By Roxanne James • 15 June 2020 • 13:48
PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has been accused of ‘side-lining dissent’ over his handling of the coronavirus crisis by avoiding Cobra meetings for more than a month.
There has not been an Emergency Cobra meeting at 10 Downing Street since Johnson’s government changed its coronavirus message from ‘stay at home’ to ‘stay alert.’
The absence of Cobra meetings has lead to speculation that Boris Johnson has encountered resistance from his counterparts over the UK-wide response to the public health crisis.
Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales said that the Cobra system had become an ‘ad hoc’ arrangement and that invitations to emergency meetings had not materialised since May 10.
A government spokesperson said the Cobra meeting was not the only platform for UK-wide discussions. “As we begin to roll out test and trace and implement a more targeted local approach to tackling coronavirus, it is crucial that we continue to work closely with the devolved administrations and local authorities,” they said.
“The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has regular calls with the First Ministers and the Prime Minister spoke to them at the end of last month. The Prime Minister also recently held a call with the M9 group of mayors. We continue to implement the roadmap laid out by the prime minister last month, when he held a Cobra attended by the devolved administrations.”
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