COVID-19: Downing Side road says Boris Johnson was once ‘already at Chequers’ when instructed to isolate – as Keir Starmer slams ‘insensitive’ preliminary bid to ‘dodge’ quarantine


Downing Side road has mentioned the high minister was once already at his nation retreat when he was once contacted by way of NHS Take a look at and Hint and instructed to isolate – as Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer labelled Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s preliminary determination to “dodge” quarantine as “crass and insensitive”.

Consistent with the high minister’s reputable spokesman, he was once contacted by way of NHS Take a look at and Hint whilst at Chequers this weekend after Well being Secretary Sajid Javid examined sure for COVID-19.

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PM explains U-turn on self-isolation

He showed Mr Johnson has been examined and is destructive.

After it was once printed that the PM and chancellor were known as shut contacts of Mr Javid, the federal government introduced that the pair would participate in a pilot scheme which sees isolation changed by way of day by day checking out.

However there was once a swift U-turn following a backlash, with Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak now keeping apart.

Fielding questions in regards to the row at a standard Westminster briefing with newshounds, the PM’s spokesman to begin with mentioned Mr Johnson travelled to Chequers “at the beginning of the weekend, however I should not have the precise time”.

Later within the briefing the spokesman mentioned: “My figuring out is that the high minister travelled to Chequers on Friday.”

The spokesman then urged Mr Johnson had left for Chequers on “Friday morning”, sooner than correcting himself a number of mins later to mention that the high minister had in truth met Mr Javid on Friday morning and didn’t depart Downing Side road for Chequers till 3pm.

“The high minister adopted the right kind procedure, he was once contacted by way of NHS Take a look at and Hint and has remoted therefore,” he mentioned.

Research by way of Tom Rayner, virtual politics editor

Whilst Keir Stamer was once making his reside remark from Labour headquarters, political newshounds had been grilling the high minister’s reputable spokesman within the common day by day foyer briefing. One of the most “unanswered questions” the Labour chief mentioned Boris Johnson had to deal with had been being put to the spokesman nearly as he was once asking them.

At the factor of whether or not the high minister travelled to his nation retreat sooner than the well being secretary began exhibiting COVID signs, Mr Johnson’s spokesman was once to begin with imprecise, announcing he had travelled to Chequers “at the beginning of the weekend”.

Ultimately he showed it was once 3pm on Friday when the high minister left Quantity 10, having met with Sajid Javid previous that morning.

Mr Javid, Downing Side road wired, didn’t take a look at sure by way of lateral glide till Saturday lunchtime, and the results of a confirmatory PCR take a look at was once no longer gained till Sunday.

However the preliminary shakiness of Quantity 10’s timeline would possibly neatly result in additional wondering of the reputable account – one thing the high minister would possibly wish to deal with without delay when he’s taking query at a digital COVID information convention later lately.

The larger factor, then again, is the high minister’s justification of the way he went from no longer self-isolating, to self-isolating in only a topic of hours on Sunday morning.

In a social media video Boris Johnson mentioned the pilot had most effective been “in brief regarded as” however Sir Keir mentioned that was once “totally inconsistent” with the clicking notices put out by way of Quantity 10.

The most recent rationalization from Mr Johnson’s spokesman – that the high minister and chancellor sought after to “shed light on they’re following the broader laws” – is not going to fulfill the Labour chief.

However Sir Keir mentioned the furore was once every other instance of ministers believing there may be “one rule for them, and every other for everybody else”.

“Let’s be transparent: Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak most effective went into isolation as a result of they had been busted,” he mentioned.

“With circle of relatives occasions cancelled, companies having to near and staff having to head with out pay, Johnson and Sunak’s makes an attempt to dodge isolation had been crass and insensitive.

“At a time after we wish to take care of self belief in self-isolation, folks, staff and companies can be questioning what on Earth is occurring in Downing Side road.

“That is why I have written to the high minister, as a result of there are nonetheless a long way too many unanswered questions.”

Sir Keir referred to as at the govt to free up a listing of ministers who were a part of the trial which sees isolation changed with day by day checking out.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman refused to respond to a query about whether or not the high minister’s spouse, Carrie Johnson, was once with him at Chequers.

Downing Side road additionally showed the chancellor is keeping apart “in his flat above Quantity 10”, however would no longer ascertain whether or not different officers had been required to self-isolate.

On Sunday morning, a Downing Side road remark on behalf of Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak mentioned they’d participate in a office touch checking out pilot moderately than self-isolate, sooner than the verdict was once reversed hours later.

Requested about the cause of that U-turn, the high minister’s spokesman mentioned: “I feel the high minister set out his rationale within the video he put out over the weekend.

“We recognise that isolation, given the top incidence these days, is one thing that quite a few persons are experiencing, and the high minister and the chancellor sought after to shed light on they are following the broader laws {that a} member of the general public is matter to these days.

“The body of workers touch checking out pilots are essential as a result of it is helpful to get that data that may assist tell long term choices about how touch checking out can be utilized going ahead.”


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