5:50 pm: I hope you found JVT’ as calming a presence as we did. That’s all for today, folks, have a lovely evening.
- The uptake of the vaccine has exceeded the government’s expectations so far.
- Over 70s in England are invited to get in contact with the NHS to arrange vaccinations
- The UK’s terror threat level has been lowered
5:30 pm: Westminster hacks full of praise for JVT
No better communicator in Whitehall. Soothing words there from JVT.— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) February 8, 2021
5:23 pm: Professor Jonathan Van-Tam says there is no reason to think the South African variant will overtake the current virus in the next few months
5:17 pm: The health secretary says that the government is working with existing vaccine manufacturers to provide booster vaccines for any future variants of the coronavirus.
5:10 pm: Matt Hancock has invited over 70s in England to contact the NHS to arrange to get the vaccine rather than wait for the NHS to contact them.
5:09 pm: The take up of the vaccine has exceeded the government’s expectations. 91% of over 80s have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
5:00 pm: Time for a press conference with health secretary Matt Hancock
4:20 pm: Another 333 people have died from covid-19 in the UK.
3:45 pm: Boris Johnson spoke about the importance vaccines will have in keeping the coronavirus under control
“We believe that our vaccines are effective in combating serious disease and death against all variants.”
Boris Johnson says he believes both Covid vaccines in use in the UK are effective in “stopping serious disease” and remain a “massive benefit” to our population. pic.twitter.com/AefDudgriY— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) February 8, 2021
1 pm: Here’s what’s happened today.
- The UK’s terror threat has been lowered level has been lowered from “severe” to “substantial”
- The Greens have overtaken the Lib Dems in a new Ipsos Mori poll
- SNP chief executive Peter Murrell gave evidence to the Alex Salmond inquiry
12:25 pm: The Green Party has polled at 8%, more than the Lib Dems, in a new Ipsos MORI poll
NEW – Vaccine boost for Conservatives Con 42 (+1)
Lab 38 (-3)
Green 8 (+3)
Lib Dems 7 (+1)
Other 5 (-2)
11:50 am: The UK’s terror threat level has been lowered from “severe” to “substantial”
BREAKING: The terror threat level in the UK has been lowered from “severe” to “substantial”, Home Secretary Priti Patel has said.
10:55 am: Read this fascinating insight into lessons British democracy can take from a Canadian province
10 am: The limits of video conferencing are making the Salmond inquiry more difficult
The limits of virtual format for confrontational meetings coming to the fore now. Murdo Fraser accusing Peter Murrell of lying to the committee under oath – something he says he refutes – but hard to make anything out when they talk over each other on zoom https://t.co/XxtweK2FGd— Philip Sim (@BBCPhilipSim) February 8, 2021
8:20 am: Ministerial media rounds this morning:
Health Minister Edward Argar tells @LBC that Covid-19 isn’t “interested in your immigration status” as he confirms an amnesty on vaccinations.
Also confirms anyone who’s treated for Covid but is not in the country legally, will not face action from the Home Office.— Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) February 8, 2021
8:00 am: What’s coming up in British politics today
- The government is defending the AztraZeneca vaccine after it was found that it only provides “minimal” protection against illnesses caused by the South African variant of Covid-19.
- Labour is criticising the government’s so-called “crony” contracts awarded to private contractors during the coronavirus pandemic
- SNP Chief Executive and Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell will appear at Holyrood’s Salmond inquiry committee from 9am
7:50 am: Good morning, and welcome to Politics Live on this freezing Monday morning.