France is to toughen up its restrictions on arrivals from the UK over fears of the Indian variant of Covid-19.

Speaking after a meeting of the Defence Council on Wednesday, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said France would introduce “compulsory isolation” for all arrivals from the UK.

“There is a new situation with the progression of the so-called Indian variant in the United Kingdom,” said Gabriel Attal. “(France) will set up compulsory isolation for people coming from the United Kingdom.”

Details of the measures – and when they will be introduced from – will be announced “in the coming hours”, he said. 

Meanwhile, during PMQs today Mr Johnson slapped down claims he'd failed the nation after his ex-aide Dominic Cummings launched an extraordinary broadside at him over his Covid failings.

He told MPs: "I take full responsibility for everything that has happened. I am truly sorry for the suffering the people of this country experiences. But the government acted throughout with the intention to save lives, protect the NHS and in accordance with the best scientific advice."

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

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    DOMINIC CUMMINGS’ EVIDENCE: THE KEY CLAIMS

    • Official inquiry needs to be held sooner as ‘tens of thousands of people died who did not need to die’
    • Boris Johnson compared the virus to swine flu and suggested he should be injected with Covid-19 live on TV to prove it was not dangerous
    • Cummings told PM he must fire Matt Hancock for lying on multiple occasions including telling Cabinet people who would be tested before being sent back to care homes
    • ‘Lions led by donkeys’ – there were great people working on the response but the top leadership were not up to the job
    • There was no ‘sense of urgency' about the pandemic until late February
    • Former adviser said he drove hundreds of miles to Durham while suffering from Covid because of security threats to his family

    CUMMINGS SAYS BORIS JOHNSON LIKES THE CHAOS

    Dominic Cummings said he had decided to leave Downing Street by the end of 2020 because the system was too chaotic.

    Speaking to the Science and Health select committees, Cummings said he told Boris Johnson he was leaving just before he was due to have an operation in the summer.

    When asked why he was leaving he said he the system in No 10 was too chaotic and he could not put together the team to fix it.

    He said he told the PM: “You are more frightened of me having the power to stop the chaos than the chaos itself”.

    The former adviser said Johnson then laughed and agreed, saying: “Chaos is not that bad, chaos means everyone has to look to me to sort it out”.

    UPDATED UK DEATH TOLL

    The Government said a further nine people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 127,748.

    Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

    The Government also said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 3,180 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

    It brings the total to 4,470,297.

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      DOMINIC CUMMINGS DENIES HE'S AFTER A ROLE WITH RISHI SUNAK

      Dominic Cummings has denied he is after a job in any future Rishi Sunak administration.

      Giving evidence to the Science and Health select committees, Cummings praised a lot of the Chancellor's measures to combat the pandemic and seemed reluctant to criticise the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme.

      He slammed the Government's general rollback of restrictions last summer but was evasive on the scheme which encouraged people to go to restaurants.

      But Cummings denied he was plotting a return to frontline politics saying everyone, including his wife, thought "the less they heard from him the better."

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      “COMPLETELY CRACKERS” THAT PM WAS IN CHARGE

      Dominic Cummings said it was “completely crackers” Boris Johnson was in charge and that thousands of people in the country could provide better leadership than the Prime Minister.

      Cummings said the fact that the public had to choose between Mr Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn in the 2019 election meant it was clear that the electoral system had “gone extremely, extremely badly wrong”.

      “There’s so many thousands and thousands of wonderful people in this country who could provide better leadership than either of those two,” he said.

      “And there’s obviously something terribly wrong with the political parties if that’s the best that they can do.”

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      BORIS JOHNSON FAILS TO DENY CLAIMS HE SAID “ONLY OVER 80s WERE DYING”

      Boris Johnson has insisted his Government at “every stage tried to minimise loss of life” as he failed to deny claiming Covid was “only killing 80-year-olds”.

      Sir Keir Starmer used Prime Minister’s Questions to grill Mr Johnson over allegations levelled against the Government, predominantly by his former senior adviser Dominic Cummings.

      At one stage the Labour leader asked Mr Johnson to refute an allegation that he delayed introducing a second lockdown last autumn because “Covid was only killing 80-year-olds”, with Mr Johnson replying that the independent public inquiry will examine the matter, before defending his decisions.

      SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford also asked about claims that the Government considered “chickenpox parties” and “injecting the Prime Minister with Covid live on TV”.

      Johnson replied: “I don’t recognise the events he describes.”

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      HANCOCK KEPT IN CABINET TO AS CANON FODDER FOR LATER INQUIRY, CUMMINGS SAYS

      Dominic Cummings said he told the Prime Minister "sometimes daily" that he had to fire Matt Hancock as Health Secretary.

      He said Boris Johnson had considering sacking him in April but decided against it because he had been told "you should keep him there because he's the person you sack when the inquiry comes along".

      Cummings said he stressed that if Hancock continued in his position they would face a further disaster in the Autumn with a second wave because he was making so many mistakes.

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      CUMMINGS SAYS HANCOCK USED MEDICAL OFFICERS AS SHIELDS

      Dominic Cummings has told MPs, Health Secretary Matt Hancock used medical officers such as Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Valance as "shields" for his own failings.

      He said he heard him telling the PM they could use the excuse of "following the science" in case things went wrong.

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      PM DID SAY 'LET THE BODIES PILE HIGH'

      Boris Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings confirmed on Wednesday that he had heard the prime minister say "let the bodies pile high" when discussing whether he should lock down Britain again late last year.

      Johnson has denied reports he had would rather "let the bodies pile high", but asked whether he had heard the prime minister say those words, Cumming replied: "Yes," confirming a report by the BBC.

      "I heard that in the prime minister's study," he told a parliamentary committee.

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      CUMMINGS SAYS BORIS JOHNSON LIKES THE CHAOS

      Dominic Cummings said he had decided to leave Downing Street by the end of 2020 because the system was too chaotic.

      Speaking to the Science and Health select committees, Cummings said he told Boris Johnson he was leaving just before he was due to have an operation in the summer.

      When asked why he was leaving he said he the system in No 10 was too chaotic and he could not put together the team to fix it.

      He said he told the PM: “You are more frightened of me having the power to stop the chaos than the chaos itself”.

      The former adviser said Johnson then laughed and agreed, saying: “Chaos is not that bad, chaos means everyone has to look to me to sort it out”.

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      'WHO DO WE NOT SAVE?'

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      DOMINIC CUMMINGS' EVIDENCE: SOME OF THE KEY CLAIMS SO FAR

      • Official inquiry needs to be held sooner as 'tens of thousands of people died who did not need to die'
      • Boris Johnson compared the virus to swine flu and suggested he should be injected with Covid-19 live on TV to prove it was not dangerous
      • Cummings told PM he must fire Matt Hancock for lying on multiple occasions including telling Cabinet people who would be tested before being sent back to care homes
      • 'Lions led by donkeys' – there were great people working on the response but the top leadership were not up to the job
      • There was no 'sense of urgency' about the pandemic until late February
      • Former adviser said he drove hundreds of miles to Durham while suffering from Covid because of security threats to his family

      CUMMINGS: 'COMPLETE NONSENSE' TO CLAIM COVID SHIELD WAS PUT AROUND CARE HOMES

      The Government sent hospital patients with Covid-19 back to care homes and suggestions they were shielded are "complete nonsense", Dominic Cummings has said.

      Boris Johnson's former chief adviser suggested the Prime Minister was furious when he came back to work after recovering from coronavirus to find that untested patients had been discharged to care homes in England, thereby allowing the virus to spread.

      He said Health Secretary Matt Hancock had told Mr Johnson previously that they would be tested.

      Cummings told MPs: "So that was one of the other things that I, that we, found shocking, that when we realised in April that this had happened, the Prime Minister said a less polite version of 'what on earth are you telling me?'.

      "When he came back after being ill: 'What on earth has happened with all these people in care homes? Hancock told us in the Cabinet Room that people were going to be tested before they went back to care homes, what the hell happened?"'

      “COMPLETELY CRACKERS” THAT PM WAS IN CHARGE

      Dominic Cummings said it was “completely crackers” Boris Johnson was in charge and that thousands of people in the country could provide better leadership than the Prime Minister.

      Cummings said the fact that the public had to choose between Mr Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn in the 2019 election meant it was clear that the electoral system had “gone extremely, extremely badly wrong”.

      “There’s so many thousands and thousands of wonderful people in this country who could provide better leadership than either of those two,” he said.

      “And there’s obviously something terribly wrong with the political parties if that’s the best that they can do.”

      BEREAVED FAMILIES REACT TO CUMMINGS' COVID EVIDENCE

      The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said DominicCummings' evidence showed that "the government's combination of grotesque chaos and uncaring flippancy is directly responsible for many of our loved ones not being with us today – and the refusal to have an urgent statutory inquiry risks others joining them".

      "That this information is being unveiled in a pantomime-style spat between Cummings and Johnson, littered with independence day, Jeff Goldblum and spiderman references, is utterly inappropriate and makes this even more appalling.

      "This spectacle is a million miles from that and has left many of the bereaved in tears of anger and pain today. The Government's statutory inquiry now has to start immediately and include regular interim reporting.

      "It is clear that there are incredibly serious questions to be asked of those in power, and that waiting until next year means the information will simply be leaked in an insensitive and hurtful manner – and even worse, lead to more unnecessary deaths."

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        FOUR NATIONS COVID SUMMIT POSTPONED

        A four-nations coronavirus recovery summit has been postponed.

        The move follows the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales writing to Boris Johnson calling for a delay for further discussions ahead of the summit.

        In their joint letter, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford said this would ensure it would "avoid the risk of it being just a PR or box-ticking exercise".

        Their letter criticised the Prime Minister's office for sending "a very rough proposed agenda" with key issues in the discussions seemingly yet to be agreed.

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        CUMMINGS CRITICISED PLANS FOR OFFICIAL INQUIRY NEXT YEAR

        Dominic Cummings has said it would be "completely terrible" to delay an official inquiry until next year as "tens of thousands people died who did not need to die".

        He said the more time passes "the more memories will be wiped, the more documents will go astray".

        The former No 10 adviser called on MPs to demand a proper inquiry their constituents who lost loved ones to the virus.

         

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        WATCH: DOMINIC CUMMINGS ON THAT BARNARD CASTLE TRIP

        Dominic Cummings admits his trip to Barnard Castle was a ‘major disaster for the government and for Covid policy’

         

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        CUMMINGS SAYS HE TOLD PM TO FIRE MATT HANCOCK

        Dominic Cummings has been severely critical of the conduct of the Health Secretary during the pandemic.

        • He said Hancock should have been fired for “at least 15,20 things” including “lying to everybody on multiple occasions”.
        • Cummings said Hancock blamed the failure to produce enough PPE on NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens and the Treasury
        • Cummings claims then Cabinet Secretary Lord Sedwill began to question Hancock’s honesty
        • Cummings accused Hancock of “criminal, disgraceful behaviour that caused serious harm” by pushing his 100k a day testing target while the PM was “on his deathbed”
        • Cummings said Hancock told people to push 100k a day target even though Whitehall told him to drop it
        • Cummings said Lord Sedwill sent up the ‘Test and Trace system’ as a separate entity to take it away from Hancock

         

        CUMMINGS SAYS HANCOCK TOLD CABINET PEOPLE WOULD TESTED BEFORE THEY WENT BACK INTO CARE HOMES

        People with Covid-19 were sent from hospital to care homes without being tested, despite the health minister saying they would be, making a "complete nonsense" of claims they would be shielded, Prime Minister Johnson's former top adviser said.

        "Hancock told us in the Cabinet Room that people were going to be tested before they went back to care homes," Dominic Cummings told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

        "We only subsequently found out that that hadn't happened. Now all the government rhetoric was we put a shield around care homes and blah blah it's complete nonsense. Quite the opposite of putting a shield around the, we sent people with Covid back to the care homes."

        CUMMINGS SAYS CABINET SECRETARY COMPARED COVID-19 TO CHICKEN POX

        Dominic Cummings said former Cabinet Secretary Lord Sedwill suggested Boris Johnson go on television to explain Covid-19 herd immunity was similar to chicken pox parties.

        The former adviser claimed he told Sedwill to stop comparing to the typically non-fatal illness as Covid was spreading exponentially and killing thousands of people.

        He said it was only then that the people in room really seemed to realise how serious the epidemic was.

        Chicken pox parties are when parents encourage small children to play with a child who has contracted chicken pox as the illness can only be contracted once and is much safer to have in childhood than adulthood.

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          INDEPENDENT SAGE MEMBER ON DOMINIC CUMMINGS' EVIDENCE

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          EU SUES ASTRAZENECA FOR MAJOR CONTRACT BREACH

          A lawyer for the European Union accused AstraZeneca on Wednesday of failing to respect its contract with the 27-nation bloc for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and asked a Belgian court to impose a large fine on the company.

          The EU took the Anglo-Swedish firm to court in April after the drugmaker said it would aim to deliver only 100 million doses of its vaccine by the end of June, instead of the 300 million foreseen in the supply contract.

          Brussels wants the company to deliver at least 120 million vaccines by the end of June. AstraZeneca had delivered 50 million doses at the beginning of May, one-fourth of the 200 million vaccines foreseen in the contract by then.

          "AstraZeneca did not even try to respect the contract," the EU's lawyer, Rafael Jafferali, told a Brussels court in the first hearing on the substance of the legal case.

          He said the EU was seeking 10 euros ($12.2) for each day of delay for each dose as compensation for AstraZeneca's non-compliance with the EU contract. This penalty would apply from July 1, 2021, if the judge accepted it.

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          NO BORDER POLICY

          Dominic Cummings on the decision not to close the borders:

          He said: "Fundamentally there was no proper border policy because the prime minister didn't want a proper border policy…his basic argument was that lockdown was a terrible mistake, I should have been the mayor of Jaws."

          He is referring to the mayor in the movie Jaws who kept the beaches opened despite the shark attacks who Johnson had previously cited as his political hero.

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          BORIS JOHNSON FAILS TO DENY CLAIMS HE SAID "ONLY OVER 80s WERE DYING"

          Boris Johnson has insisted his Government at "every stage tried to minimise loss of life" as he failed to deny claiming Covid was "only killing 80-year-olds".

          Sir Keir Starmer used Prime Minister's Questions to grill Mr Johnson over allegations levelled against the Government, predominantly by his former senior adviser Dominic Cummings.

          At one stage the Labour leader asked Mr Johnson to refute an allegation that he delayed introducing a second lockdown last autumn because "Covid was only killing 80-year-olds", with Mr Johnson replying that the independent public inquiry will examine the matter, before defending his decisions.

          SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford also asked about claims that the Government considered "chickenpox parties" and "injecting the Prime Minister with Covid live on TV".

          Johnson replied: "I don't recognise the events he describes."

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