A Teams meeting with my parliamentary staff began the day. Much to chew over and follow-up on. Swanage Railway is still attempting to get their hands on the sidings at Furzebrook, which are owned by Perenco. I recall getting involved in this some time ago, so was a little surprised to hear it was still an on-going issue. The railway is taking this up with Dorset Council again, and I'm on hold to help further. The sidings are essential as a proper maintenance depot is needed, not least to protect the elderly carriages from the elements. We held a private meeting of the European Scrutiny Committee at 1345, which was chaired as always by Bill Cash. Aged 81, he has the most extraordinary grip on what is a complicated brief. Mind you, he has been involved in European affairs for generations. As more cases of the Indian variant of this virus are identified, surge testing and jabs are being expanded to six new areas of concern in England. The areas were identified using new techniques, including analysing wastewater and travel patterns, Matt Hancock told a Downing Street briefing. The government is also supporting Scotland in rolling out more tests and vaccinations in Glasgow and Moray. Some 2,967 cases of the Indian variant have now been identified in the UK. This is up from about 2,300 on Monday. Meanwhile, the public is being urged to take part in trials to find out whether a third dose of Covid vaccine could protect against new variants. All seven vaccines the UK has ordered will be tested on working-age people and over-75s as part of a randomised trial. Data on side-effects and immune responses will be gathered. The findings will help vaccine advisers decide if re-vaccinating some people in the autumn is necessary. Personally, we must stop fretting about new variants. We are going to have to live with them for many years to come and, if we keep applying restrictions every time one appears, life will never return to normal. It must, and now. As bombs and rockets continue to fall on Israelis and Palestinians alike, US President Joe Biden told Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu that he expects a "significant de-escalation" in the Gaza conflict. Mr Biden wanted a "path to ceasefire". The US is a staunch ally of Israel and has so far opposed a joint UN Security Council statement on the conflict. In response Mr Netanyahu said he was "determined to carry on" until "calm and security are restored to Israeli citizens".