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Churchill statue boarded up ahead of another weekend of protests in London

Workers have boarded up Winston Churchill’s statue in central London to protect it from damage ahead of another weekend of protests.

A protective barrier was placed around the monument at Parliament Square and the nearby Cenotaph last night amid concerns they could again be targeted by demonstrators.

It comes after activists scrawled “was a racist” on the statue of Britain’s war-time Prime Minister in as thousands descended on London for another protest over George Floyd’s death.

Sadiq Khan has pleaded with the public to stay at home as anti-racism and far-right groups both plan to protest in the capital.

The London mayor said he is “extremely concerned” that further demonstrations in the city, particularly by extreme far-right groups which “advocate hatred and division”, could lead to violence and disorder.

PM faces questions over claim care homes were an ‘afterthought’

Boris Johnson is facing renewed questions over his efforts to protect vulnerable care home residents after Labour claimed the sector was an “afterthought” in the fight against coronavirus.

Whitehall’s spending watchdog confirmed this morning that 25,000 hospital patients were discharged into care homes in England at the height of the pandemic without all being tested for Covid-19.

Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt joined Labour MPs in criticising the Government, saying it was “extraordinary that no one appeared to consider the clinical risk to care homes”.

Government to backtrack on EU border checks plan

The Government is expected to backtrack on its plan to introduce full border checks with the EU from January 1 over fears of the economic impact of coronavirus.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is anticipated to make an announcement later today over border operations for when Brexit fully comes into effect at the end of the transition period.

The UK had committed to introduce import controls on EU goods in the new year.

But ministers are now expected to adopt a more flexible approach to prevent the departure compounding the chaos from Covid-19.

Fresh review of Windrush scandal launched by human rights watchdog

Legal action to review the Home Office’s “hostile environment” policy which led to the Windrush scandal is being launched by the official human rights watchdog.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said it was using its statutory powers to carry out an assessment of whether the Home Office complied with its public sector equality duty in drawing up the policy.

The hostile environment strategy was devised under Theresa May when she was home secretary in the coalition government to deter illegal immigration and continued under her successor, Amber Rudd.

It resulted in thousands of Commonwealth immigrants from the so-called Windrush generation – who came to Britain in the decades following the Second World War – being wrongly denied rights, losing their jobs, and in some cases being deported to places they barely knew.

FA Cup Final renamed to support mental health campaign

This season’s FA Cup Final will be renamed in order to support and promote the ‘Heads Up’ mental health campaign, the Football Association have confirmed.

The 2019-20 edition of English football’s annual showpiece contest – provisionally earmarked to take place on August 1- will be known as the ‘Heads Up FA Cup Final’, with the aim to raise further awareness and discussion regarding mental health issues, particularly in light of the recent challenges posed as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

‘Heads Up’ is a campaign spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge.

On this day…

1458: Magdalen College, Oxford, was founded.

1839: Abner Doubleday was credited with inventing baseball in Cooperstown, New York.

1908: The Rotherhithe-Stepney road tunnel under the Thames was opened.

1922: Insulin, the treatment for diabetes, was patented by Frederick Banting.

1930: Germany’s Max Schmeling won the world heavyweight boxing title against Jack Sharkey in New York on a disqualification in round four – and is the only man to win the title in such a manner.

1965: The Beatles were made MBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

1987: Princess Anne was made Princess Royal, the title awarded to the monarch’s eldest daughter.

1989: MPs voted 293 to 69 to allow television cameras into the House of Commons.