Sajid Javid rules out further lockdowns: ‘There’s no going back’

New health secretary appears to confirm he will be more hawkish about lifting restrictions than his disgraced predecessor

Sajid Javid says ‘no going back’ on lockdown lifting

Sajid Javid has ruled out another Covid lockdown in first significant comments as health secretary, saying: “It’s going to be irreversible – there’s no going back.”

Appearing to confirm he will be more hawkish about lifting restrictions than his disgraced predecessor, Matt Hancock, he said he wanted to move “as quickly as possible“.

Boris Johnson has only spoken about his wish for the end of Covid rules – pencilled in for 19 July – to be irreversible, without promising they would be.

Meanwhile, some scientists have warned of troubles ahead if the third wave apparently underway takes off and combines with a flu epidemic when the weather worsens in the autumn.

But, during a visit to St Thomas’ Hospital in London, Mr Javid said: “I want to see the restrictions lifted and life going back to normal as quickly as possible.

“Right here and now that is my absolute priority. I want to see those restrictions lifted as soon as we can, as quickly as possible.

“In terms of the road map to that you’ll have to wait for my statement to Parliament later today.

“It’s going to be irreversible, there’s no going back. That’s why we want to be careful during that process.”

The comments may be seen as some as throwing doubt on the government’s commitment to be driven by “data not dates” in making decisions about what restrictions are needed.

The new health secretary also revealed that the camera in the health secretary’s office – that brought down Mr Hancock, by filming him kissing his aide, Gina Coladangelo – has been disabled.

“I haven’t disabled the camera that you are talking about, but it has been disabled by the department,” Mr Javid said.

“For security it’s just common sense. I don’t think as a general rule there should be cameras in the secretary of state’s office.

“I’ve never known that in the other five departments that I’ve run and I’m not really sure why there was one here but I’m sure there will be more to this as the whole incident is investigated.”

Mr Javid was quickly appointed on Saturday evening, avoiding the need for a wider reshuffle by bringing in somebody on the Tory backbenches.

As well as Covid, he has the task of bringing down a terrifying surge in NHS waiting lists, which stand at more than 5 million people, with staff burnout and shortages a major problem.

He must also help to thrash out a solution to the social care crisis – promised by the autumn – after a decade of inaction by the government.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in