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The Breakfast Briefing: Schools u-turn, Boris Johnson says ‘Black Lives Matter’, and Japan talks kick off

The Breakfast Briefing: Schools u-turn, Boris Johnson says ‘Black Lives Matter’, and Japan talks kick off

Boris Johnson used a video message to address the Black Lives Matters protesters.

6 min read

Your essential guide to what’s moving in Westminster this morning.

▸    Good morning...
...and welcome to the PoliticsHome Breakfast Briefing for Tuesday June 9.
The big stories kicking off the political day

The Government is set to shelve its plan to get all primary school pupils in England back into the classroom before the summer break. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will update MPs this afternoon on the aim to get all primary pupils to spend at least four weeks at school before the end of term. And Mr Williamson is expected to concede that many primary school pupils will not return to the classroom until the new school year in the autumn. The Government’s coronavirus ‘roadmap’, which spells out how it will ease a raft of lockdown measures, marks out an “ambition” for all primary school children to return for four weeks of lessons before they break up for summer.

Boris Johnson has said the Government “can’t ignore” the concerns raised by the Black Lives Matter protests — but warned those demonstrating against breaking the law. The Prime Minister said the wave of demonstrations that have taken place around the country in recent days reflected “a cold reality” facing minority ethnic groups. But he insisted Britain had “made huge strides” in tackling racism since the 1970s — and accused some of those taking part of “hijacking a peaceful protest and undermining it”.
Matt Hancock has launched a new social care task force to "keep staff and residents safe" from coronavirus. The Health Secretary said the "National Covid-19 Social Care Support Taskforce" would lead the next phase of the Government's response to the virus as it continues to ease lockdown measures across the country. Speaking at the daily Downing Street briefing, Mr Hancock said the group would "oversee delivery of the next phase of our plan for social care. Ensuring that care homes have the support, the training, the resources they need to control this virus".
A bill bringing in “no-fault” divorces in England and Wales has been backed by MPs despite concerns from some Conservatives. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill passed its first Commons hurdle by 231 votes to 16 against - with 12 Tory MPs voting against. Among the dozen Conservative MPs who voted against the bill on Monday night were David Amess, Fiona Bruce, Philip Davies, John Hayes, Edward Leigh and Desmond Swayne. But, speaking in the Commons, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: "Where divorce is inevitable, this bill seeks to make the legal process less painful."
The start of post-Brexit trade talks between Britain and Japan represents an “historic moment” for the two countries, the International Trade Secretary has said. As negotiations get underway via videolink on Tuesday, Liz Truss said Britain wanted to go “further than the deal previously agreed” between Japan and the European Union. The Department for International Trade said the agreement would “build on the existing EU-Japan deal”, with the Government eyeing “additional benefits” in areas including digital technology and e-commerce in a bid to establish the UK as a “global technology superpower”.
Scrapping the Government’s foreign aid department would risk undermining the global fight against the coronavirus, MPs have warned Boris Johnson. In a new report, the Commons’ International Development Committee said the Department for International Development (DfID) should stay independent and represented by its own Cabinet minister. And they warned that the "significant impact" of Covid-19 on developing countries meant now was not the time to "impair the effectiveness of aid" by ordering a Whitehall shake-up.
The UK’s much-maligned electoral laws are due for a shake-up after calls for them to be brought into the digital age. A review is being set up the Committee on Standards in Public Life which will look into campaign expenditure, regulation and enforcement by the Electoral Commission, police and prosecutors.

What we're keeping an eye on

830: UK in a Changing Europe launches Brexit stocktake report
845: National Infrastructure Commission chair Sir John Armitt at Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee session on major projects
930: Treasury committee hears from Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Government on economic impact of Covid-19
930: Deaths registered in England and Wales - weekly statistics
930: Minister Caroline Dinenage at DCMS committee session on impact of Covid-19 on culture sector
930: Health and Social Care committee session on social care funding in wake of the pandemic
1230: Coronavirus in Scotland - Nicola Sturgeon daily briefing
1400: Department of Health daily update on coronavirus figures
1500: Gibraltar’s chief minister Fabian Picardo at Lords European Union Committee session on progress of UK/EU future relationship
1700: Government coronavirus press conference expected

“We have a democracy in this country. If you want to change the urban landscape, you can stand for election, or vote for someone who will.” Boris Johnson on protesters who toppled a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol.

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Making headlines elsewhere...
The Times: Edward Colston statue: Bristol faces up to legacy of the man who helped build it
The Telegraph: Chaos and confusion at UK airports as new arrivals grapple with quarantine laws
The Sun: Nine million workers on furlough warned ‘significant’ number face redundancy as Government scheme ends in days
The Guardian: UK ministers face legal challenge for refusal to order PPE inquiry
Sky: Home Secretary Priti Patel recalls being 'racially abused in the streets' our pick of the comment pages

David Olusoga, The Guardian: The toppling of Edward Colston's statue is not an attack on history. It is history
Alex Massie, The Times: Let us study the Empire’s sins in all their shades of grey
Rachael Maskell MP, personal blog: Don’t lecture me on participating
Fraser Nelson: The Spectator, war and slavery: a note on our history
Stephen Bush, New Statesman: Is Keir Starmer’s political project working?

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