Good morning. Today is the 200th anniversary of the first edition of what was then the Manchester Guardian and, if you buy a print edition of the paper, you will find included a facsimile of the four-page first edition. In the editorial the paper says it is committed to the â€œprompt and fearless exposure of delinquency in high placesâ€. Two centuries on, weâ€™re still on the case.
The first edition also carries a report on Lord Russellâ€™s motion to extend the â€œelective franchise to great townsâ€, pointing out that it is unlikely to be carried. Two hundred years later, the paper is leading with another story about the the progressive party in parliament facing a likely setback. Tomorrow every adult in Britain will have the chance to vote in one of the â€œSuper Thursdayâ€ elections – for the Scottish parliament, the Welsh Senedd, city and metro mayors, councillors, police commissioners, the London assembly and a Hartlepool MP – and, as my colleague Josh Halliday reports – in Hartlepool in particular, and some English council contests, it is looking grim for Labour.
On the last day of campaigning, Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer are both doing visits, and there will be a blitz of campaign activity across the country. Starmer will be doing three visits to support mayoral candidates, going first to West Yorkshire (Tracy Brabin), then the West Midlands (Liam Byrne), and finally the West of England (Dan Norris).
Today I will be mostly focused on the election campaigning. With parliament in recess, and the government in purdah, there is not much in the diary, although the G7 foreign ministers are still meeting in London, Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, is hosting an online meeting of G7 transport ministers, and the ONS is publishing various Covid reports.
I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include â€œAndrewâ€ in it somewhere and Iâ€™m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I canâ€™t promise to do this for everyone.
If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. Iâ€™m on @AndrewSparrow.