Tory MP ‘so p****d’ he couldn’t remember phone call with Boris Johnson, wife says

Boris’ wasted call, the “Cream Tea Plot” looks to have gone full “Doom Bar” as Johnny Mercer gives his enthusiastic support to the hospitality sector. – Owl

Johnny Mercer had spent afternoon watching FA Cup and Six Nations contests, according to his partner

A Tory MP was “so p****d” following an afternoon watching sport he “couldn’t remember what was said” when Boris Johnson called him on the phone, according to his wife.

Felicity Cornelius-Mercer shared a photo on social media on Saturday of her husband, Plymouth Moor View MP Johnny Mercer, sitting on a sofa with his head thrown back, apparently in a deep sleep.

She said the prime minister had called Mr Mercer after he had spent the day following his local side Plymouth Argyle’s narrow defeat to Premier League side Chelsea and England’s rugby team loss to Scotland in the Six Nations.

“So..funny story…the Prime Minister rang tonight directly after an afternoon of FA Cup football and England rugby..and @JohnnyMercerUK was so p****d he can’t remember what was said,” Ms Cornelius-Mercer wrote.

She joked that she was thinking of “winding him up” the next day, and asked her Twitter followers for suggestions of what to tell him he had discussed with the PM.

Some people suggested that she should tell her husband he had agreed to do an early-morning round of media interviews.

Others suggested she say that Mr Johnson offered him a new job, whether in Downing Street or his Cabinet.

Earlier in the evening, Mr Mercer quote-tweeted Plymouth Argyle’s tweet about the match and wrote: “Heartbreak. So proud – of fans and team.”

A number of crises have embroiled the prime minister recently, but Mr Mercer has not said whether he would submit a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson or not, according to PlymouthLive.

When asked by the local news outlet if he had plans to submit a letter of no confidence, Mr Mercer said he would not comment– and when asked why he would not comment, he replied: “Ha Ha.”

Which of our Local Leaders could emerge as modern day Medicis?

The “Levelling Up” White Paper puts great emphasis on recreating a modern day “Renaissance”.

 Owl quotes from the paper (page xiv):

“The Renaissance flourished in Italian city states that combined innovation in finance with technological breakthroughs, the cultivation of learning, ground-breaking artistic endeavour, a beautiful built environment and strong civic leadership. And the first Industrial Revolution in Britain came about through the interplay of innovative financial instruments, sharper rewards for enterprise, new institutions of learning, improvements in transportation and rivalrous emulation between local leaders and entrepreneurs. Those same concerted forces are needed to drive productivity, innovation and growth across the UK today. 

This contemporary Medici model, our twenty-first century recipe for a new Industrial Revolution, depends on harnessing an array of interventions and catalysing a range of sectors. Levelling up will require us to:

a. boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging; 

b. spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest; 

c. restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost; and 

d. empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency.”

Here are members of the Great South West Team presenting a regional growth prospectus to the Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, in January 2020. They then briefed him on ambitions to deliver £45 billion of economic benefit and 190,000 new jobs over the next 15 years. We’ve not heard much since.

Who, if any,  of our local leaders deserves the accolade of a contemporary Medici?

Here’s what you are looking for:

The role models: Cosimo and Lorenzo de Medici

Could it be Devon County Council Leader John Hart?

Covid has been confirmed in around half of Devon’s care homes

Devon County Council (DCC) has revealed that out of the 317 care homes in the county, currently around half have two or more linked cases of Covid among staff and residents.

Anita Merritt 

Last month, Devon Live reported how Covid outbreaks in Devon’s care homes had reached their highest level since the pandemic began.

Figures presented to the county council’s health and adult care scrutiny committee revealed that, as of 10 January, there were 160 such outbreaks in care settings across Devon.

The number was far higher than the previous peak of just over 90 a year ago, with the total number of active outbreaks tripling in less than a month.

Sadly the situation has not improved going into February. DCC has assured care homes are working hard to manage infection, mitigate risk, and to protect their residents and staff from coronavirus.

Where there are outbreaks – two or more linked positive cases – those care homes are said to be working even more closely with Public Health Devon to follow temporary additional measures to reduce risk.

Recently the government has changed its guidance over care home visiting rules to allow more visits.

Due to the high Covid numbers currently affecting Devon’s care homes, the relaxation of the rules is causing great concern to many care home providers in the region. It is feared that opening up to visitors right now will put residents and staff at greater risk of infection.

Under the new national rules, care home visitors are asked to make arrangements with care homes in advance of their visit, so that care home providers can manage the number of people attending at any one time, to ensure safety for residents and staff.

Steve Brown, Devon’s director of public health, said: “Visiting loved ones and friends who live in care homes is vitally important to the resident’s wellbeing.

“We want there to come a time soon when additional restrictions will not be needed, but while cases in Devon care homes remain high, we ask visitors to make arrangements with their care home in advance of their visit, so that the care home can manage risk of infection to residents and staff.

“We also ask that visitors follow the care home’s own policy, through careful hand hygiene, wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment, and using lateral flow device tests prior to visiting.”