Guardian political correspondent. Book: The Miracle Pill – paperback out Dec 23 bit.ly/2ZRiefz. PGP: bit.ly/29xs4sa

London, UK
Joined June 2008
I know there's a *lot* of news about at the moment, but here's some from me: I've got a book coming out next January with @simonschusterUK Full details in their press release, attached here in two parts.
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If we can't rely on JVT's analogies anymore then the country really could be in trouble.
JVT's football analogy feels rather laboured this time. *I think* players on the pitch are Covid defences (vaccines/ restrictions etc) and omicron is a yellow card, and to avoid getting a red one, everybody on pitch has to "up their game". IE get your booster/ follow rules ⚽️ 🟨
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New: Commons standards committee recommends: • Ban on MPs-as-consultants. • Mandatory contract for MPs' 2nd jobs, incl ban on lobbing. • Updated MPs' code to bar “unreasonable and excessive" attacks on others, incl on social media. • More transparency for ministers' interests
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It's not one of the more high-profile shadow front bench jobs, but Cat Smith has led a very detailed and energetic Labour response to important electoral issues like plans for voters ID, and wider worries about the elections bill. Big shoes to fill.
It’s been an honour to serve on the Labour front bench since 2015 but I’m looking forward to spending even more time at home here in Lancashire and standing up for my constituents.
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Peter Walker retweeted
Rayner tells me "we need some consistency in how we’re approaching things as an opposition" when asked about whether it's the right time for a reshuffle. She stresses Labour should be "focused on getting us into power" and if the party isn't doing that, it's letting people down.
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My sense is part of answer to this is the structure of the JCVI - set up nearly 60 years ago to make occasional, considered, very medical-based decisions on vaccines – and its very specific remit, eg not being allowed to consider wider public health benefits of kids' Covid jabs.
JCVI proving again that it can move at pace when required - expected to announce new booster guidelines today, just 48hrs after being asked to review. Some may ask why the committee cannot always act with such urgency when a pandemic is ongoing (eg decision on kids' jabs).
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I can understand ministers' frustrations with the JCVI, but critics should also perhaps understand that it's yet another institution trying to adapt to the stresses of Covid. It is independent, but the structures it works under are set by government.
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NEW: Unions representing 2.5m nurses & health workers in 28 countries seek UN intervention over refusal of UK, EU & others to waive Covid vaccine patents, saying this is helping cause “vaccine apartheid” for poorer nations. theguardian.com/world/2021/n…
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Peter Walker retweeted
Well, if he doesn't, I will certainly accuse the Spectator of giving a platform to a Holocaust revisionist
Only just read the fawning interview with Eric Zemmour in the Spectator last week included the line 'Somebody, probably David Aaronovitch, will no doubt accuse The Spectator of giving a platform to nativism or white supremacism merely by speaking to him. ' spectator.co.uk/article/immi…
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Peter Walker retweeted
My interview with France's Interior Minister @GDarmanin over the Channel refugee crisis. "UK’s ‘double talk’ on Channel crisis must stop, says French interior minister" theguardian.com/uk-news/2021…
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Is there a more pathetic lament than that of private school leaders complaining fewer of their students get into Oxbridge, as heard just now on R4? This person expressed the worry the change in admissions could “damage the brand” of Oxbridge. I suspect they’ll survive.
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Covid latest from me & @LindaGeddes : • JCVI new on boosters for young/shorter gap could come soon as tomorrow • Masks return for secondary schools in communal areas • 3rd Omicron UK case • Javid has Xmas will be "great" - others urge more measures. theguardian.com/society/2021…
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Should say JCVI "news", not "new"
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"Ethnics"? Someone's been watching too many reruns of Mind Your Language.
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Keep a look out for this bike! And watch out in Lewisham....
Just been mugged for my bike on Downham Way, Lewisham, by a man in a car and four kids on electric scooters. It’s a Genesis Smithfield Borough, dark blue, with a grey Royal Mail box on the front. Very sentimental bike. Pls RT. Forgive the daft picture - it’s all I can find.
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Apparently the civil servants wanted the campaign renamed, “Don’t take Covid home for Winterval”. [niche joke for veteran observers of such nonsense]
MAIL On Sunday: “Now The Woke ‘Blob’ Tries To Ban Christmas” #TomorrowsPapersToday
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Replying to @peterwalker99 @VCCP
I sometimes feel I should offer companies who have an "idea" about cycling safety a free service where I look over their plan, tell them to not bother, and save everyone a lot of effort. It happens again and again.
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