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U.K.’s Boris Johnson stokes fury over ‘let bodies pile high’ comments

U.K.'s Boris Johnson stokes fury over 'let bodies pile high' comments

April 28, 2021: -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces controversy this week due to the comments he allegedly made last year at the height of the country’s coronavirus pandemic.

News headlines in the U.K. are dominated by reports that Johnson allegedly told aides in Downing Street that he would rather see the “bodies pile high in their thousands” than approve a third national lockdown.

Johnson and Downing Street have vehemently denied that he used the phrase. On Monday, Johnson described the reports as “absolute rubbish,” and when asked whether he had remarked, he said, “No, but again, I think the important thing that people want us to get on and do as a government is to make sure that the lockdowns work, and they have.”

The alleged comments, first reported by the Daily Mail Sunday citing anonymous Conservative Party sources, were reportedly said by the prime minister in mid-October after reluctantly agreed to a second lockdown that the country began in November.

The alleged comments have provoked a frenzy among the British tabloid media and hurt among the families of Covid victims after a challenging year for the country.

The U.K. has been worse hit by the pandemic; till now, it has recorded above 4.2 million cases and more than 127,000 deaths. Still, its efficient vaccination rollout has made it dramatically decrease the number of Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

The reports came to the prime minister between a flurry of stories that have put his conduct and integrity under the microscope. In the last week, there have been questions over the source of funding for the refurbishment of Johnson’s residence, Downing Street leaks to the press, and contact between high-ranking officials and business leaders.

Much of the scrutiny comes after a series of damaging allegations were made by Johnson’s former chief aide Dominic Cummings last week, which also increased speculation overpower struggles in Downing Street last year.

The BBC reported that Johnson would chair a cabinet meeting on Tuesday as he attempts to deflect attention from the growing furor.


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