Welcome to your early-morning news briefing from The Telegraph – a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Friday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.
1. Scrap Covid tests in schools, says Oxford vaccine pioneer
Covid testing in schools is hugely disruptive and should be suspended, experts have said, as it emerged that up to 60 per cent of "positive" tests a week are coming back negative when checked.
Under plans to keep schools open, more than 50 million lateral flow tests have been carried out on youngsters, leading to thousands of pupils and their social bubbles being forced to self-isolate for 10 days. Read the full story.
2. Exclusive: Boris Johnson ‘wants people back in offices as soon as possible’
Boris Johnson is opposed to the scale of working from home seen during the pandemic becoming permanent, according to government sources.
The Prime Minister is said to be supportive of encouraging people to return to offices once it is safe to do so, having hoped to ease working from home guidance this month. Read the full story.
3. Northern Ireland power-sharing at risk after new DUP leader ousted in party revolt
The future of power-sharing in Northern Ireland was in jeopardy on Thursday night as the DUP’s new leader was forced to resign following a full-scale revolt over his chosen candidate for the role of first minister.
Just 20 days after replacing Arlene Foster as party leader, Edwin Poots announced he would step down hours after he nominated one of his former advisers as the new head of the Stormont executive against the wishes of his party. Read the full story.
4. Priti Patel ‘deeply ashamed’ so many rape victims have been denied justice
Priti Patel and Robert Buckland have apologised to rape victims, as they admitted they were “deeply ashamed” that thousands of them have been denied justice.
The Home Secretary, Justice Secretary and Attorney General Michael Ellis said the failings in the criminal justice system were “completely unacceptable,” as they pledged to prosecute more than 1,000 extra rape suspects by the end of the current Parliament. Read the full story.
5. Andrew Neil hits out at ‘far-Left agitators and cranks’ behind GB News boycott
Andrew Neil has branded the political activists behind an advertising boycott on GB News as "far-Left agitators and cranks" in a staunch defence of his Right-leaning TV channel.
Speaking on his Mediawatch show on Thursday night, Mr Neil dismissed the Stop Funding Hate group as opponents of a free society. Read the full story.
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