Alastair Campbell attacks media for ‘cheerleading’ Boris Johnson

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Former Labour adviser Alastair Campbell has accused the British media of allowing Boris Johnson to avoid scrutiny over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Campbell said the government had made “terrible mistakes” and claimed the media had been “cheerleading” rather than scrutinising.

It comes as the UK’s Covid-19 death toll becomes the highest in Europe and second highest in the world, with 29,427 deaths.

“Neither government, and I’m afraid to say the whole of politics I think, nor the media is reflecting what is happening in our country with anything like the sense of urgency that there was when this was happening in Italy and Spain,” Mr Campbell said.

Julia countered that journalists and politicians were “constantly questioning” the government’s decisions, adding that no one was “ignoring things that are going wrong”.

But Mr Campbell, formerly the communications director for Tony Blair, claimed that some sections of the press had used Mr Johnson’s hospitalisation and the birth of his new son as a “distraction” from the rising deaths.

“Boris Johnson serially tries to evade serious scrutiny, he has done it again and again,” he said.

Mr Campbell urged the government to “reset” its strategy, concluding: “Until they admit how bad things are and reset, this is going to go from bad to worse.”

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