LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson, six Tory MPs and two political aides are self-isolating after a breakfast meeting inside Downing Street last Thursday. One of the MPs, Lee Anderson, later tested positive for Covid-19, and on Sunday the prime minister was told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
In a video from No 10, Mr Johnson urged others to “follow the rules” if contacted by the system. The PM’s official spokesman insisted that Downing Street is “Covid-secure”. He said “social distancing did happen” but factors such as the length of the meeting were considered by Test and Trace.
Mr Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care with coronavirus seven months ago, spent about 35 minutes with Mr Anderson – who lost his sense of taste the day after the meeting. Mr Johnson’s spokesman declined to name the aides but suggested they were not Lee Cain or Dominic Cummings, who left Downing Street last week.
Jacob Young, MP for Redcar, is also self-isolating – but said he was not at the meeting – while Basingstoke MP Maria Miller has said she is self-isolating after having been contacted by Test and Trace.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the prime minister was right to self-isolate as “it is important for all of us to say that we have got to comply with the advice and guidance”.
The PM’s period of isolation began as the government prepares a policy relaunch. Downing Street said a series of “critical announcements” would this week detail Mr Johnson’s “ambitions for the United Kingdom”.
The five other MPs self-isolating following the meeting with “Red Wall” Tories include:Heywood & Middleton MP Chris Clarkson,South Ribble MP Katherine Fletcher,Warrington South MP Andy Carter,Great Grimsby MP Lia Nici andBassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith.