Diary - major fire near Bere Regis

There's no better start to the day than to hear your daughter on the phone saying that my second grandchild - another girl - had arrived safely in the early hours. A cloud of happiness surrounded me for the rest of a busy day that ended with the Fire Brigade in a burning forest near Bere Regis. I had submitted to take part in Transport Questions and the Statement by Matt Hancock on COVID-19. I was selected for neither. Mr Hancock said that everyone aged five and over in the UK with symptoms could now be tested for coronavirus, He was speaking in Parliament after the loss of taste or smell was added to the list of COVID-19 symptoms, alongside fever and a new persistent cough. Mr Hancock said the government was "expanding eligibility for testing further than ever before". He added 100,678 tests had been conducted on Sunday. At 1600, just as I got wind of a fire near Bere Regis, I dialled into a conference call with money expert Martin Lewis, who advises on how to save money. I'm not sure who organised this conference call, but I took part as I was interested to hear what he had to say about the country's financial plight. Back in the Chamber, the Immigration Bill was going through, which in essence tightens up the rules governing who's allowed to come to the UK. We voted on it at 2110 and it passed with a good majority. I was called at about 2130 to be told the fire was a major event, with over 100 firefighters at the scene. I hopped into my Landrover and drove straight there. I was guided to the Incident Control Point by some helpful firefighters and met up with the office in charge Jim Mahoney. The blaze was clearly a very serious one, although firefighters had managed to prevent it from heading further east into Wareham forest. After learning as much as I could about the fire, I went home, saying I'd be back in the morning. The firefighters were doing the most remarkable job, as they always do, and the calm, professional way they were all dealing with the fire was impressive. In Europe, France and Germany were proposing a €500 billion European recovery fund, to be distributed to EU countries worst affected by COVID-19. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that the funds should be provided as grants. The proposal represents a significant shift in Mrs Merkel's position. Tragically, we learnt that a young woman shot dead near a supermarket was not the intended target. Aya Hachem was found with fatal injuries in King Street in Blackburn, close to Lidl, on Sunday.