NEWS
12/10/2021 09:37 BST

Timing Of Boris Johnson's Holiday Under Fire After Damning Covid Report Slams His Handling Of The Pandemic

The prime minister is away for a week in Marbella, Spain, where he's staying in a luxury villa.

OLI SCARFF via Getty Images
Boris Johnson is facing intense scrutiny after the release of MPs' damning Covid report

Boris Johnson left the UK on Friday to go on holiday with his family – and his critics think he timed it to coincide with a damning Covid report which was released on Tuesday.

The prime minister is yet to respond publicly to a report from MPs declaring that the government’s inability to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic was one of the worst ever public health failures.

Sources claim the prime minister is continuing to work from southern Spain, but many have speculated that he deliberately left the UK knowing the report would be published while he was out of the country.

Human rights lawyer Shoaib M Khan tweeted: “Now we know why this (petty, lying deceitful, arrogant, dangerous) man chose this moment to be on holiday abroad.”

Khan then attached the infamous video clip from October 2 where Johnson told a journalist: “I’ve given you the most important metric which is, never mind life expectancy, never mind cancer outcomes, look at wage growth.”

Khan added: “The full report makes for a very depressing reading.

“We can argue about many things, but one thing is certain.

“The unbelievably-incompetent Tory government should be extremely ashamed of its appalling treatment of British people and its utter, unforgivable disregard for human life.”

Khan was not alone at pointing out the terrible timing of Johnson’s absence.

Even before the report came out at midnight on Monday, the UK has been gripped by a series of crises including looming supermarket shortages, mass distribution problems prompted by the HGV driver shortages, a gas shortage and soaring energy prices.

Ian Dunt, columnist at the i newspaper, tweeted on Monday: “Before Johnson, PMs would often be told to come home from holiday during a crisis.

“Now they go off on holiday during the crisis.”

Sources continue to claim that Johnson is working remotely from his holiday home, and No.10 has said deputy prime minister Dominic Raab is not running the country in his absence.

Downing Street’s spokesperson said: “The prime minister continues to be in charge as is always the case.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: “So the PM can work flexibly and work from home but the government says working people shouldn’t have the same right.

“One rule for them and another for the rest of us, always.”

Number 10 has refused to say who paid for the prime minister’s holiday, but the recently ennobled peer Zac Goldsmith is thought to be hosting Johnson.

It’s also only been 35 days since Johnson’s last holiday.

When pressed on the matter, home office minster Damian Hinds defended the prime minister on BBC Breakfast on Monday and said: “Everybody should be able to take a rest.”