The World In A Week – Shuffling of the Cards

Last week local elections took place across the UK that saw the Conservatives extend their dominance over Labour, making a net gain of twelve councils with Labour losing control of eight. Labour’s poor local election performance prompted Sir Keir Starmer to reshuffle his cabinet, with Anneliese Dodds being replaced by Rachel Reeves as Shadow Chancellor.  However, there was more promising news for Labour as Sadiq Khan was successfully re-elected as London Mayor for another term.

Elsewhere, the Scottish National Party gained another seat but missed out on a total majority with Nicola Sturgeon stating that they will push forward with legislation to propose a second Scottish independence referendum, which is likely to take place in 2022 at the very earliest. Attention now turns towards Boris Johnson who is expected to set out several new bills aimed to support businesses post-Brexit, with the creation of eight new freeports in England and a bill set to boost housebuilding in northern regions.

With the UK demonstrating that the strong vaccine rollout can curb the transmission rate of the virus, with just over 17.5 million people having now been fully inoculated and hospital admission rates falling significantly, just over 51% of the UK has now received their first dose, which ranks second globally.  Off the back of this, Boris Johnson is also set to approve the next stage of the reopening of the UK economy, which includes the reopening of most businesses, including pubs and restaurants serving indoors.  Indoor sports and cinemas will also be allowed to reopen, as well as the ability to allow spectators to attend major sporting events.

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