James O'Brien's immediate response to Boris Johnson's speech

27 April 2020, 11:23 | Updated: 27 April 2020, 11:43

James O'Brien said Boris Johnson's claim the UK's response to coronavirus is a success is as ridiculous as Priti Patel celebrating a drop in shoplifting during the lockdown.

The Prime Minister made a speech outside 10 Downing Street this morning as he returned to work, insisting the government's measures to combat coronavirus are working.

In the statement, Mr Johnson said: "There will be many people looking now at our apparent success and beginning to wonder whether now is the time to go easy on those social distancing measures."

But James pointed out that around 45,000 people have died in the UK if you include numbers from care homes and residential homes - compared with fewer than 6,000 in Germany. So claiming we've been successful is "ridiculous".

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James O&squot;Brien questioned whether the UK&squot;s response has been a "success"
James O'Brien questioned whether the UK's response has been a "success". Picture: LBC / PA

Speaking on his LBC show, James listed the number of deaths and then said: "None of that is opinion. It's all fact. And yet here we are, listening to a Prime Minister describe our 'apparent success'. The mind genuinely boggles.

"Let's try to be fair. He could be talking about the apparent success of the lockdown (that he was late and weak in imposing).

"Everyone who isn't a member of a political cult in the UK wants the government to deal with these problems as well as they can.

"The problem is that if you really want to trust someone moving forward, it's rendered rather difficult to do if they can't be honest about what's just happened.

"And there is epic dishonesty involved in claiming that we have enjoyed anything that could have been described as a success.

"'Our apparent success'? It's almost up there with Priti Patel boasting about the fall in shoplifting!

"It was a highlight of the weekend to hear the Home Secretary trumpeting a decline in shoplifting when almost every shop in the UK is closed."