Sunday round-up

Baroness Mone ‘can’t see what we’ve done wrong’ over PPE pandemic profits

Baroness Mone: ‘I can’t see what we’ve done wrong’ Laura Kuenssberg’s show this morning was dominated by her interview with Baroness Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman, who have admitted their direct involvement with PPE Medpro, a company which was awarded a huge PPE contract during the pandemic, despite years claiming the contrary. The couple said they made £60 million in profit from the deal, and Mone admitted to being a beneficiary of financial trusts where the money is held. There is an ongoing criminal investigation, but Mone suggested they had been made scapegoats while Barrowman even implied a government official had asked for a bribe in exchange for

Sunday shows round-up: Robert Jenrick says the Rwanda bill won’t work

Speaking to Laura Kuenssberg after resigning on Wednesday, former immigration minister Robert Jenrick was disparaging in his assessment of the government’s new Rwanda legislation. Explaining his resignation, he said he couldn’t be the minister guiding the bill through parliament. Jenrick implied he had a better understanding of the issue than the Prime Minister, and that a ‘political choice’ had been made to bring forward a bill which wouldn’t do the job. Jenrick claimed that under the proposed legislation, the Rwanda scheme would be bogged down by migrants’ potential legal claims and would not act as an effective deterrent. Michael Gove: ‘this bill is the robust measure required’ In defence of

Oliver Dowden: I have ‘grave concerns’ about Armistice day marches

As the conflict in Gaza continues, there is increasing division over the crisis here in the UK. Keir Starmer continues to resist those in his party calling a ceasefire; Home Secretary Suella Braverman has labelled pro-Palestine rallies as ‘hate marches’; and Jewish columnist Lord Finkelstein told Trevor Phillips that he wonders whether it is safe for him or his children in central London. Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden partially agreed with Braverman, telling Laura Kuenssberg there was hateful conduct occurring on the marches. He said he had ‘grave concerns’ about the pro-Palestine rally planned for Armistice day. Labour’s John Healey – a ceasefire leaves Hamas in place Speaking to Trevor

Sunday shows round-up: Grant Shapps slams railway strikers

The political focus this morning was centred around the three days’ worth of railway disruption due to begin on Tuesday. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps joined Sophy Ridge to make the case against strike action, taking aim at the leadership of the RMT union: Union calls for government meeting are ‘a stunt’ Sophie Raworth also interviewed Shapps, and asked him about last week’s call from the RMT to get around the negotiating table with government: Mick Lynch – ‘We’re facing a crisis’ RMT leader Mick Lynch also joined Ridge to put forward the case for industrial action. Lynch took issue with Shapps, raising possible job cuts as a particular bone of

Sunday shows round-up: ‘I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns’ says Javid

Sajid Javid – I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns The Health Secretary was the main guest of the day on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, hosted this morning by Nick Robinson. Robinson asked Javid about the likelihood that Christmas could be threatened once again by lockdown. Javid responded by saying that it was highly unlikely that the UK would see itself in a similar position to last year, even with an expected surge of the virus over this winter: SJ: I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns… I just don’t see how we get to another lockdown. Vaccine passports will not go ahead Last week, the Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi appeared

Sunday shows round-up: ‘I do not identify with the Conservative party’, says John Bercow

John Bercow – ‘I do not identify with the Conservative party’ Last night, it was revealed that the former Commons Speaker John Bercow had not merely distanced himself from his former party, but had disowned it altogether. Interviewed by the Observer, he castigated the Conservative party as ‘reactionary, populist, nationalistic and sometimes even xenophobic’. Bercow’s jump across the divide may come as no surprise to some, but in doing so he has become the first ex-Speaker to ever make such a move back into the political arena. Trevor Phillips spoke to Bercow, once an enthusiastic figure on the Tory right, about the reasons for his change of allegiance: JB: My

Sunday shows round-up: ‘every confidence’ future lockdowns can be avoided, says Dowden

Oliver Dowden – We have ‘every confidence’ there will not be future lockdowns The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden was in the hot seat this morning amid reports that a third wave of Covid-19 is engulfing much of continental Europe. Many of the UK’s close neighbours, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, are re-introducing or extending measures to combat the so-called ‘Kent variant’ of the disease. Andrew Marr sought to get reassurance from Dowden that the government would not end up plunging England back into a fourth nationwide lockdown: OD: [Our] aim… is to make sure this is irreversible… You can’t rule things out, but we have every confidence that we

Sunday shows round-up: Liz Truss guarantees vaccine supply from EU

Liz Truss – We can guarantee UK’s vaccine supply The European Union’s attempt at vaccine procurement has not been its finest hour. Concerns about lack of supply across Europe prompted the EU Commission to consider how it might override Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s prior commitments and commandeer the output of their Belgian factories for the bloc’s own internal use. Signalling that the EU might block the export of the jabs, many of which had been intended for use in the UK, triggered an immediate backlash, and the EU eventually climbed down. The International Trade Secretary Liz Truss spoke to Andrew Marr, who asked her if she could be certain that the UK would

Sunday shows round-up: primary school children should ‘absolutely’ return, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson – Restrictions ‘probably about to get tougher’ The Andrew Marr Show returned this morning, and with it came an in-depth interview with the Prime Minister. It will surprise no one to hear that the bulk of the interview focused on the coronavirus, and Boris Johnson signalled throughout that the new year could see fresh restrictions being brought into place. He did not go into any detail about what measures could be introduced under a potential ‘Tier 5’, but it was clear enough that his 5pm Downing Street press conferences were not yet a thing of the past: BJ: It may be that we need to do things in

Sunday shows round-up: Brexit deal could fall down over fishing

Simon Coveney – Internal Market Bill could mean no trade deal Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney returned to Sophy Ridge’s show this week to make clear his objections to the government’s Internal Market Bill. The bill, which famously threatened to break the EU Withdrawal Agreement in ‘a specific and limited way’, has recently been watered down by the House of Lords. However, it is expected that the government will reinsert the offending clauses, which would keep Northern Ireland’s market aligned with Britain in the event of no trade deal. Coveney warned that this move could derail the prospective trade deal altogether: SC: If the British government is determined to continue

Sunday shows round-up: new lockdown ‘could be extended’

Michael Gove – New lockdown ‘could be extended’ Yesterday Boris Johnson announced that England would be entering another lockdown as of this Thursday, which will last for, at the very least, the entirety of November. Sophy Ridge’s first guest of the day was the Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, who told her that the envisioned end-date of Wednesday 2nd December was subject to change if the rates of Covid infection could not be reduced: SR: If the data on the whole is not looking as you are hoping, then the national lockdown could be extended? MG: We will always take a decision in the national interest, based on evidence… SR:

Sunday shows round-up: Steve Baker says liberty ‘dies like this’ over Coronavirus Act

Steve Baker – Liberty ‘dies like this’ with ‘draconian powers’ unchecked The government has come under fire from its own side this morning as it prepares to renew the Coronavirus Act six months after it was first put into effect. Graham Brady, the chair of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, is spearheading an amendment to the act which would ensure that Parliament could vote on the emergency measures that ministers wish to take. Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, gave his reasons for supporting this amendment: SB: I doubt really anyone understands what [the] law is… We’re in an environment where you really can’t know whether you’re a

Sunday shows round-up: Shapps says Dominic Cummings won’t resign

Grant Shapps – Dominic Cummings won’t resign A media storm has been battering the government this morning after it emerged that the Prime Minister’s key adviser Dominic Cummings could have breached the government’s strict advice against travel during the lockdown. In March, Cummings and his family left London to self-isolate in his native Durham, in order to be near to close relatives should he and his wife be unable to look after their 4 year old son. Cummings and the government insist that he did nothing wrong. The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended Cummings’ decision and denied that his job was on the line: GS: Mr Cummings decided that the