Boris Johnson drops clear hint coronavirus lockdown measures will change on Monday as he confirms Sunday speech
Boris Johnson will address the nation on Sunday night.
Boris Johnson has dropped a clear hint that Britain’s coronavirus lockdown measures will be tweaked from Monday, as he confirmed that he is planning to address the nation on Sunday night.
The Prime Minister told MPs that ministers will want to “get going with some of these measures on Monday”, following the latest government review of the curbs which takes place on Thursday.
Mr Johnson had come under fire from the Commons Speaker over the plan to make a nationwide speech on Sunday, with Sir Lindsay Hoyle saying it was a "matter of regret" that the Prime Minister would make a "major announcement" on lockdown without first running it past Parliament.
But the PM said on Wednesday: “I just want to explain to the House as a courtesy why it's happening on Sunday.
“This is because, I'm sure you'd be interested to know, that the reason for that is very simple, that we know we have to be sure that the data is going to support our ability to do this.
“But that data is coming in, continuously over the next few days, we'll want if, we possibly can to get going with some of these measures on Monday.”
He added: “That will be a good thing, Mr Speaker, if people had an idea what's coming the following day, that's why I think Sunday, the weekend, is the best time to do it.
“But of course the House will be fully informed, and the House will have the full opportunity to debate and interrogate me or the Government on that matter.”
The Tory leader last week promised to set out a “roadmap” for exiting the coronavirus lockdown in the coming days, with the Government’s latest three-weekly review of the nationwide measures due on Thursday.
Mr Johnson said at the time: “We will be saying a lot more next week and in the coming weeks about how and when we propose to unlock the various parts of the UK economy.”
He added: "The dates and times of each individual measure will be very much driven by where we are in the epidemic, what the data is really saying, and we’re getting a lot more data every day.”
'BACK TO WORK'
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Johnson also signalled that the Government is now looking to wind up the furloughing scheme that has seen the state pay 80% of millions of workers’ wages in a bid to avoid a wave of redundancies amid the lockdown.
Mr Johnson told the Commons the “outstanding” scheme had “given huge numbers of people, more than 6 million people in this country, the security that they need”.
“And obviously what we want is to make sure that people continue to feel security,” he said.
“But at the same time what we also want is to enable people safely and securely to go back to work and to earn their pay packets as they want to do.”
The Prime Minister also said he had “absolutely no intention of returning to the A-word” - austerity - when questioned on government plans to balance the books amid a surge in state spending during the Covid-19 pandemic.