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Your morning briefing: What you should know for Monday, June 29

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Meeting over Leicester virus cases as city faces first ‘local lockdown’

Coronavirus testing data will be discussed this morning by Leicester’s mayor and Government officials as the city faces being put under a local lockdown.

Leicester has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases in the past fortnight and yesterday Home Secretary Priti Patel appeared to suggest it could see Britain’s first local lockdown.

However city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said more testing data was needed before any decision was made.

It comes as Johns Hopkins University said the worldwide death toll from the virus had passed 500,000.

Major schools rebuilding plan on the cards

The Prime Minister will attempt to kick-start the economy after Covid-19 with a decade-long schools rebuilding plan.

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a spending blitz during a speech tomorrow as he lays the groundwork for the UK to spend its way out of the coronavirus downturn by undertaking a vast building programme.

Part of the plans will include a 10-year undertaking to improve school facilities, along with sprucing up classrooms currently in use.

A £1 billion cash injection will see construction work start on the first 50 projects as soon as September 2021, Downing Street said.

No10 insiders accused over Cabinet Secretary’s departure

Critics have accused Downing Street insiders of making Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill the “fall guy” for mistakes made in the handling of the Covid-19 crisis after he confirmed his resignation.

Sir Mark announced yesterday he was standing down from his role as both Cabinet Secretary and the UK’s national security adviser.

Former head of the Civil Service Lord Kerslake and the civil servants’ union accused Number 10 or those around it of working to “undermine” the former diplomat.

Boris Johnson has nominated Sir Mark for a life peerage and asked him to lead a new G7 panel on global economic security as the UK prepares to assume the presidency next year.

Man to appear in court over Reading attack

A man will appear in court this morning charged with murdering three men and attempting to murder three other people in the knife attack in Reading.

Twenty-five-year-old Khairi Saadallah, from the town, was charged a week after the attack in Reading’s Forbury Gardens.

US state ditches its flag because of Confederate emblem

Mississippi lawmakers have voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from their state flag, more than a century after white supremacist legislators adopted the design.

Mississippi’s House and Senate voted in succession yesterday to retire the flag, with each chamber drawing broad bipartisan support for the historic decision.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves has said he will sign the bill that will strip the flag of its official status but he has not said when that will be.

A commission will design a new flag and then voters will be asked to approve it.

On this day…

1613: The Globe Theatre in London burnt down after a cannon was fired during a Shakespeare play and set fire to the straw roof.

1620: After earlier denouncing smoking as a health hazard, King James I banned the growing of tobacco in Britain.

1801: The first census in Britain was carried out showing a population totalling 8,872,000.

1855: The Daily Telegraph was published in London for the first time, priced two pence, with Alfred Bate Richards its first editor.

1905: The inaugural meeting of the Automobile Association (AA) took place at the Trocadero Restaurant in London, attended by 50 motorists.

1960: BBC Television Centre opened in London.

1966: Barclays Bank introduced Barclaycard, the first British credit card.

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