Sunak and Johnson in “Barnard Castle on steroids” escape from self-isolation

You couldn’t make it up. It’s like reading the cover of Private Eye. Health secretary Sajid Javid gets a positive Covid-19 result. If the Prime Minister and Chancellor, who met with him on Friday,  were ordinary mortals, they would have been banished into the self-isolation wilderness for 10 days.

But those at the heart of government live more privileged lives. Driving to Barnard’s Castle to test eyesight. Sneaking a clinch with a mistress, though forgetting to smile for the CCTV. And now Johnson and Sunak, who must not to be confused with the comedy act Laurel and Hardy no matter how tempting that is, are on a trial. They are piloting a stop at work with Covid scheme and testing daily.


As the news broke Ed Davey said:

It is one rule for them and another rule for everyone else.  How about the school teachers, transport workers and health workers getting a chance to be part of this test pilot or is it only for the privileged few?  People have stuck to the rules and done the right thing, Boris Johnson is taking them for granted.

The Prime Minister is making a mockery of the sacrifices millions of people have made. His decision to duck self-isolation is callous and irresponsible.

With Covid cases going through the roof and hospitalisations growing, the Prime Minister’s “Freedom Day” gamble is looking more and more reckless.

Through refusing to self-isolate the Prime Minister is effectively destroying the whole test and trace system.

This is Barnard Castle on steroids. Johnson mustn’t do a Cummings.

Of course, within an hour, we saw the inevitable u-turn with Johnson and Sunak announcing that they would self isolate after all.

Layla Moran was unimpressed:

An earlier version of this article gave the impression that Sajid Javid was part of the trial. This is, of course, not the case and he has been self-isolating since his positive lateral flow test. We wish him well and hope he recovers quickly.

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at He is Friday editor of Lib Dem Voice.