Data on coronavirus hospital admissions in Scotland finds fall among people who have had first jab compared with those who had not

10.54am GMT

Sir Keir Starmer was doing his regular LBC phone-in this morning. Here are the key points.

One senior backbencher said the message from the top was very clear – that there should be virtual “radio silence” on the issue. “The order that is coming out is: ‘Don’t mention the war.’ We are being told that Keir wants to move on and that if we mention the B-word let alone suggest we a need better deal with the EU than Boris Johnson’s we are being unhelpful.”

Several sources said that MP Carolyn Harris, Starmer’s parliamentary aide with responsibility for coordinating with Labour members – including on what questions they ask at prime minister’s questions – had been discouraging interventions on Brexit, saying they would damage the leader.

Rachel Reeves in the shadow cabinet leads for me on this. She has raised no end of issues. In fact, many times she has been saying we haven’t got enough customs officials on the front line.

Matt Hancock broke the law over PPE contracts

He needs to resign.

If he won’t, he should be sacked.

The government awarded public contracts to Tory friends and donors.

Matt Hancock acted unlawfully keeping it secret.

He should resign.

That particular case, in relation to Matt Hancock, involved whether the declarations had been made in time. And I don’t think that that is an issue [for resignation]. He should apologise and come and explain to the house, of course he should. But at the moment, in the middle of the vaccine, my strong feeling is that the vast majority of the public would say, for heaven’s sake, what you should be doing here is making sure he’s working really hard to get that vaccine rolled out properly, rather than calling for him to resign.

I don’t have any problem at all with the union jack …

Also, I’m patriotic. I want to lead our country because I want our country to be even better than it is now. I fundamentally believe in our country. And I’m very comfortable with that, I don’t have any problem with that.

I think communities are entitled to express a view on what statues they want up in their area. I’m not sure I see it as a priority in terms of what we’re living through, and what we’ve got in terms of getting the country back up and running. But if I was living in a community I probably would like to express a view one way or the other, and I think that’s not a bad thing.

We just had half-term and I said to the government, use that to vaccinate teachers and school staff before we go back to school. They didn’t do it and it is frustrating.

10.29am GMT

Dr Josie Murray, Public Health Scotland’s public health consultant lead for the EAVE II project which found that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines reduce hospital admissions by up to 85% and 94%, respectively (see 9.24am), said the results did not have any bearing on the virus’s ability to transmit from person to person and did not advise any changes. As PA Media reports, Murray said:

The first thing to say about these results is that the current vaccination programme shows from these data very likely to be preventing severe illness related to Covid-19.

I think it’s really important to emphasise that these data don’t support any comment about transmission or indeed transmission policy and therefore we wouldn’t be advising on the basis of these results that we should alter anything that we’ve got implemented currently to stop transmission of the virus from person to person within Scotland.

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