Tuesday morning news briefing: Rule, Britannia!... without the words

Danny Boyle
·5 min read
Blower links the return to school with the Proms row in today's cartoon
Blower links the return to school with the Proms row in today's cartoon

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Proms row as BBC plays Rule, Britannia without words

The patriotic anthem will play, but the words will not be heard. The BBC has defied the Government by announcing that Rule, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory would not be sung at this year's Last Night of the Proms. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden had warned the Corporation not to "erase history" by dropping the songs amid a row over colonialism. But the BBC instead effectively censored them by choosing to play orchestral versions, with no soloist singing the lyrics. With no audience because of coronavirus restrictions, there will be no one to sing along either. One government source described the decision as "incredible" and Tory MPs accused the broadcaster of failing to understand the context of the songsCharles Moore argues that Rule Britannia is about freedom, not slavery. And Chief Classical Music Critic Ivan Hewett reveals the surprising stories behind the Last Night bombast.

Meanwhile, the British Museum has removed a bust of its founding father from its pedestal and labelled him a "slave owner" in an attempt to confront its links to colonialism. Sir Hans Sloane's likeness has instead been placed in a secure cabinet alongside artefacts that explain his work in the "exploitative context of the British Empire". Curators said the Black Lives Matter movement had been a catalyst for the decision.

First case of coronavirus patient being reinfected

The first case of a patient being reinfected with Covid-19 has been confirmed - leading to fears that vaccines might not work. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong sequenced the virus in a healthy man, who tested positive twice at airport screenings four and a half months apart, and found he had been infected with two different strains. Science Editor Sarah Knapton reports that Chinese scientists said it showed that long-term immunity cannot be guaranteed. They added people who have already had the virus still needed to comply with social distancing.

It is not just M&S clothing, it is vintage St Michael

In the Eighties, Marks and Spencer's St Michael label was a hallmark for shoppers looking to buy quality, British-made clothes. But its appeal gradually faded and the brand later discontinued. Now though, perhaps proving the adage that everything comes back around in fashion, clothes by the St Michael brand have found a new audience: young, British fashion lovers. Caroline Leaper explains how the pieces - now considered genuine "vintage" - have had a revival on eBay and Depop.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Republican convention | Donald Trump claimed the Democrats were trying to "steal" the election with increased postal voting and would take away Americans' guns if they won office in an unexpected speech lasting almost an hour. Addressing a few hundred cheering delegates in North Carolina on the opening day of the party’s four-day convention, the US president appeared to be enjoying himself as he touted his achievements in office. US Editor Ben Riley-Smith reports how Mr Trump made exaggerated claims about his political opponents. These are the five made-for-TV speeches to watch at the Republican convention.  

Around the world: High water in Haiti

A girl wades towards her house in flooded water the day after Tropical Storm Laura lashed Port-au-Prince in Haiti. Forecasters fear it could become a major hurricane along the US Gulf Coast. View more striking pictures from around the world in today's gallery.

Tropical Storm Laura is expected to make landfall in the US this week - Dieu Nalio Chery /AP
Tropical Storm Laura is expected to make landfall in the US this week - Dieu Nalio Chery /AP

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice: Features and arts

  1. Selling Sunset | How millionaire property TV show became a standout hit

  2. The 'dad hat' | All the cool kids are wearing one (and, no, it's not a baseball cap)

  3. To the point | All the things Boomers do that Millennials hate. Full stop.

Business and money briefing

Germany cannot emerge from crisis alone | Part two of our five-part series into how major European economies have coped with coronavirus looks at Germany, where Angela Merkel has thrown enormous sums of money at the crisis. Justin Huggler reports from Berlin that a full recovery is dependent on how the rest of Europe fares.  

Sport briefing

Cricket | James Anderson can expect a chorus of adulation if and when he claims his 600th Test wicket. But, in Sir Geoffrey Boycott's eyes, that does not in itself make him the greatest bowler that England ever produced. Read how Anderson earned a place in his all-time England XI.  

And finally... for this morning's downtime

'I met my school bully' | After suffering the long-term effects of school bullying, writer Charlie Hoare contacted his former tormentor - and found out far more than he expected. Twenty years on, read how they met up to talk about its effect on both of them.