“This has been a disaster” – Five key takeaways from Boris Johnson’s Times Radio interview

What did we learn from Boris Johnson's interview with Times Radio?

This morning the Prime Minister appeared on the newly launched Times Radio. He was interviewed by morning show presenters Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell on topics ranging from his own illness to how we will build back the UK economy.

Here are 5 key takeaways:

1.He declined to rule out public service cuts

When asked the direct question “So no public service cuts?” the Prime Minister talked about investments the government are planning to make in schools and the 40 hospitals the government are planning to build. However, he didn’t take the opportunity to rule out cuts in other public services.

2. But he has promised no return to austerity

Despite disputing that the approach of the Cameron government *was* austerity, Johnson has said that returning to such an approach would be a “mistake”.

3. He wants unions and local authorites to share the government’s message about children returning to school

Johnson took what might have been a veiled swipe at both bodies asking teaching unions and “some of the councils’ to deliver “loud and clear” the message that schools are safe.

4. He wants councils to adopt a ‘whack-a-mole’ approach to flare ups

He has promised to empower local authorities to be able to take a localised approach to dealing with local flare-ups. However, there was no word on how this will be funded – and councils are already facing a short fall.

5. Coronavirus has been a disaster. Some things in the response were wrong and he takes responsibilty

When asked why some healthcare staff had been forced to wear bin bags because of a lack of PPE, Johnson said that lessons had to be learned and that ” I take responsibility. Of Course I take responsibility.” However he does not feel this is the right time for a formal inquiry. With some concerned that the buck is being passed to the civil service, will those words come back to haunt the PM?

Emma Burnell is a freelance journalist, editor and communications consultant.

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