Is this the reason all the Johnson government’s attempts to handle Covid-19 have fallen apart?
The committee convened by the prime minister to tackle emergencies facing the UK – known as COBRA after its location (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) – has not met since May 10.
That shocking fact was revealed, not by Boris Johnson, but by London Mayor Sadiq Khan during a phone-in on James O’Brien’s LBC radio talk show.
He said it seemed the Tories in the government don’t like to be challenged:
— LBC (@LBC) September 18, 2020
“The government doesn’t like having their policies and their ideas challenged, as often happened at Cobra,” he said.
The caller – Alex – had suggested that the army could help with Covid testing and treatment. Mr Khan said: “You’re right to remind us that the army in the past has come through and saved the bacon of successive governments.
“You remember the Olympics of 2012? Security was a shambles. The army stepped in and sorted out security in the Olympics.
“You remember early on during this pandemic, real problems with the personal protective equipment… The army stepped in and gave us a huge help.
“And you remember the Nightingale hospitals; the army played a huge role in co-ordination.
“I will pass this on – not through Cobra because there is no Cobra.”
There is no Cobra.
Listeners reacted with horror:
COBRA hasnt met since May 10th
NO COBRA SINCE 10th MAY
No wonder the Harding/tories are supprised at the increase of infections……
Tories dont like being challenged?
— sue#NHSLove (@SueSuezep) September 18, 2020
Sadiq Khan "I'll pass it on, not through Cobra because there is no Cobra, but…"
What happened to Cobra?
Not party political enough for these goons? Don't like to be challenged?
Sadiq hasn't spoken to PM since May 10th!#lbc
— Alex S 🇬🇧🚵♂️🔸 (@2ears2wheels) September 18, 2020
Sadiq Khan just said that the Govt's COBRA meetings have not taken place since 10 MAY !!!!!!!!! FFS. It isn't like anything serious is happening.
— Sam Malin and the boy cat Lucy (@SamanthaMalin) September 18, 2020
… and with humour:
Cobra to be renamed Slow Worm in Dominic Cummings shake up.
— 🇬🇧🤪Unite the Centre Ground #FBCoalition2024 (@charliemale) September 18, 2020
Khan also mentioned test and trace boss Dido Harding being surprised that an increase in tests was being demanded this month (September): “I’m surprised at her surprise, because it was perfectly predictable – not only because the WHO said six months ago it was important, but back in March… the government stopped community testing… because they hadn’t got enough tests, and that led to the increase in community transmission.
“My worry is that they’ve not learned the lessons of the first six months of this virus.”
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