Matthew Taylor

Sunday shows round-up – we’re ‘determined’ to reform social care, says Nadhim Zahawi

Sunday shows round-up – we're ‘determined’ to reform social care, says Nadhim Zahawi
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No one could argue that there hasn’t been anything to talk about since the Sunday shows made their last appearance in July. From Afghanistan to vaccine passports, the government has had plenty on its plate, and the latest thorny issue to hit the headlines is the government’s plan to reform the social care system. It is being reported that a rise in the rate of National Insurance is practically a done deal, despite an explicit Conservative commitment not to do so in 2019. Andrew Marr took the Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi to task over the government’s record on its promises:

NZ: We’re determined to reform the social care system… We want to get this right.

Potential vaccines for children would need parental consent

Trevor Phillips also spoke to Zahawi and asked him about the recent advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations, who have not recommended that Covid vaccines be given to 12 to 15 year olds. However, the ultimate decision will rest with each of the UK’s chief medical officers. If a contrary decision if reached, Phillips asked if parental consent would still be needed:

NZ: I can give that assurance, absolutely.

Vaccine passports for large venues still in consideration

Zahawi also confirmed the government’s plans to introduce mandatory vaccine passports for large events from the end of September, and pointed to the Football Association as a successful example of where such a scheme had already been at work:

NZ: The best thing to do is to work with industries to make sure that they can open safely… and the best way to do that is to check vaccine status.

Lisa Nandy – ‘No choice’ but to talk with the Taliban

Phillips also interviewed the Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy about the situation in Afghanistan, where it is estimated that there are hundreds – if not thousands – of British citizens waiting to be evacuated. Phillips asked if the British government had to bite the bullet and work with the Taliban:

LN: There is no choice, at this current stage, but to have a dialogue with the Taliban. That’s different from diplomatic recognition.

Gordon Brown – Not sending vaccines to Africa ‘will come back to haunt us’

The former Prime Minister told Phillips that western countries were sitting on stockpiles of vaccines that he argued would be far better deployed across the developing world, particularly in African nations. He called for the G7 to hold an emergency meeting to facilitate this:

GB: The disease will come back to haunt us from Africa, and hurt even the fully vaccinated here… No issue we’re talking about could save more lives.

Nick Carter – If the Taliban splits, UK will be less safe

And finally, Marr spoke to the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, asking him if the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan meant that the UK would be a less safe place to live:

NC: If we end up with [a] fracture… then I think all bets are off.