IRA terrorists may have convictions quashed by Supreme Court ruling

Hundreds of IRA terrorists may have their convictions quashed following Supreme Court ruling that Gerry Adams was jailed unlawfully in 1970s

  • The Supreme Court ruled Gerry Adams’s imprisonment in the 1970s was invalid
  • His case was not ‘considered personally’ by then Northern Ireland Secretary Willie Whitelaw 
  • Oxford law professor Richard Ekins says the Supreme Court got it ‘badly wrong’

Hundreds of IRA terrorists could have convictions quashed after the Supreme Court upheld a complaint from Gerry Adams, legal experts have warned.

Britain’s top judges ruled that the 1970s jailing of the former IRA man turned Sinn Fein president was unlawful on a technicality.

Adams was jailed for four-and-a-half years after two escape attempts from internment at the Maze Prison in 1973 and 1974.

But earlier this month Supreme Court Justice Lord Kerr ruled that, because Adams’s imprisonment was not ‘considered personally’ by then Northern Ireland Secretary Willie Whitelaw, it was invalid.

Now former Cabinet Ministers and legal experts fear this could open the door to hundreds of similar republican convictions during the Troubles being quashed.

Court battle: Hundreds of IRA terrorists could have convictions quashed after the Supreme Court upheld a complaint from Gerry Adams (pictured)

Backing a new report from the think tank Policy Exchange titled Mishandling The Law, former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox slammed the ruling, warning: ‘It exposes the Government to the risk – or certainty – of numerous legal proceedings for false imprisonment, to which it will have no defence.’

The report’s author, Oxford law professor Richard Ekins, told The Mail on Sunday the Supreme Court had ‘got it badly wrong’.

‘Gerry Adams should not have secured this victory in the Supreme Court,’ he said.

‘The fact that he did – because of the court’s misunderstanding of how government works – means there is likely to be an avalanche of new litigation, which could lead to the State wrongly paying large sums in compensation to Mr Adams and others who were detained in the 1970s.

‘The Government should intervene as fast as possible, inviting Parliament to enact a new law which makes clear this detention was perfectly lawful and thus rules out further litigation.’

In a foreword to the report, Mr Cox, a noted QC, added: ‘In allowing [Adams’s] appeal, the Supreme Court has opened the door to further legal proceedings, which may require payment of compensation to Adams and others for their detention.

‘This consequence of Gerry Adams’s victory before the Supreme Court may itself warrant legislative intervention, as the authors argue, but more troubling still are the judgment’s wider implications for how government is carried out.’

The notion that the detention could not have been signed off by someone more junior in government, as in the Adams case and many others, has sparked fierce criticism.

Mr Cox said: ‘The Supreme Court’s interpretation has an odd ring to it and does not reflect any governmental practice of which I am aware.

Supreme Court Justice Lord Kerr ruled that, because Adams’s imprisonment was not ‘considered personally’ by then Northern Ireland Secretary Willie Whitelaw, it was invalid. Pictured: File photo of the UK Supreme Court

‘A decision entrusted by Parliament to the Secretary of State may generally be taken in his name by a suitably qualified official.’

And he warned the ruling also risked creating chaos, as ‘so embedded is the principle in the practice of Whitehall, in our political culture and in the common law that any doubt or ambiguity in its application would have very significant and deleterious implications for the efficient organisation of government’.

The report concludes that Ministers must ‘legislate speedily to rectify matters’ with emergency laws shutting the loophole before fresh challenges are put forward.

Last night Lord Butler, the former Cabinet Secretary, vowed to raise the issue in the House of Lords next week.

He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘In a time of national economic crisis, few can welcome the prospect that the Government might now be obliged to pay substantial damages to Mr Adams and to others detained during that period.’

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Have a taste of normal with a picnic on a budget now lockdown has eased – The Sun

THE great British picnic is enjoying a revival – one of the first treats we can look forward to as lockdown eases.

From Monday, outdoor fun need not be with just your own household, or one friend. You will be able to meet in groups of up to six, from different homes, if you stay two metres apart.

So here are tips for how to picnic on a budget . . .

  1. Towel tip: Don’t splash out £17.60 on the John Lewis Meadow Spot picnic rug, dig out a few old beach towels — easy to carry and wash. Or if you do not have any to hand, get the tartan rug from B&M for £5.
  2. Lotta bottle: Keep hold of old plastic drink bottles, rinse and refill with squash. This should keep the kids happy, and your wallet. It also means you do not need to carry lots of cups. Pop the filled bottles into the freezer the night before and they will stay cool for longer and also help to chill the food in your bag.
  3. Nice one, old fruit: Chop up some lemon and lime, freeze overnight, then put a few slices into drinks and sandwich bags to keep everything cool. Create ice-packs by filling sandwich bags with water, zipping up and freezing overnight.
    Snack attack: It is not a picnic without sausage rolls. At packs of 20 mini sausage rolls and 30 pork cocktail sausages are normally £2 each. But now, for £3, you can snap up one of each or two of either.
    Consider buying bulk bags of frozen snacks and cooking, cooling and storing in plastic tubs for the picnic — cheaper than buying ready-made.
    Dips can be knocked up yourself, too. A pot of cottage cheese and dried herbs equals a tasty cream-cheese treat that is a fraction of the cost of pre-made. If pushed for time, Aldi does a lovely hummus for 69p a pot.
  4. Lunchtime hacks: To avoid food going to waste, make up boxes for each family member, according to what they like. Kids will love having their own stash. Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, apples and multi-pack crisps are all good staples.
  5. Wet wipes: Make sure everything gets a wipe-down before, during and after your feast. You can get 80 of Superdrug’s own-brand anti-bacterial wipes for £3.09 — cheaper than 70 Dettol wipes for £3.50 at
  6. Cheers: Make some of the savings above and you will have cash left for Lidl’s summer wine selection, from £5.49 a bottle.

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A NEW fitness channel is coming to Virgin Media TV. Get Moving will launch at 6.30am on Monday.

It will air from Monday to Friday to give viewers specialist fitness sessions provided by celebrity personal trainers and Olympians including Daley Thompson.

The channel will be available to all Virgin Media TV customers at no extra cost.

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Boris Johnson vows to have a test and trace system ready on Thursday

Boris will DROP drop the ‘track’ in ‘test, track and trace’ system that is designed to get Britain out lockdown and it will not be fully ready in time for deadline

  • Ministers told to drop the ‘track’ after negative reaction from focus groups
  • Boris Johnson suggested a test and trace system would be in place by Thursday
  • But structure will need to be built up and won’t be ‘all singing, all dancing’ 
  • Prime Minister promised ‘world beating system’ in place by June 1 at PMQs
  • 25,000 contact tracers will be able to track 10,000 new cases a day from June

Ministers have been told to drop the ‘track’ in test, track and trace after focus groups showed that the concept scared people, it has emerged.

The ‘tracking’ portion refers to the NHS mobile app that can detect if someone has been in close contact with a Covid-positive individual, which is still going ahead. 

The Government is now believed to be discussing a new ‘test, trace and isolate’ phrase, as wording for the strategy becomes increasingly more confusing for the public.

Ministers are being told to drop the ‘track’ in test, track and trace after focus groups showed that the concept scared people, as Boris Johnson attempts to start a test and trace system before June 1

The Welsh government have opted for a ‘Test, Trace, Protect’ strategy, with ‘protect’ referring to people with the virus self-isolating to prevent a spread to the rest of the population.

And the Scottish government have gone one step further with their ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy, with support including help with food and medicine as well as financial support.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Keir Starmer challenged Boris Johnson over the government’s failure to track the spread of the disease after mid-March.

‘That’s nearly 10 weeks in a critical period without effective tracing. That’s a huge hole in our defences, isn’t it prime minister?’ he said. 

The ‘tracking’ portion refers to the NHS mobile app that can detect if someone has been in close contact with a Covid-positive individual, which is still going ahead

Coming under pressure for details, Mr Johnson claimed that the UK would have a ‘world-beating’ test, track and trace system in place by June 1. 

The scheme would include 25,000 contact tracers who should be able to track 10,000 new cases a day.

But during the cabinet meeting on Thursday, the Prime Minster suggested that while the scheme would be ready, it would not be comprehensive, according to The Times.

‘He suggested it wouldn’t be all singing, all dancing but the system would be ready,’ a minister told the publication. ‘He was optimistic that we would be able to move into the next phase of easing the lockdown, but it was too early to make that decision.’

Mr Johnson will announce the next steps on Thursday.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, urged people yesterday to ‘do their bit’ and go into self-isolation if they had had contact with someone with the virus, even if they had no symptoms. No 10 has not ruled out fining people who fail to go into isolation.

The Office for National Statistics showed that of all those who said they had self-isolated over the past seven days, only 28 per cent had not left their home. While the data was unclear, it set alarm bells ringing.

‘The difficulty doing the isolate approach is that the numbers of people who are self-isolating look appalling,’ one official said. ‘People who think they might be symptomatic still are not self-isolating.’

Ministers have set up a new unit — the Joint Biosecurity Centre — led by Tom Hurd, a senior counterterrorism officer. It is seen as an attempt by Downing Street to wrest control from Public Health England (PHE).

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China may have 640,000 coronavirus cases, leaked data suggests

China may have 640,000 coronavirus cases instead of 84,000, leaked data from country’s military-run university suggests

  • China has officially reported 84,029 cases of coronavirus and 4,673 deaths 
  • But doubt remains over the figures amid criticism for a lack of transparency 
  • Database leaked from Chinese university suggests true toll could be far higher
  • Table contains 640,000 entries from at least 230 cities – suggesting actual case total could be in six figures
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

China may have logged hundreds of thousands more cases of coronavirus than it is publicly admitting to, new data leaked from a university suggests.

Officially, the country has reported just 84,029 cases of the virus but there has been widespread skepticism over this figure amid a lack of transparency from Beijing.

But now, a database leaked from the National University of Defence Technology in the city of Changsha suggests the country could have 640,000 cases.

China may have suffered 640,00 cases of coronavirus – far higher than the country’s official death toll, leaked data suggests

The information comes from a database leaked to Foreign Policy and 100 Reporters, which carried out a brief analysis of the information it contains.

They say the dataset contains 640,000 individual entries taken from at least 230 cities spread across the country.

Each entry contains latitude, longitude, and ‘confirmed’ number of cases at the location on a specific date, which range from early February to late April.

The locations include hospitals but also apartment compounds, hotels, supermarkets, railway stations, restaurants, schools and even a branch of KFC.

Assuming that each entry contains at least one case, that would mean at least 640,000 cases of the virus which have been recorded.

The number could also be far higher. A single data entry outlined by those with access to the database contains two cases of the virus, reported at a church in the city of Harbin on March 17.

The number could also be lower. Reporters say it is not clear how the data was gathered – although the university website says it used a range of public resources.

A dataset from the National University of Defence Technology (pictured) has 640,000 entries charting coronavirus cases across the country, potentially suggesting 640,000 cases

It is also not clear why data was taken from specific locations on particular dates.  

Inconsistencies in data gathering methods means it is possible that single cases could have been counted several times, skewing the figures. 

The data set also does not make it clear what was classified as a ‘confirmed’ case of the virus, which had led to discrepancies in reporting in other countries.

Since no names or identifying details were included with the data, both Foreign Policy and 100Reporters said it has been impossible to verify any of the cases.

MailOnline has not seen the dataset, which has not been released publicly. 

Despite its shortcomings, the existence of such a large database will add to existing suspicions that China is not being honest about its virus toll.

China, like most other countries, has struggled to provide accurate data on a disease that has spread across the world rapidly, especially since scientists believe up to 80 per cent of those who catch it may have no or mild symptoms.

But allegations against Beijing go further, namely that it has deliberately covered up figures in an attempt to convince world leaders it out-performed them in terms of its response – or to buy time to stockpile PPE and medicines before the virus spread.

The US Centers for Disease Control refused to comment to Foreign Policy and 100reporters, while the WHO said it was unaware such a database existed.

China has officially reported just 84,029 cases of the virus – though widespread doubt has been cast on this figure (file image)

Since the first cases of the virus were recorded around a wet market in the city of Wuhan in December last year, coronavirus has swept across the globe.

As of Friday, 4.4million cases of the virus had been confirmed worldwide and more than 300,000 people had died from the disease it causes, official figures showed.

However, both figures are believed to widely under-estimate the true scale of the virus because of widespread problems with testing.

The virus has forced most major nations to enact unprecedented and sweeping lockdown measures which have largely confined people to their homes for the last several months.

Countries, including China, are only just starting to emerge from those lockdowns, amid fears of a second – more serious – spike in infections and deaths.

Some hope has been offered by the development of reliable antibody tests that can detect whether a person has ever had the virus, potentially offering the first comprehensive look at how many cases there were in the world.

A vaccine being developed at Oxford University has also shown promising results in rhesus monkeys  by stopping the virus penetrating deep into their lungs, where it can be fatal.

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You Don't Have to Make Samuel L. Jackson's Salary to Own the Cars in His Collection

Samuel L. Jackson has had a long career. He’s been everywhere in Hollywood, from some of the worst movies of all time to some of the best movies of all time.

Thanks to all the hard work that he’s put in over the years, Jackson is now one of the highest grossing actors, ever. Getting all of that work, unsurprisingly, means that Jackson has also got a lot of money sitting in his bank account.

But, unlike many other celebrities, the cars in Samuel L. Jackson’s garage aren’t that expensive.

How much Samuel L. Jackson is worth

Jackson, who’s in his 70s now, lives pretty comfortably thanks to all the gigs that he gets. And, he’s likely not stopping anytime soon thanks to the job that most people may know him from nowadays. Jackson portrays Nick Fury in the Marvel movies, and, thanks to the role that Fury plays in the universe, Jackson basically shows up in almost every Marvel movie. 

Plus, while the Marvel movies are action movies first and foremost, Jackson doesn’t really need to do much. Some movies, like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will have Jackson doing some high-intensity stuff. But, in most Marvel movies, Jackson is just showing up to recruit someone for the Avengers.

What this means is that the Marvel movies are easy work that pay Jackson a good amount of money. Jackson still does other gigs from time to time, but, due to his $220 million net worth, he can just sit back and do what he wants to do with his life. Unlike many celebrities however, he doesn’t seem like he wants to collect exotic cars.

The one fancy car that Samuel L. Jackson has

As Shabana Motors wrote, Jackson does have a fancy car that lives up to what someone worth over $200 million would have in their garage. Jackson owns a Maybach 57 S. This is a powerful luxury car that is well-equipped and very expensive.

The Maybach 57 S that Jackson owns comes with a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V12 engine that gets 559-hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. That said, while it’s a powerful engine, it’s also a heavy car.

As a result, its performance isn’t spectacular, but still, it can be very fast. For example, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.8 seconds, which is remarkable given its size.

The price for all this power is a hefty $400,000. This is expensive, but for a celebrity like Jackson, it’s a drop in the bucket.

Samuel L. Jackson also drives a Toyota Camry

As Shabana Motors said, Jackson was spotted driving a regular-looking Toyota Camry around town back in 2016. It’s not clear what kind of Camry he owns, but it can’t be too spectacular. Millions of people from around the world drive a Camry for a lot of reasons. Most people agree that the Camry is just a good, solid car that is very affordable.

The latest Camry model years starts at about $24,000 and just about everyone can afford a brand-new one or, more often than not, a used one. That said, the Camry isn’t the only relatively affordable car in Jackson’s garage. 

Shabana Motors wrote that Jackson also has a Range Rover Sport. This is a more expensive car than the Camry, but still, it’s relatively affordable. The Range Rover Sport starts at about $70,000 and comes with a lot of premium features.

It’s also a spacious SUV that’s great for families. Unsurprisingly, many celebrities other than Jackson have a Range Rover Sport. Obviously though, not everyone can afford it, but still, it’s not a car for millionaires.

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No pedestrians have died in NYC during coronavirus lockdown

New York City has not recorded a single pedestrian death since before the state implemented strict coronavirus restrictions that kept residents largely at home, according to a report.

Tuesday marked 58 days since a pedestrian was killed in the Big Apple — the longest stretch since 1983 when the city starting keeping track, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg revealed at a City Council committee hearing, ABC 7 reported.

New York on March 22 — 51 days ago —  shut down all nonessential businesses and required all nonessential government and private-sector employees to work from home.

But Trottenberg said speeding scofflaws have exploited the lack of traffic.

“Unfortunately some drivers are taking advantage of our empty streets to speed recklessly, and we know we can never let up our vigilance,” she said at the hearing, according to the report.

The commissioner said that driving violations have doubled since before the coronavirus pandemic, leading the NYPD to ramp up its enforcement.

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The Russo Brothers Have Finally Addressed Fans' Most Important 'Endgame' Question

Fans wanting to learn every detail about Avengers: Endgame continues in a time when quarantine allows some new deep-dives. In some cases, some of that new reanalysis has refreshing and thoughtful ideas. Other times, it just turns into minutiae only the most ardent fan wants to know.

One of those recent details relates to Hulk. While it might give Hulk fans a good feeling to know people are still talking about him after being sent packing, this scene involves something he threw during an emotional tirade.

Case in point is the scene where Hulk throws a park bench into the air during a pivotal moment in Endgame. Fans want to know where that bench ended up falling. The Russo Brothers recently revealed who was likely on the receiving end.

Remembering back to Hulk throwing the park bench

Those who remember this scene will remember it involved five of the original Avengers team mourning the death of Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow). Following her seemingly sacrificial death in Endgame, these five members paid their respects in a park setting, with each displaying their own particular emotion.

A memorable meme of this scene likened the five Avengers to the five stages of grief. Thor represented denial, Hulk was anger, Clint was bargaining, Steve was depression, and Tony represented acceptance.

Because Hulk was about frustration, he subsequently picked up a heavy park bench and flung it into the air, landing somewhere in a nearby forested area. There was never a cutaway showing where the bench landed, though.

At the time, it was never considered important. Well, not until fans wanted to know who might have had the bench land on them. Only on social media would such a question be asked.

The Russo Brothers gave a halfway serious answer in a recent Q&A

Recently, a user on Reddit posted a thread about the Russos answering the Hulk/park bench question during a recent online Q&A chat. The Q&A occurred on Twitter where the Russos answered select questions directly.

When someone asked where the park bench landed, the Russos had a quick reply: It landed on…Frank Castle. Of course, Castle is The Punisher and was played by Jon Bernthal in the original Netflix series.

The answer of Castle being on the receiving end of the bench was likely taken in jest by most people. Others might consider it canonical since it came from the Russos themselves.

On Reddit, fans joked they could imagine hearing Frank Castle’s yell just as the bench hit him. Others wished this really was canon, even if no one knew whether Frank died in the snap.

Would this pave the road to Frank Castle returning later?

A lot of fans of The Punisher were sorely disappointed when Netflix canceled the series back in 2019. While the show never had Castle interacting with The Avengers, adding an Easter egg scene of Frank being hit by Hulk’s park bench would prove quite the reentrance.

Being a tough-as-nails vigilante as he was, he likely would have recovered fast after being hit by the bench. On the other hand, having the bench traveling at high speed could kill any other bystander. All the random things Hulk throws are seldom shown landing, proving severe injuries could happen with any normal mortals walking around the periphery.

The Russo Brothers’ response was maybe a subtle nod to the complaints about the Marvel TV/streaming universe never connecting with the MCU movies. Imagining Frank Castle entering the realm of The Avengers at some point would be at least one connective string.

If it ever does happen, it would likely just be a quick cameo to prove Frank was in the area. Should the bench knock him out, it may explain why he never took part in the NYC-based Battle of Earth.

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Elon Musk and Grimes have different ideas on how to pronounce their baby's name

If you didn’t think you could get more confused by how to pronounce Elon Musk and Grimes’ baby name, X Æ A-12, days after its arrival, we’re sorry but things just got taken up another level.

We thought we had things under control when we heard Elon – with our very own ears – say the name while appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast on Thursday night.

After liking a tweet that suggested you pronounce the interesting moniker as ‘X Ash Archangel’, Elon, 48, said it as such to podcast host Joe.

‘First of all, my partner is the one who actually mostly came up with the name. She’s great at names,’ Elon revealed giving most of the credit to Grimes.

The billionaire then explained: ‘It’s just the letter X and then the Æ is pronounced “Ash”. A-12 is my contribution…. Coolest plane ever. It’s pretty great.’

Simple, right?

Well, turns out Grimes has got a totally different way to pronounce the name, as she replied to a curious fan on her Instagram the very same day.

The 32-year-old – real name Claire Boucher – replied, after being quizzed in the comments section: ‘it’s just X, like the letter X. Then A.I. Like how you said the letter A then I.’

So, it’s X AI Archangel?

Guys, can we please get this story straight already.

Some fans were led to believe the little dude was perhaps called Xai and honestly, our head hurts so much right now.

It’s not like the parents hadn’t been a little at odds over the inspiration behind the baby’s name, after Grimes shared the intricate rundown of the meaning.

She had explained that the ‘A-12’ part of their son’s name is the ‘precursor to SR-17’ aka their ‘favourite’ aircraft, but Elon chimed in with a correction.

He replied: ‘SR-71, but yes.’

However, the mansplaining didn’t go down too well with the new mother who had just spent who-knows-how-long bringing a life into the world only to be corrected on Twitter by the babydaddy.

She wrote: ‘I am recovering from surgery and barely alive so may my typos b forgiven but, damnit [sic].’

Grimes added: ‘That was meant to be profound’.

Elon then reassured: ‘U r a powerful [queen and fairy].’

Here’s hoping they can get on the same page about the pronunciation and we can move on with our lives.

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These Tory Burch Sandals Have the Perfect Pop of Color — On Sale Now!

Shoes can either be bold statement-makers or on the plain and simple side. The choice is yours! But sometimes, we come across a pair that strikes the perfect balance. You know what we’re talking about: A shoe that has just the right amount of drama to make it stand out. And when it comes to summer fashion, that’s exactly what we’re looking for!

If that sounds up your alley, allow Us to introduce these heels from Tory Burch. They effortlessly nail that elevated-yet-casual vibe, and we’re already envisioning all of the outfits we can team them with! Even the simplest ensemble will get an instant upgrade thanks to this fabulous footwear. Oh, and the best news: You can grab a pair that’s on sale for more than $100 off their original price right now! What’s not to love?

Get the Gigi Sandal (originally $298) on sale with free shipping for prices starting at just $179, available from Tory Burch!

The Gigi Sandal is a heeled shoe that features two straps directly over the top and middle of the foot. The detail that made Us fall head over heels (no pun intended) just so happens to be the toe strap. On the marked-down pair, the strap is fashioned from suede in a bright orange hue. The neutral shade throughout the rest of the shoe makes the color of the strap truly pop — and it’s seriously eye-catching.

The Gigi sandals are made from a beautiful calfskin leather in camel. Hidden on the inside of the heel, you’ll find another chic surprise — the signature Tory Burch logo in bright gold! This attention to detail is standard with any item from Tory Burch, and we truly appreciate it. The branding is understated but still packs a punch. It’s a little peekaboo surprise that any fashion fan will love!

Get the Gigi Sandal (originally $298) on sale with free shipping for prices starting at just $179, available from Tory Burch!

If orange isn’t your style, this pair of shoes is available in two other options that have more muted color palettes. One version features two different shades of taupe, and the third features a sleek combination of black and midnight blue. While these are certainly worthy additions to any shoe rack, we’re especially drawn to the brighter sandals! Once summer rolls around and it’s time to show off everything south of the ankle, they will surely be a smash hit. With the current marked-down price, we can’t think of a better time to scoop these up!

See it: Get the Gigi Sandal (originally $298) on sale with free shipping for prices starting at just $179, available from Tory Burch!

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more shoes on sale and all of the latest markdowns at Tory Burch here!

Check out more of our picks and deals here!

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Hairdressers ‘will have to stay shut for 6 more months due to coronavirus’ as there’s no safe way for salons to reopen – The Sun

MINISTERS fear hairdressers will have to remain shut for six more months, turning Britain into a nation of long-haired scruffs.

Government scientists working on the coronavirus lockdown have found no safe way for salons to reopen, The Sun can reveal.

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The experts think it is impossible to carry out haircuts without increasing the risk of spreading the virus.

Senior goverment figures expect that leaves them with no choice but to order them to remain shut for as long as epidemic is still going, which is projected to be throughout the summer.

Beauticians and nail salons are also expected to be issued with the same grim verdict to stay closed.

Brits have been unable to get a professional haircut for a month now, ever since hairdressers were ordered to close by Boris Johnson on March 23.

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Many have resorted to asking their relatives for a DIY snip, or simply letting their locks grow long.

One senior government insider warned: “People’s hair is going to get pretty long.

“We’re all going to end up looking like Captain Caveman by the end of this”.

Ministers are said to have been very keen for salons to reopen, for the sake of the businesses as well as the general public.

One insider said there would be "a positive impact on morale if people can get a haircut and feel a bit more normal".

As the Government battles with how to free Britain from the lockdown, it also emerged tonight that a fresh divide has emerged among Cabinet ministers on how much the epidemic must be stamped out first.

The Sun has also learned that Health Secretary Matt Hancock wants to push down the rate the virus is being transmitted – known as R – as much as possible, meaning the lockdown would have to last longer.

He is backed by Foreign Secretary and stand-in leader Dominic Raab, who said on Wednesday that the lower R goes, the “more options” it would give the government in terms of what restrictions it can lift.

But others such as Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma are arguing for businesses to be allowed to reopen as soon as safely possible.

A Cabinet source said: “The current debate in Cabinet is all about how low R needs to go before we can act.

“It all comes down to how much risk we want to take on.

“It's going to be a massive decision for the Prime Minister."

Experts from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies have been tasked by Downing Street to weigh up the risks of reopening industries and sectors across board.

Their report is due in at the end of this month, ahead of the next review of the five week long lockdown by May 7.

Initial thinking for some sectors, including the advice on hairdressers, has been circulated among some senior ministers.

While some shops may be allowed to reopen from next month, those that require hands on contact with customers have been deemed of highest risk.

The order would prove disastrous for the 41,000 hair and beauty businesses in the UK.

Without fresh government help, many face the serious threat of going bust.

The government’s wage scheme is only currently due to last until June.

An estimated 60% of hairdressers are freelance, so are not eligible for the furlough scheme.

They can instead draw on a second Treasury wage scheme to bail out the self-employed.

But that doesn’t begin until June, leaving many having to go on Universal Credit in the meantime.

Reacting to The Sun’s revelation, National Hair and Beauty Federation CEO Hilary Hall said: “The primary concern of our members is when can they start operating safely again, for themselves as well as their clients, rather than when they can reopen.

“There are real dangers when you have such close contact.

“Of course everyone wants to get back to work, but it’s a balance between that and the safety requirements.”

Freelance Hairdressers Association founder Sheila Abrahams added: “Our members are doing everything they can to think about how they can cut people’s hair safely, from meticulously cleaning their studios to looking at cutting hair while wearing PPE.

“But because you cannot avoid being in close contact it is very hard.”

Cabinet ministers again refused to speculate on the raging internal government debate on how and when to start partially lifting the lockdown.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I understand the thirst for knowledge.

“Monitoring what’s happening and making sure we move at the right time is absolutely critical.”

He added: “Our goal is to get the level of transmission down.

“To lift the measures too soon and risk a second peak would be a mistake, and undo all the hard work we have done.”

The PM’s official spokesman added: “The key to this is not having a second peak.

“In terms of the steps we take in the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be guided by the scientific advice.”

Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance today revealed just how well Brits are still sticking to the lockdown, despite an increase in road traffic this week.

A huge majority of 97% said they have avoided contact with other people from outside their household, and 85% said they had either not left their home or only left for the permitted reasons in the past seven days.

Half the working population – 49% also said they are working from home, up from a usual rate of 12%.


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