19 April 2020

Gove describes criticism of PM missing Cobra meetings as 'grotesque'

Michael Gove today said criticism of the Prime Minister for missing crucial Cobra meetings to discuss the coronavirus crisis are 'grotesque'.

He also dismissed claims the Government has drawn up plans for a 'traffic-light' strategy to relax lockdown measures.

The comments came as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster confirmed  Boris Johnson had not attended five meetings of the key Government Cobra committee in the build-up to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Gove told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “We have stressed that the reporting in today’s newspapers that schools will reopen on May 11, that is not true, we have not made that decision.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson also denied a decision had been made to reopen schools.

Mr Gove said ministers do not want to 'take steps too early' despite the rate of infection appearing 'to be flattening'.

It followed an investigation in The Sunday Times in which a Whitehall source claimed the Government 'missed the boat on testing and PPE' and 'just watched' as the death toll mounted in Wuhan, China.

The virus has now claimed the lives of more than 2 million people worldwide, including 15,464 in hospitals in the UK, according to latest figures.

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