The UK Covid inquiry is currently taking place, and it has been reported that Boris Johnson was often confused by scientific information and that Matt Hancock had a tendency to make false statements, according to live updates.

A sum of £1 billion has been allocated from the levelling up fund for various projects. The complete list of projects for round 3 can be found here.

David Cameron (left) welcoming Austrian foreign minister, Alexander Schallenberg to the Foreign Office today.

At 10:04 AM, the cabinet is divided on the legislation being drafted in reaction to the recent supreme court ruling on the Rwanda policy. When asked if Rishi Sunak is facing difficulties in reaching a consensus among ministers, the PM’s spokesperson informed reporters that this is the case.

The government’s approach, as stated by the prime minister, was made evident.

He is collaborating closely with cabinet members to finalize the specifics following the verdict.

Boris Johnson stated that he simply wants students to return to school and is no longer accepting the excuse of Covid.

Were you of the opinion that the Prime Minister was acting irresponsibly?

Vallance was focused on developing plans based on evidence, believing that the government required a range of alternatives.

According to him, these are challenging inquiries that require preparation for the opening and closing of schools.

Extract from Vallance’s diary

On September 16, 2020, Jacobs presents another entry from a diary where Johnson is quoted as saying “perhaps we should take responsibility”. Vallance characterizes this as “a rare instance of honesty” and discusses the “utter chaos surrounding schools”.

When questioned about his writing, Vallance claims he cannot recall the reason. However, he believes it was a reflection of his emotions at the time.

Extract from Vallance’s diary

On January 3, 2021, Jacobs shares another excerpt from a diary entry that criticizes the schools policy and holds the Department for Education responsible for the chaos.

Once more, Vallance expresses that he is unable to precisely remember what this was in reference to. However, he does recall feeling extremely concerned about the state of affairs in London at that moment.

Extract from Vallance’s diary

On June 11th, 2020, Jacobs shares a last record where Vallance mentions Jonathan Slater, the permanent secretary at the Department for Education, discussing the need to keep Education Secretary Gavin Williamson out of policy development but still giving him a sense of ownership. Vallance references Boris Johnson as appearing to support this approach.

When asked to provide more detail on the connection between No 10 and the DfE, Vallance explains that he is not knowledgeable about the dynamics of government departments and their interactions.

When Jacobs confronts him about the negative impact on Williamson, Vallance responds by saying that No 10 appeared to be making similar statements about numerous individuals.

Extract from Vallance’s diary

The hearing for today has concluded. The inquiry will resume tomorrow at 10am, with Prof Sir Chris Whitty providing testimony.

The regulation of six individuals gathering, however, the Cabinet Office does not wish to revise the policy.

According to him, the scientists were not fully in favor of the rule of six. He states:

We never believed that it had a significant impact on anything.

According to him, it is unclear why gathering in groups of six is allowed but not groups of eight or ten.

According to him, having fewer contacts reduces the risk of transmission.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, is currently participating in a question and answer session at a CBI conference regarding the Covid inquiry.

Hunt asserts that his autumn statement is not yet completed, and he remains receptive to recommendations.

He claims that with inflation now being managed, the government can begin to overcome the negativity and hopelessness surrounding Britain.

He expected to be mocked when he expressed his desire for Britain to become the next Silicon Valley. However, he argues that compared to other countries, Britain has the top universities and financial sector.

Patrick Vallance will confirm that implementing the Eat Out to Help Out program would have led to an increase in the number of deaths from Covid.

Vallance accepts that.

Boris Johnson’s inconsistency.

Note from Vallance from 26 October 2020.

As of October 28, Johnson was still opposing the implementation of a lockdown.

Notes from Vallance for 28 October 2020.

Vallance stated on October 30th that Johnson had not yet clarified his objectives.

Notes from Vallance for 30 October 2020

At 3:05pm, Vallance quotes Dominic Cummings (DC), the Prime Minister’s chief adviser at the time, who said, “Rishi [Sunak] believes it’s acceptable to just let people die.”

This event occurred on October 25, 2020. At the time, Sunak held the position of chancellor.

Boris Johnson is standing firm against demands for stricter actions to be taken.

According to O’Connor, Johnson mentioned being open to allowing Covid to spread freely. When asked if that was true, Vallance agrees but also notes that Johnson may have later stated that he did not want any deaths at all.

On October 25, 2020, Vallance cites Johnson as stating that it is inconsequential if older individuals pass away because “they’ve lived a long life”. Vallance remembers sensing a “total absence of guidance” after a meeting with Johnson.

Is that still your current perspective?

According to Vallance, it likely seemed as though there was no effective guidance. After reading the passage, he describes it as a disorganized and chaotic day.

Extract from Vallance’s diary

Matt Hancock effectively communicated for once.

Several witnesses to the inquiry have been bitterly critical of Hancock, health secretary at the time. O’Connor says there are many references to Hancock in Vallance’s diary. He says he does not want to go through them all, but he says other witnesses found Hancock untrustworthy and unreliable, and he asks Vallance what he thought of Hancock.

Vallance replies:

I believe he had a tendency to make unsubstantiated statements.

He would often express them with excessive enthusiasm and before having solid evidence to support them, only to have to retract them days later. I am unsure if this was due to genuine enthusiasm or intentional. Although I believe a large part of it was genuine enthusiasm, there were certainly moments where he said things that caught me off guard because I knew there was not enough evidence to support them.

Did he make false statements?

Yes, says Vallance.

David Cameron, also known as Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton, has recently assumed his position in the House of Lords. The clip can be viewed on Sky News.

During the inquiry, O’Connor presented an entry from Vallance’s diary where he criticized the Treasury for adhering to “pure dogma”.

Vallance wrote on October 26th, 2021:

The Treasury has made economic projections, stating that the economy is close to returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, their proposed backup plan would cost £18 billion. There is no supporting evidence or transparency, and it seems to be based on pure ideology, which has been proven wrong in the past. I have noticed a lack of transparency in the economic side of things, making it challenging to understand the specific models and factors used to support their claims and statements.


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