Boris Johnson was challenged at Prime Minister’s Questions by Keir Starmer, who asked him if he had actually read it report on prediction of 120,000 winter death.
Mr Johnson declined to answer the question directly, saying instead:
‘I am of course aware of the report.’ Sir Keir said: ‘Yesterday the Government’s expert advisory group published a report on the challenges this autumn and winter. They were asked to do so by the Government’s office for science.
‘That report assessed the reasonable worst-case scenario for this autumn and winter including a second Covid spike and seasonal flu and it set out strong recommended actions to mitigate the risks.
‘The report was clear July and August must be a period of intense preparation, ie now. Can the Prime Minister make clear he intends to implement the recommended actions in this report in full and at speed?’
Boris Johnson responded:
‘Not only are we getting on with implementing the preparations for a potential new spike, but he will know that the Government is engaged in record investments in the NHS.’ His suggestion that he hadn’t read the report was noticed on Twitter. Rachel Reeves MP quoted him and said:
‘Not good enough. The govt were too slow to lockdown, too slow to get PPE to front line & too slow to get a test and trace strategy. Learn lessons and save lives.’ Responding to her, one woman wrote:
‘I’m aware of the Books of Daniel and Ezra in ancient Aramaic. Does that count as having read them?’ During PMQs, the Prime Minister committed to an independent inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.