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Not good pandemic front pages for the government this morning

May 6th, 2020

So far during the coronavirus crisis the government has had pretty good front pages. We are facing a massive challenges as a nation and generally papers from across the political spectrum have until now been broadly supportive. That, I wonder, might be about to change.

The resignation of one of the government leading scientists together with the the UK death toll now being the highest in Europe combine to make this quite a difficult day for the government which, of course, sees Boris Johnson  facing Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions for the first time. How both men will approach this will be a good pointer. 

The real problem with the scientist story is not that he was having an affair but that he broke the lockdown travel rules. You can’t expect the public at large to follow this extremely restrictive regime if people in such positions don’t think it applies to them. Nigel Farage is right to be criticised on the same grounds for his unnecessary travel. 

The big shadow hanging over the government remains. That is the lateness of the UK to clamp-down might have led to thousands of unnecessary deaths. How Boris spent a lot of his time in February is going to be an ongoing target for criticism and something that is not going to go away. 

 

Mike Smithson