Iain Dale questions Tory MP on the PM's new coronavirus restrictions as risk level rises

21 September 2020, 20:03

By Fiona Jones

As the coronavirus risk level rises from three to four, Iain Dale confronts Tory MP Andrew Bowie about the Prime Minister's new coronavirus restrictions which he is expected to announce tomorrow.

Boris Johnson will chair an emergency COBRA meeting on Tuesday morning ahead of addressing the nation at 12:30pm to announce new coronavirus restrictions after the alert level rose from three to four.

This comes after Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said today that the UK could see 200 Covid deaths a day by mid-November if the rise in cases continues at its current rate.

Iain Dale called for "honesty" from the Government about the fact that these measures may have to stay in place "well into next year."

The Tory MP responded that this is what today's and tomorrow's press conferences are about: "It's about telling the general public where we are and why we're taking the really tough decisions that no Government wants to take.

"These are exceptional circumstances and the Government will not shirk from taking any measures to protect public health."

Iain asked whether it was wise for Boris Johnson to predict all those months ago that the UK could see life normal by Christmas, suggesting he was falsely optimistic.

Mr Bowie responded, "I don't think we can accuse the Prime Minister of peddling false optimism, if we look at the data as it was when he said that we were heading in the right direction.

"It looked like we might be in a position to be past the worst of it by Christmas, that is not where we are today."

Mr Bowie said what the UK will hear from the Prime Minister tomorrow is for him to "set out very starkly where we are and why the Government is having to take these very restrictive and most unwelcome decisions to protect the public health of everybody in the United Kingdom."