'No justification for delaying 21 June lockdown end date', Lord Sumption argues

1 June 2021, 19:51 | Updated: 1 June 2021, 22:45

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

"There can't be any justification for delaying the 21 June" date for the end of lockdown, Lord Sumption has told LBC.

Speaking to Iain Dale, the former UK Supreme Court Justice insisted there was no reason for delaying the date due to "all the information that's in the public domain at the moment".

He told Iain that the success of the vaccine rollout, the immunisation of those who are vulnerable, and the fact young people - who are yet to receive their jab - are less likely to become seriously ill with Covid-19 all mean the roadmap to freedom should continue as planned.

"There can't be any justification for delaying the 21 June deadline," he said.

"The vaccine rollout has been extremely successful, the people who have not been vaccinated are those who do not have the classic vulnerabilities and those who are the younger members of the community.

"Their prospect of getting seriously ill, even if they are not vaccinated, is extremely small - that has always been the case. If they are vaccinated with one dose, although it's not wholly effective, it's certainly extremely effective in preventing serious illness. A single dose may not be enough in some cases to prevent people from getting the virus, but it doesn't follow that they all become seriously ill and it certainly doesn't follow that they will die."

Read more: UK records zero daily Covid deaths for first time since start of pandemic

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Lord Sumption told LBC there is no justification for delaying the 21 June lockdown end date
Lord Sumption told LBC there is no justification for delaying the 21 June lockdown end date. Picture: LBC

Lord Sumption also told Iain that "all the evidence" suggests the Indian variant - now the most prominent strain in the UK - does not resist the vaccines.

He added that if the government is pushed off course from its roadmap despite this evidence then the country "is sunk".

"Some scientists are being super cautious, but others simply don't want to let go," he said.

Asked why he thought this was the case, the former justice replied: "It's always been a political issue and not a purely scientific one. The science is only a part of the problem along with the educational, social, moral and economic issues and it is a matter for politicians to weigh up all of those things.

"My criticism of politicians over the last 15 months has been that they have allowed themselves to become fixated by the science and every attempt to consider other aspects of a complicated problem, they have been railroaded out of.

"It is about time a balanced view was taken on the basis of the whole picture and not simply the picture the scientists are in a position to present."