Boris Johnson's decision to bottle Novavax jab in Teesside is great news as Brussels tries to punish Britain for Brexit

Just the jab

CRITICS of the Government insist lessons must be learned now about Britain’s ­handling of Covid.

What they’re after is an immediate public inquiry concluding that Boris Johnson made deadly mistakes Labour would have avoided.

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Any other result will be dismissed as a whitewash.

Of course an inquiry must be held, once the crisis is over and a sober judgment is possible.

But there is one lesson to learn right away . . . and we are glad the Government has done so:

We can never again afford to be as reliant on foreign help in making ­vaccines to protect the British people.

It was a masterstroke last year to minimise our exposure to it — and one reason our jab rollout succeeded.

But the EU’s abysmal recent behaviour has shown why relying at all on their factories, whose products Brussels might seize on a whim, could prove lethal.

So it is stellar news that a plant in Barnard Castle, a popular spot for County Durham day-trippers, has been handed the contract to bottle 60million doses of the Teesside-produced Novavax jab.

Good for jobs in the North East too.

Boris’s surprise announcement yesterday was one more dollop of optimism on top of continued falls in deaths and hospitalisations, as our vaccine totals soared again and we enjoyed freedoms and decent weather unknown for months.

This pandemic is unlikely ever to fully disappear.

We will probably need annual boosters against new variants.

Better to make the lot here than be held to ransom by eurocrats driven to insane rages by Brexit.

End secrecy

FAR too much Downing Street business is done in secret.

That has worsened since everyone from the PM down began using Signal, a highly encrypted messaging app which automatically deletes texts.

It means hugely important conversations — about policy failures, or maybe worse — are impossible for the public or Press to scrutinise via Freedom of Information requests or even court order.

It is a licence for cover-ups.

The Sun revealed this practice last May.

Now the Government faces a legal challenge — and we hope it succeeds.

Ministers do need to secure communications against hostile states’ hackers.

But they must be accountable too for how critical decisions are arrived at.

That is not possible if no one can ever prove who said what and to who.

Turner prize

IT’S a Pol-dark day for broken-hearted women everywhere.

Hunky Aidan Turner has married his long-term girlfriend.

Blokes, though, simply can’t see what his big attraction is.

They’ve always been told scythe doesn’t matter.

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