PMQs LIVE: Boris faces Commons grilling over warning lockdown could soon RETURN

South African variant surge in UK 'concerning' says expert

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The Prime Minister is facing pressure on two fronts this week, with anger rising over a lobbying scandal that centres around the actions of his predecessor, David Cameron. Mr Johnson is also facing demands for answers over a “concerning” cluster of the South African variant of coronavirus in London.

There have been 44 cases of the strain, and a further 30 suspected, located in the boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth.

Scientists fear the spread of the variant could through the UK’s path to recovery off course.

Prof Peter Openshaw, a coronavirus adviser to the Government, warned on BBC Newsnight last night: “If we get rapid spread of the South African or other more resistant variants, it may well be that we are going to have to put the reductions of lockdown into reverse.”

Sir Keir Starmer has persistently demanded more testing at airports to reduce the importation of Covid cases from abroad, with the latest fears of a rise in cases of the South African strain giving him the chance to once again raise his concerns.


11am update: Intense grilling from Labour

Boris Johnson and his ministers are set for an intense afternoon of scrutiny today.

After the Prime Minister has faced questions at PMQs, Labour has been allowed to set the agenda for the rest of the afternoon with today a dedicated Opposition debate day.

Sir Keir Starmer has decided his party will spend several hours debating cronyism in light of the Greensill Captial scandal.

Labour will also then lead a debate on the Government’s proposed cuts ion armed forces personnel.

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