Nicola Sturgeon: PM's alleged 'bodies piled high' comment is 'all too believable'

26 April 2021, 13:06 | Updated: 30 April 2021, 10:40

By Philip McDonald

Nicola Sturgeon has told LBC that she thinks an allegation that Boris Johnson said he'd rather "let the bodies pile high in their thousands" than have a third coronavirus lockdown is "all too believable".

Senior allies of the PM have spent Monday morning denying the claims but the Scottish First Minister said she would not be entirely surprised if it was proven to be true "based on my experiences of him".

She said: "I feel a combination of being shocked at any suggestion that was said but also, on some level, not being that surprised.

"I don't know if he said it because I wasn't there but based on my experiences of him I don't find it impossible to believe - on the contrary it is all too believable.

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She revealed that she had spent many hours over the past year "lying awake at night worrying about the impact of the decisions we've taken" but that "for any human being to be so glib and crass about human life is profoundly shocking".

"This has been a profoundly serious situation that we've all faced and I think it will upset and shock everybody to hear the very suggestion that our Prime Minister may have said something like that," she added.

It follows denial of the incident by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who told LBC "that's not my boss" when asked whether Mr Johnson would have made the comment.

On Monday morning, The Daily Mail carried a claim that following the lockdown the Prime Minister had said he would rather see "bodies pile high in their thousands" than order a third one.

The paper did not give a source for the allegation, which it said Downing Street had dismissed as "just another lie", and comes as another hit to No10 in the middle of furious row between the Government and former senior adviser Dominic Cummings.

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"My boss feels every difficult decision because he knows about people and he wants life to be successful for everyone" he said, "and that's a really hard job in a pandemic."

"My boss has delivered those vaccination rates, and a steady step out of lockdown which we are now seeing, whereas across the channel and on the continent we are still not seeing that.

"That is my boss, and he has put his heart and soul into that, and I am proud to serve with him and Prime Minister and proud of the outcomes we are delivering."