Politics

UK coronavirus live: Johnson faces Starmer at PMQs as health chief says NHS ready for mass vaccine rollout


Latest updates: Jonathan Van-Tam dismisses concerns over NHS readiness; Tories disruptive over PM’s reported chief of staff plans

12.47pm GMT

At PMQs Sir Keir Starmer mentioned new research showing that the government has spent £130m on PR this year. Labour has now issued a press release with more details.

The party says it is demanding “more transparency on taxpayer value for money on this spend”.

Over £130m has been spent on communications consultancies since January, Labour has today reported. 23 different communications consultancies have been used by the UK government since the year began.

As questions swirl around the government’s decision to spend £670,000 on PR consultants for one official, the analysis reveals the amount of taxpayer money being spent on agencies – including many with established links to senior Tories.

12.37pm GMT

Scotland has recorded its highest daily Covid-19 deaths since the peak of the pandemic in early May after 64 fatalities involving people with positive cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.

National Records of Scotland, the government statistics agency, said 206 deaths were recorded last week where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, an increase of 38 over the previous week. Of those, 143 people died in hospital and 53 in care homes.

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