Newslinks for Wednesday 14th April 2021

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Greensill 1) Top civil servant Bill Crothers worked for Greensill while in Whitehall

“Senior civil servants are being allowed to work as advisers to private companies under an arrangement authorised by the Cabinet Office. The government admitted yesterday that Bill Crothers, one of Britain’s most senior civil servants, was given permission to work part-time as a director at Greensill Capital while he was still in Whitehall. Crothers spent three years as chief commercial officer, overseeing about £40 billion of taxpayers’ money, for which he was paid £149,000 a year. He took a part-time board advisory role with Greensill Capital, now at the centre of a lobby scandal involving David Cameron, in September 2015 while he was still employed as a civil servant and went on to be a director of the company. In correspondence published yesterday, Crothers suggested that other civil servants had worked part-time for companies, describing his dual role as “not uncommon”.” – The Times

  • Labour steps up pressure over Cameron’s Greensill lobbying – FT

Comment:

Coronavirus 1) Quarter of Covid deaths not caused by virus, new figures show

“Almost a quarter of registered Covid deaths are people who are not dying from the disease, new official figures show, as the Government was urged to move faster with the roadmap in the light of increasingly positive data. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 23 per cent of coronavirus deaths registered are now people who have died “with” the virus rather than “from” an infection. This means that, while the person who died will have tested positive for Covid, that was not the primary cause of their death recorded on the death certificate. Other data also shows an increasingly positive picture of the state of the pandemic in the UK. Daily death figures by “date of death” reveal that Britain has had no more than 28 deaths a day since the beginning of April, even though the government-announced deaths have been as high as 60.” – Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus 2) Hancock claims Covid vaccines will be offered to everyone in their forties ‘in line with supplies’

“Matt Hancock today claimed the Covid vaccine roll-out will expand to everyone in their forties ‘in line with supplies’, leaving millions of adults left to guess about when they will be invited. England’s campaign was today officially expanded to all over-45s after No10 hit its other vaccination milestone three days ahead of schedule, with everyone in the top nine priority groups now invited for their first Covid jab. But with a supply shortage of AstraZeneca forcing the NHS to focus on second doses, ministers haven’t been able to widen the scheme to those under 45. The Health Secretary gave no further details in the Commons today, telling MPs that Number 10 was ‘on track’ to deliver on its ambitious promise of inviting every adult for their first vaccine by the end of July. Just moments after England announced it would press ahead with the drive to reach 3.7m more adults, the NHS booking website crashed.” – Daily Mail

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