Prime Minister’s Questions
In the first story in the Daily Briefing today, we report on the political event of the week: Prime Minister’s Questions. For our international audience, this is the weekly event where the British Prime Minister goes toe-to-toe with the Leader of the Opposition in a televised, and usually quite a heated affair. Today’s installment was no different.
The majority of the questions that Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition, asked were to do with the local lockdowns being imposed across the country. His first question was short and blunt: how do you get out of Tier 3? The Prime Minister appeared to suggest that if the reproduction number (R-number) was below 1, then areas would come out of local lockdown, and that local measures are reviewed every 28 days.
There was also a discussion on the Manchester fiasco, which we have made a video on today if you’re interested in it. Keir Starmer claimed that Johnson didn’t want to help those in Manchester. The Prime Minister responded by claiming that the mayor of Greater Manchester had refused his offer of £60m of aid.
The last point of discussion was on the greatly anticipated ‘circuit break’. Johnson ridiculed Starmer’s support for such a plan, while at the same time saying he will do ‘whatever is necessary’. It is not yet clear whether a circuit break will be imposed on the UK.
Clearly, this week was no exception from the usually feisty joust between leaders!
Trump’s Chinese Taxes
In the second news story today, we discuss something that the media has enjoyed talking about for a number of weeks now: President Trump’s taxes. However, instead of discussing the amount he pays federally in the US, we’ll instead look at the trending news story today that he has paid a huge amount in Taxes in China.
The New York Times has reported that between 2013 and 2015, the President paid $188,561 in taxes to China. This is significantly more than the $750 he was reported to have paid in federal US income tax in 2016 and 2017. The reason he had to pay such tax was because he had a bank account there, used to try and secure deals to make hotels in the country.
This could be a particularly difficult issue for the President, as he is running on a platform of being tough to China. Paying taxes in the country, and attempting to build hotels there, could seem like a contradiction in such promises. However, others could see this differently, arguing that this was simply a business arrangement – and that this is entirely different to his stance now as president.
We will see exactly how this issue plays with Trump’s voters when Americans go to the polls in less than two weeks time.
COVID in Prisons
In the last story today, it has been revealed that UK prisoners have been expected to stay in their cells for around 23 hours a day, since the beginning of lockdown. Although the Prison Officers’ Association has claimed that this has reduced violence and self-harm in prisons, Peter Clarke (HM Chief Inspector of Prisons) has claimed that mental health is a concern in prisons now, because inmates are losing hope.
He additionally claimed that the Prison Officer Associations’ comments were “shallow” and “self-serving”. He countered the claim that the 23 hour daily lockup was improving stability, reducing self-harm and lowering prison violence by stating that he believed that self-harm was actually increasing in womens’ prisons.
He added that as the pandemic could last for a significant period, we must ask whether it is right to treat prisoners in such a way.
He, however, will not be present in discussions answering such a question as he is stepping down at the end of the month.
For those of you who think the news is too long, be sure to check out tomorrow’s daily briefing.