Nadine Dorries tried to defend Boris Johnson ahead of his appearance at the Covid inquiry today – but social media believes it didn’t go down well at all.
The former culture secretary, who announced her plan to resign as an MP after Johnson’s decision to resign from Parliament in June, is a committed supporter of the ex-prime minister.
Hours before Johnson testified at the public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, Dorries suggested it was a great opportunity for the former prime minister to “give his side of the story”.
She also told TalkTV that the focus on Partygate – the series of lockdown gatherings held behind the doors of Downing Street at the height of the pandemic – is “frustrating” her.
Dorries claimed in the press office that many of the parties in question took place on Friday evenings – while Johnson “left 10 Downing Street on a Thursday evening and knew nothing about them”.
“Boris Johnson never attended a single party,” she claimed, saying the evidence that he did attend some parties (for which he was later fined) was for small expressions of gratitude rather than “serious parties.”
She also claimed that the WhatsApp messages, which were a central part of the investigation, were “isolated messages” and “taken out of context”.
“For him, the bigger issues are more important,” Dorries said.
Addressing the controversy over whether or not the UK went into lockdown early enough, she said: “Boris Johnson was under extreme pressure.
“I think he was the only one who asked, ‘How do we avoid the lockdown?’ How do we keep businesses running, how do we keep schools open?’
“When the information that was constantly given to him was, ‘You have to lock down, this is what you have to do’.”
She said she believed he was a “lone voice” at times while all the scientific and medical advisers were calling on him to impose the lockdown.
Since then, the British government has been criticized several times for not imposing the lockdown early enough in March 2020, including from then Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Dorries claimed Johnson’s “silver bullet” to tackle the pandemic was the vaccine – and she claimed he “personally pushed this forward”.
The Johnson ally also said that those who criticized Johnson through her evidence on the pandemic were only out to “advance their own careers.”
Here is the full exchange:
Shortly after the interview went live, social media was quick to point out that her defense of Johnson might not actually be in his favor…
Nadine Dorries: All the scientists called on Boris to do the lockdown and Boris Johnson was the only one who said NO.
Johnson has spent YEARS preparing for today…
– Femi (@Femi_Sorry) December 6, 2023
This is an excellent statement from Nadine against Boris “accidentally”…
Basically Boris ignored all scientific advice? https://t.co/8DXhCoTlnW
— Savan Qadir (@savanQadir) December 6, 2023
Source : www.huffingtonpost.co.uk