The Prime Minister’s father today gave him a ‘B-plus or maybe A-minus’ grade for his handling of the pandemic, but deducted marks because of the more than 100,000 people who have died with coronavirus.
Former MEP Stanley Johnson, 80, praised the Government’s ‘remarkably successful’ vaccine rollout and defended No10’s repeated use of lockdowns and ‘social measures’ to try to suppress the disease.
He called the pandemic ‘really unprecedented’ and said ‘it will be easy to cast aspersions one way or the other’ over the response to Covid-19 at a public inquiry – which Labour is demanding should take place in June.
In an interview with TalkRadio, Mr Johnson Sr said a formal ‘lessons learned’ inquiry should not be taking place now, adding: ‘We’ve not been confronted with this situation before, who knows what was the right thing to do’.
The former Eurocrat also accused Brussels of ‘going beyond its powers here in trying to interfere with a legal contract this country [Britain] may have with AstraZeneca in Belgium’ and urged ‘huge caution’ on both sides.
Stanley Johnson says he’d give Boris a B+ for handling of pandemic
Former MEP Stanley Johnson (left), the Prime Minister’s father, gave him a ‘B-plus or maybe A-minus’ grade for his handling of the pandemic, but deducted marks due to the 100,000 toll
More than a dozen EU countries have suspended their use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while others including Austria have black-listed a particular batch over blood clot fears which the EMA has already played down even ahead of its final verdict
Asked to give Boris Johnson a grade, his father gave a ‘B-plus or maybe A-minus’ rating and predicted a return to normality in ‘a month or two’.
But he told show presenter Ian Collins: ‘There’s no doubt about it, 100,000 people who lost their lives, you can’t be A-plus.’
The Prime Minister’s father has received both doses of the Covid jab. Speaking about the vaccine rollout, he said that ‘the proof is in the pudding’.
‘A month or two from now I think we’ll be saying to ourselves, ‘well, it worked. Yes, there’s been a cost in lives, there’s been a cost in terms of the economy, but faced with an unprecedented, really unprecedented situation… we have, or we will have, got through it’,’ Mr Johnson Sr said.
However, he refused to speculate on how the Prime Minister has rated his own performance, saying: ‘I’m not privy to anyone’s innermost thoughts.’
Supply figures for the coronavirus vaccines were expected to dip in April and May, according to projections published by the Scottish Government in January
Britain gets most of its AstraZeneca supplies from factories within the country. Most manufacturing is done in Keele and Oxford, with the finishing process completed in Wrexham
Describing when his son was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in London with Covid-19, Mr Johnson Sr said: ‘When roughly in early April last year… I think that certainly did bring back home to me, if it needed to be brought back home to me, that this was a really serious, serious issue that needed to be handled seriously.’
He also took aim at Brussels, as UK ministers accused the EU of ‘brinkmanship’ after threatened to block exports of jabs to Britain.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday said the Government ‘fully expects’ all of its contracts with vaccine manufacturers to be delivered on time.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had complained the bloc is sending millions of doses to other countries while receiving few in return as she warned of action to ensure ‘reciprocity’.
Mr Johnson Sr told TalkRadio: ‘I suspect that the EU is going beyond its powers here in trying to interfere with a legal contract this country may have with AstraZeneca.
‘I think this is a very, very delicate area, and I think everyone needs to proceed with huge caution at this point, and I don’t think the EU is handling this in the right way.’