Sunday 20 December 2020


Just looking back on all the recent questions put by BBC Politics reporters at Downing Street press conferences, I'm spotting a recurring angle. Can you see it too?

19 DecLAURA KUENSSBERGThere were calls for you to drop the plans for Christmas last week, just a few days ago, but on Wednesday you told me and our viewers it would be inhuman to change the plans. Now that is exactly what you have done. Aren't there are millions of people whose plans have just been torn up who are entitled to feel that you have left this too late and caused them more personal disruption and upset by doing so? Can I ask the medics, you have shared the analysis of this new variant and you mentioned Porton Down have been looking at this in an earlier press conference this week. Can you say if Porton Down have completed their assessments of it? Professor Chris Whitty, if someone is packing a bag right now, trying to leave the south-east by midnight tonight, what should they do? 
16 DecLAURA KUENSSBERG: You are telling the country today to exercise extreme caution but you are still allowing a five-day period to go ahead when people from all over the country will be able to get together. Wouldn't it now be safer, clearer, and perhaps braver, to ditch the plan to relax the rules over Christmas? And, Professor Whitty, can I ask you, have you done any modelling of what the impact this period might have on the diseases, and if there are models, can you share what you think the effect of people getting together might be on how the pandemic spreads? 
16 DecVICKI YOUNG: Can I ask you first of all, given the rapid rise we're seeing in certain areas of the country, should you be rethinking plans to relax the rules over Christmas? And a question to Professor Whitty as well, are you comfortable with the plan for Christmas and, secondly, news today or a new variant of coronavirus will sound very alarming to lots of people watching at the moment. Could you tell us a little more about it and some of the possible repercussions there might be from it? 
26 NovLAURA KUENSSBERG: Some people watching might wonder what's going on. You have said this week people will be able to travel all over the country at Christmas which will bring risks but now you are clamping down again. What was the point of the national lockdown in England over the last four weeks if more people are moving into tougher restrictions than before? If I can ask the medics, would it be safer in your view if more people were in Tier 3 and are you concerned about some doubts being raised about the Oxford vaccine?  
5 NovVICKI YOUNG: You criticise political opponents who called for the furlough scheme to be extended and now you've done it. What do you say to those who've lost their jobs because you didn't provide that certainty earlier? And to Sir Simon, NHS staff are again facing huge pressure. Do you think the Government should have had a more cautious approach over the summer about lifting restrictions? 
31 OctLAURA KUENSSBERGYou were told by your own scientists many weeks ago that you would have to take national action in order to save lives. Prime Minister, what took you so long? And to Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick, you've always been clear that taking early action would have the greatest chance of success in controlling the spread of this disease. Do you think that people may have lost their lives unnecessarily because of the delay? 
22 OctLAURA KUENSSBERG: Firstly to you Chancellor. The problems with the first version of your jobs scheme that you've re-written today were obvious to many people in industry from the start. Why do you keep underestimating the help that people really need? Sir Patrick, can I ask you if you agree with Scotland's chief medical officer who's told families there's no question of a normal Christmas and they should plan to celebrate digitally? And Prime Minister, this week you've been to war with leaders in the north of England, you're still leaving some workers on two-thirds of their wages or telling them to claim benefits, and cases of coronavirus keep on rising. Is this really the kind of leadership you think the country deserves?
If you do agree with me that they have both been pushing one angle very strongly, well, they've certainly got their way least as far as Christmas goes.

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