Boris Johnson said he would rather see “bodies piled high in their thousands” than order a third lockdown, it has been claimed.
The Prime Minister’s alleged remark came after he reluctantly accepted a second lockdown last autumn, the Daily Mail reports.
Downing Street strongly denied the allegations and told the newspaper that the claims were “just another lie”.
Former No 10 adviser ‘has audio recordings of conversations’
The comments come as the Prime Minister is involved in a very public and bitter fall-out with his former adviser Dominic Cummings over the handling of the pandemic, leaked text messages and the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat.
Reports suggest the former No 10 adviser has audio recordings of many of his conversations while in Downing Street and has put together a dossier of allegations.
He is reportedly expected to use his appearance before a committee of MPs next month to challenge the Prime Minister.
What the PM allegedly said
Mr Johnson reportedly begrudgingly agreed to a second lockdown in October after being warned by scientists and senior ministers that the NHS faced being overrun.
According to the Daily Mail, the Prime Minister’s frustration boiled over and he allegedly said: “No more ****ing lockdowns, let the bodies pile high in their thousands.”
What Labour has said
A Labour Party spokesman said: “If this report is true, then these are truly shocking and sickening comments from Boris Johnson.
“It is hard to imagine how families who have lost loved ones to Covid will feel reading them. He must make a public statement as soon as possible.”
Senior civil servant set for committee appearance
The allegations against the Prime Minister come as the UK’s most senior civil servant prepares to be questioned by a committee of MPs over claims of impropriety made by Mr Cummings.
Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, is expected to indicate that he has not cleared the Prime Minister’s former adviser over the so-called “chatty rat” leak of plans for a second lockdown.
He is expected to say his inquiry into the leak last autumn is still “live” when he appears before the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC).
Mr Cummings has accused Mr Johnson of seeking to block the investigation after learning that a close friend of his fiancee Carrie Symonds had been implicated, a claim the Prime Minister denied.
In an incendiary blog post, Mr Cummings went on to say that Mr Case had told Mr Johnson that neither he nor the then No 10 director of communications Lee Cain was the culprit.
However officials familiar with the investigation said that it had neither “landed” on any one individual or exonerated anyone.