BORIS Johnson is furious that he was “bounced” into imposing a second lockdown, a government minister claims.
The PM signed off a new lockdown in England on October 31 after he was warned by Government scientists that Covid-related deaths could rise to 4,000 a day in a worst case scenario.
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Boris is reportedly furious that he was ‘bounced’ into a second lockdown, a minister claims[/caption]
The 4,000 deaths a day figure has revised down to 1,000 fatalities per day by the start of December.
Former Supreme Court Judge Lord Sumption derided the projection as “absolute Noddy Land figures.”
Professor Carl Heneghan said that the maps shown during the press briefing were “incorrect” as they were at least four weeks out of date.
One Cabinet minister told the Daily Mail that Boris felt like he may have been pushed into the decision.
Mr Johnson was forced to hold the hastily-arranged press conference as details of the lockdown had been leaked to the media.
“I think he is concerned that he may have been bounced into it,” the source claimed.
“He was really, really cross about the leak because at that point a different decision might still have been made.
“There is also concern that some of the information used to inform the decision now seems to be crumbling.
“In fact the figures seem to be suggesting things were getting better before the lockdown began – we are being shut down for a month when we did not need to be.”
The cabinet minister believes that a third or fourth lockdown is “very unlikely” as it goes against the PM’s beliefs.
Downing Street denied that the PM felt he had been “bounced” into introducing a four-week lockdown in England.
A government source told the Mail: “It is true that we were furious about the leak, but the PM is absolutely clear that the evidence showed these measures were necessary.
“Even if you put the 4,000 figure to one side, there was plenty of other very concerning data, such as the hospitalisation figures, that made it very clear he had to act.”
The suggestion that Mr Johnson might’ve been “bounced” into introducing stricter measures may fuel concern among lockdown-sceptics within his own party.
Fifty Tory MPs rebelled against the Government’s lockdown legislation last week and the figure could be much higher if the Government decides to extend the restrictions.
Tory backbencher Sir Charles Walker MP said he couldn’t support the PM’s plans, fearing the country “drifts further into an authoritarian coercive state”.
The PM remains adamant that England will return to the three-tiered approach once the lockdown ends on December 2.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We want to get through to December 2, and at that point we will transition back to localised approach, which was always our preference.”
Experts believed the localised approach was beginning to work as on the day England entered the strict lockdown, coronavirus cases in 19 out of London’s 32 boroughs had fallen.
The city was under Tier 2 restrictions before the lockdown was introduced – meaning a ban on casual sex and meeting friends from different households in the pub.
Data from Public Health England revealed that Covid-19 infections fell across England in the week before the shutdown.
Cases reportedly dropped in 82 of the 149 local authorities nationwide.
The weekly ONS infection survey, published on Friday, revealed that daily infections dropped by 12 per cent compared to the previous week.
With around 45,000 new infections each day, the ONS believe it is a sign that the outbreak is “stabilising” for the first time since the summer.
The R rate has remained stable and Sage scientists estimate that the reproduction rate of the virus is currently between 1.1 and 1.3.
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The latest government data revealed coronavirus deaths and cases have fallen compared to last week -raising hopes that the second peak is starting to slow.
A further 156 Brits have died with the virus – down from 162 recorded last Sunday, November 1.
And 20,572 new cases were recorded – a drop on the 25,254 infections reported this time last week.
Last week saw the highest toll ever recorded on a Sunday in the UK.