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1. Britain claims Vladimir Putin is plotting a puppet regime in Ukraine
Britain accused Russia of plotting to install a puppet leader in Kyiv, as Boris Johnson warned European Union leaders against “naivety” over Vladimir Putin’s demands over Ukraine and described the crisis as “gravely dangerous”.
In a highly unusual move, Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, publicly released specially declassified intelligence naming Yevhen Murayev, a former Ukrainian MP, as the Kremlin’s preferred candidate to take over the country following an invasion. Read the full story.
2. Covid vaccine deadline for NHS staff set to be pushed back
Compulsory Covid vaccines for NHS workers would be delayed for six months, under eleventh-hour plans being considered by Boris Johnson to help quell a seismic revolt among Tory MPs.
On Saturday night, just two weeks before the NHS is due to begin sacking staff who have not had a jab, a Whitehall source said that the requirement is likely to be “kicked down the road”, amid demands by Conservative backbenchers for it to be dropped entirely. Read the full story.
3. Boris Johnson under pressure to scrap rise in National Insurance
Boris Johnson is under growing pressure to postpone or cancel the planned National Insurance rise, with a leading economic think tank and one of the Prime Minister’s former Cabinet ministers joining calls for an about-turn.
Prof Jagjit Chadha, the director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said that reversing the increase scheduled for April would be “absolutely possible” and “makes a lot of sense”. Read the full story.
4. Muslim ex-minister Nusrat Ghani ‘sacked for disloyalty’
A vice chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers made incendiary claims that her “Muslimness” was raised at a meeting in Downing Street that led to her sacking in a 2020 reshuffle.
Following a series of allegations by other MPs of bullying by party whips, Nusrat Ghani, said that, following her dismissal as transport minister, she was told of concerns that “I wasn’t loyal to the party as I didn’t do enough to defend the party against Islamophobia allegations.” A government source strenuously denied the allegations. Read the full story.
5. Complaints about GPs triple, with focus on difficulty of getting an appointment
Complaints about GPs have almost tripled in a year, with the “vast majority” of concerns relating to difficulties accessing appointments, the NHS watchdog said.
Patients’ groups said the figures reflected “a worrying decline” in the service being offered, and growing public concern about problems accessing face-to-face consultations. Read the full story.
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