More than half of public do not trust Boris Johnson’s government with coronavirus advice

PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 July 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Tollgate Medical Centre; Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Tollgate Medical Centre; Evening Standard/Jeremy Selwyn/PA Wire

More than half of the public do not trust Boris Johnson’s government with their coronavirus advice as the lockdown is eased.

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A study by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI found that more people in the UK think the Covid-19 crisis has been handled badly than well, with the Westminster government receiving most of the blame.

The survey shows that 52% of the public does not trust the government’s advice on when it is safe to start to return to work, school or leisure activities, compared with 45% who do.

People wearing face masks on Oxford Street, London, as face coverings become mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England.People wearing face masks on Oxford Street, London, as face coverings become mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England.

By 42% to 36%, the public is more likely to think the pandemic has been handled badly than well.

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There is a split along party lines when it comes to the government’s role, with 2019 Labour voters (60%) three times more likely than 2019 Conservative voters (21%) to say it has been mismanaged.

According to those who think the crisis has been handled badly, 70% blame the government, 65% think the Boris Johnson is responsible and 55% think it is down to members of the public not following the rules.

The study is based on 2,237 interviews with people aged 16-75, and was carried out online between July 17 and 20.

Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, said Boris Johnson and his government “are the focus of blame”.

He added: “People see the UK public as a key reason it’s gone well - and a key reason it’s gone badly, showing how varied an image we have of how different people have followed the guidelines, or not.”

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