James O'Brien reacts to PM's U-turn on second national lockdown

2 November 2020, 11:37 | Updated: 2 November 2020, 11:42

By Fiona Jones

This was James O'Brien's reaction to the Prime Minister's U-turn on a second national lockdown, after he had repeatedly denigrated the Labour leader over this approach.

There is “no alternative” but to enter a second national lockdown in England because coronavirus deaths in the second wave could be more than double the first, Boris Johnson will warn MPs on Monday.

The Prime Minister is set to use a statement to the Commons on Monday afternoon to defend imposing a four-week shutdown from Thursday as a Tory rebellion over the draconian measures grows.

James played a clip of the Prime Minister criticising Sir Keir Starmer in the Commons 10 days previously over his calls for a second national lockdown; James then played a clip of the Prime Minister the week before that denigrating the Labour leader again, accusing his national lockdown calls as "opportunism."

James said, "That's the saddest thing about this whole sorry saga, is that Boris Johnson and many of his closest advisers and colleagues are psychologically incapable of approaching anything as if it's not a fight.

"He has to try and bite chunks out of Keir Starmer. Who does that help? Who does that keep alive? Who does that keep safe? He has to score pathetic points in this sabre-rattling confrontational contrarian context in Parliament and I just think it harms us all.

"But it harms him the most because it means this inability to resist the urge to deliver the zing. He can't help it and then ten days later he's got to undertake a complete reverse ferret - and he's psychologically incapable of admitting he's done anything wrong, so he ends up doing what he describes as absurd while pretending he hasn't done anything wrong."

James told listeners he was running out of hope for the Government's handling of coronavirus, reflecting that Boris Johnson "couldn't have got it more wrong than this."

Read more: What you can and can't do under England lockdown rules

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