One side-effect of Matt Hancock’s fall from grace (apart from apparently obliging Sajid Javid to at least pretend to quit smoking) is that it has made it all but impossible for the Government to miss the July 19 unlocking deadline.
Even with a new Health Secretary in place, the danger of reinforcing the toxic ‘one rule for them’ narrative that Labour has finally latched on to would be too great, and it looks as if the overwhelming majority of the rules will be set aside in a few weeks.
In our latest survey, more than four respondents in five agreed with the proposition that Boris Johnson should scrap “all lockdown restrictions”, versus fewer than 12 per cent who disagreed.
However this seems unlikely, with this morning’s Sun reporting that the Prime Minister is digging in on the question of testing and self-isolation in schools. It can’t be ruled out that other individual restrictions may also persist.
There are also worrying reports that public health officials are drawing up plans to reintroduce lockdowns for years to ‘protect the NHS’ from future waves. These results suggests Conservative members do not support making such heavy-handed tactics a normal policy response.