Boris Johnson ditched second national lockdown plans over fears Rishi Sunak would quit


BORIS Johnson ditched plans for a second national lockdown amid fears Rishi Sunak would quit.

The Chancellor had warned that the economic carnage it caused would make his job near impossible.

Plans for a second national lockdown were abandoned over fears the Chancellor would resign

The PM was warned of the economic carnage a second national lockdown would cause

Allies have credited him with single-handedly saving Britain from a brutal regime of curbs on freedom and movement.

Medical and scientific experts had demanded tough restrictions to halt a deadly second wave of coronavirus.

But after a crucial summit Mr Sunak sought a one-to-one meeting with the PM and make it clear he “wouldn’t wear it”.

A senior MP said: “There were fears he would find it difficult to carry on if he was ignored.

“It was all down to the Chancellor that we avoided delivering a hammer blow to the economy and took a more balanced approach instead. Rishi saved the day.”


It has emerged that a “noisy majority” of experts were in favour of a shutdown barely 48 hours before Mr Johnson went on TV to address the nation about his next steps.

But Mr Sunak put up a powerful argument or keeping Britain open to protect millions of jobs and businesses.

Downing Street insisted neither the Chancellor nor any government advisers threatened to resign over the restrictions.

A source close to Mr Johnson said: “The Prime Minister listened to a full range of arguments before deciding the next course of action.

“He took a balanced approach, with maximum social measures to drive down the infection rate while having minimum impact on the economy.”

The PM faces a fresh battle this week as rebel MPs try to seize control of his emergency powers.



Sir Graham Brady has tabled a cross-party amendment that would give parliament a final say on further Covid restrictions

Tory backbenchers’ leader Sir Graham Brady has tabled a cross-party amendment that would give parliament a final say on any further Covid restrictions.

At least 60 rebel Conservatives will be joined by Labour, Scottish Nationalists and other smaller parties in a bid to defeat the government in a move which echoes the tactics of Remainer MPs during the Brexit crisis.

In a bid to quell the revolt, Mr Johnson has offered a vote next month on the continuation of the “rule of six” – but the rebels plan to press ahead.

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