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Friday briefing: Mixed picture can’t obscure local anger with Boris Johnson

In this morning’s newsletter: Archie Bland reports from Sunderland on a night when Tory support collapsed in the local elections, but Labour failed to inspire

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Hello, and happy local election results day from your caffeine-addled, sugared-up, banana-stuffed correspondent at the count in Silksworth Sports Centre in Sunderland, where Labour had a pretty average night – but fears of losing control of an iconic council to the Conservatives did not materialise, and only the Liberal Democrats picked up any seats.

As we send this email, it’s that same sort of messy picture across the country: disappointment but not catastrophe for the Conservatives, some Labour successes coming with plenty of big asterisks attached, and the Liberal Democrats and the Greens the only parties to really be able to point to unambiguous success.

Ukraine | Russia has unleashed heavy artillery barrages against multiple Ukrainian positions in the south and east of the country, with conflicting claims over whether Russian forces were attempting to storm the last Ukrainian positions in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.

Economy | Interest rates have once again been raised by the Bank of England to 1% – a 13-year high – to curb inflation. Inflation in the UK hit 7% in March, the highest level in three decades.

Monarchy | The Queen is to miss the royal garden party season in her platinum jubilee year, Buckingham Palace said. The 96-year-old monarch has been experiencing mobility issues in recent months.

Coronavirus | Ministers have tried to “explain away” disproportionality in death rates during the pandemic, the head of the Covid-19 public inquiry has been told in a leaked letter from black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders.

Baby P | The Parole Board rejected an appeal by justice secretary Dominic Raab against the release from prison of Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P, who died after months of abuse. Raab claimed the decision proved the Parole Board needs a “fundamental overhaul”.

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