Boris Johnson has spent the afternoon giving evidence to the Liaison Committee made up of select committee chairs. The Prime Minister was quizzed on a range of topics from the UK's vaccination programme to Brexit issues for the music sector.
Here are five main takeaways from the session:
2. Johnson warns the EU over vaccine export ban
Although the Prime Minister suggested in Tuesday's press conference that the UK would not partake in any vaccine wars even if the EU imposed an export ban, Johnson did have words of warning for Brussels today. Quizzed on the topic by Jeremy Hunt, the Prime Minister repeated his view that he doesn't think 'blockades of either vaccines or of medicines or ingredients for vaccines are sensible', before adding that any country that opts for one could come to regret it as businesses could decide in the future not to locate there:
'I would just gently say to anybody considering a blockade, or interruption of supply chains, that companies may look at such actions and and draw conclusions about whether or not it is sensible to make future investments in countries where arbitrary blockades are imposed.'
As Covid cases rise in France – including the South African variant – the government is under pressure from Labour to place France on the red list of countries from which most travel to the UK is banned. Asked by Yvette Cooper why hauliers arriving in the UK are not currently tested for coronavirus, Johnson said the government 'can't rule out tougher measures'. He warned that if France is placed on the red list, it will lead to significant disruption to deliveries with 'the food in our shops, the medicines that we need' to be impacted.
4. A social care solution this year 'highly likely'
Boris Johnson has been promising a solution to the social care crisis ever since he entered 10 Downing Street. Yet one is still to emerge and it was absent in the Budget. Under questioning from former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, he said it’s ‘highly likely’ social care will be part of the upcoming Queen’s Speech with the government to publish proposals on social care reform this year.
5. Foreign aid cut will go ahead
Boris Johnson is facing a backlash from MPs on the One Nation wing of his party over his plan to cut the 0.7 per cent foreign aid target, with critics suggesting it isn't legal. However, the Prime Minister defended the move today – arguing that it was the right thing to do as 'times are very tight'.