UK coronavirus live: four more Tory MPs self-isolating after No 10 meeting | Politics

Good morning. This is meant to be day one of the post-Cummings No 10 relaunch – they sent out a news release last night saying Boris Johnson would “make a series of critical announcements over the next couple of weeks that will be a clear signal of his ongoing ambitions for the United Kingdom” – but of course it was announced last night that he now has to self-isolate, after a meeting with Tory MPs, one of whom tested positive.

He has posted a video about this on Twitter this morning.

Boris Johnson
(@BorisJohnson)

Hi folks, I’ve been instructed by our NHS Test & Trace scheme to self-isolate for two weeks, after being in contact with someone with Covid-19.

I’m in good health and have no symptoms, and will continue to lead on our response to the virus & our plans to #BuildBackBetter pic.twitter.com/yNgIme8lOz


November 16, 2020

And here is our story.

Last week we were told that Johnson was planning to hold a press conference every Monday. But he won’t be appearing this afternoon, and instead Matt Hancock, the health secretary, will be at the lectern in Downing Street.

This morning Hancock has been doing the media interview round, primarily to promote the news that two megalabs will open early next year, which will eventually add an extra 600,000 a day to the government’s testing capacity. That would more than double the UK’s testing capacity.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Hancock also said he wanted to extend the use of testing for relatives of people in care homes in England so that by Christmas every resident can get a visit from a loved one. He said:


Our goal is to ensure that we have the testing available in every care home by Christmas – to make sure that people can take a test and therefore see their loved ones safely, that is the goal.

We’re working closely with the social care sector to try to make that happen.

We’ve rolled it out in a small number of parts of the country, Devon and Cornwall in the first instance, and then our goal is to have this by Christmas so that people can see and and be close to their loved ones.

Here is the agenda for the day.

10.30am: The UK Major Ports Group and the British Ports Association give evidence to a a Lords committee about preparations for the end of the post-Brexit transition.

11am: The supreme court starts hearing an appeal over coronavirus-related business insurance claims

12.15pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, is expected to hold a coronavirus briefing.

12.15pm: The Welsh government is expected to hold a coronavirus briefing.

12.30pm: Downing Street holds its daily lobby briefing.

5pm: Matt Hancock, the health secretary, is holding a press conference at No 10.

And in Brussels the UK-EU trade talks are resuming.

Politics Live is now doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, and when they seem more important or more interesting, they will take precedence.

Here is our global coronavirus live blog.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.




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