Epidemiological predictions – Analysis of prior model failure


Epidemiological predictions – Analysis of prior model failure, a presentation provided to ministers on 26 November 2020 further to this report: Summary of methodological issues in epidemiology, all by Mike Hearn, plan99.net.

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Comprehensive Spending Review 2020


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Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his Comprehensive Spending Review. The review set out the Government departments’ resource budgets for the years 2021/22 to 2023/24. Here are some of the Chancellor’s main points: New funding that takes the budget for coronavirus vaccines over £6 billion, part of over £18 billion to fund preventative coronavirus measures An additional £254 million investment to help reduce rough sleeping and homelessness The new £2.9 billion restart scheme to help more than one million […]

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UK-Canada Trade Agreement


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Following my timely question to the Trade Secretary on Thursday, I am delighted that the United Kingdom has secured a trade agreement with Canada, one of our oldest and closest friends. This was agreed on a video call on 21 November between Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and her Canadian counterpart, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng. This trade agreement will: Provide continuity in trade between […]

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My View on the BBC Licence Fee for Over-75s


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After speaking with some of my constituents about TV licences for the over-75s, I promised to provide my view. The BBC’s decision to stop funding free TV licences for most over-75s is disappointing. The Government’s position on the licence fee is as follows:  It is important to note that this was the BBC’s decision and not the Government’s, after Parliament legislated to give the BBC the full responsibility from 2020. This was part of a deal the Government reached with […]

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My article in The Telegraph: I cannot support this second lockdown


The PM is doing what he thinks is best for public health, yet the modelling is much too uncertain. Following my article yesterday on The Telegraph, I have re-published it here: Our Prime Minister faces a nightmare scenario. Official advice on NHS capacity is that “even surge capacity is burnt through in all regions but London in the next four weeks” and “on the current trajectory the NHS will not be able to accept any more patients by Christmas week”. […]

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Financial support for jobs and businesses


A national lockdown is not cost-free; like many, I am concerned that England’s new restrictions may potentially harm lives, livelihoods and mental health. Though I voted no in the motion which approved England’s second national lockdown, we must comply. To support these restrictions the Government have announced: An extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March Eligible employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 There […]

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Summary of Methodological Issues in Epidemiology – Mike Hearn


This report on the methodological issues in epidemiology was produced by Mike Hearn, a former senior Google software engineer. I have raised the issues it highlights with the Chairs of the Science and Technology Committee, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and the Health and Social Care Committee. I have also raised it with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as well as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Find the report here:

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02.11.2020 Briefing with MPs, Scientists and other Experts: Lord Sumption’s Speech


This morning, I chaired a Zoom meeting between MPs, scientists and other experts. We discussed a strategy for living with coronavirus, Recovery’s Five Reasonable Demands and the impact of the current restrictions. Below reads Lord Sumption’s speech: I am not a scientist. But I firmly believe that every citizen has a right and duty to understand the science. I also consider that when scientists differ, as they do on Covid-19, a sceptical lay public comes into its own. Across Europe, […]

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02.11.2020 Briefing with MPs, Scientists & other Experts: Emma Kenny’s Speech


This morning, I chaired a Zoom meeting between MPs, scientists and other experts. We discussed a strategy for living with coronavirus, Recovery’s Five Reasonable Demands and the impact of the current restrictions. TV psychologist, presenter and writer, Emma Kenny, gave this powerful speech: Recovery is asking the Government for five reasonable demands To behave with humanity To give equal regard to all lives To be willing to hold a comprehensive public enquiry and a balanced public debate, To safeguard all…. […]

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Update on the Department for Education’s ‘Get Help With Technology’ Programme


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At the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, IT equipment was rolled out rapidly by the Department for Education to deliver an ambitious programme, enabling children to access remote education. A group of leading IT service providers and equipment manufacturers rose to the challenge – working with the Government to achieve the goal. As we approach the second part of the autumn term, the Department’s approach will ensure allocations are more effectively targeted to the children and schools that have the […]

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