Gordon Brown says he’d have been ‘laughed out of court’ if he’d taken Boris Johnson approach to financial crisis

PUBLISHED: 18:01 19 May 2020 | UPDATED: 19:12 19 May 2020

Gordon Brown appears on Good Morning Britain to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: ITV.

Gordon Brown appears on Good Morning Britain to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: ITV.

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Former prime minister Gordon Brown has savaged Boris Johnson over his response to the coronavirus - telling him to ‘get a grip’ on the government’s handling of the pandemic.

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The former Labour leader, who led the UK through the financial crash a decade ago, called on Boris Johnson to offer explanations about why the government was acting how it was.

He said that there had not been clarity on why the number of Covid-19 deaths - which has put Britain at one of the worst countries in the world.

Brown called on Johnson to make a statement identifying what the government is doing to reduce the deaths.

He told Good Morning Britain: “He’s got to get a grip of the testing, he’s got to get a grip of what’s going to happen to the economy as it moves forward. All these problems lie ahead.


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“You know the easiest thing is giving up money and helping people.

“The most difficult thing is planning for the future and making sure good businesses don’t go under, old people’s homes are properly saved etc.

“You really have got to get into the details on these issues to get a solution that really works for the British people.

“I do fear the number of lives being lost as we now need to act quickly.”

He continued: “I want Boris Johnson to come to the House of Commons and make a statement.

“He needs to explain how is he going to increase testing and save the businesses of the future.”

Boris Johnson has hosted the daily Downing Street press conference just twice since he returned to work almost a month ago on April 26.

Apart from Prime Minister’s Questions he has only appeared in front of MPs once to give a statement since the pandemic began in January.

Brown said he would “make allowances” fpr the fact the prime minister had been ill himself, and admitted into hospital, but said it was “not right” that he and ministers were avoiding scrutiny by avoiding programmes like Good Morning Britain (GMB).

He said he would have been “laughed out of court” if he took the same approach to the financial crisis in 2008.

He explained: “Of course it’s not right.

“In 2009 if I hadn’t come on TV and explained what was happening I would have been laughed out of court.

“You’ve got to come and explain.

“One of the reasons we’re not making as much progress as we should is the explanations are not coming forward in the right way.”

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