Man who lost brother to coronavirus says headlines around PM ‘taking charge’ of government response are ‘offensive’

PUBLISHED: 17:01 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 03 June 2020

LBC radio presenter James O'Brien (L) and prime minister Boris Johnson. A caller told O'Brien he was 'offended' by comments the prime minister was only now 'taking charge' of his government's coronavirus response; LBC,ParliamentLive

LBC radio presenter James O'Brien (L) and prime minister Boris Johnson. A caller told O'Brien he was 'offended' by comments the prime minister was only now 'taking charge' of his government's coronavirus response; LBC,ParliamentLive

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A man who lost his brother to the coronavirus has said headlines suggesting that Boris Johnson is only now taking charge of the government’s Covid-19 response was like being “spat in the face”.

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Edlin, whose brother passed away at the Easter long weekend, told LBC’s James O’Brien that suggestions the prime minster is now taking control of his government’s handling of the epidemic has “offended” him.

“I feel like Boris Johnson spat in my face today with saying that... with him saying he’s now taking control is ridiculous,” he told O’Brien.

“We have so many people volunteering. We have so many people doing their best and what was he doing up until now? Sleeping? My brother has been buried for six weeks now.”

“My body is shaking and I feel so offended,” he added. “50,000 families have been offended.

“The whole country should feel this offence.”

MORE: Italian health minister claims Boris Johnson told his leader the UK plan was ‘herd immunity’

Eldin’s brother died after contracting the virus at work. He was a security guard at a night club and passed away on April 11. His mobile phone and wallet are yet to be released from the hospital.

An Albanian citizen who moved to the UK 23 years ago, Eldin expressed his frustration with how long it took the country to enter into lockdown.

“In Albania, a third-world country, around 30 people are dead with three million people in the country. They locked it straight away and he saved load of lives,” he claimed.

Eldin’s words struck a chord with users on Twitter. Business developer Steve Dempsey wrote: “Heartbreaking call on @LBC with @mrjamesob highlights the joke of the handling of this mess.”

@HaveYourSay0i0 posted: “The poor Albanian man who lost his brother to CV-19 . . . just summed up @BorisJohnson in a nutshell on the @mrjamesob radio show on @LBC...”

Geoff Wilton asked why the government’s “world beating” coronavirus response would now need the prime minister’s immediate attention: “How can the government response be simultaneously brilliant and world beating, yet at the same time require more direct control from Boris because it hasn’t been effective?”

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