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Speed Read: Ins, outs & significant bouts

Every week, we sneak into ministerial offices and plant CCTV cameras in the hope of making the act of writing this satirical summary of the news that much easier. This week, it actually worked…

That’s right, shortly after the last Speed Read was published news broke that Matt Hancock had been caught in a more than amicable embrace with his aide Gina Colangelo at the HQ of the Department of Health & Social Care. If it’s not bad enough that Matt Hancock married, the footage was captured during the period where government guidelines prohibited social gatherings from different households and requested people stay two metres apart while avoiding “face to face contact”.

We like to give people the benefit of the doubt here but after much scrutiny, it appears the only things socially distancing in the footage are Matt Hancock and his credibility. Unsurprisingly, he’s since resigned and been replaced by Sajid Javid.

So, the question on everyone’s lips now is whether Hancock could soon be unveiled as a surprise guest on the latest series of Love Island? We can see it now… (to avoid embarrassment, names of contestants have been changed – we’re not THAT harsh!)

Claudia: “I’VE GOT A TEXT…”

Francine: “Ooooh what does it say?”

Claudia: “Recently resigned and romantically inclined! Hands, face, back to my place! Social distancing actively discouraged… #HancockIn #IHateCCTV”

Francine: “Wait, Matt Hancock is coming in??”

Shot of 90% of the contestants clearly not knowing who Hancock is, while one is overheard asking if Matt is a type of rug…

Ok, we admit, that’s far-fetched even for us – nobody in the Love Island villa would know who Matt Hancock is. But given what else has happened this week, who knows what’s possible, as after 55 years of waiting, England has finally beaten Germany in a knockout game at a major tournament. The 2-0 win on Tuesday, combined with Gareth Southgate’s men being on the more appealing side of the draw, has them now positioned as the bookie’s favourite to win it all. Is it coming home? Who am I to comment, but mystic meerkats at Drusillas Park in Alfriston have predicted England will beat Ukraine in the quarter finals, so watch this space!

It’s not been all plain sailing with England however, as a vocal minority of the fans continue to cause controversy. After the match, fans were heard singing songs about “German bombers” and a photo of a young German girl being embraced by her father while in tears went viral after English supporters threw horrendous abuse at her. Why such vulgarity occurs is beyond us. It’s just a game and you’d think after what we’ve all been through during the pandemic, solidarity wouldn’t be that foreign a concept. Apparently, we may be asking too much…

Back to politics now as this morning has seen the results of the Batley and Spen by-election announced. The West Yorkshire constituency has voted Labour since 1997 so this was seen as yet another key test of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership. It was a tight race, but Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater won, with 323 more votes than her Tory counterpart Ryan Stephenson. George Galloway, who was standing for the Worker’s Party, came third and has since gone full Donald Trump, threatening court action if there isn’t a recount. Only time will tell if Galloway will suggest building a wall around West Yorkshire and forcing Sheffield to pay for it.

More news from this morning as despite the PM and new health secretary saying we’re “on track” for the July 19th lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions at the start of the week, Boris seems to have backtracked already. While speaking in Sunderland, he’s quoted as saying that although he wants to return to a pre-pandemic style of living, “there may be some things we have to do, extra precautions that we have to take, but I’ll be setting them out.” Exactly what these precautions are remains unclear but people across the UK are now fearing the worst. Given that “Freedom Day” sounds like a dreadful Hollywood blockbuster, we’re just hoping an M. Night Shyamalan twist isn’t on the cards!

Now onto the hardest hitting story of the week. Be warned, this will be tough to read and may cause high levels of distress. OK, are you ready? Don’t say we didn’t warn you. German confectionary giant Haribo has revealed there’s a real possibility of a sweet shortage in the UK thanks to a lack of HGV lorry drivers. The haulage sector has blamed the combination of Brexit and the pandemic for around 60,000 unfilled vacancies. This may be the case, but it does seem like the perfect retaliation for that Euro 2020 result earlier in the week doesn’t it?

Right, that’s the hard-hitting stuff out of the way. Now, onto the light-hearted and outright strange news stories we couldn’t ignore. First up, controversial news outlet GB News which launched less than three weeks ago has been embarrassed in the ratings. Although it launched with 336,000 viewers ahead of BBC News and Sky News, this week it was beaten by the Welsh language version of Paw Patrol.

It could be worse though, you could be Mary McCarthy from Christchurch, New Zealand who has lived with pain on the right side of her nose and difficulties breathing for 37 long years. Good news though, as after having a COVID-19 test it was discovered it was caused by a rogue tiddlywink that had been lodged in her nasal cavity since she was eight. However badly your day might be going, it’s definitely not ’37 years of excruciating, self-inflicted sinus problems’ bad!

So that’s another Speed Read in the books but as is tradition we’ll leave you with a song to get you through to the weekend. As the Euro 2020 quarter finals kick-off today, here’s the best football song of all time. Take us home, John Barnes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re4aDJL3heA

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