Susanna Reid has ripped into Boris Johnson’s initial decision not to isolate after being ‘pinged’ by the government’s test and trace app, sharing her frustration it was ‘one rule for us and another for those at the top’.
The Good Morning Britain host was speaking with vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi on Monday morning, following the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s U-turn on self-isolating after being in contact with health secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
In a dramatic one-eighty, the PM abandoned heavily-criticised plans to take daily tests rather than self-isolate, despite people around the country being forced to adhere to strict isolation guidelines after being contacted by the app.
Slamming the government, Susanna told Mr Zahawi: ‘You completely smashed public consent in the £37billion test and trace system.’
Defending the pilot scheme Mr Johnson was initially going to use in lieu of self-isolation, Mr Zahawi said: ‘That pilot scheme, not just Number 10, the cabinet office, participating in it, but organisations like Transport For London, Network Rail and Heathrow, and others, we make thousands of decisions, Susanna, in government every week, every day, the Prime Minister looked at that and very quickly realised it was a mistake…’
However the host cut Mr Zahawi off as she replied: ‘Not quickly enough before Number 10 had put out a statement on it, and not quickly enough for one of your ministers to have to go on the airwaves yesterday and try and justify it.’
She went on: ‘I felt sorry for Robert Jenrick, because frankly, it was unjustifiable.
‘It was a massive error and the reason you U-turned on it was because you realised the public was outraged that once again there was one rule for all of us and one rule for those at the top.’
Viewers praised Susanna’s firm stance, with Peter Stefanovic musing on Twitter: ‘A masterclass in holding Government to account from @susannareid100 on @GMB culminating in “Do you admit it was an error yesterday to give out that message?”
‘Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi “Of course”.
‘That’s how it’s done.’
Yesterday a government spokesperson confirmed the PM had been contacted to say he is a contact of someone with Covid-19. The statement went on to say he was at Chequers when contacted and will remain there to isolate.
Stating ‘he will not be taking part in the testing pilot’, the statement said: ‘He will continue to conduct meetings with ministers remotely. The Chancellor has also been contacted and will also isolate as required and will not be taking part in the pilot.’
The U-turn followed widespread outrage at the original plan, amid warnings it risked undermining the Government’s messaging on self-isolation at such a critical point in the pandemic.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Government was in ‘chaos’ at a time when in needed to maintain public confidence.
‘Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have been busted yet again for thinking the rules that we are all following don’t apply to them,’ he said.
‘The way the Prime Minister conducts himself creates chaos, makes for bad government and has deadly consequences for the British public.
‘Yet again the Conservatives fixed the rules to benefit themselves and only backtracked when they were found out. They robbed the bank, got caught and have now offered to give the money back.’
Credit: Original article published here.