EXCL: Maura Higgins hits back after ex Curtis Pritchard is pictured kissing blonde dancer

Maura Higgins has reportedly hit back after her ex Curtis Pritchard was pictured kissing the dancer he was rumoured to be cheating on her with.

A source close to the Love Island star, 29, told MailOnline she views his cosy exchange with Amber Pierson as ‘a massive kick in the teeth,’ and believes she ‘should have trusted her gut’ following claims about their relationship in the past.

Maura and Curtis called it quits in March just eight months after leaving the Love Island villa, with sources claiming at the time the Irish reality star felt pressured to maintain the romance to boost their profile, which the dancer strongly denies.

EXCLUSIVE: Maura Higgins, 29, has reportedly hit back after her ex Curtis Pritchard was pictured kissing the dancer he was rumoured to be cheating on her with

A source close to Maura told MailOnline: ‘This is a massive kick in the teeth to Maura as she did have her suspicions and believes now she should have trusted her gut feeling at the time. 

‘However Maura is in a really great place right now, focusing on herself and her career.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Curtis Pritchard for comment.

Drama: A source close to the reality star said Maura believes she 'should have trusted her gut feeling' following claims about Curtis relationship with Amber, which he denied

Drama: A source close to the reality star said Maura believes she ‘should have trusted her gut feeling’ following claims about Curtis relationship with Amber, which he denied

What's going on? Amid the reports Maura also took to Twitter to share a cryptic tweet about 'the truth coming out'

What’s going on? Amid the reports Maura also took to Twitter to share a cryptic tweet about ‘the truth coming out’

Sexy: It comes after Curtis was pictured sharing a kiss with dancer Amber Pierson (pictured), with the TV star leaning in for a kiss and draping his arm around her in a London park

Sexy: It comes after Curtis was pictured sharing a kiss with dancer Amber Pierson (pictured), with the TV star leaning in for a kiss and draping his arm around her in a London park 

Mere hours after Curtis was pictured kissing blonde dancer Amber, Maura also took to Twitter on Saturday to cryptically write: ‘The truth always comes out in the end.’  

Love Island star Curtis previously hit back at claims he had cheated on his ex-girlfriend Maura, with Amber, who also called the speculation a ‘complete lie.’ 

However it appears the pair have got close in recent months as they were spotted kissing as they walked through a park in images obtained by The Sun.  

Love: Curtis was pictured kissing Amber on Friday, after insisting they were 'friends' when he was hit by claims he cheated on Maura (pictured 2019)

Love: Curtis was pictured kissing Amber on Friday, after insisting they were ‘friends’ when he was hit by claims he cheated on Maura (pictured 2019) 

Curtis packed on the PDA as he wrapped his arm around Amber and leaned in for a kiss. Amber is also a professional dancer and a model based in London. 

An insider told the publication: ‘It’s game over for Curtis and Amber pretending they are just pals. Their ”friends” line fooled no one.’ 

Curtis is said to have taken Amber out on a double date on Tuesday, where they enjoyed dinner with his brother AJ, 25, and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen. 

Amber was also spotted out on a trip to Cornwall with the group last week. Scrupulous fans spotted her next to Curtis in a series of snaps shared to Instagram.  

The revelation will likely come as a blow to Curtis’ Love Island ex, Maura, whom  he split from in March. 

MailOnline has contacted Maura’s representatives for comment, a spokseperson for Curtis was unavailable for comment.

Denied: Amber (pictured centre right) and Curtis (pictured centre) branded claims of their alleged affair as 'complete lies' despite their recent park rendezvous

Denied: Amber (pictured centre right) and Curtis (pictured centre) branded claims of their alleged affair as ‘complete lies’ despite their recent park rendezvous 

Rumbled: The dancing couple have been spotted out together on multiple occasions including a romantic double date with Curtis' brother AJ, 25, and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen

Rumbled: The dancing couple have been spotted out together on multiple occasions including a romantic double date with Curtis’ brother AJ, 25, and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen

Their relationship was rumoured to be on the rocks after speculation surfaced that Curtis was getting overly friendly with the blonde beauty.   

His Irish ex had reportedly confronted him after she noticed him getting to close to comfort with his dancer ‘friend.’  

The red flags went up for Maura when she was alerted to an anonymous tweet, saying that Curtis was spotted ‘hugging and kissing’ the blonde.  

Following the speculation, Amber dismissed claims she’d had a fling with Curtis behind Maura’s back calling them ‘complete lies,’ but branded the Love Island hunk ‘a lovely and talented guy’.

Taking to Instagram, she wrote: ‘I didn’t want to speak out about this, but I feel I have to as I have been receiving a few abusive messages recently regarding what’s been in the papers. 

‘To be very clear, Curtis and I have never been together. We are simply friends and dancer partners! There are 13 dancers going on tour, and I am one of them. 

‘The “cheating” allegations this week are out of the blue and complete lies.

‘I wanted no part in this but what I will say is Curtis is genuinely a lovely and talented guy, who doesn’t deserve any of this. Hope that’s set the record straight and we can move on. Amber x.’ 

Wandering eye? Curtis and Maura's relationship was rumoured to be on the rocks after speculation surfaced that Curtis was getting overly friendly with the blonde beauty

Wandering eye? Curtis and Maura’s relationship was rumoured to be on the rocks after speculation surfaced that Curtis was getting overly friendly with the blonde beauty 

Curtis and Maura found love towards the end of the 2019 ITV series and continued to date for eight months after their exit before their relationship came to end in 2020.   

It was claimed at the time the couple rowed over her friendship with her Dancing On Ice partner Alexander Demetriou.

The Sun reported that Alex’s friendly relationship with Maura caused arguments with his Dancing On Ice skater wife Carlotta Edwards.

Carlotta and Alex have since announced the break down of their marriage, but Maura has always insisted she is just friends with the professional skater. 

Setting the record straight! Back in March, Amber dismissed claims she'd had a fling with the Love Island hunk behind his ex Maura's back as 'complete lies'

Setting the record straight! Back in March, Amber dismissed claims she’d had a fling with the Love Island hunk behind his ex Maura’s back as ‘complete lies’

Thousands of NHS nurses and healthcare staff march through UK streets in protest over pay

Thousands of NHS workers are taking to the streets of the UK to protest against their exclusion from a recent public sector pay rise announcement.

Anger is mounting as NHS workers were overlooked in the latest round of public sector pay rises – despite more than 500 NHS and social care staff dying from Covid-19.

Unite, which has a 100,000 members in the health service, is supporting its members wishing to attend the socially-distanced protests, so that the government can see the depth of discontent and frustration of NHS staff, they say, who continue to be in the frontline in the battle against Covid-19.

A flagship march is taking place in London, which began at St James’s Park before protesters made their way along Whitehall towards Downing Street. The march is expected to finish in Parliament Square.

A blue banner reading ‘End NHS pay inequality, together we win’ led the march.

Many were carrying placards, including one which said: ‘Boris remember my neighbour Lewis, what about his pay rise?

‘He saved your life now reward us.’

Last month Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 3.1% pay rise for 900,000 public sector workers, including senior doctors, teachers and police officers.

Nurses were not included because they negotiated a separate three-year-deal in 2018. Junior doctors were also excluded because they agreed a new four year deal last year. 

NHS workers gathered in St James’ Park, London, to protest against their exclusion from the most recent public sector pay rise announcement. Thousands are expected to attend the socially distanced protest which forms part of a national demo

Unite the union backed the protest and say they are calling for a pay rise for its members and have reps at the demo today

Unite the union backed the protest and say they are calling for a pay rise for its members and have reps at the demo today

The march is expected to move from St James' Park to Parliament Square as part of a national protest over NHS workers pay

The march is expected to move from St James’ Park to Parliament Square as part of a national protest over NHS workers pay

A NHS worker wears a NHS face mask as protesters gather for a march through the streets of London

Demonstrators have banners and signs calling for a pay rise after they were excluded from the most recent announcement by the Government

Last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 3.1% pay rise for 900,000 public sector workers, including senior doctors, teachers and police officers but nurses were excluded because they agreed a new four year deal last year

NHS workers have said the exclusion from the most recent public sector pay rises flies in the face of the Clap for Carers gesture which saw thousands of Britons head to their doorsteps and show appreciation for NHS workers with applause

NHS workers have said the exclusion from the most recent public sector pay rises flies in the face of the Clap for Carers gesture which saw thousands of Britons head to their doorsteps and show appreciation for NHS workers with applause

Unite has said that it is seeking a substantial pay increase for its members.

A key demonstration got underway in London, starting at 11.00 am at St. James Park, with protesters then marching along Whitehall to Downing Street and ending with a rally at Parliament Square.

Pictures show hundreds of protesters in masks marching with banners through the capital. 

Unite national officer for health Jackie Williams said: ‘Nursing staff and other allied health professionals have reacted with anger to being overlooked when pay rises were given to many in the public sector last month and the government not hearing the health trade unions’ call to bring their pay rise forward from April 2021.

‘Last week, health workers marched to Downing Street to vent their anger that all their efforts during the pandemic, which has claimed so many of their colleagues’ lives, have appeared to be ignored when it comes to recognition in their pay packets.

‘In a decade of Tory austerity, NHS staff has seen their pay cut by 20 per cent in real terms – and no amount of Thursday evening clapping and warm ministerial words can compensate for this dramatic loss in income.

Protestors appear to mostly be adhering to social distancing measures and wearing masks as they march through the streets

Protestors appear to mostly be adhering to social distancing measures and wearing masks as they march through the streets

A protestor wearing a face mask attends a demonstration of NHS staff, unions and campaigners protesting the government's handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in London, and how some NHS workers were excluded from pay rises

A protestor wearing a face mask attends a demonstration of NHS staff, unions and campaigners protesting the government’s handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in London, and how some NHS workers were excluded from pay rises

Despite the public and many high profile government figures showing support by clapping for the NHS on Thursdays earlier this year, NHS workers say they deserve a substantial pay increase that reflects their worth to society during the pandemic

Despite the public and many high profile government figures showing support by clapping for the NHS on Thursdays earlier this year, NHS workers say they deserve a substantial pay increase that reflects their worth to society during the pandemic

Who received a Covid-19 pay rise from the government in July?

 Department  and Agreed Award

School Teachers – 3.1%

Doctors & Dentists – 2.8%

Police Officers – 2.5%

Armed Forces – 2%

National Crime Agency – 2.5%

Prison Officers – 2.5%

Judiciary – 2%

Senior Civil Servants – 2%

Senior Military – 2%

‘Poor rates of pay have contributed to the estimated 100,000 vacancies in the NHS and ensuing ‘recruitment and retention’ crisis.

‘Unite is supporting our members wishing to turn out on Saturday. There will be a broad-based rolling campaign for NHS pay justice that will continue for the rest of the year.

‘The public expects – and ministers should deliver – a substantial pay increase for NHS staff that reflects their real worth to the NHS and society more generally. NHS workers shouldn’t have to wait till April 2021.’

Last month, the Government announced nearly 900,000 workers will benefit from a pay rise to reflect their ‘vital contribution’ during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Teachers and doctors will see the largest rise at 3.1% and 2.8% respectively ‘recognising their efforts on the frontline during the battle against COVID-19’ the Government said.

The Government said more than one million NHS workers not included in the latest pay rises will continue to benefit from the three-year Agenda for Change pay deal made in 2018. 

The next pay rise will be due in April 2021, but unions say the government should bring it forward to this year to thank NHS staff for their sacrifices during the pandemic. 

Demonstrations are also set to take place in towns and cities around the UK including in Basildon, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and Ipswich.

A statement from Nurses United, an organisation that helped set up the demonstrations, said: ‘NHS workers care for our patients and place public safety as an utmost priority, which is why we are taking action to improve the pay of all NHS staff.

A two minute silence takes place in St James's Park, London, as anger is mounting as NHS workers were overlooked in the latest round of public sector pay rises – despite more than 500 NHS and social care staff dying from Covid-19

A two minute silence takes place in St James’s Park, London, as anger is mounting as NHS workers were overlooked in the latest round of public sector pay rises – despite more than 500 NHS and social care staff dying from Covid-19

The demonstrations across the country were organised by Nurses United with the largest protest taking place in London

The demonstrations across the country were organised by Nurses United with the largest protest taking place in London

Hundreds of masked workers attended the protest today armed with signs and banners appealing for government support

Hundreds of masked workers attended the protest today armed with signs and banners appealing for government support

NHS workers feel last year's pay deal does not go far enough to reflect their worth to the public during the pandemic

NHS workers feel last year’s pay deal does not go far enough to reflect their worth to the public during the pandemic

NHS workers observe a two minutes silence for colleagues who died from Covid-19 as part of a national protest over pay

NHS workers observe a two minutes silence for colleagues who died from Covid-19 as part of a national protest over pay

‘With the average Band 5 NHS worker losing 20% of their pay since 2010 it is no surprise that this has caused over 100,000 vacancies within our NHS. 

‘A 15% pay rise is about addressing the conditions which put ourselves and our patients at risk long before COVID-19. NHS workers are understandably angry when their lives are put at risk and the response from this Government is that their work and their lives are not valued. 

‘As a group who has been supporting people to independently organise protests to highlight these issues, it is important for demonstration organisers and attendees to keep themselves informed of risks, the latest public health guidance and the latest regulations. These may change rapidly and may differ across the UK.’ 

The Met has plans in place ahead of this weekend, and people can expect to see officers visible across London.

A spokesman said: ‘We are aware that a number of people may wish to demonstrate this weekend; we would always ask them to engage with us.

‘We want to remind anyone who is taking part in a demonstration in a public place or at a public meeting, not to wear a uniform which is associated with a political purpose, as to do so may be committing an offence under Section 1 of the Public Order Act, 1936.’

Protests against the lack of pay rise for NHS workers are taking place across the UK, including in Cardiff, Wales (pictured)

Protests against the lack of pay rise for NHS workers are taking place across the UK, including in Cardiff, Wales (pictured) 

NHS workers demonstrate in Glasgow Green, Glasgow, as part of a UK wide protest over pay

NHS workers demonstrate in Glasgow Green, Glasgow, as part of a UK wide protest over pay

Hundreds of protesters take to the streets of Glasgow to join the UK-wide protest against the lack pay rise for NHS workers

Hundreds of protesters take to the streets of Glasgow to join the UK-wide protest against the lack pay rise for NHS workers

NHS workers feel last year's pay deal does not go far enough to reflect their worth to the public during the pandemic

NHS workers feel last year’s pay deal does not go far enough to reflect their worth to the public during the pandemic

Staff are hoping they can count on support from the public who regularly turned out to clap for the NHS during lockdown.

Unison said a survey showed 69% of the public think all NHS staff should get an early pay rise before the end of this year, in light of coronavirus.

The findings also highlight how two thirds (66%) of the public believe a wage increase for employees – including healthcare assistants, nurses, hospital porters, midwives, paramedics and cleaners – should be significant in light of the Covid-19 pan

Commenting on the findings, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: ‘[The pay rise announcement] was the perfect opportunity for the government to show it’s in tune with public opinion and commit to an early pay rise for NHS staff.

‘It’s clear the public backs an early increase and to ignore them would be at the government’s own peril. Any attempt to deny staff a significant wage increase could rebound badly.

‘A wage increase needs sorting right away so the NHS is fit to face the winter ahead and all that may bring. It would help boost the economy too, as health workers spend the extra money in their pockets locally.

‘Health unions have made a clear and reasonable case – it’s down to the government to act and prove how much it values the NHS and its staff. Enough of hands together – people want to see hands in pockets, and now.’ 

The march is expected to move from St James' Park to Parliament Square as part of a national protest over NHS workers pay

The march is expected to move from St James’ Park to Parliament Square as part of a national protest over NHS workers pay

Nurses and other frontline NHS workers stage a protest Glasgow Green after being left out of a public sector pay rise

Nurses and other frontline NHS workers stage a protest Glasgow Green after being left out of a public sector pay rise

NHS workers demonstrate in Glasgow Green, Glasgow, as part of a UK wide protest over pay

NHS workers demonstrate in Glasgow Green, Glasgow, as part of a UK wide protest over pay

Meanwhile, an online petition calling for all frontline NHS workers to have an “adequate pay rise” has so far been signed more than 116,000 times.

It follows the Clap for Carers movement which saw thousands of Britons head to their door-step on Thursday nights to applaud NHS workers.

Clap for Our Carers, also known as Clap for the NHS was a recurring not-for-profit movement created as a gesture of appreciation for the NHS workers during the global pandemic of Coronavirus disease.

It was supported by many high-profile government figures, prompting critics to accuse the Government of hypocrisy when nurses and NHS workers were excluded from the pay rise wave last month. 

DAME HELENA MORRISSEY, it’s the poor who’ll suffer most if we don’t return to the office

Walking through the City of London last week was an eerie and disturbing experience.

This is an area I know well through my long career in finance. It is usually throbbing with life. Pavements are crowded, roads congested, offices packed, entrance doors in perpetual motion.

Yet, on Monday afternoon, I felt as if I had wandered into a ghost town. I could cross the road without a glance to either side because there was no traffic.

Amid shuttered shops and closed buildings, near-silence had descended.

Travelling home by Tube at five o’clock — once the height of rush hour — I had almost an entire carriage to myself.

Dame Helena Morrissey, pictured, has said commuting to and from work in the City of London this week was a lonely experience, with virtually nobody else on a rush hour tube from the centre of town

It was a stark reminder of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus emergency and the ongoing policy response.

The City is the premier financial centre in the world and a key engine of our economy. Today that machine is barely functioning.

Tragically, this paralysis is replicated across the land. Monday, August 3, the day when the Government dropped its official advice to ‘work from home if you can’, was supposed to be the moment that Britain came roaring back to life after almost five long months of lockdown. But instead of a flood tide of returning employees, we saw just a trickle.

According to a study by Morgan Stanley, just a third of British office workers were back at their desks last week, compared with 83 per cent of those in France and 76 per cent of those in Italy.

An audit by this paper of 30 of Britain’s biggest firms, representing 320,000 employees, painted an even gloomier picture. Just 17 per cent of the workers planned to return their offices.

Many, I accept, will have been working productively from home. But the abandonment of the traditional workplace is causing real damage, particularly to the huge sector — often small, independent businesses — that is dependent on thriving office life, including cafes, sandwich shops, bars, newsagents and taxi drivers.

Just this week, WHSmith announced that it is to make about 1,500 staff redundant. Similarly, Pret a Manger revealed last month that it is to close 30 shops, while the owners of the Upper Crust takeaway chain are to let 5,000 employees go.

According to a study by Morgan Stanley, just a third of British office workers were back at their desks last week, compared with 83 per cent of those in France and 76 per cent of those in Italy

According to a study by Morgan Stanley, just a third of British office workers were back at their desks last week, compared with 83 per cent of those in France and 76 per cent of those in Italy

So what, you might say. Surely that’s a price worth paying for a few more weeks at home that might reduce the transmission of coronavirus even further? Except that this is part of a wider employment crisis starting to grip the economy and it will cause grave damage for years to come.

It is estimated that at least 135,000 jobs have already disappeared and this figure is likely to be dwarfed in the autumn when government employment protection schemes are due to end. So far, the Treasury has poured more than £30 billion into its furlough initiative, protecting more than nine million employees, as well as another £50 billion into business loans and £8 billion into grants for the self-employed.

But further support at this level is unaffordable. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, this year’s fiscal deficit is likely to reach more than £370 billion, followed by another £150 billion in 2021.

Lavishing yet more taxpayers’ funds on massive subsidies will only entrench the artificial, semi-comatose nature of the economy.

What we need is to begin a real return to normality: ministers and scientists must drop the fearful messaging of late and open up commerce with vigour and determination. They must make it clear that the only alternative to economic catastrophe is getting back to work now.

For that to happen, our society needs to develop a sense of perspective about coronavirus — and to take some responsibility for ourselves.

Yes, it is a brutal disease and every Covid-19 death is a cause of personal grief. But it is folly to pretend the virus is an apocalyptic threat, as some of the scaremongering has implied.

The continuing disproportionate focus on coronavirus has created a persistent atmosphere of exaggerated fear

The continuing disproportionate focus on coronavirus has created a persistent atmosphere of exaggerated fear

In recent days, I have listened in despair to doom-laden talk about the probability of a ‘second wave’ from epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, a former member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and a man notorious for the inaccuracy of some of his forecasts (on BSE and Foot and Mouth, for example) — and for breaking the lockdown with his married lover.

This week on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said pubs might have to close before schools can reopen, without adequately explaining the logic behind the thought and with no regard to the impact of his words on the devastated hospitality sector.

Even worse was Dr David Nabarro, one of the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Envoys, who, again on the Today programme, warned of ‘very bad surges’ unless more action is taken.

It did not help that these alarming predictions followed the introduction of a partial lockdown in the North West after localised spikes, the Prime Minister talking of a ‘second wave’ in parts of Europe, reports that the Government was ‘war-gaming’ plans to impose a lockdown on millions of the over-50s, and restrictions on travel to and from London if a second wave emerged here. Of course, we cannot be complacent when it comes to this novel virus. But that ultra-cautious attitude is the exact opposite of what Britain needs at this dangerous moment in our history.

In recent days, I have listened in despair to doom-laden talk about the probability of a ‘second wave’ from epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, a former member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and a man notorious for the inaccuracy of some of his forecasts (on BSE and Foot and Mouth, for example) — and for breaking the lockdown with his married lover

In recent days, I have listened in despair to doom-laden talk about the probability of a ‘second wave’ from epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, a former member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and a man notorious for the inaccuracy of some of his forecasts (on BSE and Foot and Mouth, for example) — and for breaking the lockdown with his married lover

The continuing disproportionate focus on coronavirus has created a persistent atmosphere of exaggerated fear.

Such anxiety might have been understandable when the lockdown was imposed in March, but it is now wholly unjustified by current data.

On Thursday this week, there were just 737 coronavirus patients in UK hospitals, compared with 17,000 at the peak in April. Sixty-three were in mechanical ventilation beds, compared with more than 3,000 at the peak.

There were eight deaths reported on Thursday, the lowest number for that day of the week since lockdown began.

In the same vein, when the crisis was at its worst in April, more than 1,000 people died with the disease on 22 consecutive days. Yet the latest statistics, for the week ending July 24, recorded just 217 Covid deaths, accounting for just 2.4 per cent of all fatalities in England and Wales. We also know that the median age of those who died is over 80.

The pursuit of safety has become its own menace. On top of the economic damage, the Covid lockdown has brought a host of social problems, from fractured relationships to an increase in excessive drinking — in July alone, alcohol sales were up by 40 per cent

The pursuit of safety has become its own menace. On top of the economic damage, the Covid lockdown has brought a host of social problems, from fractured relationships to an increase in excessive drinking — in July alone, alcohol sales were up by 40 per cent

What makes the myopia about coronavirus all the more dangerous is that it leads to neglect of other, often serious, conditions, as the Mail reported this week.

Many cancer patients, for example, are finding tests, operations and treatment delayed, while mental health care, drug rehabilitation, care for the elderly and even getting an appointment with the GP are adversely impacted.

The pursuit of safety has become its own menace. On top of the economic damage, the Covid lockdown has brought a host of social problems, from fractured relationships to an increase in excessive drinking — in July alone, alcohol sales were up by 40 per cent.

Then there are the profound feelings of alienation and oppression, so different from the freedoms we took for granted until recently.

Our lives are governed by an endless barrage of complex, sometimes contradictory edicts. At my daughter’s school, she and her Year 6 classmates were bewildered and upset to be told they could not associate with any pupils outside their ‘bubble’.

At least she was able to go to school. By September, millions of pupils will have been deprived of any education for at least six months, even though there is no recorded case worldwide of any child passing on coronavirus in a school setting.

It is also clear that coronavirus has cemented inequalities between private schooling and the state sector, hindering social mobility.

But those Covid inequalities can be seen on every front — between rich and poor, male (who are at greater risk) and female, white and BAME (the latter group are far more likely to work in the front line of essential services and are significantly more vulnerable to the disease).

Meanwhile, the institutional obsession with Covid is all-consuming. Its authoritarianism extends into every aspect of life.

I went to a church service recently and, although there were only about ten of us in the congregation, the priest spent much of her time not on spiritual matters but on the announcement of coronavirus regulations.

I decided it was probably a more spiritual experience to say my prayers at home for now.

Another of my daughters, a gregarious student, was sent detailed orders about Covid-compliant life on campus next term.

It read like something from a police state; rules on face coverings, library closures, the provision of meals ‘in boxes’ and interaction with other students couched in a fear-mongering tone.

I’ll say it again: we cannot go on like this. We are allowing the disease to dominate us in a bullying, destructive manner out of all proportion to its real health impact.

Most Britons are not at any risk of serious illness at all. The mortality rate is believed to be less than 0.5 per cent and much lower for those under 70 and those without underlying health issues.

Most Britons are not at any risk of serious illness at all. The mortality rate is believed to be less than 0.5 per cent and much lower for those under 70 and those without underlying health issues

Most Britons are not at any risk of serious illness at all. The mortality rate is believed to be less than 0.5 per cent and much lower for those under 70 and those without underlying health issues

With greater testing of those who have no symptoms, it is hardly surprising that the recent limited increase in positive cases has produced no rise in deaths or admissions to hospital.

Moreover, as knowledge of the disease improves, so the quality of effective treatment advances and the potency of coronavirus declines with each passing month.

We need to learn to live with the risks through a more balanced, pragmatic policy that takes account of our wider social and economic needs.

With continuing improvements in test-and-trace, now in the hands of local authorities who are achieving increased take-up, it is possible to contain any uptick in infection rates at a regional level, rather than stifling activity nationally.

The Government needs to signal this unambiguously: the central case is to get on with our lives, accepting the need for agility and flexibility if a flare-up occurs.

Ministers should also break free from the iron control exerted for too long by the scientists.

However admirable their work, they are hired to advise rather than dictate. Their word is not gospel. Their individual opinions are often fiercely contested by colleagues and many of their analyses have turned out to be flawed.

More importantly, they have a vested interest in playing up the worst-case scenarios, as they don’t want to be accused of complacency. So SAGE should include other experts to challenge and provide different perspectives, such as mental health practitioners, cancer specialists and, dare I say it, economists, too.

For many young people in shared, cramped city accommodation, home working is miserable

For many young people in shared, cramped city accommodation, home working is miserable

But perhaps the most important step is to get back to the workplace. If France and Italy can do it, why can’t we? Hiding at home has never been the British way. Some commentators will rightly say that remote working has great advantages for employers, who save on office costs, and for employees, who can achieve a better work-life balance as well as savings on childcare and commuting.

As a lifelong campaigner for equality, I am all in favour of more flexible working. But we must also be aware of the broader ramifications of a wholesale retreat.

In an economy where consumer services make up four-fifths of activity, offices are vital not just for the livelihoods of millions — often the poorest in society — but for growth.

There is also a powerful element of social justice about this duty. Huge numbers of essential workers — from supermarket delivery crews to healthcare professionals — are unable to work from home but have carried on heroically.

And for many young people in shared, cramped city accommodation, home working is miserable.

Why should the right of these two groups to a decent living be denied by those who have the privilege of choice? But that is what will occur if the great office stayaway continues.

There is a further danger, too, of which many seem heedless. Those who have shown they can work efficiently from home are also demonstrating to employers that the job could be done from abroad, where labour costs are cheaper

There is a further danger, too, of which many seem heedless. Those who have shown they can work efficiently from home are also demonstrating to employers that the job could be done from abroad, where labour costs are cheaper

There is a further danger, too, of which many seem heedless. Those who have shown they can work efficiently from home are also demonstrating to employers that the job could be done from abroad, where labour costs are cheaper.

As firms battle to reduce overheads, many bosses may be tempted to do just that. Those who opt not to return to the office through fear or complacency may be in for rude awakening.

As the economy ossifies, we will all end up losers. Without any return to normality in the autumn, the Government will face a stark, unpalatable choice: either mass unemployment or the horrendous cost of extended furlough.

I am certain the Cabinet does not want to go down either of those roads. That is why ministers across government need to make it consistently clear that we must, and can, learn to live with this virus, that we cannot put our lives on perpetual hold.

Now is the time for bravery, for accepting that negative messaging will only make the crisis worse.

Of course, we must protect the vulnerable. But now people should be allowed to make choices for themselves, with the confidence that, for the majority, this virus is not as dangerous as it was.

It is the time for Britain to get moving again. 

  • Helena Morrissey DBE is a leading British financier and campaigner.

An Inspector Calls… A review of Yotel Clerkenwell, London

An Inspector Calls… Tech-savvy hotel brand Yotel has opened a new branch in London’s Clerkenwell where the cabin-style rooms are ‘terrific value’ and its ‘glamorous’ bar is a highlight

  • Budget chain Yotel has opened a new outpost in Clerkenwell, central London
  • There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are ‘small but comfortable and spotless’
  • The standout feature, says the Inspector, is the ‘glamorous’ atrium and bar

Full marks to Yotel on the bravery front. Not many other spanking new hotels would swing open their doors when London has seldom been so quiet and when visitors from overseas are giving Britain a wide berth.

But that’s what happened this week in Clerkenwell, marking the budget chain’s first foray into the capital, following Yotels at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and one in Edinburgh.

There are 212 rooms (sorry, cabins, as they’re called) and only four are occupied in addition to mine.

The Inspector checked into Yotel’s new outpost in Clerkenwell, central London. Pictured is the ‘glamorous’ atrium and bar

‘But I think it will be an advantage. We will be in a better position once life returns to normal,’ says Pedro, a chatty member of staff from Portugal, who works behind the bar and helps out in the kitchen.

Let’s hope so because for £85 in the centre of town, this is terrific value. It’s cleverly designed over six floors: minimalistic, tech-savvy, fun (reception is called Mission Control, staff are referred to as Crew and the bar area is Komyuniti, Japanese for community).

Calling rooms cabins is a good way of managing expectations. And, yes, they are small, but comfortable, spotless, white all over and everything works. Press a button for the shower; another to turn the bed into a sofa; multiple power and USB charging ports; bunk beds for families and views of St Paul’s Cathedral if you’re facing south.

There’s a gym in the basement and a ‘grab and go’ food area near reception. I’m looking to order and stay, which I do at the bar to the rear of the building. 

There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are 'small, comfortable and spotless'

There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are ‘small, comfortable and spotless’

This is Yotel’s stand-out feature, with its own atrium and a glamorous air about it, enhanced by the high stools, sleek sofas and little booths.

No frills needn’t mean no thrills. The all-day menu includes a variety of flatbreads, bao buns, king prawn skewers and padron peppers.

I go for sweet chilli crispy chicken, the peppers and paprika fries, all for £14, and Pedro is keen for me to try an Argentinian Malbec that, he says, spends some time in bourbon barrels.

I can’t stand being hermetically sealed at night. It feels so unnatural. But I don’t hear a thing.

You can get a cooked breakfast, but this is more a place for rolling your own yoghurt and drinking herbal tea.

‘You will have a beautiful day,’ says Eric at check-out. And he means it.

TRAVEL FACTS 

YOTEL London 96-100 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5RJ. Doubles from £85. For more information call 0203 146 1310 or visit yotel.com.  

Rating:

An Inspector Calls… A review of Yotel Clerkenwell, London

An Inspector Calls… at Yotel’s new branch in London’s Clerkenwell where the cabin-style rooms are ‘terrific value’ and its ‘glamorous’ bar is a highlight

  • Budget chain Yotel has opened a new outpost in Clerkenwell, central London
  • There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are ‘small but comfortable and spotless’
  • The standout feature, says the Inspector, is the ‘glamorous’ atrium and bar

Full marks to Yotel on the bravery front. Not many other spanking new hotels would swing open their doors when London has seldom been so quiet and when visitors from overseas are giving Britain a wide berth.

But that’s what happened this week in Clerkenwell, marking the budget chain’s first foray into the capital, following Yotels at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and one in Edinburgh.

There are 212 rooms (sorry, cabins, as they’re called) and only four are occupied in addition to mine.

The Inspector checked into Yotel’s new outpost in Clerkenwell, central London. Pictured is the ‘glamorous’ atrium and bar

‘But I think it will be an advantage. We will be in a better position once life returns to normal,’ says Pedro, a chatty member of staff from Portugal, who works behind the bar and helps out in the kitchen.

Let’s hope so because for £85 in the centre of town, this is terrific value. It’s cleverly designed over six floors: minimalistic, tech-savvy, fun (reception is called Mission Control, staff are referred to as Crew and the bar area is Komyuniti, Japanese for community).

Calling rooms cabins is a good way of managing expectations. And, yes, they are small, but comfortable, spotless, white all over and everything works. Press a button for the shower; another to turn the bed into a sofa; multiple power and USB charging ports; bunk beds for families and views of St Paul’s Cathedral if you’re facing south.

There’s a gym in the basement and a ‘grab and go’ food area near reception. I’m looking to order and stay, which I do at the bar to the rear of the building. 

There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are 'small, comfortable and spotless'

There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are ‘small, comfortable and spotless’

This is Yotel’s stand-out feature, with its own atrium and a glamorous air about it, enhanced by the high stools, sleek sofas and little booths.

No frills needn’t mean no thrills. The all-day menu includes a variety of flatbreads, bao buns, king prawn skewers and padron peppers.

I go for sweet chilli crispy chicken, the peppers and paprika fries, all for £14, and Pedro is keen for me to try an Argentinian Malbec that, he says, spends some time in bourbon barrels.

I can’t stand being hermetically sealed at night. It feels so unnatural. But I don’t hear a thing.

You can get a cooked breakfast, but this is more a place for rolling your own yoghurt and drinking herbal tea.

‘You will have a beautiful day,’ says Eric at check-out. And he means it.

TRAVEL FACTS 

YOTEL London 96-100 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5RJ. Doubles from £85. For more information call 0203 146 1310 or visit yotel.com.  

Rating:

Firefighters battling Surrey fire tell evacuated they must NOT return to their mansions

Firefighters battling a huge wildfire in Surrey have today told evacuated millionaire families not to return to their £2million mansions after they declared the blaze a ‘major incident’. 

Around 60 properties, home to around 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot, where homes are sold for around £2million, due to plumes of smoke in the air.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service told MailOnline that no other properties have so far been evacuated while today 25 vehicles were sent to tackle the blaze for a second day. 

Yesterday the embattled fire service sent 40 fire engines including two water carriers to fight the grass fire which started on Chobham Common and could be seen from central London. 

In a statement, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Crews remain on scene at the fire on Chobham Common which spread to around 150 acres at its peak. 

‘Overnight the cooling temperatures and hard work of crews contained the spread but we’re expecting firefighters to be on scene through the day. Please avoid the area for your own safety. 

They added: ‘A number of roads in the area remain closed and some properties were evacuated. Residents that were evacuated should not return to their homes.’ 

Firefighters battling a huge wildfire in Surrey have today told evacuated millionaire families not to return to their £2million homes after huge flames destroyed 150 acres of countryside 

Around 60 properties, home to around 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot, where homes are sold for around £2million, due to plumes of smoke in the air

Around 60 properties, home to around 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot, where homes are sold for around £2million, due to plumes of smoke in the air 

The fire continued to rage into last night and sent huge plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen more than 20 miles away in west London and from tall buildings in central London

The fire continued to rage into last night and sent huge plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen more than 20 miles away in west London and from tall buildings in central London

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service told MailOnline no other properties have so far been evacuated while today they sent 25 vehicles to tackle the blaze for a second day

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service told MailOnline no other properties have so far been evacuated while today they sent 25 vehicles to tackle the blaze for a second day 

Play at the Rose Ladies Series Grand Final had to be halted and the final has been cancelled after a ‘wall of flames’ spread to Wentworth golf course.   

Police have warned the fire is travelling fast due to the wind and told people on the common to leave the area immediately.

The blaze could be seen from more than 20 miles away in west London and from tall buildings in central London. 

Surrey County Council told MailOnline fire crews are likely to be at the scene for the whole weekend to tackle the blaze.

The cause of the fire is being investigated but the council said the weather and heat had a part to play.   

Homeowners are now being told not to go home as firefighters prepare for a second day of battle with the fire which began on Chobham Common

Homeowners are now being told not to go home as firefighters prepare for a second day of battle with the fire which began on Chobham Common

In a statement, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: 'Crews remain on scene at the fire on Chobham Common which spread to around 150 acres at its peak'

In a statement, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Crews remain on scene at the fire on Chobham Common which spread to around 150 acres at its peak’

'Overnight the cooling temperatures and hard work of crews contained the spread but we're expecting firefighters to be on scene through the day,' the service said

‘Overnight the cooling temperatures and hard work of crews contained the spread but we’re expecting firefighters to be on scene through the day,’ the service said

Around 60 houses, home to about 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot due to plumes of smoke in the air

Around 60 houses, home to about 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot due to plumes of smoke in the air

The grand final of the Rose Ladies Series golf has been suspended after the huge fire encroached on Wentworth Golf Course in Surrey

The grand final of the Rose Ladies Series golf has been suspended after the huge fire encroached on Wentworth Golf Course in Surrey

Griff Ryan, 23, who lives in Sunningdale near to the blaze, said the fire began with a ‘strange light’ at around 1pm before smoke and then later a ‘wall of flames’. 

‘Smoke got gradually worse and ash began falling into our garden,’ he said.

‘Now standing on Chobham road. At around 5pm fire still wasn’t visible from the road. 

‘Over about half an hour it’s become visible and now can see a wall of flames down towards the railway line.

‘Other residents I’ve spoken to have said it’s the worst they’ve seen in 30 years.’ 

Surrey Heath MP and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said he was ‘horrified’ by the damage caused by the fire. 

Earlier today, the fire service said: ‘We received a call this afternoon around 12.25pm to a report of a fire on Chobham Common.  

The fire started at around 12.25pm in Chobham Common before spreading to the nearby golf course

The fire started at around 12.25pm in Chobham Common before spreading to the nearby golf course

Ten fire engines have been sent in total, alongside multiple specialist vehicles, with the first arriving at the scene around 12.35pm

Ten fire engines have been sent in total, alongside multiple specialist vehicles, with the first arriving at the scene around 12.35pm

Chobham Road is closed between Titlarks Hill Road and the roundabout junction with Windsor Road and Chertsey Road

Chobham Road is closed between Titlarks Hill Road and the roundabout junction with Windsor Road and Chertsey Road

‘Ten fire engines have been sent in total, alongside multiple specialist vehicles, with the first arriving at the scene around 12.35pm. 

‘Approximately 41 hectares of grass and undergrowth are alight. Crews remain at the scene tackling the fire.’

Surrey Police added: ‘Surrey Fire and Rescue are working hard to get the fire under control, and we are assisting with evacuations and road closures. 

‘If you are on the common you need to evacuate immediately, following instructions from the police and fire officers on the ground.

‘If you decided to walk off the common, but have left a vehicle in one of the car parks, please message us immediately so we can account for you. 

‘The fire is travelling fast due to the wind, and there is also a risk of reduced visibility due to smoke.

The blaze could be seen for miles around including from tall buildings in central London

The blaze could be seen for miles around including from tall buildings in central London

‘If you are affected by the smoke from the fire please keep windows and doors shut to avoid health problems.’

Pro golfer Felicity Johnson told Sky News Sports News: ‘I was just on ninth green, the group ahead had teed up and then we could see a lot of smoke.

‘We could see it moving in the distance and it seemed to get closer pretty quickly. We waited five to ten minutes and it was the noise that was pretty scary.

‘We all know how fast fire can travel and then we saw ash landing on our clothes.’ 

According to Sky Sports News, no one has been injured on the golf club but everyone was asked to leave the West Course.

Smoke from the fire was visible in London and had earlier been mistakenly thought to be coming from Heathrow airport by some on social media. 

The fire stops play as the group of Cara Gainer, Sophie Powell and Gabriella Cowley wait to play off during day three of The Rose Ladies Series on The West Course at Wentworth Golf Club

The fire stops play as the group of Cara Gainer, Sophie Powell and Gabriella Cowley wait to play off during day three of The Rose Ladies Series on The West Course at Wentworth Golf Club

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said it sent 10 fire engines, two water carriers and 10 other vehicles to tackle the blaze

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said it sent 10 fire engines, two water carriers and 10 other vehicles to tackle the blaze

MP for Surrey Heath Michael Gove said: ‘I’m horrified by the damage this wildfire has done to Chobham Common – and hope people will heed this evacuation warning – thanks to Surrey Fire and Rescue service for their bravery in tackling this terrible tragedy.’ 

Ash assumed to be from the fire has been reported to have fallen on homes as far as Windsor. 

Councillor for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead said: ‘Ash is now falling in my garden in Windsor. 

‘I can only assume from Chobham. It must be a huge fire.’

The railway at Longcross in Surrey was blocked and trains could pass because the fire encroached on the line. 

Police vehicles attend the blaze that began on Chobham Common, Surrey, and spread to Wentworth golf course

Police vehicles attend the blaze that began on Chobham Common, Surrey, and spread to Wentworth golf course

Approximately 41 hectares of grass and undergrowth are alight. Crews remain at the scene tackling the fire

Approximately 41 hectares of grass and undergrowth are alight. Crews remain at the scene tackling the fire

The Surrey Heath Liberal Democrats said: ‘Trains between Reading and Waterloo will run between Reading and Ascot or Waterloo and VirginiaWater, with replacement transport between Ascot and Virginia Water. 

‘Disruption expected until 8pm.’

Chobham Road was closed between Titlarks Hill Road and the roundabout junction with Windsor Road and Chertsey Road.

Rose Ladies Series is a one-off professional women’s tournament, consisting of seven single day competitions, culminating in a three-day grand final. 

The golf has been suspended for the rest of the day and plans to continue the final round at 9.30am tomorrow morning have been cancelled.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been approached for comment. 

Firefighters battling Surrey fire tell evacuated they must NOT return to their mansions

Firefighters battling a huge wildfire in Surrey have today told evacuated millionaire families not to return to their £2million mansions after huge flames destroyed 150 acres of countryside. 

Around 60 properties, home to around 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot, where homes are sold for around £2million, due to plumes of smoke in the air.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service told MailOnline no other properties have so far been evacuated while today they sent 25 vehicles to tackle the blaze for a second day. 

Yesterday the embattled fire service sent 40 fire engines including two water carriers to fight the grass fire which started on Chobham Common and could be seen from central London. 

In a statement, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Crews remain on scene at the fire on Chobham Common which spread to around 150 acres at its peak. 

‘Overnight the cooling temperatures and hard work of crews contained the spread but we’re expecting firefighters to be on scene through the day. 

‘Please avoid the area for your own safety. A number of roads in the area remain closed and some properties were evacuated. 

‘Residents that were evacuated should not return to their homes.’ 

Firefighters battling a huge wildfire in Surrey have today told evacuated millionaire families not to return to their £2million homes after huge flames destroyed 150 acres of countryside 

Around 60 properties, home to around 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot, where homes are sold for around £2million, due to plumes of smoke in the air

Around 60 properties, home to around 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot, where homes are sold for around £2million, due to plumes of smoke in the air 

The fire continued to rage into last night and sent huge plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen more than 20 miles away in west London and from tall buildings in central London

The fire continued to rage into last night and sent huge plumes of smoke into the sky that could be seen more than 20 miles away in west London and from tall buildings in central London

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service told MailOnline no other properties have so far been evacuated while today they sent 25 vehicles to tackle the blaze for a second day

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service told MailOnline no other properties have so far been evacuated while today they sent 25 vehicles to tackle the blaze for a second day 

Play at the Rose Ladies Series Grand Final had to be halted and the final has been cancelled after a ‘wall of flames’ spread to Wentworth golf course.   

Police have warned the fire is travelling fast due to the wind and told people on the common to leave the area immediately.

The blaze could be seen from more than 20 miles away in west London and from tall buildings in central London. 

Surrey County Council told MailOnline fire crews are likely to be at the scene for the whole weekend to tackle the blaze.

The cause of the fire is being investigated but the council said the weather and heat had a part to play.   

Homeowners are now being told not to go home as firefighters prepare for a second day of battle with the fire which began on Chobham Common

Homeowners are now being told not to go home as firefighters prepare for a second day of battle with the fire which began on Chobham Common

In a statement, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: 'Crews remain on scene at the fire on Chobham Common which spread to around 150 acres at its peak'

In a statement, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Crews remain on scene at the fire on Chobham Common which spread to around 150 acres at its peak’

'Overnight the cooling temperatures and hard work of crews contained the spread but we're expecting firefighters to be on scene through the day,' the service said

‘Overnight the cooling temperatures and hard work of crews contained the spread but we’re expecting firefighters to be on scene through the day,’ the service said

Around 60 houses, home to about 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot due to plumes of smoke in the air

Around 60 houses, home to about 100 people, have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot due to plumes of smoke in the air

The grand final of the Rose Ladies Series golf has been suspended after the huge fire encroached on Wentworth Golf Course in Surrey

The grand final of the Rose Ladies Series golf has been suspended after the huge fire encroached on Wentworth Golf Course in Surrey

Griff Ryan, 23, who lives in Sunningdale near to the blaze, said the fire began with a ‘strange light’ at around 1pm before smoke and then later a ‘wall of flames’. 

‘Smoke got gradually worse and ash began falling into our garden,’ he said.

‘Now standing on Chobham road. At around 5pm fire still wasn’t visible from the road. 

‘Over about half an hour it’s become visible and now can see a wall of flames down towards the railway line.

‘Other residents I’ve spoken to have said it’s the worst they’ve seen in 30 years.’ 

Surrey Heath MP and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said he was ‘horrified’ by the damage caused by the fire. 

Earlier today, the fire service said: ‘We received a call this afternoon around 12.25pm to a report of a fire on Chobham Common.  

The fire started at around 12.25pm in Chobham Common before spreading to the nearby golf course

The fire started at around 12.25pm in Chobham Common before spreading to the nearby golf course

Ten fire engines have been sent in total, alongside multiple specialist vehicles, with the first arriving at the scene around 12.35pm

Ten fire engines have been sent in total, alongside multiple specialist vehicles, with the first arriving at the scene around 12.35pm

Chobham Road is closed between Titlarks Hill Road and the roundabout junction with Windsor Road and Chertsey Road

Chobham Road is closed between Titlarks Hill Road and the roundabout junction with Windsor Road and Chertsey Road

‘Ten fire engines have been sent in total, alongside multiple specialist vehicles, with the first arriving at the scene around 12.35pm. 

‘Approximately 41 hectares of grass and undergrowth are alight. Crews remain at the scene tackling the fire.’

Surrey Police added: ‘Surrey Fire and Rescue are working hard to get the fire under control, and we are assisting with evacuations and road closures. 

‘If you are on the common you need to evacuate immediately, following instructions from the police and fire officers on the ground.

‘If you decided to walk off the common, but have left a vehicle in one of the car parks, please message us immediately so we can account for you. 

‘The fire is travelling fast due to the wind, and there is also a risk of reduced visibility due to smoke.

The blaze could be seen for miles around including from tall buildings in central London

The blaze could be seen for miles around including from tall buildings in central London

‘If you are affected by the smoke from the fire please keep windows and doors shut to avoid health problems.’

Pro golfer Felicity Johnson told Sky News Sports News: ‘I was just on ninth green, the group ahead had teed up and then we could see a lot of smoke.

‘We could see it moving in the distance and it seemed to get closer pretty quickly. We waited five to ten minutes and it was the noise that was pretty scary.

‘We all know how fast fire can travel and then we saw ash landing on our clothes.’ 

According to Sky Sports News, no one has been injured on the golf club but everyone was asked to leave the West Course.

Smoke from the fire was visible in London and had earlier been mistakenly thought to be coming from Heathrow airport by some on social media. 

The fire stops play as the group of Cara Gainer, Sophie Powell and Gabriella Cowley wait to play off during day three of The Rose Ladies Series on The West Course at Wentworth Golf Club

The fire stops play as the group of Cara Gainer, Sophie Powell and Gabriella Cowley wait to play off during day three of The Rose Ladies Series on The West Course at Wentworth Golf Club

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said it sent 10 fire engines, two water carriers and 10 other vehicles to tackle the blaze

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said it sent 10 fire engines, two water carriers and 10 other vehicles to tackle the blaze

MP for Surrey Heath Michael Gove said: ‘I’m horrified by the damage this wildfire has done to Chobham Common – and hope people will heed this evacuation warning – thanks to Surrey Fire and Rescue service for their bravery in tackling this terrible tragedy.’ 

Ash assumed to be from the fire has been reported to have fallen on homes as far as Windsor. 

Councillor for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead said: ‘Ash is now falling in my garden in Windsor. 

‘I can only assume from Chobham. It must be a huge fire.’

The railway at Longcross in Surrey was blocked and trains could pass because the fire encroached on the line. 

Police vehicles attend the blaze that began on Chobham Common, Surrey, and spread to Wentworth golf course

Police vehicles attend the blaze that began on Chobham Common, Surrey, and spread to Wentworth golf course

Approximately 41 hectares of grass and undergrowth are alight. Crews remain at the scene tackling the fire

Approximately 41 hectares of grass and undergrowth are alight. Crews remain at the scene tackling the fire

The Surrey Heath Liberal Democrats said: ‘Trains between Reading and Waterloo will run between Reading and Ascot or Waterloo and VirginiaWater, with replacement transport between Ascot and Virginia Water. 

‘Disruption expected until 8pm.’

Chobham Road was closed between Titlarks Hill Road and the roundabout junction with Windsor Road and Chertsey Road.

Rose Ladies Series is a one-off professional women’s tournament, consisting of seven single day competitions, culminating in a three-day grand final. 

The golf has been suspended for the rest of the day and plans to continue the final round at 9.30am tomorrow morning have been cancelled.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been approached for comment. 

Love Island’s Curtis Pritchard accused of cheating on Maura after seen kissing blonde ‘friend’

Curtis Pritchard is pictured kissing blonde dancer who he was accused of cheating on ex Maura Higgins with… after insisting they were ‘just friends’

Curtis Pritchard was pictured kissing blonde dancer Amber Pierson in London on Friday, after insisting they were ‘just friends’. 

The Love Island star, 24, previously hit back at claims he had cheated on his ex-girlfriend Maura Higgins, 29, with Amber, 21, who also called the speculation a ‘complete lie’.

However it appears the pair have got close in recent months as they were spotted kissing as they walked through a park in images obtained by The Sun.  

Love: Curtis Pritchard was pictured kissing dancer Amber Pierson on Friday, after insisting they were ‘friends’ when he was hit by claims he cheated on Maura Higgins (pictured 2019) 

Curtis packed on the PDA as he wrapped his arm around Amber and leaned in for a kiss. Amber is also a professional dancer and a model based in London. 

An insider told the publication: ‘It’s game over for Curtis and Amber pretending they are just pals. Their ‘friends’ line fooled no one.’ 

Curtis is said to have taken Amber out on a double date on Tuesday, where they enjoyed dinner with his brother AJ, 25, and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen. 

Busted: The reality TV star was seen leaning in for a kiss and draped his arm around the beauty (pictured) as they enjoyed a stroll around the park in London

Busted: The reality TV star was seen leaning in for a kiss and draped his arm around the beauty (pictured) as they enjoyed a stroll around the park in London

Amber was also spotted out on a trip to Cornwall with the group last week. Scrupulous fans spotted her next to Curtis in a series of snaps shared to Instagram.  

The revelation will likely come as a blow to Curtis’ Love Island ex, Maura, whom  he split from in March. 

MailOnline has contacted Curtis and Maura’s representatives for comment. 

Rumbled: In recent weeks, Curtis has been spotted with Amber on multiple occasions including a romantic double date with his brother AJ, 25, and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen

Rumbled: In recent weeks, Curtis has been spotted with Amber on multiple occasions including a romantic double date with his brother AJ, 25, and his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen

Their relationship was rumoured to be on the rocks after speculation surfaced that Curtis was getting overly friendly with the blonde beauty.   

His Irish ex had reportedly confronted him after she noticed him getting to close to comfort with his dancer ‘friend.’  

The red flags went up for Maura when she was alerted to an anonymous tweet, saying that Curtis was spotted ‘hugging and kissing’ the blonde.  

Wandering eye? Curtis and Maura's relationship was rumoured to be on the rocks after speculation surfaced that Curtis was getting overly friendly with the blonde beauty

Wandering eye? Curtis and Maura’s relationship was rumoured to be on the rocks after speculation surfaced that Curtis was getting overly friendly with the blonde beauty 

Following the speculation, Amber dismissed claims she’d had a fling with Curtis behind Maura’s back calling them ‘complete lies,’ but branded the Love Island hunk ‘a lovely and talented guy’.

Taking to Instagram, she wrote: ‘I didn’t want to speak out about this, but I feel I have to as I have been receiving a few abusive messages recently regarding what’s been in the papers. 

‘To be very clear, Curtis and I have never been together. We are simply friends and dancer partners! There are 13 dancers going on tour, and I am one of them. 

‘The “cheating” allegations this week are out of the blue and complete lies.

Setting the record straight! Back in March, Amber dismissed claims she'd had a fling with the Love Island hunk behind his ex Maura's back as 'complete lies'

Setting the record straight! Back in March, Amber dismissed claims she’d had a fling with the Love Island hunk behind his ex Maura’s back as ‘complete lies’

‘I wanted no part in this but what I will say is Curtis is genuinely a lovely and talented guy, who doesn’t deserve any of this. Hope that’s set the record straight and we can move on. Amber x.’ 

Curtis and Maura found love towards the end of the 2019 ITV series and continued to date for eight months after their exit before their relationship came to end in 2020.   

It was claimed at the time the couple rowed over her friendship with her Dancing On Ice partner Alexander Demetriou.

The Sun reported that Alex’s friendly relationship with Maura caused arguments with his Dancing On Ice skater wife Carlotta Edwards.

Carlotta and Alex have since announced the break down of their marriage, but Maura has always insisted she is just friends with the professional skater. 

Rumour has it: Maura reportedly started to have doubts over Curtis' loyalty after an anonymous Twitter user claimed they had witnessed the dancer 'kissing' the blonde

Rumour has it: Maura reportedly started to have doubts over Curtis’ loyalty after an anonymous Twitter user claimed they had witnessed the dancer ‘kissing’ the blonde

Caroline Flack ‘was being harassed by an ex-partner’, inquest documents reveal 

Caroline Flack was ‘being harassed by an ex-partner’ which added to her stress during the court ordeal that led to her suicide, inquest documents have revealed.

The former Love Island host, 40, had a stalker in the days running up to the court case following an assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton. 

Flack was found dead at her flat in Stoke Newington, London, next to a note that read ‘please let this court case be dropped’, the day after she heard her trial would be going ahead. 

The harassment was adding to her stress and anxiety, according to a psychiatrist who assessed the star, reported the Daily Star.

The Crown Prosecution Service heard about Flack’s worsening mental health in a medical report two months before she died on February 15.

Caroline Flack , 40, had a stalker in the days running up to the court case following her assault on boyfriend Lewis Burton. Pictured leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on December 23, 2019

Lawyers used the information to try to get her assault case thrown out but prosecutors said the harassment was a separate crime.

Yesterday a Metropolitan Police spokesman said there was no record of a harassment allegation made by the star. 

Coroner Mary Hassell recorded a verdict of suicide and banned reporting the name of the perpetrator during the two-day inquest.

She added that the harasser was not Burton, 28, during the hearing at Poplar’s Coroner’s Court in east London. 

The individual responsible was not called forward as a witness.   

After the hearing, which ended on Thursday, Caroline Flack’s mother said police and prosecutors ‘had it in for’ the Love Island host. 

Flack was found dead at her flat in Stoke Newington, London, next to a note that read 'please let this court case be dropped', the day after she heard her trial would be going ahead. Pictured, Flack and her former boyfriend Lewis Burton in October 2019

Flack was found dead at her flat in Stoke Newington, London, next to a note that read ‘please let this court case be dropped’, the day after she heard her trial would be going ahead. Pictured, Flack and her former boyfriend Lewis Burton in October 2019

She said officials pursued the court case that triggered her suicide because of her ‘celebrity status’.

Yesterday, Scotland Yard defended appealing the Crown Prosecution Service’s original decision to caution her, a move that saw her then charged with assault.

It went on to insist it had not had any contact with her since her first magistrates court appearance in December 23 last year.

A spokesperson for the force told MailOnline: ‘Given the nature of the alleged offence, a domestic abuse case, the police were required to send it to the CPS for a charging decision.’

Flack was arrested in December after striking her boyfriend while he slept because she suspected he had cheated on her. 

Burton did not support the assault charge and did not co-operate with the prosecution.

The former Love Island host (pictured in May 2019) was arrested in December after striking her boyfriend while he slept because she suspected he had cheated on her

The former Love Island host (pictured in May 2019) was arrested in December after striking her boyfriend while he slept because she suspected he had cheated on her

The CPS had originally decided to issue her with a caution, but the police officer in charge of the case Detective Inspector Lauren Bateman applied for a formal charge, which was then approved. 

In emotional exchanges during this week’s inquest Flack’s mother Christine blasted the senior Met Police officer.

She pointed out officers found her at the crime scene with an injury caused by self-harm.

Accusing DI Bateman of treating her more harshly due to her celebrity status, Mrs Flack told the inquest: ‘She cut her arm. You were putting an appeal in to get her prosecuted, you never bothered to see her.

‘If it had been… an ordinary person, you wouldn’t have prosecuted.

‘I see domestic abuse and I just think you should be disgusted with yourself so there is nothing we can do to bring Caroline back. I hope in hindsight you do regret this. This girl killed herself because you put an appeal through.’

Earlier in the hearing DI Batemen had insisted she had not treated the presenter any differently because she was famous and would not change her decisions. 

Caroline Flack ‘was being harassed by an ex-partner’, inquest documents reveal 

Caroline Flack was ‘being harassed by an ex-partner’ which added to her stress during the court ordeal that led to her suicide, inquest documents have revealed.

The former Love Island host, 40, had a stalker in the days running up to the court case following an assault on her boyfriend Lewis Burton. 

Flack was found dead at her flat in Stoke Newington, London, next to a note that read ‘please let this court case be dropped’, the day after she heard her trial would be going ahead. 

The harassment was adding to her stress and anxiety, according to a psychiatrist who assessed the star, reported the Daily Star.

The Crown Prosecution Service heard about Flack’s worsening mental health in a medical report two months before she died on February 15.

Caroline Flack , 40, had a stalker in the days running up to the court case following her assault on boyfriend Lewis Burton. Pictured leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on December 23, 2019

Lawyers used the information to try to get her assault case thrown out but prosecutors said the harassment was a separate crime.

Yesterday a Metropolitan Police spokesman said there was no record of a harassment allegation made by the star. 

Coroner Mary Hassell recorded a verdict of suicide and banned reporting the name of the perpetrator during the two-day inquest.

She added that the harasser was not Burton, 28, during the hearing at Poplar’s Coroner’s Court in east London. 

The individual responsible was not called forward as a witness.   

After the hearing, which ended on Thursday, Caroline Flack’s mother said police and prosecutors ‘had it in for’ the Love Island host. 

Flack was found dead at her flat in Stoke Newington, London, next to a note that read 'please let this court case be dropped', the day after she heard her trial would be going ahead. Pictured, Flack and her former boyfriend Lewis Burton in October 2019

Flack was found dead at her flat in Stoke Newington, London, next to a note that read ‘please let this court case be dropped’, the day after she heard her trial would be going ahead. Pictured, Flack and her former boyfriend Lewis Burton in October 2019

She said officials pursued the court case that triggered her suicide because of her ‘celebrity status’.

Yesterday, Scotland Yard defended appealing the Crown Prosecution Service’s original decision to caution her, a move that saw her then charged with assault.

It went on to insist it had not had any contact with her since her first magistrates court appearance in December 23 last year.

A spokesperson for the force told MailOnline: ‘Given the nature of the alleged offence, a domestic abuse case, the police were required to send it to the CPS for a charging decision.’

Flack was arrested in December after striking her boyfriend while he slept because she suspected he had cheated on her. 

Burton did not support the assault charge and did not co-operate with the prosecution.

The former Love Island host (pictured in May 2019) was arrested in December after striking her boyfriend while he slept because she suspected he had cheated on her

The former Love Island host (pictured in May 2019) was arrested in December after striking her boyfriend while he slept because she suspected he had cheated on her

The CPS had originally decided to issue her with a caution, but the police officer in charge of the case Detective Inspector Lauren Bateman applied for a formal charge, which was then approved. 

In emotional exchanges during this week’s inquest Flack’s mother Christine blasted the senior Met Police officer.

She pointed out officers found her at the crime scene with an injury caused by self-harm.

Accusing DI Bateman of treating her more harshly due to her celebrity status, Mrs Flack told the inquest: ‘She cut her arm. You were putting an appeal in to get her prosecuted, you never bothered to see her.

‘If it had been… an ordinary person, you wouldn’t have prosecuted.

‘I see domestic abuse and I just think you should be disgusted with yourself so there is nothing we can do to bring Caroline back. I hope in hindsight you do regret this. This girl killed herself because you put an appeal through.’

Earlier in the hearing DI Batemen had insisted she had not treated the presenter any differently because she was famous and would not change her decisions.