The West Country Debate June: G7 summit in Cornwall, Delta cases rise in Bristol and doubts cast over June unlocking

  • Watch June's West Country Debate here.

The biggest names in global politics and media descended on St Ives in Cornwall ahead of this weekend's G7 summit.

Carbis Bay will serve as the base for Boris Johnson's presidency of the event, and will host the leaders of France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy and the US.

The Prime Minister arrived in the county yesterday (June 9) on the new UK Government aircraft, before heading to a local wind farm to hammer home the message that Cornwall is a pioneer in leading industries including renewable energy.

President Biden officially met Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier today ahead of the G7 Summit. Credit: PA images.

He continued on his love-bombing campaign of the South West coast by announcing a towns fund worth £65 million to leave a 'fitting legacy' for Cornwall once the G7 is over.

But local residents have been left asking what this really means for the people of Cornwall, and whether those most in need of a funding boost will benefit.

MP for Camborne and Redruth George Eustice, whose constituency is home to some of the most deprived areas in the UK, says it is a substantial amount of money and the rewards will be felt by everyone.

Cornwall councillor and former MP for St Ives Andrew George says promises have been made "umpteen times" and he has yet to see them delivered to his former constituents.

Today also marked the arrival of US President Joe Biden on his first big political outing since being elected in November.

To mark the visit we spoke to some of the members of the Cornwall democrats - based in Cornwall, New York.

They said that they were hoping that President Biden would continue his good work and show his humanity on his first foreign visit since being sworn in to office in January.

Will June 21 Freedom Day still go ahead as planned?

Away from the G7, cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus have started to rise in parts of the West Country including Bristol and Swindon.

Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire says that the continued rise in the number of new cases may mean a delay on 'Freedom Day' which is currently due to be on June 21.

Meanwhile Mark Harper, MP for the Forest of Dean and chair of the Covid Recovery Group, said the rise in cases was "inevitable" but that there was not cause for alarm across the country.

"Given that the vaccination rollout has gone so well even though there has been an increase in cases we are not seeing a rise in hospitalisations," he said.

"I have looked at the data right up to today and I see no reason to now allow people to live their lives from June 21 as normal."

Prime Minister Johnson has previously said that the government is waiting for further data before making a decision on whether to postpone the relaxing of restrictions on June 21.

Speaking earlier this month, Mr Johnson said: "We’ve got to be so cautious.

“We always knew that was going to happen, what we need to work out is to what extent the vaccination programme has protected enough of us, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, against a new surge, and there I’m afraid the data is still ambiguous."

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