James O'Brien's essential question about the Government's Covid strategy

7 July 2021, 13:04

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien asked this essential question about the Government's Covid strategy, after Boris Johnson confirmed many Covid lockdown measures will end on 19 July.

The Prime Minister will revoke hundreds of Covid restrictions from 19 July, making England the most unrestricted society in Europe, despite Health Secretary Sajid Javid predicting cases could soar to 100,000 a day.

Relaxation measures include mask wearing and social distancing becoming optional in a bid to allow the public to "to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus".

The PM has also currently set his sights on tearing up travel quarantine rules from as early as July 19, paving the way for summer holidays to return without the need to isolate.

Read more: What did Boris Johnson announce about July 19? Key points the PM outlined

Reflecting on this, James asked: "How confident are you that the Government would be doing what the Government is doing if Matt Hancock was still the Secretary of State for Health?

"The fact that he got caught playing away by a camera in his office appears to be the single most significant factor in the British Government's current coronavirus strategy. How scary does that reach your ears as?"

He added that not only was it Matt Hancock "cheating and getting caught", it was Rupert Murdoch "deciding, having sat upon the story for a few weeks, to stick it on the front page of the Sun."

James proposed that this 19 July plan and the August 16 plan, which will see double-jabbed people no longer having to self-isolate if pinged by the NHS app, would not be in place if Hancock had remained in his position.

"Matt Hancock would still be Secretary of State for Health if he hadn't been filmed in his office kissing somebody who isn't his wife...and we wouldn't know about that if Rupert Murdoch hadn't decided to tell us," James surmised, admitting he felt "a little bit discombobulated."

He put it to LBC listeners: who is in charge and what is the strategy?

Read more: Lifting restrictions will make public take Covid threat less seriously, study suggests