Home Business News Boris Eat Out to Help Out scheme could have been ‘smuggled past’ scientists which spread the virus

Boris Eat Out to Help Out scheme could have been ‘smuggled past’ scientists which spread the virus

by LLB political Reporter
7th Dec 23 12:22 pm

Boris Johnson has appeared before the Covid Inquiry on Thursday and is “perplexed” over claims that the leading government scientists were not aware of the East Out to Help Out scheme.

The government scientists and the former Health Secretary Matt Hancock all claimed that they never knew about Rishi Sunak’s scheme when he was the Chancellor in 2020.

The scheme has been heavily scrutinised throughout the inquiry as it helped to further spread Coronavirus.

Johnson told Lady Hallett’s investigation, “I don’t think that I thought that scheme in itself was a particular gamble at the time and it certainly wasn’t presented to me as such.”

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The former Prime Minister insists that he cannot see any evidence that “conclusively shows” the scheme impacted the spread of Covid-19 across the country.

Johnson told the inquiry, “At the time that the Eat Out to Help Out policy was being aired with me for the first time, it was not presented to me as an acceleration, simply something to make sense of the freedoms that we were already giving.

“I must emphasise, it was not at the time presented to me as something that would add to the budget of risk.”

He then said that he was surprised that the leading government scientists said that they did not know anything about the scheme.

He said that he found it “funny” to hear England’s chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty calling it the “eat out to help the virus.”

Sir Chris said that both he and Sir Patrick Vallance were never informed about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in 2020.

Sunak said he “(did) not recall any concerns about the scheme,” as he has provided his evidence to the Covid Inquiry.

Johnson claims that he “thought that Chris and Patrick must have known” and repeatedly told the inquiry he does not understand how the scheme could have been “smuggled past” the scientists.

He said, “I am fairly confident it was discussed several times at meetings at which I believe they must have been present.

“I remember being surprised, later, I think it was in September, when Chris says ‘this is eat out to help the virus.’

“And I thought, ‘well, that’s funny’, because I didn’t remember any previous controversy about it.”

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