'Lockdown sceptic' Sajid Javid to push for an end to restrictions 'as soon as possible'


    Mr Javid was appointed the new Health Secretary, after Matt Hancock resigned from the Cabinet on Saturday, following revelations he broke social distancing rules by kissing a colleague. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, he praised his predecessor, saying he had “achieved a lot” in the role and that he still had “more to offer in public life”. The new Health Secretary emphasised that his immediate priority was to see that “we can return to normal as soon and as quickly as possible.”

    Mr Javid is expected to take a different approach than his predecessor over lockdowns.

    It is thought that he will take more account of the the economic and social costs associated with them.

    A source close to Mr Javid told the Daily Telegraph that although he has never criticised lockdown principles or timings, he has highlighted “concerns about the costs of it and the effects of it.

    “Not just economically, but socially. Not just other types of health effects but things like domestic abuse and child abuse, and even extremism,” the said.

    The Government recently took the decision to postpone until July 19 step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown, due to a surge in Covid infections driven by the Delta variant.

    The source claimed that the new Health Secretary would “be looking and seeking to justify ending it (the lockdown) as soon as possible” and that he would be “extremely reluctant to support an extension.”

    READ MORE: Cummings savages new Health Secretary Sajid Javid

    “The tilt in the cabinet has just shifted quite considerably.”

    It comes as the chair of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) said it would be a mistake to lift remaining restrictions before July 19.

    In an interview with the Andrew Marr Show, Sir Peter Horby said: “I think it was a very sensible move to put it back by four weeks and I don’t think we should rush into anything.

    “We really want to make sure that we can release all restrictions and not have to backtrack at all.”


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