Grant Shapps is sporting a shiny new haircut. HENRY DEEDES observes the Transport Secretary whizzing around the House of Commons

Grant Shapps danced jovially into the Commons. He was a shining example of high-diddly-ho joy. How fizzy is the Transport Secretary! One of Westminster’s glass half-fullers.

His ability to handle almost any situation is unmatched. Imagine him crammed between two crying toddlers on an overcrowded flight from Sydney to Sydney, and smiling and shrugging his shoulders.

So often he is the man dispatched to do the Government’s dirty work, but yesterday he arrived in the House bearing glad tidings.

Anyone arriving in these waters who has been fully vaccinated won’t have to undergo the dreaded lateral flow test.

It’s great news to those who are looking for sun before half-term. This is not so good news for the cowboys testing, who might have to find a better way to earn their corn. Ticket- touting, perhaps.

The Transport Secretary told MPs today that it was clear that the border test regime had 'outlived its usefulness' and he was 'setting Britain free'

Today’s Transport Secretary spoke out to MPs, saying that it was obvious that the border-test regime had “outlived its utility” and that he wanted to’set Britain free’

With customary bounciness, Shapps announced he was ‘unlocking Britain’. From his side, warm cheers were raised. We’ve heard precious few of those on the Tory benches recently.

With Boris Johnson’s stock dwindling, there is no shortage of discussion among Tory backbenchers over the relative merits of Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss. Even former health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s vanilla charms are being considered worthy of a second look.

Yet Von Shapps’s calm qualities are rarely discussed. It is possible that he fantasizes about the possibility of being a unity candidate. He’s sporting a snazzy new hairdo if that’s any guide.

Louise Haigh (transport spokesman) was there to respond for Labour. She’s new to the role and it showed. She appeared nervous.

At times, she spoke so quickly she reminded me of one those people reading back all those pointless terms and conditions after you’ve just taken out a new mobile phone contract.

Naturally Miss Haigh attempted to make this as cheerful as possible. On the Gatwick Express, one often meets such people: those returning from Spain that complain to their parents over the disappointing hotel breakfast and the hot weather.

She believed that too little had been done in order to support the airline industry. Shapps welcomed his new opponent with the phoney warmth of a divorce lawyer meeting the poor, cuckolded husband whom he’s about to take to the cleaners. Part amusement, part pity.

As of next month, anyone arriving on these shores who is fully vaccinated will no longer have to submit to a lateral flow test

Anyone arriving to these shores after being fully vaccinated won’t have to undergo a lateral flow testing starting next month

Haigh’s miserablism failed to dent his indestructible good humour. As for her plea on behalf of beleaguered airline carriers, he pointed out that some £8billion had been dished out from the Treasury coffers. Others were more understanding. Transport committee chairman Huw Merriman (Con, Bexhill) excitedly heralded the news as a ‘landmark day for international travel’.

There aren’t many great moves from Tory, you might imagine. Merriman however enjoys kicking the Government. Unexpected praise too came from Ben Bradshaw (Lab, Exeter) who peered over his half-moon specs and ‘warmly welcomed’ Shapps’s statement.

Bradshaw said that the Government should not again pursue such a degrading border policy. Shapps had to gently remind Bradshaw that Labour’s frontbench had spent the past year demanding much tighter border restrictions. Just months ago, Sir Keir Sterner was insisting on a naval blockade.

At a meeting of the Covid-O committee later they are expected to scrap the requirement for people who have been fully vaccinated to take a Covid test on their return, saving around £120 per family

At a meeting of the Covid-O committee later they are expected to scrap the requirement for people who have been fully vaccinated to take a Covid test on their return, saving around £120 per family

The SNP’s Gavin Newlands complained about the statement being leaked to the Press first, moaning that this was yet another example of the Government keeping Parliament ‘out of the loop’. Scot Nats have Parliament with the utmost respect. So much so, they’re insisting on bringing back remote voting so they don’t have to bother making the long journey south each Monday.

The news was particularly welcome for Felicity Buchan (Con, Kensington) who reminded the House that hers was ‘a particularly international constituency’. For ‘international’ read ‘stinking rich’.

Yes. All those downtrodden residents of the Cadogan Estate inconvenienced during their fleeting visits to London after jetting in from their winter skiing schlosses and condos on the Cote d’Azur. Poor lambs!

They have at least one reason to cheer, though.