significant divergences” between Britain and the EU. Negotiations will continue later in the month. Mr Barnier warned EU countries to expect disruption at the end of the year, with a no-deal scenario looming.
Scroll down to see how we covered the day’s events live.