• News
    The Telegraph

    How the UK's vaccine gamble paid off – and the EU left itself without a leg to stand on

    Back in March, the University of Oxford was on the brink of signing a deal with the German drugs giant Merck to research and develop a coronavirus vaccine. The Government stepped in and helped steer Oxford towards a partnership with British-based AstraZeneca instead, taking a huge gamble by helping to fund the research and development of a vaccine that might have proved useless. Instead, the Oxford vaccine became only the second in the Western world to be approved for use, and both the UK and AstraZeneca are now reaping the benefits of the deal that was struck last April. AstraZeneca has, so far, remained fiercely loyal to the Government, resolutely refusing to give in to EU demands that it should redirect supplies of its UK-made vaccine to the bloc. But that close relationship has come under unprecedented strain as the company found itself under huge pressure from Brussels.

  • News
    The Telegraph

    A 'cold shower for Europeans': EU press gives damning verdict of AstraZeneca row

    Europe’s press has again given wide-ranging coverage to the row between Britain and the EU over the supply of vaccines, with one paper saying that Boris Johnson’s “gamble” in getting a head-start on production had paid off. The EU has urged AstraZeneca to divert millions of doses from UK plants, but the British government has resisted those demands. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, told the BBC on Thursday: "The supplies that have been planned, paid for and scheduled should continue." Asked whether he would allow vaccines manufactured in the UK to be diverted to the EU, he said "no", adding that there must be no interruption to the British vaccination programme. AstraZeneca says it can only deliver the EU a fraction of the doses between now and March due to production problems at plants in Europe. De Standaard, a Belgian newspaper, said the success of the Prime Minister’s move was a source of great frustration to the French, in particular, who are lagging far behind in their vaccine programme. It suggested that Brexiteers would take heart from that because Paris had regularly taken a hardline stance in the Brexit negotiations. The Flemish newspaper said that Mr Johnson liked to take risks and in this case, as opposed to in Brexit, the gambit had worked. Another Belgian paper, Het Nieuwsblad, said the unprecedented public attacks by the European Commission were designed to bring AstraZeneca "to its knees". "These doses are crucial to give a long-awaited boost to slow European vaccination campaigns," the paper said. It quoted Hendrik Vos, a professor of European politics, who said the Commission wanted to prove the shortfall was not its fault.

  • News
    The Guardian

    EU could block millions of Covid vaccine doses entering UK with new powers

    EU could block millions of Covid vaccine doses entering UK with new powers. European commission says new mechanism will give national regulators power to refuse exports

  • News
    The Telegraph

    British holidaymakers will be stopped at border and sent home, Priti Patel warns

    People attempting to go on holiday will be stopped at the border and sent home, Priti Patel said as she hit out at social media influencers for boasting about beating travel bans. The Home Secretary said anyone without a valid reason to leave the UK will be turned back and face fines of £200 as part of a travel crackdown to prevent the spread of new Covid strains that could undermine vaccines. People will be expected to fill out a "declaration" form explaining why they need to travel before they leave home, which will then be checked by airlines, police and border force officers. Ms Patel said that even in lockdown individuals had been flouting bans on non-essential travel, citing some turning up at St Pancras Eurostar terminal with their skis, a situation that was "clearly not acceptable". "We see plenty of influencers on social media showing off about which parts of the world they are in, mainly in sunny parts of the world. Going on holiday is not an exemption and it's important that people stay at home," the Home Secretary told MPs.

  • Entertainment
    Hello!

    The Repair Shop's Suzie Fletcher's heartache on losing her husband to cancer

    Each week, viewers love settling down and watching the comforting and at times moving BBC programme The Repair Shop. The show sees a panel of experts take precious family heirlooms and possessions and restore them to their original state and fantastic glory. One of those experts is Suzie Fletcher who is an expert in leather and saddle-making. MORE: Who is in The Repair Shop's Suzie Fletcher's family? Suzie joined the BBC show in series two The equestrian-loving expert has been on the BBC show since season two when she joined after being convinced by her brother Steve, who also appears. Before joining the show, however, Suzie had a tough time when she sadly lost her husband to cancer. MORE: Meet The Repair Shop's music box expert Stephen Kember MORE: The Repair Shop's Will Kirk melts fans' hearts with photos of new venture MORE: The Repair Shop star Jay Blades details incredible story of discovering 25 siblings She was living in the US when he husband passed, and it was his passing that convinced to her join the show and do something different on her return to the UK. "Every time [Steve] called he looked to be having such a good time I jokingly said, 'If they need anyone to do leather I'm your gal.' I really was joking but after several phone calls and a lot of reassurance from Steve I agreed to give it a go and joined the team," she explained. Suzie was persuaded to join by her brother Steve "I'm so happy I did as this is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever been involved with. It's also helped me through some very dark days." Suzie's husband sadly passed away from cancer and has previously referenced her grief on the show. When a rocking horse that needed repairing came into the shop during last year's series from its late owner, who also passed away from cancer, Suzie was overcome with emotion. Suzie with her fellow The Repair Shop co-stars "I felt like I'd been hit by a sledgehammer when I discovered Paul Yates had written his name and the date beneath the saddle. He did it when he and his wife would have had all those dreams and plans ahead of them, only to have them snuffed out in the same way they were for me and my husband." Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.