Alastair Campbell fears things could go from ‘bad to worse’ with government’s coronavirus response

PUBLISHED: 15:41 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 06 May 2020

Alastair Campbell said the government made 'terrible mistakes' in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. 
Photo: PA / Danny Lawson

Alastair Campbell said the government made 'terrible mistakes' in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: PA / Danny Lawson

PA Wire/PA Images

Alastair Campbell has slammed the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, claiming they made “terrible mistakes” and needed to change tack to stop things from going “bad to worse”.

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The New European’s editor-at-large spoke on talkRADIO claiming the government failed to get its coronavirus strategy right from the offset.

He said: “At the start, I was determined to be supportive and was broadly supportive because this crisis was so off-the-scale hard but I think it’s reached the point where the government has to admit it made terrible mistakes.”

He insisted a “reset” in its thinking was essential to get the virus under control.

“I really do think they need to reset the strategy,” he said, “and that can only happen when they say ‘look, when this thing started we got a few things wrong. We apologise for that, we recognise that we’ve not got everything right and this is what we’re trying to do.’”

He added: “Until they admit how bad things are and reset, things are going to go from bad to worse.”

He said also criticised the media for “cheerleading” decisions Boris Johnson has made. He pointed to The Sun’s front-page reporting of the prime minister’s time in hospital, pointing out that at the same time the national covid-19 death toll was escalating sharply.

“The main point I’m making is that neither government, nor the whole of politics, or the media, is reflecting what is happening in our country anything like the sense of urgency that there was when this was happening in Italy and Spain.”

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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

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