The government is facing a legal fight from campaigners over its guidance banning people in residential care over the age of 65 from taking trips outside their homes.
John’s Campaign, an initiative advocating for relatives to have better access to their loved ones in residential care, has accused the government of acting unlawfully by imposing a “discriminatory” blanket ban.
The advocacy group has said the Equality Act 2010 blocks the kind of “discriminatory approach” it said the government is taking on home care rules.
The campaign is also fighting to see rules requiring anyone who leaves a care home to self-isolate for 14 days overturned.
Meanwhile, Alex Salmond’s pro-independence Alba Party could be “over” before it has even begun, with new polling suggesting the party is on course to claim zero seats in next month’s Holyrood election.
A Survation survey marking the first test of support for the new party found that only 3 per cent of Scottish voters would back Alba on the ballot.
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live blog tracking the latest in UK politics as the government faces a legal challenge to its care home rules.
Government faces legal battle over home care rules
The government is facing a legal battle from campaigners over its guidance blocking residential care residents over the age of 65 from taking trips outside their homes.
John’s Campaign, which advocates for relatives to have better access to their loved ones in residential care, has accused the government of acting unlawfully by imposing a “discriminatory” blanket ban.
The advocacy group has said that the Equality Act 2010 is meant to protect against the “discriminatory approach” it said the government is taking with home care rules enforced in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
John’s Campaign is also fighting to see rules requiring anyone who leaves a care home to self-isolate for 14 days overturned.
Currently, the government’s guidance, which was updated on 8 March, states that trips to see family or friends should only be considered by those who are under 65.
Polling suggests it is ‘all over’ for Alex Salmond’s Alba Party
New polling suggests it is “all over” for Alex Salmond’s pro-independence Alba Party, with one survey putting his party on course to take zero seats in next month’s Holyrood election.
The Survation survey, which is the first to weigh support for the Alba Party, found that only 3 per cent of Scottish voters would support the new party.
Adam Forrest reports:
Most pubs in England may not reopen under April plans, trade body warns
Only around 40 per cent of pubs are likely to have the outdoor space and capabilities to reopen as coronavirus restrictions ease in April, a hospitality industry leader has warned.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Emma McClarkin, the chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said the outdoor dining requirement will present a “huge restriction on capacity”.
She further warned that pubs that do open under the restrictions will likely be “loss making”, with a ban on indoor payments further complicating “how we will serve people in venues”.
The hospitality chief also warned that the potential introduction of vaccine passports could complicate things for the hospitality industry, creating further hurdles for bars and restaurants.
More than 70 MPs join cross-party call urging against vaccine passports
More than 70 MPs have joined a cross-party call urging against the introduction of vaccine passports to help open up England’s economy.
Politicians including Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey and Tory 1922 committee chair Graham Brady have said they believe the use of such certificates would be “divisive and discriminatory”.
Policy correspondent Jon Stone explains:
Windrush campaigners disturbed by omissions in race report
Campaigners advocating for those affected by the Windrush scandal have expressed alarm over the fact that the issue came up just twice in a controversial government-commissioned report on racial disparities in the UK.
The report, which concluded that the UK is no longer a country where “the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities” sparked widespread backlash, with many accusing the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which authored the report, of downplaying the impacts of slavery and seeking to shut down calls to address structural racism.
Speaking to The Guardian, Patrick Vernon, a high profile campaigner in the Windrush scandal said he believed that had the report’s authors focused on the scandal in their report, they would have been forced to “admit there was a systematic, structural failure” in how the Home Office “targeted the Windrush generation”.
“I can see why they haven’t included it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anthony Brown, who heads the Windrush Defenders Legal group in Manchester and who was personally affected by the Windrush scandal, said he felt frustrated that it appeared the government had not “fundamentally taken on board what the Windrush scandal means”.
“A whole cohort of people were marginalised,” he said.