Politics latest news: Covid vaccine ‘will help you, not hinder you’ for travel and mass events, says Boris Johnson. Government ‘pleased’ that ‘only two’ Covid briefings were ruled unlawful. Government officials have insisted that “only two” out of 170 Covid briefings were found to be unlawful in a High Court judgement today.
Mr Justice Fordham said the absence of any British sign language interpretation for “data briefings” on September 21 2020 and October 12 2020 constituted “discrimination” against Katie Rowley, who took legal action against Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said after the ruling: “We are pleased that the court ruled our policy of using on-screen British Sign Language interpreters was lawful during the pandemic.
“Our priority has always been to reach the largest possible audience with important public information, and we will continue to ensure that British sign language interpretation is made available during Covid-19 briefings.”
See 10:29am for more.
Government must ‘rebuild the trust it has lost’ among disabled community, says senior MP
The Government’s long-awaited national disability strategy is just “a first step in the right direction”, the chairman of the Commons’ work and pensions committee has said.
Stephen Timms, a former minister and Labour MP, welcomed the publication of the strategy, but noted criticism of the way people were consulted in the process.
HE said: “Its underlying principle—a cross-government strategy, renewed annually, against which the Government can be held to account for its performance—is a good one. But the Minister is right to acknowledge that today’s publication represents only a first step in the right direction.
“Disabled people have told the Government very clearly that the way in which it engaged with them to develop this strategy was not good enough. In particular, the survey it carried out was not accessible and caused offence.
“With planned annual reviews of the strategy, the Government has an immediate opportunity to put that right and to start to rebuild the trust it has lost.”
Dominic Raab: Get vaccinated out of ‘self-interest’
People should get vaccinated out of “self-interest”, Dominic Raab has said, after his Cabinet colleague Michael Gove said those who refuse are “selfish”.
The Foreign Secretary told the PA agency: “Look, I think people should get vaccinated for their own self-interest because it is far safer to do so, and I would encourage everyone to do so.
“But it is true that it is also the best way to protect your family, your friends, your neighbourhood, your community and the country at large as we try and boost the rate beyond the 70 per cent of the adult population who have been vaccinated.
“So I certainly encourage and urge anyone who hasn’t yet got vaccinated and is eligible to do so.”
Nicola Sturgeon visits the Connect Community Trusts Connie Centre in Glasgow Credit: AFP
Nicola Sturgeon has shrugged off criticism of her Donald Trump-style meltdown during a Covid briefing yesterday, to go on a visit in Glasgow.
Westminster Government ministers such as Michael Gove are making a series of trips to Scotland as they look to bolster the case for the union.
But the First Minister is being hammered after she attacked people for not using “common sense” when interpreting vaccine targets.
Infectious disease? Tick. Funny mask? Tick. Health passports? Tick. Credit: Hulton Archive
With Boris Johnson and his top team considering the use of domestic Covid passports this autumn, we look back at the bizarre history of vaccine certificates.
A ‘fede di sanita’ carried by shipmen in the early 18th century in and around Italy were some of the earliest examples of what we might now describe as a vaccine passport. However, the requirement of documents date back even further, with Londoners needing a certificate of wellness signed by the Lord Mayor if they wished to leave the city during the Great Plague in the 17th century
Pensions triple lock: MPs canvassed for opinions on dropping manifesto commitment
The suspension of the pensions triple lock appears to be moving closer after it emerged last night that Conservative MPs are privately being canvassed on their views on dropping the manifesto commitment.
The Telegraph can disclose that figures in the Department for Work and Pensions have started sounding out MPs as to whether they are supportive of ditching the Government guarantee on pensions increases.
MPs believe the decision to reach out to them is a clear sign that a temporary suspension now seems increasingly likely.
“It was very much an ‘if we do this, what’s your opinion,’” said one well-placed source, who suggested that the Government was now effectively conducting a “straw poll” of Conservative MPs.
Have your say: Are vaccine refuseniks ‘selfish’?
Michael Gove’s claim that people who refuse to get the vaccine are “selfish” has put the cat among the pigeons, with none of his Cabinet colleagues willing to back the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster this morning.
Boris Johnson said he would “put it the other way round” by insisting it was a good thing to do, while Therese Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, insisted people were “scared” rather than selfish.
The Government is grappling with the possibility that the low take-up among younger groups – who are less likely to suffer serious illness – could result in Covid spreading and mutating – resulting in a potentially vaccine-beating variant.
Chairman of the Police Federation John Apter (left) and Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street, Credit: PA
I am sure that the Police Federation feels that its members deserve a pay rise. What with all those petty lockdown rules to enforce, it has been a tough year for them, writes Ross Clark.
But in its letter to Downing Street the police officers’ trade union failed to address a fundamental question: where does it think that all this extra national wealth might come from?
Of course, a zero percent pay rise at a time that the Consumer Prices Inflation is running at 2.4 percent is, in real terms, a pay cut. But it is nothing compared with the plunge in national wealth.