UK Coronavirus LIVE: Boris Johnson toasted over PMQ Covid death rate amid AstraZeneca vaccine row

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Meanwhile, Priti Patel must confirm plans for quarantine hotels as she sets “stricter measures” for arrivals from viral hotspots around the world.

Live Updates

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Before the Prime Minister’s statement begins, here’s more information on today’s LFs:

The UK government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been “defined by a lack of leadership, last-minute U-turns, mixed messages and devastating policies,” SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said.
He said: ‘Last night the Prime Minister claimed that we had really done everything we can to prevent 100,000 deaths across the UK from Covid-19, but we all know this is simply not true. The UK government’s response was defined by a lack of leadership, last minute U-turns, mixed messages and devastating policies. All of this had (an) effect on the scale of the pandemic.
He added: “PM since the start of this pandemic you have promised to always follow the advice of scientists. Well, this morning scientists said this government is responsible for a legacy of bad decisions during this pandemic. Does the Prime Minister still agree with the scientists? ”
Mr Johnson replied: ‘We have always followed scientific advice and done all we can to minimize disease and minimize suffering across the country … There are no easy solutions when you are faced with such tragic dilemmas. than those faced by countries around the world. .
“But I think everywhere in the UK… can be proud of the efforts of the NHS, the military, volunteers, pharmacists to roll out Europe’s fastest vaccination. It is something the government must do, can do, is doing and will do. ”
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Before the Prime Minister’s statement begins, here’s more information on today’s LFs:

The UK government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been “defined by a lack of leadership, last-minute U-turns, mixed messages and devastating policies,” SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said.
He said: ‘Last night the Prime Minister claimed that we had really done everything we can to prevent 100,000 deaths across the UK from Covid-19, but we all know this is simply not true. The UK government’s response was defined by a lack of leadership, last minute U-turns, mixed messages and devastating policies. All of this had (an) effect on the scale of the pandemic.
He added: “PM since the start of this pandemic you have promised to always follow the advice of scientists. Well, this morning scientists said this government is responsible for a legacy of bad decisions during this pandemic. Does the Prime Minister still agree with the scientists? ”
Mr Johnson replied: ‘We have always followed scientific advice and done all we can to minimize disease and minimize suffering across the country … There are no easy solutions when you are faced with such tragic dilemmas. than those faced by countries around the world. .
“But I think everywhere in the UK… can be proud of the efforts of the NHS, the military, volunteers, pharmacists to roll out Europe’s fastest vaccination. It is something the government must do, can do, is doing and will do. ”
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Boris Johnson is due to make a statement in the House of Commons in the next few minutes

We’ll be blogging all the action live here. Stay tuned.
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Further north, Nicola Sturgeon says she is ‘very sorry’ about UK death toll

Nicola Sturgeon said she was ‘very sorry’ for the mistakes that were made after the UK coronavirus death toll exceeded 100,000.
The Scottish Prime Minister has confirmed that 5,888 Scots have died after testing positive, while a total of 7,902 deaths in Scotland have been linked to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.
During the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon led a moment of silence ‘in memory of all who have died in this pandemic so far’ and said the death toll should prompt all political leaders to “think very seriously about what more we could have done. and what lessons we must continue to learn ”.
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PM will address the nation again this afternoon

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference in Downing Street later today, No.10 has confirmed.
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Far from the Commons, sobering new figures show the impact of the pandemic on London’s poorest residents:

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“I’m afraid we won’t see more tragedies and darker milestones”

Sir Keir Starmer told MPs: ‘Every week the Prime Minister comes with his pre-prepared lines. I think when 100,000 people have died he should take the time to answer the question.
The Labor leader also said: ‘The UK is the first country in Europe to record 100,000 deaths from Covid, we are also in the deepest recession of any major economy, our schools are closed and our borders are open. . My biggest concern is that the Prime Minister still has not learned the lessons of the last year, and I fear that we do not see more tragedies and more sinister milestones.
Sir Keir said he would speak to the bereaved families today and asked the Prime Minister what message he would like to send them.
Boris Johnson said he had also met bereaved families, adding: “The message I would like to give to these families is the same that I have given to everyone I have met: I deeply regret, personally , the loss of life, the suffering of their families.
“But I think the best thing we can do to honor the memory of those who have passed away and honor those who are currently grieving is to work together to bring this virus down, to keep it under control as we are.”
Mr Johnson also accused Sir Keir of ‘scoring political points’ during the pandemic.
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Starmer calls on all teachers and school staff to receive a mid-term jab

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the February semester should be used to immunize teachers and school workers.
During PMQs Sir Keir told the House of Commons: “Does he agree with me that once the first four categories of most vulnerable people have been vaccinated in mid-February, he should advance the vaccination of key workers and use the February semester window -term to vaccinate all teachers and school staff? ”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson replied: “Of course, it follows that all teachers in JCVI groups 1 to 9 will be vaccinated as a priority.
“And I pay tribute, by the way, to the tremendous efforts parents are making across the country to educate their children, I know how frustrating it is, the extra burden we have placed on families by closing schools.
“And no one has worked harder than my Right Honorable the Secretary of Education to keep schools open. We all want to open schools. ”
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“More than 400,000 children still cannot access the Internet at home”

Sir Keir Starmer said the government has a duty to ensure that every child can learn at home as it has raised concerns about the lack of laptops and internet access.
He told the House of Commons: “The Prime Minister was challenged last summer, he was challenged about it last fall, and here we are almost at the end of January, the best part. of the year in this pandemic, and a third of families say they don’t have enough laptops or computers at home – and more than 400,000 children still can’t get online at home.
“Does the Prime Minister realize how angry many families are because he still has not understood this?”
Boris Johnson said he “fully understands” the “frustration” of families across the country, before defending the government’s record by providing 1.3 million laptops and financial support.
The Prime Minister said he would give more details on Wednesday afternoon, before declaring: “I would like to hear the Leader of the Opposition, in defiance of his union payers, say that schools are safe.
President Sir Lindsay Hoyle stepped in to remind Mr Johnson that the session involves questions of the Prime Minister, not the Leader of the Opposition.
( Pennsylvania )
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Patel will later establish border controls

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Home Secretary Priti Patel will outline “tougher measures” for the border this afternoon.
Mr Johnson told the House of Commons: ‘Throughout this pandemic the opposition has had a habit of supporting an approach first, then attacking it, twisting it, twisting it.
“It was only recently that the shadow secretary of transport said quarantine measures needed to be relaxed.
“We have one of the toughest diets in the world. We ask people to test 72 hours before they fly, they have to produce a passenger locator form or they can be kicked off the flight.
“They must already quarantine for 10 days and my very honorable friend, the Minister of the Interior, will establish later in the day, if he wanted to wait for that, even harsher measures for the countries of the red list where we are particularly concerned about the new variants.

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