Boris Johnson tells cabinet people returning to office ‘in huge numbers’ - despite being unable to show data

PUBLISHED: 14:02 01 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:05 01 September 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs a Cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Photograph: Toby Melville/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs a Cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Photograph: Toby Melville/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has held the first cabinet meeting since summer recess and has insisted workers are returning to offices ‘in huge numbers’, despite Downing Street admitting it is too early to share the data.

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Cabinet met before parliament was due to return on Tuesday afternoon following the summer recess.

Boris Johnson told his ministers: “Of course we know that there is still going to be more of this disease, this wretched Covid, still to come and although we know there will be more outbreaks we are also absolutely confident that we are going to be able to deal with those outbreaks.


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“Bit by bit, this incredible country is getting back on its feet and recovering from this crisis.”

But Number 10 said it was too early to share the data on how many people nationally had gone back to work.

Asked what the significance was of Johnson’s comments about “huge numbers” returning to work, his official spokesperson said: “You have children going back to school today and that of course will allow parents to express flexibility about returning to the office.

“The message from the PM is he recognises the importance that returning to work has in stimulating the economy, and that’s why we have changed the guidance to give employers more discretion in how employees can work safely.

“Benefits of office working include employees’ learning and development and being able to meet face-to-face with colleagues, as well as the impact on local communities and small businesses who serve them.”

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