UK Finance Minister to Return From US Trip Ahead of Schedule, Report Says

© AFP 2022 / TOBY MELVILLEBritain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (R) sits beside Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) at a Cabinet meeting of senior government ministers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on September 1, 2020.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (R) sits beside Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) at a Cabinet meeting of senior government ministers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on September 1, 2020.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.12.2021
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This comes as the UK Department of Health and Social Care reported on Thursday over 88,000 COVID-19 cases, breaking Wednesday's record for the highest number ever recorded since the start of the pandemic.
UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will cut short his US trip and return to Britain amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, a government official said.
Sunak will depart the US on Thursday, the official said, adding that the minister was scheduled to arrive back on Saturday.
The minister will reportedly discuss a new package of support measures for businesses worst hit by the spread of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus infection.
This comes amid turbulent times for Boris Johnson's cabinet following a "rebellion" of dozens of Tory MPs over his handling of the coronavirus crisis. On Wednesday, more than a quarter of all Tory MPs opposed a key measure of Johnson's "Plan B" – the mandatory introduction of health passes. Still, the measure was passed by 369 to 126 votes.
However, more than two dozen letters of no confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be submitted to Chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady over Christmas, The Telegraph reported on Thursday, citing sources among the Conservatives.
A man holds a sign as he protests against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Westminster, London, Britain, December 15, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.12.2021
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The UK Department of Health and Social Care reported on Thursday a further 88,376 COVID-19 cases, breaking Wednesday's record for the highest number ever recorded since the pandemic began by almost 10,000. Another 146 deaths were also confirmed within 28 days of a positive test, according to the official data.

The new record comes amid a surge in infections caused by the more transmissible Omicron variant of the new coronavirus, which according to scientists is doubling its number every two or three days and will soon become dominant in the country.

The latest figures have taken the total number of COVID-19 infections in the UK to 11 million, while the death toll now stands at 147,937 since the pandemic began.
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