James O’Brien has said minsters are “psychologically incapable” of approaching issues without it turning into a fight during a take down of the prime minister’s latest lockdown measures.
O’Brien delivered a withering attack on the prime minister’s handling of the national lockdown expected to come into force on Thursday.
The prime minister announced a new four-week lockdown on Saturday after speculation ran rife that one was imminent.
This follows weeks of denials that Downing Street would consider a new nationwide shutdown.
O’Brien tore into the prime minister.
He started by playing a clip of Johnson criticising opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer in the Commons 10 days ago over his calls for a second nationwide lockdown. He then played another clip of Johnson slamming the Labour leader again, accusing his national lockdown calls as “opportunism”.
“That’s the saddest thing about this whole sorry saga, is that Boris Johnson and many of his closest advisers and colleagues are psychologically incapable of approaching anything as if it’s not a fight,” O’Brien noted.
“He has to try and bite chunks out of Keir Starmer. Who does that help? Who does that keep alive? Who does that keep safe? He has to score pathetic points in this sabre-rattling confrontational contrarian context in parliament and I just think it harms us all.
“But it harms him the most because it means this inability to resist the urge to deliver the zing. He can’t help it and then ten days later he’s got to undertake a complete reverse ferret – and he’s psychologically incapable of admitting he’s done anything wrong, so he ends up doing what he describes as absurd while pretending he hasn’t done anything wrong.”
The national radio host told listeners he was running out of hope for the government’s coronavirus strategy, reflecting that Johnson “couldn’t have got it more wrong than this”.