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Mon Apr 26, 2021, 10:07 AM

Boris Johnson said bodies 'could pile high' during lockdown discussion [View all]

Prime Minister Boris Johnson did make remarks suggesting that "bodies could pile high" during a heated discussion about lockdown in Downing Street in the autumn, the BBC has been told.

On Monday, the Daily Mail reported that Mr Johnson had said "let the bodies pile high in their thousands" rather than order a third lockdown.

The PM denied making the remarks, adding that lockdowns had worked.
...
The comments are said to have been made at the end of October when England went into its second lockdown following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says, at the time, the prime minister was reported to have had big concerns about the implications of another lockdown on the economy and non-Covid related health issues.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-56890714


The Mail story was well trailed on social media over the weekend. The BBC - and Kuenssberg (who's in the past served as a public mouthpiece for Cummings's thoughts and revelations) - belatedly giving the story legs suggests that the corporation's news arm feels it has a reliable source or sources.

I don't like giving the Mail clicks, so I went there so you don't have to unless you really want to:

Boris Johnson: 'Let the bodies pile high in their thousands'. PM's incendiary remark during fight over lockdowns is latest claim in No10 drama - amid spectacular row with Cummings

* Claims that Boris Johnson said he would rather ‘bodies pile high in their thousands’ than order a third lockdown
* Allegedly came after Michael Gove warned soldiers needed to guard hospitals
* Downing Street has strongly denied that the Prime Minister made the comment

...
It allegedly came after Michael Gove warned Mr Johnson that soldiers would be needed to guard hospitals overrun with Covid victims.

He agreed to fresh restrictions but his frustration is said to have boiled over after the crucial meeting at No 10 in October. ‘No more ****ing lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands!’ he is alleged to have raged.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9510133/Boris-Johnson-said-bodies-pile-high-order-lockdown-sources-claim.html


The reports of Johnson's intemperate outburst are lent some credence by his "Fuck business!" declaration in 2018, in the hurly-burly of the post-Brexit vote clusterfuck.

Cummings is obviously in bitter arse-covering mode, seeking to distance himself from Johnson and seedy goings-on in the Brexit campaign and government after being displaced from the inner crony clique in government late last year. The Mail, in the past a happy warrior cheerleader for Johnson and the Tory agenda, seems to have it in for Johnson at the moment, and it's not stretching the bounds of plausibility to conclude that Johnson's seen (by specifically whom I couldn't hazard a guess) as having served his purpose and is becoming more of a liability by the day, so the Teflon's wearing thin.

Gove's low public profile in recent months is also noteworthy, and given past bad blood between him and Johnson, Gove's past ties to Cummings, and Gove's thinly disguised ambitions, it's not a stretch to sense his grubby paws at work behind the scenes. I find it hard to cast Gove as some sort of Machiavelli in his own right, so I'm left wondering who's manipulating his strings (other than his equally, or even more, ambitious wife, the fragrant, frothy Mail columnist Sarah Vine).

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