Boris Johnson and the UK’s highest-ranking official, Sir Mark Sedwill, clash over the route from a closed state
“Who is in charge of this plan. Is it you?’ Boris Johnson and UK’s highest official Sir Mark Sedwill clash over route from lockdown – as an advisor calls planning a ‘sh ** show’
- Boris Johnson and Sir Mark Sedwill said they had a “tense” distance last week
- The prime minister and senior official clashed over who is responsible for the virus plan
- There is growing public concern that they can be used as ‘fall guys’
- Meanwhile, the plan to quarantine travelers to the UK has led to cabinet divisions
- An advisor said arguing about who should be exempted from the plan was a “sh ** show.”
It was alleged today that Boris Johnson and British senior official Sir Mark Sedwill argued over who is responsible for rolling out the government’s exit strategy.
The Prime Minister and Sir Mark reportedly had a “tense” deadlock when plans to ease restrictions were discussed at a meeting last week.
Mr Johnson has apparently asked the Chamber who was responsible for the actual implementation of the measures in the blueprint.
He asked Sir Mark if it was him, but the head of the civil service replied that it was up to the Prime Minister to make sure something happened.
The claims were amid reports of growing divisions between ministers and senior officials.
Mandarins fear they are considered “corpses of the corona virus” pending an inevitable public inquiry into the government’s response to the crisis.
Meanwhile, a plan to quarantine travelers returning to the UK has led to a cabinet split over who should apply for it with the assistants involved, quickly turning into a ‘sh ** show’.
Boris Johnson, pictured on Downing Street on May 15, is said to have had a ‘tense’ distance with Sir Mark Sedwill over who is responsible for implementing the government’s coronavirus plan
Sir Mark, pictured with Mr. Johnson in number 10 on July 24 last year, apparently told the prime minister at a meeting last week that it is the prime minister’s responsibility to roll out the plan
According to two sources, quoted by The Sunday Times, Johnson and Sir Mark clashed early last week after the prime minister used an address to the nation to explain his exit exit strategy.
At a meeting, Mr. Johnson would have listened as the details of the plan were discussed before asking, “Who is responsible for the implementation of this delivery plan?”
One source said there was silence before the Prime Minister looked at Sir Mark and said, “Is it you?”
Sir Mark then reportedly replied: “No, I think it is you, Prime Minister.”
Sir Mark’s role in addressing the crisis by the government has been intensively scrutinized in recent days after it emerged that he had coronavirus roughly at the same time.
Downing Street only revealed his illness six weeks later, which led to a furious secrecy battle.
Sir Mark worked at home when he was ill and Downing Street insisted that he perform all his duties normally.
Some MPs believe that Sir Mark, who is also the government’s national security adviser, is too thinly distributed and should hand his NSA assignment over to someone else.
An employee told the newspaper, “People are not such Sedwill fans.
“He has three or four jobs: head of the civil service, national security adviser, adviser to the prime minister and leader of the Covid division.
“He never quite expresses his intentions.”
In Whitehall, fears are growing that ministers may blame officials for mistakes made during the outbreak, with all eyes now on a future public inquiry believed to be inevitable.
A source said, “There is frustration in the system that they are not sure how to implement this plan. They think it’s a mess. ‘
It came amid a growing cabinet divided over the government’s plan to quarantine returning travelers to the UK.
The quarrel between Sir Mark and Mr Johnson, pictured at a cabinet meeting in February, came after the senior official had coronavirus around the same time as the prime minister.
Full details are expected to be released within the next two weeks, with people returning to Britain being asked to isolate themselves for two weeks.
Within the government, however, there is an argument over who should be exempted from the policy.
Some ministers want countless exceptions because they fear that strong repression will mess things up, but others are in favor of stricter controls to stop a second wave of the disease.
Originally thought to exempt travelers from France, Downing Street has now returned to this.
It is thought that truck drivers and scientists involved in coronavirus-related work will not be subject to the rules.
An advisor told The Sunday Times that the quarantine plan is “a sh ** show,” with ministers struggling to agree on the details of the policy.