Boris Johnson accused of saying ‘let the bodies pile high’ in Covid lockdown row

Andrew Marr quizzes Truss on Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds

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The Prime Minister called England’s third national lockdown on January 4, as coronavirus cases and deaths spiralled to new peaks. But sources have alleged Mr Johnson said “no more f** lockdowns” shortly after the month-long November restrictions. Downing Street has outright rejected the accusations, calling them “just another lie”.

Mr Johnson’s comments were allegedly made at the end of October, shortly before the second lockdown.

In meetings with Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the Tory ministers are said to have demanded renewed restrictions to curb rising cases.

In the meeting where the second lockdown was ordered, sources claimed Mr Johnson agreed to new restrictions but was outraged at a return to the measures and raged against a third lockdown.

One claimed the Prime Minister said: “No more f****** lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands!”

Sources close to Government officials told the Mail on Sunday the Prime Minister “hates the idea of lockdowns”, and was pressured into renewing the measures by Mr Gove, Mr Hancock, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

One told the outlet: “He kept saying ‘there’s no evidence they even work’ and that ‘it goes against everything I’ve stood for’.

“But he was outnumbered – and ended up sitting in sullen silence as the others told him he had no choice.”

A source close to Mr Gove also claimed the minister convinced Mr Johnson to impose the second lockdown after he said “there would be a catastrophe”.

Downing Street has strongly denied the Prime Minister made the comment, and insisted it was “just another lie”.

It comes amid a row between Downing Street and Dominic Cummings, formerly Mr Johnson’s chief aide, who will appear before a Commons committee next month.

The former advisor recently accused Mr Johnson of an “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal” plan to pay for a refurbishment of his Downing Street fleet with funds from Conservative party donors.

In a blog post, he also denied being the source of leaks about the Tory party after news broke of Mr Johnson’s texts to Sir James Dyson about tax exemptions.

The UK has administered 33,388,637 first doses and 11,623,671 second doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Yesterday saw another 2,678 cases and 40 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

In total, the UK has recorded 4,401,109 cases and 127,385 deaths.



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