Alastair Campbell criticises government Covid-19 ‘mixed messages’

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Alastair Campbell has accused the government of sending “mixed messaging the whole way through” the coronavirus outbreak.

He told talkRAIDO's Julia Hartley-Brewer: “When [Boris Johnson] made his address to the nation the other night the first thing I said was I think he got the tone right, I think he got to the right position, then within 24 hours it was unclear again.”

Mr Campbell also claimed that a  lack of clarity over the national lockdown was to blame for overcrowded public transport in London.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has urged the Prime Minister to close non-essential construction sites to prevent commuters, but the government wants Mr Khan to increase transport services to allow travellers to spread themselves out.

Mr Campbell tweeted that it was “outrageous, and nakedly political, to try to shift blame” to the London Mayor, adding that it is “the mixed messages about who can/should work/no help for self employed/some selfishness of some travellers that is driving this”.

The government maintains that its guidelines are “absolutely clear”.

The former aide to Tony Blair also told talkRADIO that he did not believe the government and its medical and scientific advisers were “going into the sort of detail that they should” when explaining the measures in place.

He said: “The job of government is to be ahead of where the public are and to be leading the public.

“The role of leadership in a crisis is to take the public into your confidence with all of the detail, all of the data, all of the science.”

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