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Simon Case reveals frustration working with Boris Johnson on Covid inquiry after wild jibe

Simon Case reveals frustration working with Boris Johnson on Covid inquiry after wild jibe


The UK's most senior civil servant, Simon Case, told the UK's Covid-19 inquiry that he found Boris Johnson dysfunctional and his working style very frustrating.

Asked on Thursday morning by the inquiry's lead counsel, Hugo Keith KC, about Mr Johnson's style of prime minister, Mr Case replied: Every prime minister has his own approach to doing that and as I have said, in my job I found this very frustrating.

I just don't think I understood how difficult he found it personally.

In July 2020, before becoming Cabinet Secretary, Mr Case said I had never seen a group of people less well equipped to lead a country in a message to Lord Sedwill, who was then head of the Civil Service .

He also described Mr Johnson and his inner circle as fundamentally savage and suggested the then Prime Minister's wife Carrie was the real person responsible for Number 10.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case gives evidence to the inquiry (UK Covid-19 Inquiry/PA)
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case gives evidence to the inquiry (UK Covid-19 Inquiry/PA) (Avg. P.A.)

Responding to negative WhatsApp messages he sent about Mr Johnson, the Cabinet Secretary told the inquiry: This material is there.

These are examples that I obviously deeply regret today, after expressing my current frustrations with the former Prime Minister.

He added that he did not initially understand how personally difficult it was for Mr Johnson to introduce lockdown measures and described him as an excellent communicator.

Mr. Case added: I don't think I really understood how, at a fairly deep ideological level, the Prime Minister considered that the mass confinement of the population was harmful.

He has always focused particularly on children and education, as well as the damage he believes is being done to society by major lockdown decisions.

Asked about the day-to-day administration of government, Mr. Case said: “It was definitely dysfunctional and it was difficult. Oddly enough, sclerotic isn't quite the right word.

Rather, the problem is that it was almost too dynamic.

It was difficult to determine what course of action to take and be sure that it would be consistent. I think it's almost the opposite of sclerosis.

Mr Case's appearance at the inquiry came a day after Rishi Sunak called a general election, following Cabinet secretaries returning to work following his standdown in October due to a medical issue.




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