Ex-Cabinet minister Lord Frost slams ‘Covid theatre’ of wearing masks and vaccine passports as he urges Boris Johnson to focus on action that works and calls on the PM to rule out future lockdowns because they are a ‘serious mistake’
The peer quit the Cabinet in December because he said he could not support the Prime Minister’s Plan B measures of increased mask wearing and vaccine passports.
He has now told The Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast that he believes people will look back on lockdowns in the future and view them as a ‘pretty serious public policy mistake’.
The former Brexit minister said Mr Johnson should therefore promise the nation that there will not be another national shutdown.
Lord Frost also took aim at the current Covid rules as he claimed vaccine passports and compulsory face masks do not work and Mr Johnson should ‘focus on what does work’ so the UK is ready for the next twist in the pandemic.
Lord Frost has urged Boris Johnson to categorically rule out another lockdown as he suggested the Government’s current coronavirus rules are ‘Covid theatre’
The peer quit the Cabinet in December because he said he could not support the Prime Minister’s Plan B measures of increased mask wearing and vaccine passports
Lord Frost criticised Mr Johnson’s ‘coercive’ Covid policies when he resigned from the Cabinet last month.
He also cited concerns about ‘the current direction of travel’ of the Government.
He has now told The Telegraph that ministers need to change their approach to tackling coronavirus.
‘So on Covid, that was the reason I resigned, that’s what took me out of the Government in December, I didn’t agree with the Plan B measures – masks, vaccine passports,’ he said.
‘That is what forced me out. I think honestly people are going to look back at the last couple of years globally and see lockdown as a pretty serious public policy mistake.
‘I think in this country we have had a slightly less bad form of it than in others so we will probably come out kind of relatively positively.
‘But this is a huge public policy error, I think is how it is going to be seen.’
Lord Frost said lockdowns and Covid rules had been ‘less bad here than elsewhere and I think a lot of that is due to the PM’s own instincts on this’.
The peer said Mr Johnson should now categorically rule out another lockdown as he criticised Plan B restrictions.
He also insisted the Government must prepare now for the potential emergence of a more dangerous Covid variant than Omicron.
He said: ‘I think the important thing is looking forward now and I am a bit worried that the debate at the moment about Covid is about “ok, we have got a mild variant so it is ok and we can all go back to normal”.
‘Well, you know, maybe the next one won’t be and I don’t want to find us, I hope we won’t be in the same debate about do we go back to lockdowns if the next one is more dangerous.
‘I would like to see the Government ruling out lockdowns for the future, repealing the legislation, ending them.
‘We can’t afford it, it doesn’t work, stop doing Covid theatre – vaccine passports, masks, stuff that doesn’t work – and focus on what does work so we are ready if the next one is worse.
‘Stuff like ventilation, antivirals, proper hospital capacity, managing it properly. That is what we need to be focusing on going forward.’