Live updates: Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic was described as “insane and risky, similar to Trump’s approach.”

Live updates: Boris Johnson's handling of the pandemic was described as "insane and risky, similar to Trump's approach."

Video: David Cameron receives heckling during Covid inquiry.

Criticism has been directed at Boris Johnson for his handling of the Covid pandemic, with some likening it to Donald Trump’s approach which has been labelled as “mad and dangerous”.

On Monday, the inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic revealed exchanges between Simon Case, the highest-ranking civil servant, and other officials. This was in relation to the worst health crisis in nearly one hundred years.

During the government’s reopening following the initial lockdown, Case mentioned that Mr. Johnson’s intention was to allow the virus to spread freely, drawing a comparison to the strategies of former US President and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Case warned his colleagues that the situation was at risk of reaching the same level of madness and danger as Trump and Bolsonaro.

According to recently released diary entries, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific officer, accused Mr. Johnson of causing disorder and being highly erratic in his actions during the pandemic.

Former chief assistant Martin Reynolds has verified that his internal investigation on government culture during the spring of 2020 revealed instances of female staff being disregarded and talked over, indicating a high level of misogyny.

Dominic Cummings, who was previously the chief of staff for the prime minister, and Lee Cain, who was the communications chief for Mr. Johnson, will be questioned during the inquiry later this week, along with all of Mr. Johnson’s former advisors.


The top official deemed Johnson’s handling of Covid to be “reckless and hazardous.”

The top civil servant of the British government stated that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis was deemed as “reckless and risky” and his continuous wavering made it “challenging” to combat the virus.

On Monday, the inquiry into the government’s handling of the health crisis in 2020 revealed exchanges between Simon Case, the highest-ranking government official, and other officials. In these exchanges, Case referred to Britain’s response as a “terrible, tragic joke”.

During the fall of 2020, while the government was deliberating on ways to control the virus, Case made a statement about Johnson: “He is incapable of leading and we cannot back him in these circumstances. The team captain cannot alter the decision on major plays every day.” He then emphasized in all caps: “THIS MUST CEASE.”

Before the government began to reopen following the initial lockdown, Case stated that Johnson’s plan was to allow the virus to spread freely. Case likened Johnson’s strategy to that of US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who were notorious for downplaying the severity of Covid and their handling of the pandemic.

Case warned his colleagues that the situation was at risk of reaching the same level of madness and danger as Trump and Bolsonaro.

A representative for Johnson, who is scheduled to testify in the investigation at a later date, refused to provide a statement.

<p>Simon Case, the current Cabinet Secretary, vented about the Prime Minister during the pandemic</p>

During the pandemic, the current Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, expressed frustration with the Prime Minister.

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 19:03

According to Humza Yousaf, he has not removed any messages related to the pandemic.

The leader of Scotland has stated that he has not removed any WhatsApp messages concerning the Covid-19 outbreak, after it was reported that his predecessor and high-ranking officials may have done so.

Last week a note to the chairman of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry from one of its counsels said the inquiry was of the belief that the “majority” of informal messages, including on WhatsApp had “not been retained”.

On Monday, Humza Yousaf stated that he had kept his messages, but there was a policy from the Scottish Government regarding social media messages that recommended deleting them after 30 days.

Recent news articles have indicated that former first minister Nicola Sturgeon, national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch, and chief medical officer Dr Sir Gregor Smith may have manually deleted messages or used the app’s auto-delete feature.

On Monday, the First Minister denied rumors that she had deleted her WhatsApp messages, stating that she was unsure of the source of these reports.

“I have saved my WhatsApp conversations and, without a doubt, I am willing to provide them to the Covid Inquiry upon request. The same applies for the Scottish inquiry.”

<p>Scotland’s First Minister has said he has not deleted WhatsApp messages relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, following press reports his predecessor and senior officials may have</p>

done so

The First Minister of Scotland stated that he has not erased any WhatsApp messages pertaining to the Covid-19 crisis, in response to media reports that his predecessor and high-ranking officials may have done so.

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 22:15

A recent investigation at No 10 during the pandemic revealed that women on staff were often interrupted or overshadowed in conversations.

A recent examination of the atmosphere within the upper levels of the government during the initial months of the pandemic revealed that women employees were consistently being dismissed and disregarded, while inappropriate actions from high-ranking officials were being overlooked.

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry heard on Monday that a report was written in May 2020 by Martin Reynolds, a former top aide, and Helen MacNamara, then deputy cabinet secretary. The report addressed concerns about discipline, “macho behaviour,” and misogyny.

As part of a group of documents related to the investigation, the report surveyed over 45 individuals who had close working relationships with No 10. The aim was to gather feedback on how to improve support for the prime minister in May 2020.

The report identifies several themes, including the failure of culture to bring out the best in individuals.

The report concluded that many individuals brought up instances of junior women being silenced or disregarded. It emphasized the importance of fostering a contemporary culture of teamwork and cooperation, rather than competing like superheroes.

The study also revealed that individuals are fatigued and under pressure, and that the acceptance of inappropriate conduct from higher-ranking officials is prevalent. Additional points mentioned were the excessive number of gatherings consuming the schedules of senior management, and the constant conflict within No 10.

During his testimony on Monday, Mr. Reynolds was questioned about the report. He concurred with the counsel’s assessment that the report revealed “disorder, disregard for rules, disorder, and a notable presence of sexism.”

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 21:00

A gathering will take place at Barnard Castle in anticipation of Cummings’ testimony in the investigation of the Covid pandemic.

Relatives gathered to honor those who lost their lives to Covid-19 at the location where Dominic Cummings controversially traveled during lockdown for an eyesight check. This occurred before his testimony at the UK Covid-19 Investigation.

On Monday, activists displayed the statement “228,040 people have died from Covid – is this clear enough for you to understand?” on the walls of Barnard Castle.

During the pandemic, the beauty spot in County Durham gained attention when it was revealed that Mr Cummings, who was then the chief adviser for former prime minister Boris Johnson, had visited the area for a day trip in April 2020 while the country was under lockdown.

Katie Dickinson reports:

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 20:00

Labour Member of Parliament McDonald has been temporarily removed from their position due to a speech in which they referenced the phrase “between river and sea.”

The Labour Party has suspended senior MP Andy McDonald from his position for using the contentious phrase “between the river and the sea” during a speech at a pro-Palestine rally.

The Member of Parliament representing Middlesbrough recently used a phrase while advocating for peace between Israelis and Palestinians at a weekend event.

At recent protests in London, some demonstrators in support of Palestine have chanted the phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” even though there has been debate over the interpretation of this slogan.

Lydia Patrick reports:

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 19:45

Rishi Sunak will be hosting a live conversation with Elon Musk at the AI summit.

Mr Sunak revealed that he would have a conversation with the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, on his social media platform this Thursday evening.

According to political correspondent Adam Forrest:

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 19:25

Messages reveal that Johnson’s inconsistent decisions made it extremely challenging to address the Covid situation.

Scathing WhatsApp messages sent between Boris Johnson’s top team accused the former PM of creating chaos during the Covid crisis – complaining that he “flip-flopped” every day on direction and made it “impossible” to tackle the pandemic.

Adam Forrest and Archie Mitchell have stated:

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 18:48

“Vallance stated that Cummings’ trip to Durham was in clear violation of lockdown regulations.”

The former chief scientist described Dominic Cummings’ press conference about his trip to Barnard Castle during lockdown as a disaster, stating that the journey clearly violated the rules in place at the time.

In May 2020, Sir Patrick Vallance recorded in his notebooks that he and England’s former chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, believed that officials at No 10 were pressuring them to join Boris Johnson for a press conference at Downing Street.

During Monday’s session at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, Mr. Cummings was referred to as “the most influential chief of staff in Downing Street” after gaining public attention for his trip to Co Durham.

On Tuesday, he will provide testimony to the investigation.

Aine Fox reports:

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 18:10

Chris Whitty criticized the Sunak scheme as promoting the spread of the virus through the “Eat out to help out” initiative.

Imran Shafi, who previously served as private secretary to Boris Johnson, stated that Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty had expressed disapproval of Rishi Sunak’s “Eat out to help out” initiative in August 2020, dubbing it as “Eat out to help out the virus”.

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 17:49

The senior aide of Tory, Rishi Sunak, is fired for advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Rishi Sunak dismissed a high-ranking Conservative member from their government position as a ministerial assistant for publicly advocating for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Paul Bristow, a member of parliament’s science department serving as a parliamentary private secretary (PPS), urged Chancellor Sunak to seek a lasting cessation of hostilities in Gaza.

The representative for Peterborough stated that this action would not only preserve lives, but also enable the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance to those who are in dire need.

Adam Forrest, correspondent covering politics, states:

Tara Cobham30 October 2023 17:07