By Deirdre Tynan • 28 June 2021 • 18:23
New Health Secretary Sajid Javid says his top priority is getting the UK back to normal and not imposing restrictions beyond July 19.
Speaking in parliament today, Javid said his “task is to help return the economic and cultural life that makes this country so great”.
But the Delta variant is causing a “narrowing of the race between the virus and the vaccine.”
However, he made a firm commitment not to extend the lockdown beyond June 19.
“In truth, no date we choose comes with zero risk for Covid. We cannot simply eliminate it. We have to learn to live with it,” he said.
“Make no mistake, the restrictions on our freedoms must come to an end. We owe it to the British people not to wait a moment longer than we need to. With the numbers heading in the right direction, July 19 remains our target date.
“The Prime Minister has said it is our terminus date, for me July 19 is not only the end of the line but the start of an exciting new journey for our country,” he added on June 28.
Javid was ushered into the role of Health Secretary when Matt Hancock was forced to resign after The Sun newspaper splashed incriminating photos of him kissing his aide, Gina Coladangelo, on their front page on Friday, June 25.
Initial indications were that Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not expect Hancock to step down. But within 24-hours pressure from both inside and outside the Tory party became too much and the former health secretary was forced to issue a humiliating apology and resign.
The Sun’s splash featured images taken from CCTV footage inside Hancock’s office. Labour said the leak amounted to a “major security breach” and has called for an urgent investigation.
Labour MP Chris Bryant added that Hancock must be “the stupidest man on earth” if he conducted his affair knowing that CCTV was recording it.
The party has also criticised Javid’s pledge to not impose further restrictions on the UK once lockdown has ended on June 19.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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