Latest Updates: Prime Minister Defends UK Offer of Excess Covid Vaccination to Poor Nations; Reconstruction after Covid on the agenda at G7 leaders meeting in Cornwall
Fri 11.06.2021 12.17 BST
First published on Fri 11.06.2021 09.26 BST
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Five people, including two police officers, were injured in a clash between a police Volvo and a VW Golf near the site of the G7 summit in Cornwall.
The armed forces of Devon and Cornwall have joined forces the Independent Bureau of Police Conduct and its Department of Professional Standards, as is customary with a police vehicle.
The driver of the VW Golf, a man in his twenties, was admitted to the Treliske Hospital in Truro with severe leg injuries. Two passengers were treated with minor injuries.
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The town of Stives and the village of Carbis Bay are preparing for three days of protests and demonstrations.
They began artistically with a depiction of a mass stranding of mermaids entangled in discarded fishing nets by Ocean Rebellion.
Rob Higgs and Sophie Miller, co-founders of Ocean Rebellion, sounded a foghorn at dawn in the direction of the leaders’ excavations in Carbis Bay. They rang five times, which meant danger. “What it really means,” said Rob, “is shit, we’re going to crash. That is the message that we want to get behind us. ”
The mood of the demonstrators has so far been determined – but gentle. But a huge police presence is on standby.
Toni Carver, editor of the St Ives Times and Echo, pointed out that G7 was barely mentioned at the city council meeting on Thursday. He said:
Most of it was taken up through interviews with four potential new councilors, all of whom expressed deep concerns about the lack of affordable housing for the local population and the lack of housing for the working population. Basically, G7 is the last thing St. Ives needs when you leave Covid – unless you are a direct beneficiary. Feasting in Tregenna, dining in Penbeagle!
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There is a mix of excitement, fear and anger among locals and vacationers in Carbis Bay and St. Ives.
The town’s mayor, Kirsty Arthur, said Carbis Bay residents were fed up with the five-minute walk Trips would be turned into two-hour marathons because of the roadblocks and security measures.
But others, including their two children, loved the time off school and the sight of naval ships off the coast, helicopters in the air and the President’s cavalcade. « It’s quite a show, » she said.
In St. Ives itself there is not as much going on as on a normal warm June day. Megan Steeds, who runs a boat rental company at the port, said her trade had declined 60% and many visitors were put off by the signs on the A30 asking people to avoid the area. “That cost us a lot,” she says. « I’m glad when you’re gone. »
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Lord Darroch, who resigned as British Ambassador to the United States in 2019, in part because Boris Johnson refused to endorse him after a leak of Darroch’s cables to London upset Donald Trump, has told the BBC newscast that Summit will be a test of Johnson’s diplomacy skills. Johnson has the charm and personality to wear it, said Darroch. However, he said the G7 leaders would also look into whether Johnson was in command of the details.
Does Boris Johnson have the right diplomatic skills for the G7? Lord Kim Darroch, former UK Ambassador to the US, tells @AdamFleming that he is being tested in Cornwall. Listen to Newscast, the Podcast, on BBC Sounds 🎧 https: // t. co / 8EFeGb0pK4 pic.twitter.com/kvlbwUW6CW
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The climate crisis activists Extinction Rebellion hold protests outside the G7 summit. This account tweeted pictures of some of their campaign stunts. You can find more information about their campaigns on their website.
World market leaders enjoy our uncooperative crusty, climate pasties. See if you can spot one today 🥟. #ActNow # G7ActNow #DrowningInPromises #StopFundingFossils @XRSouthWest @XRebellionUK pic.twitter.com/E3f1zF3RPR
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G7 Heads of State and Government are being told today that the Covid crisis will set gender equality backwards globally unless governments take urgent action to stop it.
This is one the main conclusions of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC). Its 23-page report (pdf) states:
Our starting point this year is growing evidence that Covid-19 risks regression for gender equality worldwide unless governments take urgent action . Despite the central role women play in the response, the Covid-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on women and girls everywhere by exacerbating existing inequalities. In particular, GEAC’s analysis has focused on three interrelated core themes: girls’ education and the participation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); the empowerment of women; and the elimination of violence against women and girls.
Among its 14 recommendations, the GEAC calls for “recognition of the disproportionate effects of Covid-19 on women and girls worldwide, as well as increased funding and targeted measures for gender-transformative development programs, sexual and reproductive Health services and combating the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women and girls (VAWG). ”GEAC is chaired by Sarah Sands, a former editor of the Evening Standard and Today programs and a colleague of Boris Johnson when she both worked for the Daily Telegraph. She will present the results of the panel this afternoon in a virtual presentation to the heads of state and government of the G7. There’s a G7 press release about what she’s going to say here.
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The mother of Harry Dunn, the teenage motorcyclist who was killed in a traffic accident, welcomed the news that Boris Johnson raised the case with Joe Biden in her talks yesterday.
Dunn died in 2019 when US citizen Anne Sacoolas’ car collided with his motorcycle shortly after she left the RAF base where her husband was working for a US secret service. Sacoolas returned to the US shortly thereafter, claiming diplomatic immunity, and the US resisted attempts to get them to return to the UK to face a lawsuit.
We are incredibly grateful that Harry’s case is so serious It is believed that it will be raised on the eve of the G7 in the face of so many global crises.
We sincerely hope that President Biden, given his deeply personal connection to the casualty case, will take a different view than the previous government represents.
10:51 a.m. BST10:51
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This is from Lis Wallace, UK advocacy director for global anti-poverty campaign group ONE, on Boris Johnson’s vaccine announcement. (See 9:18 am.) It’s good news that Boris Johnson has decided to come to the G7 to share vaccine doses, but if he really wants to « host the most » at his own party , he has to go further. This means we are now starting to split doses to counter the current global vaccine crisis.
The G7 target of 1 billion doses should really be seen as the bare minimum and the timeframe needs to be accelerated. This needs to be supported by additional funding and a fully calculated plan to end the pandemic once and for all.
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Seven people were arrested after two vehicles driving near the G7 summit contained paint, smoke grenades and loud hailstones, reports PA Media. PA Says:
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that officers stopped a car and van near Loggans Road in Hayle – about 7 miles from the Carbis Bay Hotel.
The Police said the vehicles were searched during the stop around 5 p.m. on Thursday and the items were found inside.
A 30-year-old man from London, a 21-year-old woman from Wales and a 20-year-old man from Bournemouth were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to commit a crime.
Two men from London aged 25 and 27, a 45 year old woman from London and a 26 year old woman from Epsom were arrested for the Arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public harassment.
He added: « The items and vehicles have been seized by police as part of an ongoing investigation into this matter.
» We continue to support facilitating safe and legal protests, but criminal activity and public unrest will not be tolerated. «
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The G7 is a group of wealthy, democratic countries. It started as a G6, Russia was added to a G8 for a while until it was kicked out for annexing Crimea, and today the leaders of the seven core countries will be in Cornwall. They are:
Although it is the G7, the European Union is also a member and is represented by two of its three Presidents:
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (the organization that creates the EU full-time).
But G7 hosts often choose to invite other leaders to participate, and Johnson has invited the leaders of four other major democracies to participate. Last year he added India, Australia and South Korea to the list in hopes of turning the group into a large, less Eurocentric « D10 » group of major democracies. However, South Africa was later also invited, ostensibly because of the country’s role in fighting the pandemic, but also ostensibly to ensure that Africa was not left out. The four additional guides are:
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Boris Johnson tweeted a link this morning to an article setting out his ambitions for the G7 summit. In it he says he wants the G7 countries to commit to delivering 1 billion doses of vaccine to developing countries by the end of next year. He says:
The UK contributed £ 548 million to Covax, and we will also donate the vast majority of all excess doses from our domestic immunization program.
But in the heat of the emergency, we all have to try harder. So I want the G7 to adopt a challenging but deeply necessary goal: to deliver a billion doses to developing countries by the end of next year to vaccinate everyone in the world.
After Joe Biden made a donation last night of 500 million and Great Britain announced a donation of 100 million this morning (see 9.18 a.m.), Johnson is already 60% there.
He also says he wants to set up a « global pandemic radar » and a 100-day Set a goal for the time it will take the world to prepare vaccines and treatments for future viruses. He says:
So we need to strengthen our collective ability to prevent another pandemic and provide early warning of future threats, including through the establishment of a network of monitoring centers – a global pandemic radar.
Our scientists only needed 300 days to crack Covid and make the vaccines, but we need to be able to react faster. This G7 summit will put new efforts to accelerate the development of vaccines, treatments and tests for each new virus from 300 to 100 days.
At this @ G7 summit, Britain, along with our allied democracies, will #BuildBackBetterMy Article working: https://t.co/UysFJPAeJB # G7UK pic.twitter.com/hklqbUxo5X
09:18 a.m. BST 09:18
Good morning. The G7 summit in Cornwall opens officially this afternoon and Boris Johnson has announced that the UK will donate at least 100 million surplus doses of vaccine to poorer countries over the next 12 months. The news follows President Biden’s announcement yesterday that the US will buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be distributed in nearly 100 countries around the world. Here are details of the UK offer from the government press release.
The UK will be donating 5 million cans primarily to the world’s poorest countries by the end of September, beginning in the coming weeks. The Prime Minister has also pledged to donate an additional 95 million cans within the next year, including 25 million more by the end of 2021. 80% of the 100 million cans will go to Covax and the rest will be bilaterally distributed to countries in need.
Through sharing 5 million doses over the coming weeks will meet the UK’s immediate vaccine demand for the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus without delaying the completion of our first national vaccination program.
The All Party Group on Coronavirus has declares that this does not go far enough. Its Chair, Liberal Democrat MEP Layla Moran, said:
This is an important step forward, but it does not reflect the moral urgency of the situation we are facing.
There is an urgent need, arms now to save millions of lives around the world and prevent the emergence of even more deadly and transmissible variants.
The UK government must immediately commit to donating one dose to Covax for every dose of vaccine imported into the UK. Unless a steady and steady supply of vaccines is provided to the countries in need of them urgently, an important opportunity to keep this global pandemic under control will be missed.
However, Johnson has dismissed this criticism. In an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, when he was told that the UK will only donate 5 million cans over the next three months and that he is « talking big » but not delivering it, he did not accept it. Johnson argued that government support for the development of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine in itself is a massive contribution to the global vaccination effort because the vaccine is so widely used. He said:
I think the people of this country should take great pride in the fact that of the 1.5 billion doses distributed to the world’s poorest and most needy under the Covax program, one of three came from the Oxford / AstraZeneca deal that the UK did so so these vaccines could be distributed at cost.
And that’s before we talked about the £ 548 million we contributed to Covax and £ 1.6 billion to Gavi. And yes, we’re going to put 5 million cans in by September, but we’re going to do another, we’re going to do 100 million before 12 months are up. That’s a huge number of extra doses.
2 p.m.: Boris Johnson welcomes the heads of state and government at the official opening of the summit in Carbis Bay. There is a family photo on the beach at 2:30 p.m.
Evening: The leaders have dinner at the Eden Project, where they are accompanied by the Queen.
During the day, Johnson also has a number of bilateral meetings, among others with the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Today I am only concentrating on the G7. For other Covid developments, follow our global live blog.
I am trying to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, add « Andrew » somewhere and I’ll be more likely to find it. I try to answer questions and if they are of general interest I post the question and answer above the line (ATL) although I can’t promise to do it for everyone.
If you get my attention quickly it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.
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