Femi clashes with former Tory minister over Boris holiday: ‘Such a ridiculous argument!’

Former defence minister insists PM handled pandemic ‘brilliantly'

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Former Conservative Party politician Sir Gerald Howarth clashed with Femi Oluwole who said Boris Johnson should not go on holiday to Marbella in the midst of a crisis back home. Mr Oluwole explained the Prime Minister could stay at Chequers rather than go abroad which would show some form of “solidarity” to those who have just lost their £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift. But Sir Gerald was not convinced, adding Boris Johnson has done a “brilliant” job of handling the pandemic, there were more than capable ministers who could run things and that he was only a quick phone call away for any emergencies.

It was reported that Mr Johnson went on holiday with wife Carrie and son Wilfred soon after the Tory Party conference concluded last week.

But some political pundits have attacked the Prime Minister for running away from the country as it struggles with supply chain issues and the cost of living increasing. 

Mr Oluwole was one such pundit and told LBC that Mr Johnson was the reason why everything was so hard.

Sir Gerald was invited to share his thoughts and wasted no time defending the Prime Minister.

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He told the station: “I’ve never heard such a ridiculous as this fella has just proposed, that Boris Johnson is responsible for that is happening at the moment is completely absurd.

“Everybody knows that the most massive hits on the country, which is Covid, which has cost us £400billion of borrowed money to deal with it, that originated in the People’s Republic of China.

“He has no responsibility for that and yet he has had to manage it and I think by common consent he’s managed it absolutely brilliantly by putting in charge, a lady who knew something about this kind of things – Kate Bingham.

“And she was the one who decided it would be a good idea to invest in not just one vaccine but five vaccines, which ended up working.

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“And as a result, Britain basically led the world in the recovery.”

Mr Oluwole retorted that while Mr Johnson could not be liable for the pandemic breaking out in the first place he could be held responsible for the way it was handled in the UK.

Host Camilla Tominey grilled Mr Oluwole on whether he would allow any politician he disagreed with to have a holiday to which he said he would allow anyone to take time off.

But he stressed the issues in the country lay at Mr Johnson’s feet and the optics looked bad when he appears to be escaping his responsibilities.

Mr Oluwole suggested that perhaps the Prime Minister could take his holiday at his official country retreat of Chequers instead as it is local and he can quickly respond to anything urgent without needing to fly back.

In an earlier interview, former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell was also angry at the way the Government has handled the issues in the country and could not believe Mr Johnson was going on holiday in the midst of the crisis.

He told former Tory MP Edwina Currie who joined him on the show: “There are people in this country that are really struggling and you lot, your reaction is to pretend like the problem’s not happening.”

Host Andrew Castle added: “Cost of living is immense Edwina, and it’s happening under a Conservative government whilst the prime minister is on holiday – not a great look.”

Ms Currie argued national wages have increased but Mr Campbell was having none of it as inflation had also increased.

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