UK Covid live: AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines may be more effective against Brazil variant than previously thought

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Hancock announces extra £6.6bn next year to cover additional costs of Covid













Hancock says people will continue to get first doses in April





Matt Hancock’s statement to MPs





Welsh Labour’s deputy leader, Carolyn Harris, led the rhetoric against the party’s opponents at its election campaign launch. Harris, who will head the Senedd elections campaign, said:


The Tories will repeat anything their bosses in London tell them – they don’t care about Wales. And Plaid [Cymru] just want to put up barriers and stoke division.

But I’ll tell you what really gets my goat. It when they – the Tories and Plaid – suggest that the reason Wales has elected Welsh Labour governments for the past 20 years is because the Welsh public are somehow being hoodwinked or tricked – as if they’re stupid. The sheer snobbery of it.

On a more positive note, Harris pointed out this was the first election for a Welsh parliament – rather than an assembly. The devolved administration has been upgraded because it has full law-making powers and the ability to vary taxes.

Harris said: “This election will mark a coming of age for Wales.”

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Indian government responsible for hold-up in vaccine supply to UK, says manufacturer













At the Welsh Labour election campaign launch Mark Drakeford, the first minister, announced what the party bills as a “radical and practical plan for recovery”.

If re-elected in May, Drakeford said a Welsh Labour government would deliver:

  • Recovery after Covid: the biggest catch-up programme in our NHS and schools, and a new medical school in north Wales. Employing more than 1,800 additional tutoring staff to help children catch up.
  • A young persons’ guarantee: work, education or training offer for all under-25s. Includes creating 125,000 new apprenticeships.
  • A fair deal for care: the real living wage for care workers.
  • A greener country: abolish more single-use plastics and create a national forest for Wales.
  • Safer communities: more police community support officers on our streets.
  • New jobs for Wales: create thousands of jobs in a low-carbon house building revolution.

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Welsh Labour puts Drakeford’s ‘careful, considered’ leadership at centre of election campaign

Welsh Labour believes the first minister, Mark Drakeford, has performed well during the Covid crisis – and so not surprisingly there was much talk of the value of strong leadership at the party’s Senedd elections campaign.

Drakeford took what felt like a swipe at Boris Johnson during his speech:


Leadership that isn’t about simply saying things that you think people want to hear.

That isn’t about chasing the next day’s headlines. Leadership that is earned through honesty and by making decisions that match bold ambition with practical reality.

Sarah Murphy, the party’s candidate for Bridgend, said the last 12 months had made it clear that “compassionate leadership” counted. “We have been fortunate in Wales to have compassionate, careful and considered leadership at the time we needed it most,” she said.

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