Former chief scientific adviser ‘cannot recall a Cobra meeting not attended by PM of time’
- Credit: Getty Images
A former chief scientific adviser has said that he cannot a recall a Cobra meeting which was not attended by the prime minister of the time.
Professor Sir David King, who was chief scientific adviser from 2000 to 2007, was asked about The Sunday Times investigation in which a Whitehall source claimed the government 'missed the boat on testing and PPE' (personal protective equipment) and 'just watched' as the death toll mounted in Wuhan, China.
Sir David told Sky News: 'What really is emphasised in that piece is the fact that the government ministers had their eye off the ball.
'They were totally focused on other issues such as Brexit, and the celebration of us emerging from Europe.
'The prime minister had other things on his mind, and we're fully aware of this, but apparently he didn't attend five Cobra meetings on this issue.
You may also want to watch:
'And when Michael Gove says 'but prime ministers don't attend all Cobra meetings', I cannot recall a Cobra meeting when it was called with Blair or Brown as prime minister when the prime minister wasn't in the chair.'
The chief scientific adviser served both under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
- 1 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
- 2 Priti Patel fails to appear in Commons to answer questions on missing police records
- 3 Leave EU website suspended after EU registry blocks move to Ireland
- 4 Iain Duncan Smith defends calling Donald Trump 'a decent man'
- 5 The bigot we should have called out on day one
- 6 Kwasi Kwarteng confirms post-Brexit review of workers' rights
- 7 Bob Geldof vindicated over pro-EU fishing stunt, suggests broadcaster
- 8 Boris Johnson blames seafood companies for post-Brexit sales slump
- 9 The Tory MPs who failed to vote against a Universal Credit cut
- 10 Comedian wins praise after shaming No 10 during Dancing on Ice appearance
His comments come after a wide-ranging report in the Sunday Times which said Boris Johnson missed five meetings of the key Cobra committee in the run-up to the coronavirus outbreak.
Michael Gove, in response, claimed that 'most Cobra meetings don't have the prime minister attending them'.