Did Hancock break guidance or Covid laws? Mini thread:

On May 6, indoor gatherings between people from different households or bubbles were against the law - unless they fell under an exemption such as being “reasonably necessary” for work.
A person would “commit an offence” if they broke this  without an exemption, and could be fined £200 on the spot.
Separately, official guidance at the time - which was not a legal restriction - also urged people to stay apart.
The government guidance urged people to “stay at least 2 metres away from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble”. People were also urged to - and I'm not making this up - “avoid direct contact and face to face contact with people you do not live with”.
That guidance was updated on May 17 to say people could exercise personal judgement.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told LBC: "I’m quite sure whatever the rules were at the time were followed.”

I wonder on what basis he's said that? Interesting.
If Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo were in a support bubble, or the meeting could be deemed "reasonably necessary" for work, or another exemption, there would be a legal get-out.
So that's the sum of it so far. We don't have all the answers. Perhaps, I'd gently suggest, Mr Hancock could ask the person who signed the coronavirus step two regulations into law?

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More from @danbloom1

9 Apr
Government is to more or less enter a media blackout during the period of mourning for Prince Philip - no Covid press conferences, no press releases other than for essential public health reasons, no ministers on media interviews, including the usual political shows this Sunday.
Covid reopenings will still go ahead as planned on Monday - though Boris Johnson has changed his plans to raise a pint in a newly-reopened pub.
Government scraps all Covid press conferences and interviews in wake of Prince Philip's death
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7 Apr
BREAKING Under-30s to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot review

BUT... if there is no alternative available in your area you'll still be offered the AZ vaccine.

Rollout of the AZ jab is NOT being halted in the UK.

MHRA chief Dr June Raine: “The evidence is firming up and our review has concluded that while it’s a strong possibility, more work is needed to establish beyond all doubt that the vaccine has caused these side effects.”
Prof Jonathan Van-Tam: "Because of our supply situation in relation to alternative vaccines, the effect on the timing of our overall programme should be zero or negligible."
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4 Mar
BREAKING: IFS think tank has accused "honest" Rishi Sunak of failing to level with the British people over a £4bn-a-year public services cut in the small print of the Budget

IFS analyst Carl Emmerson warned this autumn’s Spending Review will be “particularly tough” for unprotected areas of government like the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, and local government which includes social care.
IFS: “There’s going to be something that feels a bit like austerity for at least some public services if we are going to keep to these spending plans."

Read 4 tweets
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Boris Johnson 'setting up a charity' to fund lavish refurb of his Downing Street flat

Reminder: when Carrie Symonds arrived at the flat in 2019 a No10 spokeswoman promised: “There will not be any additional cost to the taxpayer of her living there.”

No10 now say any taxpayer cost of a refurb will be published this summer.

NEW: No10 repeatedly refuses to say if taxpayer funds have been spent on the revamp of the No11 flat or if the PM is looking to set up a charity to help fund it.
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30 Dec 20
BREAKING - Huge list of areas under the government's "contingency framework", where primary schools must shut to all but vulnerable and key workers' kids until January 18. This looks like a colossal U-turn
Primary schools closed in 49 council areas until at least Jan 18: 22 boroughs of London, 11 boroughs in Essex, 9 boroughs in Kent, two in East Sussex, four in Hertfordshire, and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire.
People asking where the full list has come from - it's been sent to us in a Department for Education press release. Release seems to be online but without a full list gov.uk/government/new…
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30 Dec 20
Boris Johnson just said: “In five and a half years time we will be able to fish every single fish in our waters if we so choose.”

This is only true on the most technical of technical levels. But really it's completely untrue. If the UK did this it could collapse the entire deal.
After 2026, there will be annual negotiations over what is caught.

But the deal says those negotiations "should normally" lead to each side getting a quota that's "reasonably commensurate" with what they had before.
And if the UK acts unfairly, the EU can take “compensatory measures” or - in the worst case scenario - collapse the trade part of the deal entirely as a result.
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