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7.16am BST

Workers in Melbourne in Australia who haven’t had shifts due to the extended Covid lockdown will be eligible for up to $500 in support after the prime minister announced a new temporary Covid disaster payment.

Scott Morrison said on Thursday the disaster payment would be available in areas declared a commonwealth hotspot when any lockdown lasted longer than seven days.

Related: Melbourne workers eligible for new national Covid lockdown disaster payment

7.09am BST

Good morning, it is Martin Belam here in London taking over for the next few hours. I must say that I was one of those very sceptical about the Wuhan lab leak theory initially, as much of the evidence posted online that I saw seemed to amount to not much more than “They have a lab there, you know”.

Former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove possibly knows his onions a bit better than me, and he’s had some pretty stringent words about the origins of the virus on a podcast from the Telegraph, and PA have picked up the quotes this morning. He says:

The People’s Republic of China is a pretty terrifying regime and does some things we consider unacceptable and extreme in silencing opposition to the official line of the government. We don’t know that’s what’s happened, but a lot of data have probably been destroyed or made to disappear so it’s going to be difficult to prove definitely the case for a ‘gain of function chimera’ being the cause of the pandemic.

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