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Politics latest news: Lifting social distancing by June 21 thrown into doubt by Indian variant, No 10 signals

UK proposes customs checks for food heading to NI to ease Brexit tensions Boris Johnson: Everyone must 'play their part' to beat Indian variant Vaccines appear to prevent 97 per cent of Indian variant infections Andrew Marr hints at BBC exit over impartiality frustrations Coronavirus latest news: PM's advice on hugging as lockdown eases Subscribe to The Telegraph for a month-long free trial Downing Street is no longer promising that conclusions of the social distancing and Covid passports reviews will be announced this month, citing uncertainty caused by the Indian variant. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said at a briefing of political journalists this afternoon that there was no "set time" for those announcements to be made. Yet Boris Johnson had set out a time frame only last week, saying an update on whether social distancing will continue and Covid status certificates will be needed after June 21 would come later in May. The change in position reflects the new uncertainty created by a surge in the Indian variant of Covid-19, which early data suggests could be more transmissible than other variants. Number 10 was also unable to confirm that a decision on relaxing rules on weddings would be made on May 24, despite Mr Johnson also saying that would be the case last Monday. The decision to no longer pledge announcements by the end of the month will raise concerns that the June 21 unlocking could happen on a smaller scale than hoped for just a few weeks ago. Government figures have stressed that early data suggests the Covid vaccines remain effective against the Indian variant and urged people to get their two doses when eligible.

news.yahoo.com

Anti-Semitism has 'no place in Britain' says PM after convoy of cars chant abuse in London

A band of pro-Palestinian activists who drove in convoy through North London chanting anti-Semitic slurs has been condemned by the Prime Minister and numerous Cabinet ministers. Scotland Yard has launched an "urgent" investigation into the incident, which appeared to target areas of the capital with large Jewish populations, and has made four arrests. The protest came after two Leicester City football players held up a Palestinian flag to celebrate their victory in the FA Cup final on Saturday. The move drew controversy but is not expected to result in disciplinary action against the players. Sunday saw the bloodiest attack in Gaza so far, with 42 killed in a single strike by the Israeli military. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, said the attacks would continue with "full force" until underground tunnels, which Israel says harbour Hamas militants, have been destroyed. In London, activists protesting against Israel's attacks drove in convoy through Golders Green and Finchley, both areas with large Jewish populations, shouting "F*** the Jews, rape their daughters" through a megaphone. The Metropolitan Police have arrested and held four men on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order offences. Officers deployed a police helicopter and traced a vehicle to the A40 in Hillingdon, West London. Superintendent Jo Edwards said: "This behaviour was utterly shocking and will not be tolerated. "I understand that this would have caused considerable concern within the community and we have arranged extra patrols in the St John's Wood and Golders Green areas this evening."

news.yahoo.com