Nigel Farage takes on caller who says PM has the "spirit" to beat coronavirus

9 March 2020, 20:45

By Fiona Jones

This caller insisted that Boris Johnson has the "spirit" to beat coronavirus and called for the UK to be buoyant and optimistic.

Nigel Farage told caller Tom: "If you've been in Milan in the last week it is very unlikely that you've not been in close proximity to somebody who has now got the coronavirus."

Tom insisted he "couldn't say that" and Nigel replied that he was just looking at the numbers after Italy reported their death toll has surged from 94 to 366 in a day.

Nigel probed Tom after he told Nigel he was "sure" the Prime Minister has a plan.

"I think he's got the spirit," said Tom, "I think he's doing all he can. He's in a rock and a hard place. Maybe I'm in the camp that will unfortunately get coronavirus, and you'll all say I told you so, but I personally think we need to stay buoyant, we need to stay positive, we need to carry this country on as we would throw any other crisis.

Number 10 confirms the UK is in the "contain" stage of the coronavirus action plan
Number 10 confirms the UK is in the "contain" stage of the coronavirus action plan. Picture: PA

"I think you're in a position to assist with that," Tom said, "on this I think we need to slow down. I cannot believe the government and their advisors would be that stupid."

Nigel remarked that he wants to be praiseworthy of Boris Johnson as the alternative is to have Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10 navigating the UK through the crisis.

"Does it actually make sense that 17 flights come into major UK airports from Malpensa in Milan yesterday and not a single person is checked and not given any advice at all?" challenged Nigel.

Tom insisted it is a numbers game and the government know what they're doing.

Boris Johnson's spokesperson announced that the UK will remain in the "contain" stage as the government accepts coronavirus will spread in a "significant" way - follow the coronavirus live blog here.