British PM Boris Johnson denies saying 1,000s of bodies better than lockdown - GulfToday

British PM Boris Johnson denies saying 1,000s of bodies better than lockdown


Boris Johnson and Welsh Conservative candidate Barbara Hughes on the campaign trail, visit Moreton farm near Wrexham, north Wales, on Monday. AP

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed as "total rubbish” a press report which quoted him as allegedly saying he would rather see "bodies pile high in their thousands” than impose a third national lockdown on the country.

Johnson is facing a stream of allegations in newspapers — all of them denied — about everything from his muddled initial handling of the COVID-19 crisis to questions over who financed the redecoration of his official apartment.

The Daily Mail newspaper cited unidentified sources as saying that, in October, shortly after agreeing to a second lockdown, Johnson told a meeting in Downing Street: "No more fucking lockdowns — let the bodies pile high in their thousands."

Asked whether he had made the remark, Johnson told broadcasters: "No, but again, I think the important thing, I think, that people want us to get on and do as a government is to make sure that the lockdowns work, and they have."

Boris-IcecreamBoris Johnson eats an ice-cream as he visits Llandudno, Wales. Reuters

The Daily Mail did not respond to a request for comment but the BBC later also reported that Johnson made the remark in a "heated discussion" about lockdowns. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the reports.

Though Johnson has over the years repeatedly weathered gaffes, crises over Brexit and disclosures about his adultery, he is now grappling with an array of accusations which opponents say show he is unfit for office. He or his supporters have denied all of them.

Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, who has cast Johnson's government as "sleazy," said he was astonished to read the Daily Mail's report.
"If he did say those things, he's got to explain it," he said.

Johnson did impose a third lockdown, in January, though critics say it could have been avoided had he yielded to pressure from senior ministers to make the second lockdown more stringent.

Britain has the world's fifth largest official COVID-19 death toll, with 127,681 deaths, after the United States, Brazil, Mexico and India, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.


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