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‘The sense that the rules aren’t the same for everyone is wrong’: Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson self-isolating following backlash

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have reversed their decision to avoid quarantine following backlash.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have reversed their decision to avoid quarantine following backlash.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed he is entering self isolation as he admits the same rules should apply to everyone.

Downing Street announced this morning that Mr Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson would escape the need to quarantine as they were taking part in a daily contact testing pilot.

The pair were contacted by NHS Test and Trace after Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Saturday he had tested positive for the virus.

However, following political backlash the pair were forced to take a U-turn on their decision.

Taking to Twitter this morning, Mr Sunak confirmed he had decided to self-isolate stating the same rules should apply to everyone, irrespective of position.

He wrote: “Whilst the test and trace pilot is fairly restrictive, allowing only essential government business, I recognise that even the sense that the rules aren’t the same for everyone is wrong.

“To that end I’ll be self isolating as normal and not taking part in the pilot.”

Downing Street U-turn

No 10 confirmed on Sunday morning that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor would both be taking part in a daily contact testing pilot which would allow them to continue conducting government business without the need to quarantine.

The Prime Minister is reported to have had a lengthy meeting with Mr Javid at No 10 on Friday; just 24 hours before the Health Secretary tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement, No 10 said Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak would be “conducting only essential government business during this period.”

Fellow MP Alex Norris is also commencing a period of self-isolation at home after being contacted by NHS Track and Trace.

He urged the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to “remember” the steps the country has taken collectively to combat the virus.

He tweeted: “This morning, like many people in Nottingham and across the country, I’ve been “pinged” by the Covid app – designed by experts to keep us safe. So, for the next 10 days, I’ll be doing my job as your MP and in my role as a Shadow Minister while isolating at home.

“I can’t pretend it’s not a bit frustrating, especially with weather like this! But this inconvenience is nothing compared to the sacrifices being made by people the length and breadth of the country, all doing their bit to keep people safe as restrictions ease.”

He added: “We’ve made each and every step of the fight against Covid together. I think that the PM and the Chancellor would do well to remember this fact today of all days.”

SNP MP Ian Blackford critisised the pair on their “poor judgement.”

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “It seems @BorisJohnson and @RishiSunak are now going to be self isolating, the strength of the backlash seems to have resulted in a climbdown.

“Such poor judgement that events have unfolded the way they have this morning. We are still in the situation of the virus rising sharply.”

Sajid Javid tests positive

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Saturday he was self-isolating at home after testing positive for Covid-19.

He wrote: “This morning I tested positive for Covid. I’m waiting for my PCR result, but thankfully I have had my jabs and symptoms are mild.

“Please make sure you come forward for your vaccine if you haven’t already.”

Despite feeling “groggy” he posted a video urging individuals to get tested and get vaccinated to help contain the spread of the virus to “safeguard the NHS” and “preserve our way of life.”

He said: “If you haven’t had your jabs yet, pleas get out there and get them as soon as you can and If like me you might feel a bit groggy or you think you might have come into contact with someone who is positive please also take a lateral flow test.”

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