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G7 summit Cornwall 2021 live: Latest XR protests as Boris Johnson says world needs to become greener

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Boris Johnson says post-Covid world needs to be ‘more feminine’ in opening G7 speech

Boris Johnson has officially opened the 2021 G7 summit with a speech in which he claimed nations must work together to “build back better” and “build back greener” from coronavirus.

It comes after the prime minister flew from London to Cornwall for the meeting of world leaders, which has largely been panned as an unnecessary and harmful way to travel for the environment.

“We need to make sure that we learn the lessons from the pandemic, we need to make sure that we don’t repeat some of the errors that we doubtless made in the course of the last 18 months or so … [and] we need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies and we build back better,” Mr Johnson said before figures such as US president Joe Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, some 500 members of the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion descended on Cornwall to take part in protests against the G7 world leaders today. XR members are protesting to draw attention to the threat to seas and wildlife from climate change and are calling for “action not words” from the summit.

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Ursula Von der Leyen enjoys ‘excellent’ time in Cornwall

The European Commission’s president has tweeted her joy at being in Cornwall, enjoying meetings, alongside her EU colleagues Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Mario Draghi.

It remains to be seen if those smiles will endure until Sunday, when the G7 summit ends.

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 16:00

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Trudeau puts on mask to greet Johnson and Carrie

Justin Trudeau put on a face covering to meet Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie at the G7 summit in Cornwall, despite it being unnecessary to wear one outside under UK government guidance.

The Canadian prime minister wore the mask to elbow bump the pair, only to remove it seconds later for press photographs.

It happened as Trudeau prepared to enter talks with other world leaders on issues such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, reports Liam O’Dell.

Watch: G7: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau puts on mask to greet Boris and Carrie

Justin Trudeau put on a face covering to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie at the G7 summit in Cornwall, despite it being unnecessary to wear one outside under UK government guidance. The Canadian prime minister wore the mask to elbow bump the pair, only to remove it seconds later for press photographs. The encounter happened as Trudeau prepared to enter talks with other world leaders – including US president Joe Biden and German chancellor Angela Merkel – on issues such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 15:50

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Boris Johnson’s opening G7 statement in full

Here is Boris Johnson’s opening statement, which he delivered as the first session of the G7 got under way, in full:

“Given the pandemic we might need to make sure that we don’t repeat some of the errors that we doubtless made in the course of the last 18 months or so. And we need to make sure that we now allow our economies to recover.

And I think that they have the potential to bounce back very strongly. And there’s all sorts of reasons for being optimistic, but it is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession in 2008, when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.

And I think what’s gone wrong with this pandemic, or what risks being a lasting scar, is that inequalities may be entrenched. And we need to make sure that, as we recover, we level up across our societies and we rebuild back better.

And I actually think that we have a huge opportunity to do that because, as G7, we are united in our vision for a cleaner, greener world, a solution to the problems of climate change. And in those ideas, in those technologies, which we’re all addressing together, I think there is the potential to generate many, many millions of high-wage, high-skill jobs.

And I think that is what the people of our countries now want us to focus on. They wanted to be sure that we’re beating the pandemic together, discussing how we’ll never have a repeat of what we’ve seen, but also that we’re building better together, and building back greener and building back fairer, and building back more equal, in a more gender-neutral and perhaps a more feminine way – how about that?

So those are some of the objectives that we have before us at Carbis Bay.”

Johnson chairs the summit’s opening meeting

(Sky News)

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 15:40

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PM says post-Covid world needs to be ‘more feminine’

Boris Johnson has told G7 leaders he wants to create a “more feminine” world as the international community builds back from the Covid crisis.

The prime minister said that world powers must ensure that the coronavirus pandemic does not leave a “lasting scar” of deeper and more entrenched inequality.

And he told his fellow leaders they should be aiming at “building back greener, building back fairer and building equally and – how should I put it? – in a more gender neutral and perhaps a more feminine way.”

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the full report:

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 15:24

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Johnson opens G7 by declaring leaders must ‘build back greener’

Boris Johnson has said leaders of the G7 would learn from the lessons of the “wretched pandemic” as they met in Cornwall, and pledged to “build back greener … and more fairly”.

Opening the summit in Carbis Bay, he said: “We need to make sure that we learn the lessons from the pandemic, we need to make sure that we don’t repeat some of the errors that we doubtless made in the course of the last 18 months or so. It is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession of 2008 when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.”

“We need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies and we build back better,” he added.

After he had finished speaking, the PM quickly asked all media persons to leave the room, saying the event had become a “media circus”, so that he and his peers could get the summit underway.

Boris Johnson opens the G7 summit

(BBC)

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 15:07

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Kate Middleton meets with Jill Biden to visit Cornish primary school

Dr Jill Biden met with the Duchess of Cambridge to visit a Cornwall primary school as the G7 summit got under way on Friday.

The two donned their masks and headed into a classroom at Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, where they were greeted by silence among pupils. “They’re scared to death,” Dr Biden joked of the children as Kate remarked it was “the quietest class” she had ever visited.

America’s First Lady said “these kids are so smart” as she sat with pupils who appeared to be learning maths.

My colleague Liam James has more:

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 14:52

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Macron and Johnson are all smiles after tense Brexit warning

That had to be a bit awkward. French president Emmanuel Macron has arrived at the G7 breachfront opening, where he put on a jovial exchange with host Boris Johnson.

Mr Macron and his wife, Brigitte, were seen arriving at the venue, elbow bumping, smiling and engaging in small talk with both Mr Johnson and his wife, Carrie Symonds, before being taken inside.

The friendly greeting comes after Mr Macron issued a stern warning to the British PM on Thursday evening, over his handling of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He told reporters in Paris: “If after six months you say we cannot respect what was negotiated, then that says nothing can be respected. I believe in the power of treaties. I believe in seriousness. Nothing is renegotiable. Everything is applicable.”

Still, it makes for a good photo.

Macron and Johnson greet each other with an elbow bump at the G7 summit

(BBC)

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 14:39

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Johnson holds private talks with Trudeau ahead of G7 formal opening

Boris Johnson held talks with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau ahead of the formal opening of the G7 summit, a No 10 aide has said.

“They discussed their countries’ respective efforts to roll out a coronavirus vaccination programme and defeat the pandemic. They agreed to continue working closely together to share insights and information,” the Downing Street spokesman said.

“The prime minister noted the remarkable alignment between the UK’s and Canada’s foreign policy goals, including our shared work to increase girls’ education, defend media freedom, tackle climate change and protect human rights around the world.

“The leaders agreed a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and Canada would unlock huge opportunities for both of our countries. They agreed to redouble their efforts to secure an FTA as soon as possible.”

Mr Johnson is understood to have thanked Mr Trudeau for Canada’s leadership on the international response following the downing of the Ukraine International Airlines plane in Tehran last year.

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 14:32

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Kate asked about niece Lilibet during visit to Cornish school

The Duchess of Cambridge has been quizzed about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter Lilibet during a visit to a Cornish school with First Lady Jill Biden.

A broadcast journalist from the American network NBC asked Kate: “Your Royal Highness do you have any wishes for your niece Lilibet?”

The duchess replied: “I wish her all the very best. I can’t wait to meet her.”

She was also asked if she had spoken with Meghan via FaceTime. Kate replied “No I haven’t.”

“We haven’t met her yet. I hope that will be soon,” she added.

The Duchess of Cambridge (right) and Jill Biden look at a picture of the cover of ‘Greta and the Giants’ with a reception class at the Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, West Cornwall

(PA)

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 14:20

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Vaccine sharing not enough to beat global pandemic, says WHO envoy

Carl Bildt, special envoy to the World Health Organisation’s effort to despatch vaccines, and former prime minister of Sweden, has urged the G7 to discuss funding for testing and diagnostics globally – as well as vaccine sharing.

“The end of next year is an eternity when it comes to fighting the pandemic,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme. “I do understand we do have supply issues, all sorts of other issues, but we really need the vaccine sharing not in the far distance but in the near future.

He added: “We also need funding for the other elements that we need to fight the pandemic – for testing, for diagnostics, to save lives. That’s less money, but it’s not money that should be forgotten when we are talking about only vaccines.”

The G7 leaders are expected to confirm their goal to provide some of the world’s poorest countries, with a combined total of 1 billion Covid-19 vaccines, when the summit’s findings are published in the coming weeks.

Sam Hancock11 June 2021 13:55

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