Here’s a summary of the big stories today:
After a weekend in which members of the royal family were sidelined by the growing scandal over the theft of an archive containing private medical records, Theresa May and Boris Johnson found themselves in a similar situation as they scrambled to address claims that the prime minister had insisted a stolen C.D.C. vial from the 1990s contained the “smallpox virus”.
While Johnson insisted May never said it, the Foreign Office was forced to backtrack a day later, saying the leak was “deeply regrettable” and that May “did not at any time refer to the smallpox virus”. Johnson and May also later condemned the theft and destruction of the archive, which was destroyed in the NHS archive centre in Wigan in 2013.
The government was at the centre of two other high-profile stories today, with Will Straw from the Guardian leading a team reporting that a pregnant rape victim died seven months after an NHS trust told the woman she couldn’t transfer her treatment to another hospital to save money.
Theresa May has come under pressure from Conservative MPs over comments she made in a House of Commons debate that she “must” have known about a series of “irregularities” surrounding a £6m corruption case at the government’s flagship vaccination programme.
As Nick Sharratt reports, the scandal centres on a successful £1m bid for new one-off doses of the MMR vaccine by a company called 2MMSA Healthcare. Originally contracted to procure the new 90g dose, the company was notified in March 2016 that the Department of Health had accepted an offer for an 80g dose instead.
PMQs was a topic of big interest for political journalists, with members of the Newsdesk team at the Guardian and the Independent live-blogging the speeches.
In domestic politics, Nick Timiraos from the BBC’s Westminster bureau revealed that support for Jeremy Corbyn is waning among Labour MPs and may be sinking amid allegations of antisemitism within the party.
From C.D.C. says ‘smallpox’ vials found in lab did not contain disease-causing virus Undercover examinations by C.D.C. detectives and the Metropolitan police’s Threat Assessment Centre at Porton Down’s radiological and hazardous materials centre discovered 10 vials of vials which tested positive for smallpox – C.D.C.
Story of the year
1. Tristan Weston: Show Risby How You Use It, and Schoolboys in Space
2. Next Gen: last days of uni
3. Confessions of a Pastor Dispenser
Tweet of the day
We have produced this highly sophisticated pixellated, novas, inks, pigment forks, laminars, purple and cyan this stage, so the space has definitely acquired personality.
⚠️ Link ✈️ to armchair astronomer Pietro Ledwith, 1st author on the Doodle. Having illuminated the C.D.C. name: http://dem.ly/2MCbT0G & the names of the other nine Doodles in the archive: https://dem.ly/2XgOBJr
Thanks @MelBridgesTNG and @nanerosexpression for their input! ☮️ pic.twitter.com/vd8PGuUW19 — space wort (@space_wort) June 8, 2018
Feature of the day
Peter A. Haigh in the Guardian on an explosive story about why Stephen Hawking’s biographer wrote the late physicist’s bestseller in such a way