Radio caller refuses to accept that Boris Johnson was on holiday when he should have been a Cobra meetings

Greg Evans
Tuesday 21 April 2020 07:45
news

Boris Johnson's leadership and decision-making during the Coronavirus pandemic has come under intense scrutiny after a report suggested that he didn't attend Cobra meetings at the start of the crisis.

A Sunday Times report stated that the prime minister did not attend the first five Cobra meetings on how to tackle the virus and was still on holiday in the Caribbean at the start of the year.

Johnson is said to have missed the first five Cobra meetings between January and February on coronavirus, as he reportedly concentrated on Brexit and the flooding that devastated parts of the UK at the start of the year. Johnson only started attending meetings after 40 or more people became infected with the virus.

It was perhaps the most critical and alarming evidence of the government's slow response to Covid-19 but for some supporters of Johnson and the Conservatives, this report has been a little hard to stomach.

A man called John from Guilford, phoned LBC Radio's James O'Brien, someone who has never lost an argument, to boldly claim that the PM wasn't on holiday during this period and that the media was against Johnson.

John said:

I think this is a great big media blow-up. Do you honestly think that Churchill would have spent his time during the war at Cobra meetings?

He had better things to do. He was running the country. He was running the war.

O'Brien jumped in to correct John, telling him that Johnson was on holiday but John wasn't buying it asking O'Brien: "How do you know?"

The presenter points out to John that the PM hasn't denied these allegations and at this point, it was obvious that John's argument was falling apart very quickly. O'Brien replied:

You've come on the radio to say that Churchill was far too busy leading the war effort to attend Cobra meetings.

I've pointed out that Boris Johnson was on holiday and you've, with respect, fallen apart a bit.

O'Brien adds that the report shows that preparations for coronavirus were not properly in place at the time because all resources were being focused on a potential no-deal Brexit, which no seems a little inconsequential in hindsight.

John then tries to salvage his stance by blaming the media for "making a fuss out of nothing," which O'Brien labelled a "second-rate Donald Trump tribute act ."

For John, it was a pretty humiliating two and a half minute phone call and he probably won't want to hear it again but you can listen to it in full in the video below.

The UK has confirmed a reported 386,044 cases of coronavirus which have resulted in more than 16,000 deaths.

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