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Good morning. You might be wondering why the media is spending so much time obsessing about the departure of a No 10 communications chief when England is in lockdown, the pandemic is raging and the UK has just become the first country in Europe to record more than 50,000 Covid deaths, reinforcing claims that its handling of the virus has been relatively feebly by international standards.
But they are, of course, related. Why do you think the government’s handling of coronavirus has been flawed? Who was supposed to be in charge? Has having a dysfunctional Dowing Street helped?
Here is my colleague Jessica Elgot’s overnight story about the resignation of Lee Cain.
And this is what Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, had to say about the row leading to Cain’s departure on LBC this morning.
This is pathetic. I think millions of people will be waking up this morning, scratching their heads, saying what on earth is going on?
We’re in the middle of a pandemic, we’re all worried about our health and our families, we’re all worried about our jobs, and this lot are squabbling behind the door of number ten.
It’s pathetic. Pull yourselves together, focus on the job in hand.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, takes questions in the Commons.
9.30am: NHS England publishes monthly waiting time and other performance figures.
9.30am: The ONS publishes figures on the economic impact of coronavirus.
11am: NHS Test and Trace publishes its weekly performance figures.
11am: Philip Hammond, the former chancellor, speaks at the launch of a Resolution Foundation report into repairing the public finances.
12.20pm: Nicola Strugeon takes first minister’s questions in the Scottish parliament.
Afternoon: Downing Street is expected to hold a press conference.
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, like the Downing Street chief of staff row, 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.
Source: The Guardian
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