Friday morning news briefing: Hunt for mass vaccination centres

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Mass vaccination centres to speed up jab distribution

The hunt is on for mass vaccination sites. NHS England has instructed health leaders to find locations for dozens of centres and is due to start a recruitment drive of healthcare staff to immunise people against coronavirus as soon as jabs are available. They will focus on retired doctors, nurses and volunteers. One of the first locations for giving the Pfizer vaccine, which needs to be stored in dry ice at -75C, from mid-December has been confirmed in Derby and talks are under way elsewhere. It comes as ministers are at odds with scientists over festive restrictions, with warnings a "merry Christmas could mean burying your relatives in January". Associate Editor Camilla Tominey asks in this analysis: Does the PM want to be Santa one minute, then Scrooge the next? And Matt looks ahead to Christmas rules in today’s cartoon.

Meanwhile, millions of public sector workers are expected to face a pay freeze next year to repair the pandemic costs. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce in next week’s comprehensive spending review that there must be public sector pay restraint. The freeze on wages is likely to apply to police officers, teachers, soldiers and civil servants. NHS doctors and nurses are likely to be exempt. Read more of what we expect.

Army to hire specialists for hi-tech future wars

The Armed Forces must recruit "specialists" in fields such as cyber technology rather than concentrating on personnel numbers if they are to win future wars, the Defence Secretary said. Ben Wallace said Britain must also become a world-beater in military satellites, lasers and drones as well as on traditional battlefields as he detailed how the Government would use a £24 billion increase in defence spending. Read Political Editor Gordon Rayner‘s interview with Mr Wallace. It comes as Scottish shipyards are set for a massive financial boost after Boris Johnson vowed to use a defence spending spree to strengthen the union.

Happy anniversary, great-grandma and great-grandpa

Like most people of their generation, they have been unable to see much of their great-grandchildren during lockdown. So it was with understandable delight that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh received a card to mark their 73rd wedding anniversary today – made by Prince George, Princess Charlotte and two-year-old Prince Louis. The Duke, 99, holds the colourful A4 artwork as he and the 94-year-old Queen continue to self-isolate at Windsor Castle in this picture.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

  • Vaccine | Oxford could still catch US rivals in race for approved jab
  • Australia | State cancels lockdown after man ‘misled’ contact tracers
  • Germany | Revolt at Merkel’s ‘one friend only’ advice to children
  • Tragedy | Triple funeral for mother and sons who died over five days
  • Post-Covid | Etiquette ‘must be masks and end of handshakes’

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Bullying claims | Priti Patel "unintentionally" breached the ministerial code on behaviour, according to an inquiry into allegations she bullied civil servants. But the investigation also found the Home Secretary had become "justifiably frustrated" by obstructive mandarins who failed to tell her about the impact of her behaviour. The Prime Minister is today set to deliver his long-awaited verdict on Ms Patel’s conduct.  

  • Labour | Jeremy Corbyn’s party suspension to last three months
  • Tribunal | Christian actress loses role over anti-gay comments
  • James Stunt | Gold dealer so rich he did not have a front door key
  • News quiz | Which MP’s Covid diagnosis forced the PM to isolate?
  • Booker Prize | Only British author on shortlist wins £50,000 award

Around the world: Rudy Giuliani ‘sweats hair dye’

Donald Trump’s legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, gave a remarkable press conference making sweeping allegations of election corruption. It tipped into the comic, with a sweating Mr Giuliani wiping away a drip of what appeared to be hair dye from his face. But US Editor Ben Riley-Smith says the blizzard of unproven claims were no laughing matter.

Dye appears to trickle down Rudy Giuliani’s face at a news conference

Credit: Jacquelyn Martin /AP

Comment and analysis

  • Fraser Nelson | No reset for PM until he breaks lockdown cycle
  • Judith Woods | Is five days of Christmas fun worth house arrest?
  • Jemima Lewis | Government has made driving a nightmare
  • Reader letters | Electric car plans ill thought out like for diesel
  • Ed Power | Fairytale of New York should be binned for good

You Are Not Alone: Getting you through lockdown

  • Annie Lennox | ‘Christmas this year? We have to be careful – you can’t take risks’
  • Mental health | How building up your ‘nostalgia bank’ can help in tough times
  • The all-new big family lockdown quiz | 100 questions to challenge all ages
  • Business and money briefing

    Social media | Facebook and its sister app Instagram made a record number of mistakes while policing their services this year as the pandemic forced them to rely heavily on automated systems. James Titcomb explains how content had been taken down – only for the decision to be reversed following an audit or appeal.  

    • Money | How Telegraph readers plan to circumvent £90bn tax grab
    • Fantasy Fund Manager | Questor’s guide to the perfect portfolio
    • Alex cartoon | See our cartoonist’s latest work on world of finance

    Sport briefing

    Irish imports | Eddie Jones, the England head coach, believes Irish supporters are entitled to be upset by Andy Farrell’s "United Nations" selection policy which means a third of Ireland’s starting team hail from the southern hemisphere. Daniel Schofield looks ahead to tomorrow’s pivotal Autumn Nations Cup clash at Twickenham.  

    • Manchester City | Pep Guardiola signs new two-year contract
    • Wayne Rooney | ‘Let’s ban children from heading the ball’
    • Sport bailout | Rugby gets £135million in biggest package

    Tonight’s dinner  

    Sausage stuffed apples with bread and cider | This autumnal dish by Eleanor Steafel is pure comfort. View the recipe. For more ideas, try our Cookbook newsletter.

    And finally… for this morning’s downtime

    Nuremberg trials | Jenny Ash made a documentary about "the greatest trial in history" – which opened 75 years ago today – and learned the role her family played in bringing Nazis to justice.

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