Clip of Rory Stewart calling for lockdown in March 2020 goes viral as he’s praised for foresight

A clip of Rory Stewart calling for a lockdown in March 2020, before the government did so, has resurfaced and gone viral after the bombshell evidence from Dominic Cummings about ministers’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to PoliticsJOE on 12 March 2020 - 11 days before the UK entered its first national lockdown - Stewart warned about the dangers of the outbreak and called for emergency measures to be put in place immediately.

He said: “This is literally the most serious epidemic that we have faced since the end of the First World War.

“Gatherings need to stop... people need to start self-isolating, they need to start working from home.”

He also called for the government to shut schools without delay and said that the police and military could be used to enforce coronavirus measures if needed. He added that the Prime Minister needed to question why the UK was not responding in the same way as other countries in the world and take decisive action.

“I believe it is patently clear from all the way around the world that we need to act today. Today, today today.

“We cannot just focus on the fact that yes, this is going to be costly, it's’ going to be very very inconvenient, it’s going to be very difficult. But there is a chance of getting on top of this.

“I would much rather be criticised for overreacting. I’d much rather be criticised for being too tough, and see us come through this, than take the opposite. Generally the problem with governments is they act too slowly not too quickly,” he said.

Sharing the clip on social media, a number of people have praised the former Conservative minister and have pondered whether the situation would have been different if he had had power. Stewart stood as a candidate to be the Conservative Party leader in 2019, when Johnson won.

We guess we’ll never know.

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