The Johnson Variant runs rampant
Last night, PM Boris Johnson confirmed that the lockdown would not be lifted come June 21st. Instead, the new preliminary date is July 19th. Members of the Labour party have quipped that the Delta Variant should be renamed the Johnson Variant.
The Delta variant was one of the reasons cited for the delay of freedom day and is now responsible for 90% of the UK’s Covid cases.
Running through my speech for 9:30 today
-Exposing the scale of Conservative failings to protect our borders from Covid variants.
-And outlining @UKLabour plan for better protections, which we will put to the vote in Parliament this evening.
— Nick Thomas-Symonds MP (@NickTorfaen) June 15, 2021
The Labour party have stated that Johnson’s overall ‘incompetence and negligence” bears a direct correlation to Delta’s rise in the UK.
Shadow home secretary @NickTorfaen says Tory govt to blame for Freedom Day delay.
“They have allowed the Delta variant, first identified in India to take hold here. Let’s call it what it is. Let’s put the blame where it should lie.
“In this country – it’s the Johnson Variant."
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) June 15, 2021
Throughout the pandemic, Labour has often argued for stricter borders. They have even gone as far as to say that the delay in putting India on the red list was due to Johnson wanting to get his picture taken with India’s Narendra Modi.
In Mr Thomas-Symond’s address today, he bought the borders into the conversation, stating that they should have been our strongest defence. In similar countries like Australia and New Zealand, their success battling the pandemic has put other national leaders to shame.
"Our border protections are in chaos," says shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds, who calls the government "weak" when it comes to protecting people from Covid and variants
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 7, 2021
Mr Thomas-Symonds spoke on the issue today.
“The delay is happening because a new variant first identified overseas was allowed to take hold in this country,” he said.
“There is one reason and one reason only that this happened – lax border measures by Conservative ministers.
“They have allowed the Delta variant, first identified in India to take hold here.
“Let’s call it what it is, let’s put the blame where it should lie – in this country, it’s the ‘Johnson Variant’.
“The Prime Minister’s negligence and incompetence, his refusal to take tough decisions have all left people facing weeks more of restrictions – and yet more uncertainty.”
Thomas Symonds then touched on foreign travel, speaking to reporters on future holiday plans:
“I, like everybody else, want to see international travel back as soon as possible.
“But if you’re asking me the question as of today, ‘Do I think that summer holidays are likely?’ then I think the answer to that has to be no.”
The PM’s spokesperson only said that their view is not to pre-empt the data.