Thursday evening UK news briefing: Five year olds told to wear masks in school

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Chris Price
·6 min read
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You evening briefing from the Telegraph
You evening briefing from the Telegraph

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Schools tell children as young as five to wear masks

Primary schools are telling children to wear face masks in the classroom, the Telegraph can reveal. Ministers have been asked to "urgently" clarify that masks are not only "unnecessary" for young children but could in fact cause a range of potential harms. The Prime Minister announced on Monday that secondary school students should wear masks in the classroom when they return if it is not possible for them to keep two metres apart. Although official guidance from the Department for Education states children in primary schools do not need to wear masks, some headteachers have started to write to parents telling them their children need to use face coverings. Camilla Turner has the details.

Meanwhile, there are concerns schools face an exam appeals "onslaught" as education chiefs warn that Gavin Williamson's plan will see record numbers challenge their grades. Schools are likely to be inundated with pupil requests for their A-level and GCSE grades to be reviewed after the Education Secretary announced teachers' predictions will be used for grades this year. Judith Woods thinks it is time to put Mr Williamson into special measures while Victoria Lambert analyses whether the Education Secretary is setting up teachers to take the blame.

Sunak faces revolt over plans for capital gains tax raid

Conservative MPs have been warned they could be stripped of the Tory whip if they vote against the Government at next week's Budget, as a row begins to brew over possible tax rises. Some backbenchers fear the long-standing fuel duty freeze looks unsustainable given the country's deficit could soon exceed £400bn. Yet Mel Stride, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, warned the Chancellor Rishi Sunak he risks a Tory rebellion if he pushes up capital gains tax, threatening investors' incomes. The Telegraph also understands a six-month extension to the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit will be announced in the Budget as well as grants of up to £7,500 for millions of self-employed workers.

Pike asks why film poster gave her 'massive' breasts

Rosamund Pike has complained that her breasts were "augmented" for a film poster, saying images are so doctored that actors "are losing our grip on what we really look like". Pike appeared alongside Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English Reborn in 2011 and one promotional image showed her in a figure-hugging dress. She said: "In the poster for the character shot, I have got a really impressive chest, which I don't have." Read more.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Lady Gaga dog shooting | Lady Gaga's dog walker has reportedly been shot four times and left for dead while the attackers made off with two of her French Bulldogs. The victim has been named locally as Ryan Fischer, and was looking after the singer’s beloved dogs Koji, Miss Asia and Gustavo when he was attacked. Read on for details.

Around the world: Trump faces hostility in Palm Beach

When he was forced out of the White House in January, Donald Trump thought he had left elections behind - for another four years at least. But one month on, having relocated to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach, Mr Trump faces another vote that could affect his future. The former president's well-heeled neighbours on the southern Florida barrier island, who are usually known to settle disputes discreetly, are orchestrating a public campaign to bar him from living in his Mar-a-Lago club. Rozina Sabur has this dispatch from Florida.

Thursday big-read

The chaos behind Frasier

'Goodnight Seattle': Kelsey Grammer in the final episode of Frasier, which was watched by 33.7 million US viewers
'Goodnight Seattle': Kelsey Grammer in the final episode of Frasier, which was watched by 33.7 million US viewers

In 1993, a sitcom spin-off featuring an unloved character and high-brow gags somehow charmed the world. As Frasier prepares for a comeback, Tristram Fane Saunders reveals how it became a comedy classic

Read the full story

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice

  1. Fresh accusations | Gérard Depardieu's sordid, troubling past is finally catching up with him

  2. Vaccine envy | 'I'm a 50something - why are millennials being jabbed before me?'

  3. Feeling left behind | 'Lots of my close friends moved out of London during the pandemic'

Business and money briefing

Job cuts | Asda is set to slash thousands of jobs in a major restructuring as it prepares for new ownership under the Issa brothers. Up to 5,000 staff could be affected as the supermarket aims to bolster its online offer. It is also hiring thousands of internet order pickers. Details here.

Sport briefing

Wicket chaos | India have claimed a 10-wicket win over England in the third Test, as 17 wickets tumbled for both sides in a action-packed day in Ahmedabad. Read how it happened as India take a 2-1 series lead.

Three things for tonight

And finally... for this evening's downtime

No Sherlock Holmes | The curious case of a Parsee lawyer proved far from elementary for the celebrated author Arthur Conan Doyle. A new book reveals how the Sherlock Holmes creator turned real-life detective – and how he was outfoxed by the police.