Nick Ferrari presses Dominic Raab over Cheltenham Festival 'mistake'

16 March 2021, 08:47

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

"Can you not say the word mistake, Mr Raab?": Nick Ferrari challenges Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the 'calamitous' decision to allow the Cheltenham festival to proceed with 250,000 spectators last year.

Despite cases rising at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Cheltenham festival went ahead between the 10th and 13th of March 2020.

The four-day event saw more than 250,000 racegoers attend, despite the pandemic seeing the cancellation of other large sporting events in the days after.

A number of people, including celebrity attendees, reported on social media that they attended the festival, only to go on and develop symptoms of Covid-19.

Nick questioned the Foreign Secretary if it was "calamitous" to allow it to proceed this time last year.

Mr Raab said the Government had taken the decisions "based on the best evidence" they had at the time.

Admitting there were "lessons to be learnt" he praised the vaccine and the rollout of the jab.

But Nick pressed him again, asking if he could say it "was a mistake" to allow the event to go ahead.

"I think we're learning lessons all the way..." Mr Raab said.

But Nick interrupted asking "can you not say the word 'mistake' Mr Raab?"

The answer was that the Foreign Secretary said at the moment the focus should be on the vaccine rollout, but there would come a time when decisions would be looked back upon.