Boris Johnson latest – PM denies sick 'bodies pile high' lockdown comment but new 'witnesses' insist they heard him

BORIS Johnson has denied making a sick comment about letting covid victims' "bodies pile high" to avoid another lockdown.

The Prime Minister quickly blasted the allegations as "lies" – and it is clear from the fact national and localised lockdowns continued that lives were actually saved as a result of his actions.

The claims appeared in the Mail on Sunday over the weekend, with the PM's controversial former close aide Dominic Cummings accused of being behind them as part of a well-planned revenge hit on his former boss.

But as well as Boris branding those allegations "total rubbish", Cummings' claim he'd been cleared of being the so-called 'Chatty Rat' who leaked information about the UK lockdown in November were also dismissed.

While the PM's actions do speak louder than any words he may or may not have said, new alleged witnesses have come forward to insist he did make the sick comments that he has since denied, according to MailOnline.

Both the BBC and ITV claim to have independently verified the Mail on Sunday's story as correct having spoken to new "ear witnesses" who hadn't spoken with the newspaper themselves.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    HIGH DRINKING LEVELS

    The stresses of lockdown life have led many to drink more alcohol over the past 12 months, new research has found.

    Insurance comparison site Reassured asked 2,028 UK residents about changes to their lifestyle choices over lockdown. 

    When it comes to alcohol, it seems the mundanity of life during a pandemic has seen Brits enjoying a drink in larger quantities over the last 12 months.

    UK drinkers have been consuming 14 units of alcohol per week during lockdown, a 43% increase on the 9 units per week drunk prior to lockdown. 

    The additional 5 units of alcohol per week equates to the equivalent of almost an extra 2 pints of lager or an extra half a bottle of wine each week. 

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    25 PER CENT OF UK ADULTS HAVE RECEIVED TWO JABS

    Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed 25 per cent of all adults in the UK have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

    Here's his tweet:

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    REVIEW ON CASH

    Whitehall bosses will probe the money spent doing up Boris Johnson's Downing Street flat.

    The internal probe comes after claims the PM solicited donations from Tory donors for the £58,000 refit – but in the end was forced to pay out of his own pocket after a huge sleaze row.

    It's not clear when he paid out the cash – or from where he got the money.

    Cabinet Secretary Simon Case revealed last night that a fresh investigation would take place into whether donations were properly recorded.

    He said: "The Prime Minister has asked me to conduct a review into how this has been done and asked that I share the details of those conclusions with the committee."

    Simon Case will carry out an investigation
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    TIMELINE OF EVENTS

    • April 22: A series of 'leaked' text messages between The Prime Minister and inventor James Dyson, in which Mr Johnson promised to "fix" tax changes the entrepreneur wanted.
    • April 23: Dominic Cummings makes a series of explosive allegations in a blog post.
    • April 25: The PM is forced to explain how he paid for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat after Mr Cummings claimed claimed the PM had once had "possibly illegal" plans to get Tory donors to fund the work.
    • April 26: He suggested Mr Johnson had considered trying to block an inquiry into the leak in case it involved a friend of his fiancee Carrie Symonds. Mr Cummings suggests a close friend of Carrie Symonds and a special adviser, Henry Newman, was the so-called "chatty rat".

    EXPLOSIVE CLAIMS

    A public feud between Boris Johnson and his former top adviser has unfolded over a series of alleged "leaks" from Downing Street.

    Dominic Cummings has been accused of leaking sensitive text messages between the PM and James Dyson, as well as alleged remarks made by Mr Johnson of "let the bodies pile high" during the second Covid lockdown in England.

    The Daily Mail cited unidentified sources, claiming the PM told a Downing Street meeting: “No more f**king lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands.”

    These claims have been backed up by ITV and the BBC who claim to have confirmed the comments with their own sources.

    But Mr Johnson and his team have strongly denied the allegations.

    MILLIONS MORE ELIGIBLE FOR COVID JABS FROM TODAY

    Millions more people are eligible to get their Covid jabs from today.

    The age has been lowered for the second time this week, meaning more people in their 40s are able to book their vaccine appointment.

    The NHS coronavirus vaccine booking system has opened up to healthy people in England aged 42 and over.

    Those set to turn 42 before July 1 can also now arrange their jab.

    A text will be sent from "NHSvaccine" inviting them to get a dose with a link to the booking site. People can also call 119.

    DR AMIR FEARS FOR HIS FAMILY IN INDIA

    Good Morning Britain's Dr. Amir Khan shared his fears for his family living in India today after they told him the "coronavirus situation is desperate".

    Speaking to presenters Susanna Reid and Adil Ray he said: "It is hard, my mum speaks to them every day.

    "They are calling this a very difficult situation, like many people in India are.

    "They are being told to stay at home, but they can’t afford to stay at home. The state funding to get people to stay at home and stay safe, just isn’t there."

    DEATH PROBE

    A "fit and healthy" engineer died three weeks after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    Jack Last, 27, who was "surprised" to be offered the jab, was admitted to hospital on April 9 suffering from headaches.

    Tragically the 27-year-old, from Stowmarket, Suffolk, died just 11 days later after his condition deteriorated.

    The NHS confirmed they have launched a probe into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

    Jack received the jab on March 30 – days before the UK's medicine regulator advised under-30s should be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    More on the story here

    LAURENCE FOX AND RICHARD TICE LOOK FOR 'THE FOX AND TICE' PUB

    London Mayoral Candidate, Laurence Fox and Leader of Reform UK, Richard Tice have today begun a search to buy a pub in Central London.

    The pub, dubbed “The Fox and Tice”, will operate on a policy of “no vaccine passports, no masks and always open.”

    The news comes as Fox and Tice announced a major electoral pact ahead of the upcoming May elections, which will see Fox’s Reclaim Party endorse all of Reform UK’s London Assembly Candidates, with Tice putting his weight behind the former actor’s mayoral bid.

    Laurence Fox said: “Richard and I cannot wait to open an establishment that will pride itself on not asking for vaccine passports, not demand mask-wearing and continue to serve its customers without any restrictions.”

    Richard Tice said: “When Laurence and I discussed the best way to show our commitment to get London moving again, we wanted to put our money where our mouth is and thought that a vaccine passport and mask-free pub would be a fantastic way to demonstrate our commitment to get the capital moving again.”

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      MORNING COMMUTE RUINS PRODUCTIVITY – STUDY

      With the progress of the Covid vaccination campaign in mind, many organisations have communicated that employees are expected to work from the office again.

      However new research from Wladislaw Rivkin at Trinity Business School, Fabiola Gerpott and Dana Unger demonstrates that commuting reduces productivity at work by draining mental energy, effecting our ability to fully focus on what we’re doing when we finally arrive at work.

      Wladislaw Rivkin, Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour, said: “Because of its regular occurrence commuting is an automatic habit.

      “However, an unpleasant commuting experience like heavy traffic requires employees’ self-regulation to shift toward controlled cognitive processing. F

      “or example, employees may need to adapt daily work plans when arriving later at work or decide during the commute whether to pass on information about potential delays to colleagues.

      “In turn, states of controlled cognitive processing deplete regulatory resources and put employees into a resource protection, negatively effecting productivity.”

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      TOTAL COVID DEATH TOLL IN THE UK

      A total of 152,205 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

      The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,477 on January 19.

      During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      CARE HOME DEATHS

      Some 69 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales were registered in the week to April 16, down 5% on the previous week.

      In total, 42,331 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

      The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      EXPERT CALLS FOR LOCKDOWN TO BE EASED IMMEDIATELY

      The remaining lockdown rules should be eased immediately, one expert said yesterday.

      Professor Angus Dalgleish said there's no reason for the government to wait until June 21 to lift the remaining rules.

      Dalgleish, consultant oncologist, who was one of the signatories of a letter calling for the Government to end coronavirus restrictions, yesterday morning told Good Morning Britain that they should be lifted right away.

      He said: "In my own professional capacity, we have people who've struggled and carried on with symptoms of cancer, too worried to come in to the hospital to get treatment, and now it's progressed further and their outlook is even worse."

      More on the story here

      Professor Angus Dalgleish lockdown restrictions should be lifted early
    • Chiara Fiorillo

      RESTRICTIONS EASING – BUT CAREFULLY

      This is Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown:

       

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      PM TO STICK TO LOCKDOWN ROADMAP

      Boris Johnson will stick to the "slow and steady" lockdown roadmap amid concerns over the Indian variant of Covid, a Cabinet minister has said.

      Defence secretary Ben Wallace insisted the PM is right to take a cautious approach given the seriousness of the pandemic situation elsewhere.

      And he said the runaway success of our vaccination programme doesn't mean the UK can "chuck it all in" and end social distancing.

      You can read more here

      Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the PM will stick to his roadmap
    • Chiara Fiorillo

      LATEST DATA

      A total of 362 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending April 16 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – the lowest number since the week ending October 2.

      The figure is down 4% on the previous week's total, although the ONS said the number of deaths registered is likely to have been affected by the recent Easter bank holidays.

      The total number of deaths registered in England and Wales was below the five-year average for the sixth consecutive week, the ONS said.

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      DRUG DEAL

      A pill that could kill Covid within hours of taking it could put an end to lockdowns, an expert has said.

      At-home coronavirus treatments are being investigated, with the hope of finding one by the autumn.

      Chief trial investigator Prof Kevin Blyth, of Glasgow University, told the Mirror: “It would be a huge step forward if antiviral drugs work.

      “You don’t have any hospital services being put under enormous pressure because patients never come to the hospital.

      “Normal services can function and you don’t have to have lockdown or other draconian control measures.”

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      BRITS URGED TO TAKE JABS

      Boris Johnson said that coronavirus jabs would provide "pretty robust fortifications" should there be another spike in infections going forward, as he hailed the UK's vaccination programme.

      During a visit to Wrexham on Monday, he urged the public to take up the vaccine when offered it.

      Boris Johnson has urged the public to take up the Covid vaccineCredit: AFP
    • Chiara Fiorillo

      COUPLES KEEN TO SAY 'I DO' IN GARDENS THIS YEAR

      More than half (56%) of couples would be happy to go low key with their wedding plans and host the reception in their own garden in 2021, according to a new study.   

      With Covid causing a backlog of weddings, and an estimated 400,000 ‘big days’ due to take place this year alone, Premier Polytunnels was keen to find out from couples if they would be happy to reduce their guest numbers and go for a DIY reception in order to celebrate sooner.

      Its research found that than half of couples (56%) would be happy to host their wedding reception in their garden following Covid.

      Nearly a third (29%) would welcome a smaller wedding as it would allow them to cut their guest list down significantly.

      Deborah Wood, Company Director for Premier Polytunnels, said: “It’s lovely to see just how eager we are to get back to weddings. For those couples that want to get their plans underway as soon as possible, DIY weddings and polytunnels are an amazing solution which will allow you to hold a more intimate ceremony.”

      Couples are hoping for more intimate ceremonies following the Covid-19 pandemicCredit: Alamy
    • Chiara Fiorillo

      COVID VACCINE CALCULATOR

      Omni's vaccine queue calculator will estimate how many people are ahead of you in the wait for a jab in the UK, accounting for the delay in the first-dose rollout.

      You can also use the calculator that only applies to England, which is more specific.

      All you need to do is enter your age, job and if you have a health condition.

      Millions of Brits have now received a coronavirus vaccine
    • Chiara Fiorillo

      HOSPITAL APOLOGY

      A hospital has apologised after a woman was given the wrong vaccine when she went for her second jab – in the first error of its kind in the UK.

      The woman received the Pfizer vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca version that she was supposed to have and was given first time around at Great Western Hospital.

      Despite the mix-up the woman reportedly felt OK afterwards, but she and her husband, who want to remain anonymous, said they were still furious at the error.

      A Great Western Hospital spokesman said: "We have offered our sincere apologies for giving her a different Covid-19 vaccine as her second dose.

      "We have taken advice from the South West Clinical Advice and Response Service, an external service that provides vaccination centres with expert advice and guidance."

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      LOOKING FOR SOMETHING NEW

      Half of all UK employees (49%) are on the hunt for a new job following the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent poll.  

      The survey of 1,000 UK office workers, conducted by UK-based online printer instantprint, highlights current job satisfaction levels of those employed within the UK, as well as examining what employers could do in a bid to retain their restless workforce.  

      Despite roughly half of the nation’s employees claim to be job hunting, just 1 in 5 of the those surveyed had actually changed jobs since March 2020.   

      The staggering difference between the rate of those looking for a job and those changing jobs could be down to a lack of job opportunities with many industries only just starting to re-open during spring and summer this year.  

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      PUBS FACE BEER SHORTAGE

      Pubs are facing a shortage of beers including Amstel and Birra Morretti as brewers struggle to keep up with demand after lockdown.

      It comes as Brits rushed to their locals when pubs finally reopened for outdoor service on April 12 in England.

      More than 10million adults have so far enjoyed a visit to the pub since they reopened, with many said to be keen to sip on a draught pint again.

      However, Birra Moretti's owner Heineken is now temporarily limiting pubs to three kegs per week to cope with supply issues.

      Heineken said demand had "totally surpassed" its forecasts and that its breweries are "working round the clock" to deal with the surge.

      More on the story here

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      SPREAD SLOWS

      Covid cases have plunged by 30.3 per cent in just a week with 2,064 infections and six deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

      This time last week there were 2,963 new cases and four deaths recorded, while two weeks ago there were 3,568 cases and 13 new deaths.

      The number of cases reported yesterday was the lowest Monday total since August 31 when 1,406 were reported.

       

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      EU SUES ASTRAZENECA

      Brussels is suing AstraZeneca for failing to deliver enough vaccines after making the firm a scapegoat for its shambolic jabs rollout.

      It hopes taking the drugmaker to court will boost supplies to the bloc, but many sceptical EU capitals think the move will make no difference.

      Eurocrats say the Anglo-Swedish company has been in "continuous breach" of its contract by failing to meet targets.

      But in a punchy statement the firm insisted it has "fully complied" with the deal and vowed to "strongly defend itself in court".

      You can read more here

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