Lockdown news: BBC QT row ERUPTS as MP rages ‘Didn’t listen to scientists!’ | UK | News

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Gillian Keegan, Tory MP for Chichester, and Lucy Powell, Labour MP for Manchester Central clashed over vaccine distribution. Ms Powell accused the Government of ignoring scientists over its Covid response.

Asked by Ms Bruce whether the Government should extend lockdown restrictions beyond June 21, Ms Keegan insisted they needed evidence first.

She said: “These are the tough decisions the Government has to make; we’ve had to make them all along, there’s a lot of people who want to go slower and there’s a lot of people who want to go faster.

“The impact on business is devastating, the impact on events and on summer events is devastating. There is nothing easy about these decision, but I haven’t seen the data.

“The Government is getting the data. Clearly we have the furlough in place until September, and we’ve done this before, right? We know what the pieces are.

“In terms of local lockdown, what we’ve basically said at the moment is that we are doing surge testing and we’re opening (testing centres) longer, we’ve got buses, pop-up vaccination centres… We’re trying to get more people vaccinated.”

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Ms Bruce interjected, pointing out the Government is not administering “extra vaccines”. Ms Powell said in response: “You need to do that”.

She added that “It will protect the whole country”, before Ms Keegan insisted the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) “disagrees”.

The Tory MP stated: “We have followed JCVI every single step of the way, and so far they’ve been bang on, and if you look at where we are now we’re now vaccinating over-25s.

“We’ll have done 80 percent of the population within the end of this week!”

Ms Powell pointed out people in Bolton and Greater Manchester have had a higher impact from Covid as Delta variant cases surge there.

Ms Keegan insisted “we have scientists for a reason!”, before the Labour MP jabbed back saying: “You don’t always listen to the scientists, you didn’t listen to them on Portugal.”

Matt Hancock has said Delta variant Covid cases, which first emerged in India, make up 91 percent of the UK’s infections.

The Health Secretary told the Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee lockdowns and social distancing could return – if a challenging new variant emerges.

He said: “The plan is predicated on having a variant vaccine as fast as possible.

“The Prime Minister has set a target of having a variant vaccine and treatment and diagnostics within 100 days but we’re not there yet at that speed.”

The Health Secretary is also “highly confident” the vaccine would be developed quicker than previously.

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Boris Johnson said on Wednesday it is still too early to say whether lockdown restrictions will be lifted on June 21.

Speaking ahead of his meeting with US President Joe Biden, the Prime Minister said: “On Monday… we’ll have a look at where we are.

“I think what everybody can see very clearly is that cases are going up, and in some cases hospitalisations are going up.

“What we need to assess is the extent to which the vaccine rollout, which has been phenomenal, has built up protection in the population in order for us to go ahead to the next stage. And so that’s what we’ll be looking at.”

Yesterday saw another 7,393 cases and 7 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

As of writing, the UK has seen 4,542,986 cases and 127,867 deaths.

Yesterday also saw another 176,559 first doses and 316,258 second doses of coronavirus vaccine administered.

In total, the UK has administered 40,886,878 first doses and 28,857,102 second doses, equalling 77.6 percent and 54.8 percent of the population respectively.



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