Beautician who has been relying on food banks during lockdown slams the government over restrictions

A beautician who has been left relying on food banks during lockdown has accused the government of ‘leaving the industry to rot’.

Becky Gencer, from Leeds, appeared on This Morning to say she has been left fearing eviction and is now relying ion food banks having been massively impacted by restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile Blink Brow Bar founder Vanita Parti warned restrictions are leading customers to seek treatments from ‘very dangerous’ rogue traders.

At the end of July, Boris Johnson said the scheduled August 1 return of close contact services like beauticians who might perform treatments such as administering fillers, threading eyebrows or facial waxing, has been pushed back to August 15 ‘at the earliest’. 

Becky Gencer, from Leeds, slammed the government during an appearance on This Mornign today as she accused politicians of ‘leaving the beauty industry to rot’

While hairdressers have been allowed to work since July 4, and manicurists were given the go-ahead on July 13, any treatments on the face were still off-limits, so for five months Becky, who offers procedures such as lip fillers and semi-permanent brow tattooing through her business, Beautopia North, had been unable to work. 

Becky, who  has been in the industry for over 10 years, said: ‘It’s majorly affecting me now and I’ve never been in this situation before. In this period of lockdown, I’m £20,000 down.’

She said: ‘When I thought we could reopen, I was really, really excited to be reopening.

‘I spent £1,600 getting stock in. I couldn’t afford it but I knew I’d be getting that money back.’

She estimated that within the first week of reopening, she could have earned £5,000.  

Meanwhile Blink Brow bar founder Vanita Parti warned restrictions are leading to 'very dangerous' rogue traders as 'people jump on the band wagon to make some money' from those desperate for their beauty treatment

Meanwhile Blink Brow bar founder Vanita Parti warned restrictions are leading to ‘very dangerous’ rogue traders as ‘people jump on the band wagon to make some money’ from those desperate for their beauty treatment

Becky added: ‘All the government does is talk about the people they have helped but they’re missing out on the thousands of people that they’ve not helped.

‘They’re just ignoring us. They’re just not doing anything. They’re laughing at us in parliament. We’re strong, entrepreneurial women and we’ve been overlooked.’

Meanwhile Vanita explained: ‘We’re fortunate, so we’re a bigger business who has been able to furlough, but in August, we can’t do that anymore. 

‘I’ve got 250 girls desperate to get back to work and they wont let us open our doors.’

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes appeared stunned as Vanita and Becky said they were 'desperate to work' but haven't been able to do so since March

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes appeared stunned as Vanita and Becky said they were ‘desperate to work’ but haven’t been able to do so since March 

She said: ‘They have a responsibility to independents that have fallen through the net and businesses like ours that say if you’re not going to let us work, you’re going to support us financially.’

‘My business is £10 million revenue making business. We want to get back to work and contribute. 

She added that she felt the government didn’t ‘understand’ the differences between treatments on offer from beauticians, saying: ‘Come and understand what we do. We’re safe, we’re a hygienic sector, we always have been. 

‘It makes no sense that a man can go and get is beard trimmed and a woman can’t get her face seen to.

Vanita went on to say she felt the government 'didn't understand' the differences between sections of the beauty industry

 Vanita went on to say she felt the government ‘didn’t understand’ the differences between sections of the beauty industry 

‘We wear a mask, a visor, gloves, and the customer wears a mask. A man when he’s trimming his beard does’t wear a mask. It’s complete nonsense.’

Meanwhile Becky revealed she’d been left relying on her savings to survive during the pandemic.

She said: ‘Luckily I had some savings that I’ve been saving up for a deposit for a house.

‘I’ve been living off my savings which has lasted five to six months but now I’ve not got any savings left.

‘I’m in a position where I’m having to visit food banks. I’m embarrassed to say that.’

Vanita added that some beauticians are now working 'underground' and called the practice 'very dangerous'

Vanita added that some beauticians are now working ‘underground’ and called the practice ‘very dangerous’ 

‘What are the government going to do? How are they going to help us? I’m ready to work, I want to work, I’m just not being allowed to work.’

Meanwhile Eamonn went on to ask about people who had been going ‘underground’ to seek out treatments, with Vanita calling it ‘very dangerous.’

She said: ‘We’re the professionals, we should lead by example and I know for a fact that many of our customers are trying to get treatments  any which way. 

‘It brings on rogue traders and people jumping on the band wagon to make some money.’

When can beauty salons open?  

After the infection rate doubled in July, ministers and scientists are increasingly weary of a second onslaught of the virus, which is seeing a resurgence in several other countries. 

At the end of the month, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he was back-pedalling on his plan to allow a number of businesses, including the remaining parts of the beauty industry, to reopen on August 1. 

Many have criticised the policy as sexism because male-dominated arenas, such as pubs, betting shops, barbers, cricket grounds and golf courses are open, but beauty salons are not.

A man can get his beard, nasal hair and moustache trimmed, while not wearing a mask, but a woman can’t have a brow or lash treatment while wearing one.

 

Calling the policies ‘non-sensical’, she added: ‘The government need to know that we are going to do this properly.’

‘The fact there’s been a spike in the R rate is not down to us because we’ve been closed.’ 

Becky added: ‘I would say [to Boris Johnson] if you can’t let us work, give us a reason or just support us. 

‘They’re leaving us to rot now, it’s completely unfair. Why ar they letting pubs open and not us? There is no reason for it.’ 

France ‘is just days from being added to Britain’s quarantine list’ after surge in coronavirus cases

France ‘is just days from being added to Britain’s quarantine list’ as Boris Johnson warns he ‘will not hesitate’ to impose coronavirus restrictions on travellers from more countries

  • Countries like Switzerland, Poland and the Netherlands may also be affected
  • PM warned ministers will ‘not hesitate’ to expand the quarantine system 
  • France has experienced a surge in cases in August 

Fears are growing today that France will be added to the UK’s quarantined travel list within days, leaving thousands of Brits facing weeks in isolation upon their return.

Ministers are believed to be planning new measures for a swathe of countries that also includes Switzerland, Poland and the Netherlands amid a surge in European coronavirus cases.

They could join Spain and its islands on the list of countries where returnees will face 14 days of self-isolation, possibly putting their jobs at risk. 

It came as Boris Johnson warned that  ministers will ‘not hesitate’ to impose a quarantine system for travellers from other countries to the UK if needed.

Speaking on a visit to a school in Upminster, Essex, he said: ‘I don’t want to advise people about their individual holidays, individual decisions, they should look at the travel advice from the Foreign Office clearly.

‘But what I will say, and I hope people would expect us to do this, in the context of a global pandemic, we’ve got to keep looking at the data in all the countries to which British people want to travel.

‘Where it is necessary to impose restrictions or to impose a quarantine system, we will not hesitate to do so.

France has piled up 10,002 new cases in the last week, the highest number since April and a sharp increase from 7,391 the week before

Boris Johnson warned that ministers will 'not hesitate' to impose a quarantine system for travellers from other countries to the UK if needed

Boris Johnson warned that ministers will ‘not hesitate’ to impose a quarantine system for travellers from other countries to the UK if needed

‘It’s been a huge effort for the entire population of this country to get the disease down to the levels that we are currently seeing, but we do not want reinfection and that’s why we’ve got to keep a very, very close eye on the data in destinations around the world.’

Spain has already been hit with new travel restrictions in a blow to its tourism-reliant economy, while there are fears that France, Germany or Holland could be put back on the UK’s quarantine list after spikes in cases there.    

Summer holidays have been blamed for rising cases in Germany and Italy, while France has tightened its face mask rules in tourist hotspots such as Paris and the Mediterranean resort of Saint Tropez. 

However, Europe has yet to see a major spike in deaths or hospital cases, amid signs that many of those testing positive are young and less vulnerable to the disease.  

France has piled up 10,002 new cases in the last week, the highest number since April and a sharp increase from 7,391 the week before. 

The government’s Covid-19 scientific council warned last week that France could ‘at any moment’ lose control over the spread of the disease. 

Some French towns are now requiring face masks outdoors, including the Mediterranean resort of Saint-Tropez and other tourist areas. 

Paris and Marseille, the two largest cities in France, have both ordered mask-wearing in crowded outdoor areas such as open-air markets and the banks of the Seine. 

This Morning Doctor warns that STAFF ROOMS could be a hotbed for coronavirus

A doctor appearing on This Morning has insisted that reopening schools presents a ‘lower’ risk than keeping children at home because they’re ‘very unlikely to pass coronavirus on’ to adults. 

Doctor Sara Kayat joined Larry Flanagan, general secretary of EIS, alongside Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes on the ITV programme today to discuss the reopening of schools. 

Dr Sara told viewers that while transmission between children and teachers within school could be minimal, she said she was more wary of behaviour between staff, explaining: ‘It’s in the staff room that teachers need to be more careful because its more likely adults-to-adults where they’re going to pass it onto one another.’

Her comments come days after Boris Johnson threw down the gauntlet to union leaders blocking the return of pupils to classrooms by insisting the country has a ‘moral duty’ to reopen schools next month. 

Dr Sara Kayat warned that staff rooms could pose an increased coronavirus risk for teachers as schools consider reopening next month

Appearing on the programme today, Larry said the guidelines for opening Scottish schools were ‘very robust.’

However he added: ‘Where our members have concerns is perhaps the area where the guidance doesn’t cover. In the guidance there’s an exultation to physically distance wherever possible.

‘But one of the areas where members would like further guidance is the use of face coverings for pupils, for older pupils.

‘Older pupils  outside of school, they might be required to wear  face coverings on buses, museums but inside school it’s left to personal choice.’

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes questioned whether children should be asked to wear face coverings upon their return to school next month

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes questioned whether children should be asked to wear face coverings upon their return to school next month 

Larry Flanagan appeared on the programme and said he wanted 'consistency on guidelines' with regard to pupils wearing face coverings

Larry Flanagan appeared on the programme and said he wanted ‘consistency on guidelines’ with regard to pupils wearing face coverings 

‘The guidance at the moment is that face coverings can be worn if a teacher or pupil wishes to wear them.

‘We are concerned that olders students passing the virus on to other students is more significant than younger pupils.

WHY ARE MASKS NOT COMPULSORY IN SCHOOLS? 

In England, the Government has decided that face masks will not be necessary in schools.

Its guidance for schools states that: ‘Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended.

‘Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops.

‘This does not apply to schools or other education settings.

‘Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings.

‘Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said: ‘If you’re in a space with the same people repeatedly and for long periods of time, whether an office or a classroom, then a mask doesn’t actually protect them.’

 

‘If you have 30 to 25 young adults in a classroom, then face coverings might be an issue of safety.’

Larry added: ‘We would like consistency between inside and outside of school.’

Meanwhile he went on: ‘Interestingly in our survey two thirds of our members supported measures to reopen school, but only one in five expressed confidence in these safety measures.’

Larry said he felt people had a ‘general support for schools reopening but a lot of anxiety.’

He explained: ‘A lot of older pupils are concerned about catching virus and taking it back into the home. 

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a number of parents keeping their children at home until they see how the virus develops.’

He added: ‘We have to make sure we can maintain safety across the whole school year so that staff and pupils can have confidence.’

Dr Sara explained: ‘I completely understand the anxieties around it. It’s been five months. But we have to look at the science.

‘From a big study from UCL in May, children are 50 per cent less likely to catch coronavirus and when they do the symptoms are very mild in the majority of cases.

‘A new preliminary study by PHE says transmission is very low and poses little to no risk.’

Eamonn asked the doctor if she would be happy to return to work if she was a teacher, and she explained: ‘Personally yes, as a doctor I’m already face-to-face with a lot of patients. 

‘As a teacher, when you’re with people who are very unlikely to pass it on to you, I’m not worried about the children.’

She went on to warn of the risk of the staff room, before adding that wearing a mask ‘had to be one of those voluntary type things.’ 

She said: ‘The younger children probably don’t understand the importance of not touching the face. 

‘It might have to be the older students, who might want to wear one anyway when they’ve thought it through.’

Meanwhile Larry warned teachers would face a 'big challenge' addressing the impact of lockdown on young people as they return to schools in September

Meanwhile Larry warned teachers would face a ‘big challenge’ addressing the impact of lockdown on young people as they return to schools in September 

Meanwhile Larry went on to tell Eamonn that the school year wouldn’t just be able to return to normal, explaining: ‘It’ll be an even bigger challenge of addressing the impact of lockdown on young people which could have been traumatic for young people. Schools will have to focus on the wellbeing of young people.’ 

Dr Sara added that parents and children should focus on hand hygiene.

She said: ‘The minute you step into the house, you wash your hands and don’t touch anything else.

‘The risks are very low in schools and the risk of not sending children to school are more considerate.’

In an article for The Mail on Sunday, the Prime Minister declared that a resumption of normal teaching is now his ‘national priority’. 

Boris Johnson has called it a 'national priority' for schools to reopen  in September after they first closed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic

Boris Johnson has called it a ‘national priority’ for schools to reopen  in September after they first closed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic 

 The rallying cry will further crank up the political pressure over the issue, which is fast becoming a totemic test of the Government’s ability to reboot the economy and move the country safely out of lockdown.

Mr Johnson writes: ‘Now that we know enough to reopen schools to all pupils safely, we have a moral duty to do so.’

Pupils were sent home at the start of lockdown in March, and only the children of key workers have been able to enjoy a measure of normal classroom teaching since then.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has come under intense pressure as critics warned that the lay-off was widening the educational divide between rich and poor, and preventing many parents from returning to the workplace.

Mr Johnson’s words come after Dr Mary Bousted, head of the National Education Union, urged schools to ignore ‘threatening noises’ from the Government and refuse to reopen if they feel it is unsafe.

Many parents have been angered after schools told them they will educate their children only until lunchtime on at least one day of the week, on the grounds that they need time to implement extra safety requirements such as deep cleaning and staggered break times.

Pupils pose NO RISK of spreading Covid, study reveals 

A landmark coronavirus study has found the risk of transmission in classrooms is minimal, ratcheting up pressure on the Education Secretary to fully reopen schools.

Boris Johnson is understood to have warned that Gavin Williamson’s ‘head will be on the chopping block’ if pupils are not back in lessons next month.

The Prime Minister has declared resuming classes a ‘national priority’ and is planning an advertising blitz to urge anxious parents to send their child back to class.

His campaign was yesterday bolstered by encouraging scientific evidence which found a low threat of catching infection in schools.

Government Sage adviser Professor Russell Viner outlined the forthcoming Public Health England study and stressed that reopening schools was ‘imperative’.

‘A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools,’ he told the Sunday Times.

‘This is some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools.’ 

The PHE study, which will be published later this year, tested more than 20,000 pupils and 100 teachers.

 

A landmark coronavirus study has found the risk of transmission in classrooms is minimal, ratcheting up pressure on the Education Secretary to fully reopen schools.

Boris Johnson is understood to have warned that Gavin Williamson’s ‘head will be on the chopping block’ if pupils are not back in lessons next month.

The Prime Minister has declared resuming classes a ‘national priority’ and is planning an advertising blitz to urge anxious parents to send their child back to class.

His campaign was yesterday bolstered by encouraging scientific evidence which found a low threat of catching infection in schools.

Government Sage adviser Professor Russell Viner outlined the forthcoming Public Health England study and stressed that reopening schools was ‘imperative’.

‘A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools,’ he told the Sunday Times.

‘This is some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools.’

The PHE study, which will be published later this year, tested more than 20,000 pupils and 100 teachers.

 

DOMINIC LAWSON: Pitiful ‘can’t do’ attitude of union that puts teachers firmly before pupils

Perhaps wisely, given his picaresque personal history, Boris Johnson has never been one to base his politics on an appeal to morality. But he did so yesterday.

The Prime Minister declared that ‘keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible’.

If we agree that educating children is a good thing in itself, then indeed it is immoral to delay the reopening of schools.

Although he didn’t mention the National Education Union (NEU), there is a corollary to Mr Johnson’s point. To the extent that it is working to frustrate the Government’s plans for schools to reopen at the beginning of September, the country’s largest teaching union could be accused of immorally acting against the interests of children.

This might seem a shocking accusation. Aren’t those who become teachers people with a vocation for improving the lives and prospects of children?

Actually, it’s not paradoxical at all. We are talking here about teachers’ unions, and the purpose of such organisations is to further the welfare of teachers, not children.

The Prime Minister declared that ‘keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible’

Resistant

This is best illustrated by a remark attributed to the late Albert Shanker, who led the American Federation of Teachers for almost a quarter of a century: ‘When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.’

Shanker’s advocates argue this is a made-up quote, and what he actually said was: ‘I don’t represent children. I represent teachers.’

Whatever the case, it is the single most important point to bear in mind.

So when the joint general secretary of the NEU, Mary Bousted, talks about the health risks of a return to teaching in schools, she is talking about the health of teachers — the members who pay her salary of almost £220,000 — not the health of the children.

This was made embarrassingly clear in May when the Mail published details of a Zoom meeting of the NEU in which Bousted declared young pupils to be ‘mucky, who spread their germs, who touch everything, who cry, who wipe their snot on your trousers or your dress’.

The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, was then attempting to get schools to reopen classes on a wide scale at the start of June (they have always, even during the lockdown, been open to the children of ‘essential workers’).

A remark attributed to the late Albert Shanker, who led the American Federation of Teachers for almost a quarter of a century: 'When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children'

A remark attributed to the late Albert Shanker, who led the American Federation of Teachers for almost a quarter of a century: ‘When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children’

When the joint general secretary of the NEU, Mary Bousted, talks about the health risks of a return to teaching in schools, she is talking about the health of teachers ¿ the members who pay her salary of almost £220,000 ¿ not the health of the children

When the joint general secretary of the NEU, Mary Bousted, talks about the health risks of a return to teaching in schools, she is talking about the health of teachers — the members who pay her salary of almost £220,000 — not the health of the children

Dr Bousted faced him down humiliatingly — afterwards declaring it to be ‘a win’ against the Government.

And the teaching union did have a point in saying that the Government’s own rules on social distancing of two metres — especially indoors — would make normal classroom teaching most difficult, simply on grounds of inadequate space. More-over, getting school children to ‘socially distance’ is no one’s idea of an easy task.

But the more we learn about Covid-19, the clearer it is that children are at negligible risk from it.

The largest UK study in hospitals found that just 0.8 per cent of Covid patients were under the age of 19. And in Sweden, where schools were kept open to all pupils up to the age of 16 throughout the pandemic, only 0.05 per cent of their children contracted Covid-19.

Ah, say the unions, what we’re worried about is teachers contracting Covid from the ‘mucky children’.

Yet it seems that children are not just wonderfully resistant to the virus, they also don’t pass it on much.

Contrast

Studies of clusters of infection in family groups in China, established (based on the results of contact tracing) that none of the infections was introduced by children. A similar study of a cluster of Covid infection in France discovered that a child who tested positive did not pass on the virus to any of the more than 100 people with whom the youngster had contact while suffering the symptoms.

And yesterday, Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group (Sage), said that a forthcoming report by Public Health England should put parents’ minds at rest.

He added that the report had found ‘very little evidence of transmission in schools’ and that full reopening was ‘imperative’ for children’s social and mental wellbeing.

Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group (Sage), said that a forthcoming report by Public Health England should put parents' minds at rest

Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group (Sage), said that a forthcoming report by Public Health England should put parents’ minds at rest

Bousted, however, will maintain her ‘can’t do’ attitude.

The NEU has urged its members to fight headteachers preparing the reopening of schools, if they do not get the answers they want to a 25-page list of questions.

These questions include: ‘Will formal confirmation be given to staff that the overall working day will not be longer for any members of staff as a result?’, and ‘Will there be other arrangements to support staff wellbeing, such as stress and workload surveys and provision of individual support for staff experiencing anxiety or effects of trauma?’

It is a pitiful contrast to the can-do approach of the Armed Forces when they pushed through the construction at breakneck speed of the NHS Nightingale Hospitals, or indeed of the many thousands of supermarket workers over the past few months.

Enemy

But then neither the Army nor the supermarkets are in thrall to someone who regards the Government as an ideological enemy to be fought at all costs.

The NEU last year passed a motion arguing that ‘flying pickets’ be allowed to demonstrate outside school gates, and that the ‘closed shop’ should return, which would mean the dismissal of any teacher who refused to take up union membership.

In fact, a number of teachers are increasingly impatient with such political posturing. And we should not underestimate the extent to which good teachers have become fed up with the way the union fights to keep bad teachers in place.

I was recently contacted by Brian Walker MBE, the headteacher who transformed Derby’s West Park School from ‘underachieving’ in 1997 to become the top-performing school in the city, judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2013.

Mr Walker told me how he had achieved this by ‘taking a stand against restrictive practices: the union’s joint consultative committee was simply used to block anything which required their members to step up in any way’.

Walker changed all that, pointing out to me: ‘As a working class lad from Salford with a deep knowledge of trade unions, I wasn’t going to be intimidated.’

Let’s hope Mr Johnson and Mr Williamson are as tough as Brian Walker. If not, it will indeed be the children who will suffer.

Let's hope Mr Johnson and Mr Williamson (pictured) are as tough as Brian Walker. If not, it will indeed be the children who will suffer

Let’s hope Mr Johnson and Mr Williamson (pictured) are as tough as Brian Walker. If not, it will indeed be the children who will suffer

… And a lesson for the TV cricket pundits 

Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler

Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler

Last Thursday, I was watching the 10 o’clock news — I think it was the ITV version — when the presenter told us that ‘England’s cricketers are facing a loss in the first Test against Pakistan’.

This amazed me. It was only two days into a match scheduled for five, and while England were not doing brilliantly at that stage, Test cricket is notoriously hard to call. As we now know, the match was won by England with a full day of play remaining. The defeatists were defeated.

This was especially satisfying for the two players whose dazzlingly skilful second innings partnership won the game in Manchester — Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes.

Buttler had been damned for his admittedly poor wicket-keeping earlier in the match, while the pundits had also decreed that Woakes’s batting was shot (the Warwickshire player had recently endured a run of low scores).

To see these modest but immensely determined men prove the doubters wrong made me — and I’m sure millions of England supporters — very happy.

The two themselves seemed almost overcome with emotion in the post-match interviews. This was hardly surprising: the strain and effort involved in top-level sport is almost unimaginable, even without the pressure of public expectation.

Perhaps that is something the armchair critics should bear in mind — as well as our broadcasters.

Nicky Morgan and Andrew Neil are in the running to be the BBC’s next chairman

Amber Rudd, Nicky Morgan and Andrew Neil are among those in the running to take over as the BBC‘s next chairman as Boris Johnson seeks a candidate in tune with the Government’s agenda. 

The Prime Minister is said to be drawing up a long list of possible candidates, all of which do not want to ‘blow up’ the broadcaster. 

The BBC’s chairman, Sir David Clementi, is stepping down early next year and his replacement will be appointed by the Queen – on advice from the government.

Mr Johnson wants to ‘get on with it’ and decide on his successor by the Autumn but wants to avoid a putting a ‘berserker’ in the position,  sources told The Sunday Times reports.  

Former-culture secretary Baroness Morgan and former home secretary Ms Rudd are both being considered as potentials to take over due to their being credible both within the Tory party and in the BBC itself.

Broadcaster Mr Neil's years with the BBC also stand him in good stead.

Amber Rudd, Nicky Morgan (left) and Andrew Neil (right) are among those in the running to take over as the BBC’s next chairman as Boris Johnson seeks a candidate in tune with the Government’s agenda

The BBC’s chairman, Sir David Clementi (pictured), is stepping down early next year and his replacement will be appointed by the Queen - on advice from the government.

The BBC’s chairman, Sir David Clementi (pictured), is stepping down early next year and his replacement will be appointed by the Queen – on advice from the government.

Broadcaster Mr Neil is also being considered for these reasons and – despite him being heavily critical of the Prime Minister in the past – his years with the BBC also stand him in good stead.

Rudd and Johnson have remained on good terms after she quit the cabinet last year. But her appointment would see staunch opposition from senior aids including Dominic Cummings. 

Tory MPs have warned the Government about the ‘palpable’ anger of voters over the BBC’s decision to scrap free TV licences for most over-75s, it was yesterday revealed.

Figures showed that in some of their seats more than nine out of ten constituents who currently get the perk will have it taken away.

The corporation says it was forced to limit free licences to those on pension credit from August 1 because it could no longer afford to waive the £157.50 annual fee for all over-75s without severe cuts to programmes and channels.

Downing Street has described it as ‘the wrong decision’ – only for the BBC to hit back by pointing out that it was the Government which decided to stop funding the perk.

In a total of 110 Tory seats, at least 85 per cent of over-75s households will have to start paying the fee (stock image)

In a total of 110 Tory seats, at least 85 per cent of over-75s households will have to start paying the fee (stock image)

Now figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday show the full impact of the cut on the Tory heartlands: in Dame Cheryl Gillan’s Chesham and Amersham seat, a total of 91 per cent of households currently in receipt of the benefit will lose it, while in five other constituencies, including Sir John Redwood’s Wokingham, the figure is 90 per cent. 

In a total of 110 Tory seats, at least 85 per cent of over-75s households will have to start paying the fee.

It comes as the BBC’s outgoing Director-General, Tony Hall, can be revealed to have held ‘peace talks’ with Boris Johnson before he steps down at the end of the month.

Lord Hall is understood to have argued No 10 should adopt a less aggressive stance towards his successor, Tim Davie, over issues such as Government plans to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee. 

The Prime Minister is said to have adopted an ‘emollient’ tone, saying he wanted to use the BBC’s global reputation to project British ‘soft power’ around the world, but stressing the need for ‘efficiency savings’.

The pandemic has cost the BBC more than £125 million so far: funding free TV licences for all over-75s would have cost a total of £745 million by 2022.

The BBC says it was forced to limit free licences to those on pension credit from August 1 because it could no longer afford to waive the £157.50 annual fee for all over-75s

The BBC says it was forced to limit free licences to those on pension credit from August 1 because it could no longer afford to waive the £157.50 annual fee for all over-75s

The corporation originally set out plans to means test the free licence for over-75s from June, saving it an estimated £35 million per month, but it was delayed due to the coronavirus crisis. 

The BBC says about 1.5 million households could still receive free licences, with 450,000 already having applied – and has said pointedly that the Government ‘sets and controls’ who receives pension credit.

Last night, Julian Knight, the Tory chairman of the Culture committee, said the figures showing the proportion of constituents losing the benefit would ‘cause a collective gnashing of teeth on our backbenches’.

Mr Knight, the MP for Solihull – where 84 per cent of households receiving the benefit will lose it – said: ‘It shows the scale of harm the BBC decision has caused to our voters. 

‘I imagine in the coming months the anger amongst our people will be palpable. The question will be does the Government get it in the neck or the BBC?’

The BBC said of the discussions between Lord Hall and Mr Johnson: ‘We won’t be commenting on this.’ Downing Street also declined to comment.