In an attempt to steady the ship after a chaotic fortnight that has seen the prime minister’s special adviser Dominic Cummings at the center of a political storm, and setbacks regarding test-and-trace plans, Johnson is set to take “direct control” of the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, according to the Telegraph.
The paper says that the four committees chaired by cabinet ministers, covering foreign affairs, health, economy and business and public services will be scrapped and replaced with two centrally-run groups, covering strategy (headed by Johnson) and operational delivery (led by Michael Gove).
A senior Tory MP told the Telegraph that Johnson’s shake-up was meant “to bring some order” to the decision-making process after a chaotic couple of months. The MP said: “Boris has decided that Cummings is there, but he is going to take more direct control.”
The wholesale changes to the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with Johnson taking on a more influential role, has left many critics on social media bemused as to why the country’s PM
hadn’t seemingly taken a grip from the start of the crisis.
TV presenter Piers Morgan appeared to voice the sentiments of many people, as he ranted: “Who the f**k has been in control of this crisis until now?” Others jokingly suggested that Johnson had obviously been “socially distancing from his responsibilities.”
Another commenter brutally ridiculed the idea that he was only now taking control of proceedings, three to four months since the start of the outbreak, tweeting: “It’s June. He’s the PM. What’s he been f**king doing for the past 6 months????????”
The UK government has, in recent weeks, faced
a barrage of criticism of it’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, from accusations the country entered lockdown too late, to issues around supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health and social-care workers, as well as missed coronavirus-testing targets.
The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.