‘There’s a danger if you come from a working class background… that the establishment will absorb you’ – Diane Abbott on getting into politics

Diane Abbott has been making history and headlines throughout her career.

She was the first black woman to be elected to parliament and the first black MP to represent her party at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Now a new authorised biography details her rise from working-class roots to Labour front bencher.

And it explores the thorny issues around that crushing defeat in last December’s election.

We went to meet her in her constituency.

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Premier League giants must step up to help struggling smaller clubs, says Tory minister

Premier League giants should help struggling lower-league clubs battling to survive the coronavirus pandemic, a top Government minister has said.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden urged cash-soaked sides to pump emergency funds into less well-off clubs.

Some fear they could go out of business as ongoing Covid-19 restrictions mean they cannot admit fans – denying them vital ticket receipts, bar takings and snacks’ sales.

Many also rely on hosting hospitality and conference events, which are also banned amid the ongoing fight against the disease.

Mr Dowden told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “First of all we need to look to the Premier League.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Premier League giants need to help struggling lower-tier clubs

“I’ve been touch with the Premier League a lot over the past few days, they’re working closely with the EFL (English Football League) to see how they can support them.

“The Prime Minister and I have been clear, the Premier League needs to start by looking after the football family as a whole and indeed they’re having productive conversations and I’m hopeful that they’ll reach a deal this coming week in relation to that.”

It is understood a rescue package could be unveiled as early as Tuesday.

Plans to allow limited numbers of supporters back into grounds were shelved last week as infection rates soared.

Clubs fear it could be six months before fans can return.

Mr Dowden said: “It simply is not possible against this backdrop of rising infections, and I think if we went ahead against this backdrop of rising infections there will be real concern from spectators and indeed from the general public thinking, ‘Why are we doing this at this stage?’”

He added: “We keep this constantly under review.

“At this time of rapidly rising infections we didn’t feel that this was the right time.

“If we start to get this under control of course we’ll continue to review it.

“We are working for example with the clubs, with medical advisers to see what kind of further innovations we can introduce to further decrease the risk.”

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Property investment – Britain’s coming commercial property slump | Britain

AMONG THE assets that adorn the queen’s property portfolio are 17 provincial shopping and leisure centres. On September 18th Crown Estates, which manages the monarch’s portfolio, wrote down their value by 17%, cutting Her Majesty’s net worth by £552.5m ($700m). Set against the £13.4bn valuation of her entire property portfolio, which includes swanky London addresses such as Regent Street and St James’s, that is fairly small beer. But the outlook even for the top end of the market has darkened: the Crown Estates expect “profit and property valuations to be significantly down” over the coming year.

Covid-19 has accelerated the growth of online retailing, hamstrung the hospitality sector and thrown the future of the office into question. None of this is good news for commercial-property owners. The consensus forecast of a recent survey of 24 large property investors and consultants by the Investment Property Forum (IPF), a trade body, was that capital values would drop by 12% in 2020.

The headline numbers hide a lot of variability. Industrial units are expected to perform reasonably well while retail, and especially shopping centres, will take the largest hit. The IPF survey suggests a 28% fall in shopping centre valuations and 20% drop in other types of retail premises. Shopping centres are struggling with the loss of the large department stores that once acted as anchor tenants and widespread closures of chain restaurants that used to draw in customers. A big landlord talks of a rise of “mission-based shopping” and expects people will be less keen to hang around in indoor retail parks in future. Another property investor expects 300 of Britain’s 650-or-so shopping centres to close.

The greatest uncertainty, says Andrew Burrell, head of property at Capital Economics, a consultancy, is over offices, for their future depends on how the pandemic plays out. Estimates for capital values in 2020 for City offices range from a fall of over 20% to modest positive growth.

Nobody quite knows what commercial property in Britain is worth. If, as some trade bodies suggest, it is £1.6trn, then small percentage declines would mean huge declines in value. The IPF put the size of the invested stock (the part of commercial property held for investment purposes) at £512bn in 2018; which, on the basis of guesses about what is happening this year, would mean a decline in value of over £50bn.

Commercial-property busts in the mid-1970s, the early 1990s and 2007 all triggered losses at banks that led to a wider tightening of credit availability with ramifications across the rest of the economy. But this time financial regulators are more relaxed. Banks are better capitalised and less exposed to commercial property than in 2007. Pension funds’ holdings of commercial property have increased in the past decade because of low returns from bonds, but typical allocations are only around 5% of their total assets and even a large fall in capital values would be offset by higher returns this year in other assets such as global equities.

Ownership is more diversified, too. Foreigners own 30% of invested stock, up from 17% in 2007. The Qatari sovereign-wealth fund, with landmarks such as Canary Wharf, the Shard and Chelsea Barracks, is now the biggest owner of commercial property in London by square footage. The Kuwaitis have also been on a buying spree, snapping up City Hall, the mayor’s office, in 2013.

But there will be ripple effects in Britain. More than two-thirds of small-to-medium-sized businesses use commercial property as collateral; corporate investment tends to move in sync with commercial-property prices. A 10% drop in valuations, according to a study, would cut firms’ investment by 1%. A decline in property values would also hit business rates (worth some 1.4% of GDP) and thus public-sector revenues. But though some landlords may fail, and some pension funds and insurance companies take a hit, it is unlikely to be on the scale of 2007-09.

This article appeared in the Britain section of the print edition under the headline “A pain in the portfolio”

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Josh Taylor stops Apinun Khongsong inside first round to retain world light-welterweight titles

Josh Taylor remains a unified light-welterweight world champion after an emphatic and swift victory over challenger Apinun Khongsong on Saturday night.

The ‘Tartan Tornado’ made light work of his Thai opponent behind closed doors at London’s York Hall, stopping him inside the first round.

Taylor left Khongsong sprawled on the canvas after a crunching left uppercut to the body that led to the end of the bout after just two minutes and 41 seconds.

“That sank right in. I felt it sinking in straight away,” he told BT Sport afterwards.

“I knew from watching him on videos, he swings on the break when you’re in close on the clinch, he swings straight away always with a hook and an uppercut.

“I sort of pressed in against him, smothered him up and pushed him against the ropes and as he threw the right hand, I hit him with a left hook which I felt sinking right in.

“I knew it was a real good shot. I didn’t know it hurt to him that extent until I turned round and saw him lying on the floor.

“When I watched him on the replay it sunk right in, I felt it going right through my arm so I knew it was a good shot.”

Victory saw Scotland’s Taylor retain the IBF title he took from Ivan Baranchyk last year as well as the WBA (Super) belt he won against Regis Prograis 11 months ago.

On the undercard, former WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards began life at bantamweight with a decision win against Kyle Williams.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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How lockdown restrictions have brought Scotland’s nightlife to the brink of collapse

Sweaty, boozy and with plenty of close physical contact: it’s perhaps no surprise nightclubs and live music venues were forced to shut early in the coronavirus pandemic.

The Night Time Industries Association has launched a campaign to allow more venues to reopen – saying thousands of jobs will go if clubs remain closed.

And owners say that if people aren’t allowed to dance in their clubs, revellers will just go to illegal raves instead.

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Thug battered teen girlfriend’s face with gas bottle and ‘threatened to blow her up’

A thug who battered his teenage girlfriend’s face with a gas bottle and threatened to blow her up has been jailed.

Jamie-Lee Clarke, 29, subjected his younger girlfriend to a ‘sustained and brutal’ attack which saw him bite her ears and even try to gouge her eyes out with his thumbs.

Clarke repeatedly punched the helpless 19-year-old in the face with such force she could feel herself swallowing blood, a court heard.

After smashing her around the face with a gas canister, Clarke threatened to blow her up with it and punched her in the back.

His victim ‘made pleas to be released but Clarke continued’ and it was even heard the girl swallowed her own vomit because she ‘did not want to upset him any further’ by making a mess.

At Southampton Crown Court, Judge Christopher Henry slammed Clarke after he grinned during his sentencing hearing

The girl, who is not being named, was subjected to the horrific attack throughout April 18 this year at Southampton Common, Hants.

She finally managed to escape Clarke by telling him she needed the toilet and upon fleeing a Good Samaritan spotted her ‘visibly shaking’ and drove her to the hospital.

The member of the public had seen her with marks across her face and a black eye before spotting a male running down the road so quickly got the girl safely into his car.

At Southampton Crown Court, Judge Christopher Henry slammed Clarke after he grinned during his sentencing hearing.

Clarke was jailed for 41 months following the brutal assault which left the teenager unable to open her jaw and covered in bruises.

Clarke, who admitted ABH, has 28 previous court appearances for 56 offences which include theft, dishonesty, assaulting a PCSO, breaching a restraining order, harassment and for public order.

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What are the local lockdown rules in Manchester, Glasgow, Bradford, Preston and Northern Ireland?

Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire

The rules: People in the Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire local authority areas should not meet with people from other households in indoor household settings, whether in these areas or elsewhere. Members of different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in gardens, and in hospitality settings.

Anyone living in this area who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 should isolate for 14 days. This quarantine extends to everyone in their household group.

Indoor visits to hospitals and care homes are limited to essential visits only. Outdoor visits to care homes are permitted by up to three individuals at a time from no more than two households.

Northern Ireland

The rules: Limits are in place on indoor and outdoor gatherings. Health Minister Robin Swann said that the number of people who could meet in groups outdoors was now 15, down from 30, following a rise in cases.

Groups meeting indoors is now limited to six people from two households, down from 10 people, while there will be additional police enforcement in affected areas.

Which areas are at risk of a second lockdown?

Birmingham has been added to a watchlist amid growing concerns about a rise in cases. The city will get more testing and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, is meeting council leaders to discuss next steps.

Cases are rising quickly, with 25.5 cases per 100,000 people recently. More than half of these were among people aged 18 to 34. On August 22, police were called to more than 70 street and house parties and other unlicensed gatherings.

Birmingham Council launched a new whistleblowing hotline in an attempt to curb the rise in cases. Since August 26, the council can investigate businesses suspected of noncompliance, restaurants have been banned from taking bookings of more than six people, and weddings and funerals could be stopped if more than 30 guests are expected.

Northampton, where the rate of infection stands at 78.4 cases per 100,000 people, is also on the watchlist.

weekly watchlist of affected areas is produced by Public Health England.

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A summer break – In England, reopening has not been the disaster many feared | Britain

AT THE START of June, when England took a big step out of lockdown, many observers were nervous. Dissenting members of the official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned the government that allowing people to mingle risked another flare-up. The new test-and-trace system, intended to squash outbreaks, had only just been established. Polling found that the public believed ministers were being insufficiently cautious.

The government’s decision to ease restrictions was a gamble, but one that has paid off. Following a small rise in July, the Office for National Statistics’ infection survey, which tests a sample of people in England and Wales each week, finds that the number of cases has since remained flat. Although there has been a gradual rise in the number of positive test results, much of this is accounted for by the fact that the number of tests has increased, meaning more asymptomatic cases are found and false positives recorded. Hospital admissions remain very low.

England has so far avoided the spikes seen recently in France and Spain, meaning it is now in a similar position to Germany (see chart). A recent study found that 6% of people in England have antibodies, which may offer some protection against the virus. There is huge uncertainty about the level at which herd immunity kicks in, but even London—where the study found 13% of people had antibodies—appears short of the most optimistic estimates.

The state has begun to do a better job at preventing covid-19’s spread. The test-and-trace system still has flaws, not least in the time it takes to get results from tests. But there is now a functioning system, which helps suppress the growth of cases, as do local restrictions where necessary. After a weak start, Britain is now a testing heavyweight. Over the last week for which there is data, it carried out 2.5 tests per 1,000 people, compared with 1.7 in Spain and Germany, and 1.8 in France.

Public caution has played a part in keeping cases down, too. According to Google’s mobility statistics, Britons are less likely to have returned to work than those in other big European countries; something the government, concerned by the economic implications, is now trying to change. John Edmunds, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and one of the dissenting SAGE members when restrictions were eased, notes that cross-country data imply “the release from lockdown has resulted in larger changes to at-risk behaviour [in Europe] than here.” It is unclear why this is.

With children returning to school and students to university, and people moving indoors as the weather cools, keeping cases down will soon become trickier. “I think although we’ve got a lot of testing going on, we probably don’t have anywhere near as much as we will need to manage the next month or so,” says Sir John Bell of the University of Oxford. There has been a worrying jump in cases in Scotland, and it will be difficult to avoid importing cases from parts of Europe that are currently seeing spikes, given the volume of summer travel. Removing restrictions went better than expected in England. That does not mean some will not have to be reimposed over the coming months.

Editor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub

This article appeared in the Britain section of the print edition under the headline “A summer break”

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US Open 2020 tennis results LIVE: Day Seven latest scores, Djokovic DISQUALIFIED, Osaka later; Zverev through

US Open 2020 – LIVE!

We’re onto Day 7 at Flushing Meadows as the round of 16 ties begin ahead of the second week of action in New York.

Novak Djokovic extended his incredible unbeaten run in 2020 to 26 matches against Jan-Lennard Struff and the Serbian is in action today, facing 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta for a place in the quarter-finals.

There are high hopes for Alexander Zverev to challenge tennis’ elite for a first Grand Slam. But the German must first get past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who knocked out Cameron Norrie in the third round.

In the women’s draw, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka takes on Estonian 14th seed Anett Kontaveit, while Yulia Putintseva takes centre stage against no.8 seed Petra Martic at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.

Live Updates

Though Djokovic’s disqualification was entirely within the rules, and arguably justified, it’s worth noting it was accidental and he showed genuine care for the lineswoman. 

A timeline of events

So, let’s have a quick refresh of exactly what has just unfolded on the Arthur Ashe court. 

Djokovic looked sharp and composed as he carved open three set points on Carreno Busta’s serve, who was 0-40 down. 

Djokovic inexplicably went for a drop shot from deep, which handed the Spaniard a way back into the game, which he converted to level at 5-5. 

The Serb then slipped awkwardly on his shoulder to go 0-30 down, needing a brief medical timeout. 

Djokovic then returned to the court, where he lost his serve to 15, subsequently turning and firing accidentally at the lineswoman. 

The ball appeared to hit her in the throat, which left her in real distress as she yelled out. 

Djokovic was clearly immediately concerned for her well-being, but after a 10-minute discussion with the tournament supervisor, he was disqualified by default. 

Certainly not the sight we were expecting just a few minutes ago…

On disqualifications by default, it added:

 “The Referee in consultation with the Grand Slam Chief of Supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this Code or pursuant to the Point Penalty Schedule set out above.

“In all cases of default, the decision of the Referee in consultation with the Grand Slam Chief of Supervisors shall be final and unappealable.”

Following the incident Amazon Prime displayed the 2020 Official Grand Slam rule book which the tournament supervisor had adhered to. 

It read: “Players shall not at any time physically abuse any offocial, opponent spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site. 

“In circumstances that are flagrant and particularly injurious to the success of a tournament, or are singularly egregious, a single violation of this Section shall also constitute the Major Offence of “Aggravated Behaviour”. 

“For the purposes of this Rule, physical abuse is the unauthorised touching of an official, opponent, spectator or other person.”

Djokovic is out of the tournament by default!

Pablo Carreno Busta now progresses to the quarter-final, where he’ll play the winner of Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin. 

The world number one’s exit means this year’s US Open will be the first Slam without Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals since the French Open in 2004. 

Djokovic has been disqualified! 

There is a major incident on court. After Djokovic was broken, he fired a ball in frustration that hit a lineswoman, who was in some distress. 

Djokovic is now being spoken to by the referee. 


Djokovic 5-6 Carreno Busta

Well, how about that? Just a few minutes ago, it was Djokovic looking comfy with three set points. 

Carreno Busta has now broken, with Djokovic clearly not happy with his shoulder. 

Djokovic 5-5 Carreno Busta – Djokovic is down injured

Well, this looks quite a worry. Djokovic has slipped and landed awkwardly on his arm and has now called for the physio as we have a break in play. 

He looks in some discomfort but will carry on for now. He’s 0-30 down, though. Opportunity for Carreno Busta. 

Djokovic 5-5 Carreno Busta 

Wow. Djokovic races to a 0-40 lead and has three points to take the opening set.

Carreno Busta battles back to deuce with a delightful drop shot at 30-40, before closing out the game with two big serves. 

Djokovic 5-4 Carreno Busta 

The world number one is putting on a serving masterclass. He’s lost just three points on serve so far as he holds to love once more. 

Carreno Busta now serves to stay in the match. 

Djokovic 4-4 Carreno Busta 

That’s a big hold for Carreno Busta, who survives the first break point of the match to level at 4-4. He was taken to deuce three times in the most competitive game of the match, but he came through it well. 

Djokovic 4-3 Carreno Busta 

That is simply brilliant from the world number one. At 15-15, Djokovic comes up with a stunning second serve ace, a real sign of where his confidence is. 

He then rattles off his second and third consecutive ace, already hitting eight in just four service games. 

He’s hit 15 of his 19 first serves in so far. Carreno Busta’s just not had a sniff. 

Djokovic 3-3 Carreno Busta 

‘Anything you can do, I can do better’.  Carreno Busta holds to love for the first time in the match with Djokovic unable to answer any of his four serves. 

It’s a strong start from the 29-year-old Spaniard.  

Djokovic 3-2 Carreno Busta 

It’s difficult to see how Carreno Busta will get any break opportunities if Djokovic keeps serving like this. 

At 30-15, he rattles away his fifth ace in just his third service game, before an unreturnable serve out wide seals the game. 

The opening five games have taken just 16 minutes. This is rapid tennis. 

Djokovic 2-2 Carreno Busta 

Carreno Busta holds to level Djokovic at 2-2. He races into a 40-0 lead with two unreturned serves and an ace down the “T”. 

Djokovic pulls it back to 40-30 to put the pressure on, but sends a forehand long to hand the game to the 20th seed. 

Over on the Louis Armstrong Stadium, Women’s seed no6 Petra Kvitova has started her fourth round match against American Shelby Rodgers. 

We’ll keep you up to date with what’s going on over there. 

Djokovic 2-1 Carreno Busta 

Well, if Carreno Busta’s service game was competitive, Djokovic’s certainly wasn’t. He holds to 15, closing out with an unreturnable serve. Easy. 

Djokovic 1-1 Carreno Busta 

After Djokovic breezed through his opening game, it’s immediately more competitive with the pair even at 30-30. 

Carreno Busta sets up game point with a thumping smash after a pin-point serve out wide. 

The Spaniard then shows exquisite movement to pick up two dipping drop shots before sending a cross-court forehand past the world number one. 

Good start by both. 

Order of Play (times in BST)

Arthur Ashe Stadium

5pm: (23) Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 (8) Petra Martic (Cro), (1) Novak Djokovic (Ser) v Pablo Carreno-Busta (Spa)

12am: (12) Denis Shapovalov (Can) v (7) David Goffin (Bel), (4) Naomi Osaka (Jpn) v (14) Anett Kontaveit (Est)

Louis Armstrong Stadium

4pm: (28) Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-1, 6-3 (17) Angelique Kerber (Ger), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (Spa) 2-6, 2-6, 1-6 (5) Alexander Zverev (Ger), Shelby Rogers (USA) v (6) Petra Kvitova (Cze), (27) Borna Coric (Cro) v Jordan Thompson (Aus)

Court 17

4pm: Christopher Eubanks (USA) & MacKenzie McDonald (USA) 6-7, 2-6 (3) Rajeev Ram (USA) & Joe Salisbury (Gbr), (8) Wesley Koolhof (Ned) v Nikola Metkic (Cro) v Sander Gille (Bel) & Joran Vliegen (Bel), Anna Blinkova (Rus) & Polina Kudermetova (Rus) 6-4, 6-2 (4) Kveta Peschke (Cze) & Demi Schuurs (Ned), Laura Siegemund (Ger) & Vera Zvonareva (Rus) v (2) Elise Mertens (Bel) & Aryna Sabalenka (Blr)

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