Boris Johnson to take ‘direct control’ of government following pandemic failures

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Boris Johnson is preparing to seize control of the government and “tighten his grip” on the situation moving forwards, according to reports.

The Prime Minister has been something of a peripheral figure at times since his return to office after being hospitalised with coronavirus in April.

He has been criticised for the high COVID-19 death tolls plaguing the UK, the failure to implement a successful track a trace app, and letting his chief aide Dominic Cummings off the hook for breaking lockdown rules.

But now The Telegraph is reporting there will be a “Downing Street shake-up” in the coming weeks.

This will involve replacing the four ministerial implementation groups with two centrally-run committees, whilst the COVID-19 morning meeting at Number 10 is being cancelled.

Coronavirus press conferences are being pulled from the weekend schedule due to low viewing figures but will continue Monday to Friday (one of which will be hosted by the PM himself).

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Leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, who has been one of Boris Johnson’s most vocal critics in the past few weeks, stated in an interview with The Guardian: “I am putting the Prime Minister on notice that he has got to get a grip and restore public confidence in the Government’s handling of the epidemic.”

The Labour MP also suggested the PM was “winging it” over the easing of the lockdown, making a “difficult situation 10 times worse”.

Changes to lockdown rules came into effect on Monday (1 June).

The guidelines on the official government website states that people can now:

  • spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
  • visit car showrooms and outdoor markets
  • in line with the arrangements made by your school, send your child to school or nursery if they are in early years, reception, year 1 or year 6, if you could not before
  • if you are an elite athlete as defined by this guidance, train and compete using the specified gyms, pools and sports facilities you need – which will, in the coming weeks, we hope enable others to watch live sport on TV

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