UK coronavirus live: calls grow for UK-wide lockdown as 25,000 people a day could soon be hospitalised

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Cases unlikely to fall rapidly under tier 2 and 3, says Prof Neil Ferguson

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Alex Salmond has called for an independent inquiry to investigate whether Nicola Sturgeon broke the ministerial code by misleading Holyrood on what she knew about a government inquiry into his conduct.

Salmond has written to James Hamilton QC, a former director of public prosecutions in Ireland, asking him to broaden his investigation by probing Sturgeon’s claims in parliament she did not know about an internal inquiry into alleged harassment claims against Salmond until Salmond told her in April 2018.

In January 2018 two civil servants made formal complaints that Salmond had sexually harassed them when first minister. Their complaints were upheld in August 2018, but the internal government investigation was declared unlawful in January 2019 after Salmond challenged the fairness of the process in court.

It has since emerged Sturgeon met Salmond’s former chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, in Holyrood on 29 March 2018, where Aberdein raised the allegations about Salmond. That meeting was brokered by a senior member of Sturgeon’s staff. It also emerged on Tuesday that Sturgeon’s principal private secretary, John Somers, twice met one of the complainers before she made her complaint official.

Hamilton was asked by John Swinney, Sturgeon’s deputy, to investigate whether Sturgeon interfered with the government inquiry. A Scottish government spokesman said: “We are aware of [Salmond’s] letter. The remit of Mr Hamilton’s work is well established, and was set out to the parliament by the deputy first minister.”

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Number of Covid patients in hospitals could reach 25,000 within weeks

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National lockdown ‘not appropriate’, says environment secretary

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Calls grow for national lockdown

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