Brexiteer says ‘government’s job not to follow polls’ but to ‘do best thing for country’

PUBLISHED: 10:39 10 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:39 10 May 2020

David Davis says ‘government’s job not to follow polls’ but to ‘do best thing for country’. Photograph: Sky News.

David Davis says ‘government’s job not to follow polls’ but to ‘do best thing for country’. Photograph: Sky News.

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Tory Brexiteer MP David Davis has said that the government’s job is not to ‘follow polls’ as he called for a relaxation of the lockdown.

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Appearing on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday the former Brexit secretary was asked for his view on the government’s new messaging.

Sighing he said: “I don’t want to see politics driven by slogans”.

“One of the problems we’ve had so far is a certain amount of confusion about messaging whether it’s on masks or whatever. What matters in this is the detailed instructions”.

He said some people had “over interpreted” the rules of the lockdown. before defending the government by insisting that “every Western government had made mistakes” at the start of the coronavirus.


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Calling for a “thoughtful relaxation”, Davis dismissed a Sky poll by YouGov which suggested only 15% of the public want the lockdown to be lifted immediately.

He explained: “The job of the government is not to follow the polls, the job of the government is to do the best thing for the country.”

He added: “The polls may change, we’ve seen this before in other campaigns I’ve had, whether it’s on privacy or on foreign policy.

“People support one thing one day - for instance the Iraq war - something like 60 or 70% supported it at the beginning. At the end of it 80% thought it was a terrible idea.

“What matters is not what the polls say today, what matters is what the polls say in a year’s time when we’ve seen the impact of the policies.

“And the job of the government is not to follow the polls, not to fret about that, but to deliver safety on the one hand and economic recovery and social stability and health on the other.”

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