Michael Gove: I was wrong on Christmas restrictions

February 2, 2022
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Cabinet minister Michael Gove has admitted that he “was wrong” to support additional Covid restrictions over Christmas last year. Speaking on TalkRadio this morning, the Secretary of State for Housing said that during cabinet talks late last year, he argued for more measures that may have affected the Christmas plans of millions of families across the country.

In an extraordinary statement, Gove told presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer that he was “sorry” that to have backed new measures, before adding that it was the Prime Minister and the Chancellor who were “right” to no. He said:

You’re going to get something unprecedented. You’re going to get a politician saying they got something wrong. In cabinet I was concerned that we may need additional restrictions over Christmas and argued for them. I was wrong: the Prime Minister and the Chancellor were right. At cabinet a couple of weeks ago I said I was wrong and they were right and you have it here Julia: a scoop; a revelation of what actually went on in cabinet. I wont’ say what anyone else said – I’ll tell you what I said, which is I’m sorry on this occasion I made a mistake.
- Michael Gove

When Boris Johnson announced that there would be no further measures beyond ‘Plan B’ on 17 December, cases were rising at 78,610 a day — the highest total since the start of the pandemic. Elsewhere in the UK, Nicola Sturgeon had urged Scots to limit their socialising to three households before and after Christmas as well as cancelling Hogmanay and football events. In Wales, several new restrictions were introduced on Boxing day, which included no more than six being allowed to meet in pubs, restaurants and cinemas as well as the closure of nightclubs.

But beyond the country’s controversial Plan B Prime Minister Boris Johnson largely avoided implementing any new measures, instead focusing on the Government’s booster programme.


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