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UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson admits there is not enough testing capacity; 3,991 new cases recorded UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson admits there is not enough testing capacity; 3,991 new cases recorded
(32 minutes later)
PM says testing capacity will be 500,000 per day by end of October; close to 4,000 lab-confirmed new cases reported in UKPM says testing capacity will be 500,000 per day by end of October; close to 4,000 lab-confirmed new cases reported in UK
Scotland’s children’s commissioner has called for “clear and direct communication to children and families” from the Scottish government, amidst growing concerns that the rule of six impacts disproportionately on poorer children.
Parents have asked why it is that both grouse shooting and fox hunting can continue under the new restrictions, while it is against the law for children from more than two families to play together indoors or out, resulting in an effective ban on home-organised birthday parties and limits on free play in parks, as well as excluding those who can’t afford paid-for group activities.
Confusion has also emerged about whether the six person/two household limits applies to children in play parks; according to the Scottish government children should be playing in household pairs, but this is plainly unenforceable on the swings.
The Scottish Greens’ health spokesperson Alison Johnstone raised the lack of fairness at the Scottish parliament’s Covid committee. She said:
After Nicola Sturgeon confirmed at her daily briefing that no children’s rights impact assessment was undertaken for the latest guidelines “because of the speed with which we have to introduce these changes”, Bruce Adamson, Scotland’s children commissioner said:
Sir Bernard Jenkin says there are two more follow-up questions.
(The session was due to end at 5pm.)
The SNP’s Angus Brendan MacNeil goes first.
Q: If there are long lorry queues at the border after January, who will be responsible?
Johnson says he does not think anyone will be in any doubt he is responsible.
Next, it’s Greg Clark.
Q: What factors determine whether lockdown measures are tightened.
Johnson says he looks at all the data. They look at the dashboard every morning.
The most important question is, what is the R number doing? And now it is above 1.
Q: Sir Patrick Vallance says the R number matters at the start of the pandemic, but less so now.
Johnson says it is still an important.
And that’s it. The session is over.
Q: Do you accept the importance of investment in land warfare, and in the surface fleet? And, if we want to have our aircraft carriers operating we will need F-35s.
Johnson says the UK is committed to strong defence.
And he says the UK wants to show international leadership in vaccines, in trade and in climate change.
Q: Will you commit to a real terms growth in the defence budget?
Johnson says it is already going up by 2.6% above inflation.
Spending on defence equipment will increase by £180bn in the next few years.
There are many areas where the UK could be doing more and will be doing more, he says.
Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative chair of the defence committee, goes next.Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative chair of the defence committee, goes next.
Q: Can I meet with the chancellor to see what can be done to help service charities, who have lost revenue during the crisis?Q: Can I meet with the chancellor to see what can be done to help service charities, who have lost revenue during the crisis?
Yes, says Johnson.Yes, says Johnson.
Ellwood urges the PM to make more use of the armed forces. They are trained for emergencies.Ellwood urges the PM to make more use of the armed forces. They are trained for emergencies.
Sarah Champion (Lab) goes next.Sarah Champion (Lab) goes next.
Q: Are you frightened of parliamentary scrutiny of foreign aid?Q: Are you frightened of parliamentary scrutiny of foreign aid?
No, says Johnson. He says he relishes it. He says there has been a suggestion that the DfID committee should be merged with the foreign affairs committee. But he says he can see the case for a separate committee dealing with aid.No, says Johnson. He says he relishes it. He says there has been a suggestion that the DfID committee should be merged with the foreign affairs committee. But he says he can see the case for a separate committee dealing with aid.
Q: You mean there should be a separate committee?Q: You mean there should be a separate committee?
Yes, says Johnson. But he says that is for the liaison committee to decide.Yes, says Johnson. But he says that is for the liaison committee to decide.
Sir Bernard Jenkin says that is what the liaison committee thinks too.Sir Bernard Jenkin says that is what the liaison committee thinks too.
Q: What advice have you had from the Foreign Office as to the impact of the internal market bill on relations with the US, and a possible Biden administration.Q: What advice have you had from the Foreign Office as to the impact of the internal market bill on relations with the US, and a possible Biden administration.
Johnson says he would not discuss advice like that. But he is not aware of receiving any such advice.Johnson says he would not discuss advice like that. But he is not aware of receiving any such advice.
Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chair of the foreign affairs committee, goes next.Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chair of the foreign affairs committee, goes next.
Q: Do you consider what is happening to the Uighurs in China as genocide?Q: Do you consider what is happening to the Uighurs in China as genocide?
Johnson says genocide is a term with specific consequences in international law. He says he does not think the UK has used that term in connection with China.Johnson says genocide is a term with specific consequences in international law. He says he does not think the UK has used that term in connection with China.
Q: Will you let ministers and members of the royal family attend the winter Olympics in China in 2022?Q: Will you let ministers and members of the royal family attend the winter Olympics in China in 2022?
Johnson says they will review that nearer to the time.Johnson says they will review that nearer to the time.
Q: Would you like to see Japan join the five eyes intelligence community?Q: Would you like to see Japan join the five eyes intelligence community?
Johnson says he is in favour of bringing groups together. But five eyes is a particular group; he says he is not aware of Japan having expressed an interest in joining.Johnson says he is in favour of bringing groups together. But five eyes is a particular group; he says he is not aware of Japan having expressed an interest in joining.
The government has said that as of 9am on Wednesday there had been a further 3,991 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. That is the highest daily total since early May (although at that point far fewer people were being tested every day).The government has said that as of 9am on Wednesday there had been a further 3,991 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. That is the highest daily total since early May (although at that point far fewer people were being tested every day).
The UK has also recorded a further 20 UK coronavirus deaths.The UK has also recorded a further 20 UK coronavirus deaths.
The figures were published on the government’s coronavirus dashboard (although for some users it has been slow to update).The figures were published on the government’s coronavirus dashboard (although for some users it has been slow to update).
Q: Can you decouple crime and justice aspects of the negotiation from the trade aspects?Q: Can you decouple crime and justice aspects of the negotiation from the trade aspects?
That is not favoured by the EU, says Johnson.That is not favoured by the EU, says Johnson.
Sir Bob Neill, the Conservative chair of the justice committee, goes next.Sir Bob Neill, the Conservative chair of the justice committee, goes next.
Q: What are we doing to ensure that the UK continues to have access to EU crime and justice databases from January?Q: What are we doing to ensure that the UK continues to have access to EU crime and justice databases from January?
Johnson says there will be changes. But the UK will still be able to protect its citizens.Johnson says there will be changes. But the UK will still be able to protect its citizens.
Q: Would you like the UK to get back into the European arrest warrant. The alternative won’t be as good?Q: Would you like the UK to get back into the European arrest warrant. The alternative won’t be as good?
Johnson says he wants speedy justice.Johnson says he wants speedy justice.
Q: Will the UK government allow the Scottish government to hold another independence referendum?Q: Will the UK government allow the Scottish government to hold another independence referendum?
Johnson says he does not think a generation has elapsed since the last one.Johnson says he does not think a generation has elapsed since the last one.
Asked about opposition to the internal market bill in the US Congress, Johnson says the aspects of the bill that will protect the Good Friday agreement may not have been properly communicated to people.Asked about opposition to the internal market bill in the US Congress, Johnson says the aspects of the bill that will protect the Good Friday agreement may not have been properly communicated to people.
The SNP’s Angus Brendan MacNeil goes next.The SNP’s Angus Brendan MacNeil goes next.
Q: Will you be able to find anyone to replace the advocate general for Scotland?Q: Will you be able to find anyone to replace the advocate general for Scotland?
Johnson says he cannot comment on that.Johnson says he cannot comment on that.
Sir Bill Cash, the Conservative chair of the European scrutiny committee, goes next.Sir Bill Cash, the Conservative chair of the European scrutiny committee, goes next.
Cash says other governments have been in breach of international law without facing any sanctions.Cash says other governments have been in breach of international law without facing any sanctions.
Q: On sovereignty, do you agree that international law allows each state to give precedence to domestic law? “Sounds sensible to me,” says Cash.Q: On sovereignty, do you agree that international law allows each state to give precedence to domestic law? “Sounds sensible to me,” says Cash.
Johnson says he agrees. He wants a system that will protect parliamentary sovereignty, but also the integrity of the UK.Johnson says he agrees. He wants a system that will protect parliamentary sovereignty, but also the integrity of the UK.
Cash says he has 20 examples of EU overrides in UK law already.Cash says he has 20 examples of EU overrides in UK law already.
Q: Aren’t these examples of double standards?Q: Aren’t these examples of double standards?
Johnson says he thinks this is about the UK as a country ensuring that its “friends and partners” do not do something extreme or unreasonable in terms of implementing the Northern Ireland protocol.Johnson says he thinks this is about the UK as a country ensuring that its “friends and partners” do not do something extreme or unreasonable in terms of implementing the Northern Ireland protocol.