Ashley Cowburn, The Independent

Ashley Cowburn

The Independent

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Recent articles by Ashley:

Questions remain over whether Huawei should help to build UK’s 5G network, says Lisa Nandy

Questions remain over whether Huawei should be given approval to develop Britain’s 5G network, Lisa Nandy has said as she accused the Conservatives of a “naive” approach to China over the past decade. → Read More

Minister defends early lockdown relaxation announcement ahead of hot, sunny weekend

George Eustice has defended giving the public “notice” of a relaxation of the lockdown from Monday – despite sunny weather forecast across the country over the weekend. → Read More

Whistleblower accuses union of risking safety over suspected virus case after conference

The National Education Union has been accused by a whistleblower of risking the safety of its members by failing to inform them of a suspected case of coronavirus following a conference held just before the UK-wide lockdown. It comes as the teachers’ body remains engaged in a fierce battle with government over Boris Johnson's plans to partially reopen primary schools at the → Read More

Coronavirus: Evidence on how likely children are to transmit Covid-19 remains ‘inconclusive’, scientific advisers say

Government scientific advisers have suggested evidence on how likely children are to transmit coronavirus remains “inconclusive” – just days before the government plans to partially reopen primary schools. It comes after ministers have come under increasing pressure from teachers, unions and local authorities to reconsider the proposals to gradually ease the Covid-19 lockdown → Read More

‘Who is in charge?’: Leading UK scientist launches scathing attack on government’s coronavirus response

One of the UK’s most distinguished scientists has launched a scathing attack on Boris Johnson’s government, claiming the response to the coronavirus pandemic has been “too much on the back foot” during successive crises. → Read More

Coronavirus: British Council future in jeopardy due to severe impact of pandemic on finances, major union warns

A major union has warned the British Council’s future is in jeopardy without emergency government funding, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a severe impact on the organisation’s financial stability. Founded in 1934, the council is one of the oldest cultural relations bodies in the world and is considered vital to the Foreign Office’s “soft power” overseas – → Read More

'It's a no brainer': MPs demand introduction of privacy law before launching NHS contact tracing app nationwide

MPs are demanding the introduction of a new privacy law before the nationwide roll-out of the NHS smartphone app designed to track new infections of coronavirus across the country. Former deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman, who chairs Westminster’s Joint Committee on Human Rights, said she was "at a loss" why ministers had so far failed to bring a Bill forward to the Commons → Read More

Review launched into plans to relocate MPs to temporary Commons chamber during Parliament restoration

Plans to relocate MPs to a temporary Commons chamber while essential restoration work is carried out on the Palace of Westminster are to be reviewed amid pressure on public finances due to the coronavirus outbreak. The independent sponsor body – set up last month to oversee the repair and renewal of the Unesco World Heritage site – said it will re-examine evidence developed → Read More

Former Tory minister calls for 'phased approach' to ending free movement after Brexit transition

A former Tory minister has called for a “phased” approach to ending free movement after the Brexit transition period amid the economic turmoil created by the coronavirus pandemic. As the long-delayed Immigration Bill passed its second reading, Caroline Nokes urged the Home Office to adopt a more cautious approach to the post-Brexit rules. → Read More

Boris Johnson accused of spreading confusion as he sets out first steps out of coronavirus lockdown

Boris Johnson has been accused of spreading confusion over Britain’s fight against coronavirus as he split with devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ditch his “stay home” advice in favour of new guidance to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”. → Read More

Primary schools in England could reopen as early as 1 June, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has announced primary schools pupils in England in reception, year one and year six, will begin returning to school by 1 June at the earliest, if the rate of infection continues to fall. As he stuck with the vast majority of restrictions on public life for the time being, the prime minister said “step two” of the government’s potential relaxation of the lockdown → Read More

UK lockdown to continue as Boris Johnson says Britons must ‘stay alert’ to avoid second peak

Boris Johnson has announced now is not the time to end the coronavirus lockdown, telling the British public to “stay alert” to the threat of a second peak of the coronavirus. Instead, the prime minister said only minor modifications would be made to the restrictions, as he said the “campaign against the virus has come at colossal cost to our way of life”. “We can see it all → Read More

Coronavirus: Sturgeon removes once-a-day-limit on exercise from lockdown measures, as she warns 'mixed messages' could cost lives

Nicola Sturgeon has said the once-a-day-limit on exercise will be removed from the coronavirus lockdown measures in Scotland from Monday, but warned the vast majority of restrictions remain in place. → Read More

Scotland will not use Boris Johnson’s new ‘stay alert, control the virus’ slogan, Sturgeon says

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will continue to deliver the “stay at home” coronavirus messaging to the Scottish public, as a clear rift in the UK response opened up ahead of Boris Johnson’s address to the nation. Speaking on Sunday evening, the prime minister will tell the country to “stay alert, control the virus and save lives”, rather than the “stay at home, protect the → Read More

Tory minister Robert Jenrick says country at ‘four out of five’ on new coronavirus tier warning system

Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick has revealed the country’s threat rating from coronavirus is currently four out of five on a new tier warning system, claiming ministers will be able to reopen certain aspects of the economy as the level is reduced. The communities secretary’s comments come as Boris Johnson prepares to unveil the government’s “roadmap” for easing the lockdown on → Read More

Boris Johnson urged to launch independent public inquiry into disproportionate impact of coronavirus on ethnic minorities

‘Such an inquiry is essential for all, especially for those who have lost loved ones,’ write prominent black, Asian and minority ethnic figures  → Read More

Coronavirus: Transport system will be reduced to just 10% capacity when full services resume due to social distancing, Grant Shapps warns

Grant Shapps has revealed that large swathes of the country’s public transport network will be reduced to just 10 per cent capacity due to coronavirus social distancing measures – even when full services resume. The transport secretary said getting Britain moving again while avoiding overcrowding represented an “enormous logistical challenge”, and even with every train, → Read More

Coronavirus: Policing will become ‘more challenging if England and Scotland take different approaches to lockdown restrictions’

Policing will become more challenging during the coronavirus lockdown if England and Scotland take different approaches to the relaxations of current restrictions, the chief constable of Police Scotland has suggested. The warning comes as Boris Johnson, who has promised “maximum caution” when tinkering with lockdown measures, prepares to deliver an address to the nation on → Read More

‘Woefully inadequate’: Extend rental evictions ban and give tenants at least two years to pay back arrears, Labour demands

Labour is demanding emergency action from government to protect renters through the coronavirus pandemic by extending an eviction ban by six months and giving tenants at least two years to pay back arrears. Describing current provisions introduced by ministers during the Covid-19 crisis as “woefully inadequate”, the party highlighted research suggesting thousands of tenants → Read More

Coronavirus: Sajid Javid warns Boris Johnson not to pursue 'self-defeating' tax rises after crisis

Former Conservative chancellor Sajid Javid has warned Boris Johnson not to pursue “self-defeating” tax rises after the coronavirus pandemic, claiming it will “strangle” any economic recovery. → Read More