Boris Johnson speech – PM tells Brits we can't throw in the sponge now despite us being 'impatient or fed up'

BORIS Johnson told Brits tonight they can't "throw in the sponge" on coronavirus now "no matter how impatient or fed up" we are with rules and restrictions.

The PM is giving an update flanked by his top boffins Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance – with a series of data slides on how the virus is spreading across the nation.

And he again begged the nation to pull together and follow the rules in order to avoid another wide-spread lockdown.

He said only a "collective" effort and willingness to make "sacrifices" for others would bring cases down.

Brits are not being told to stay at home again as "we want to keep the economy moving", he stressed.

But he warned: "We will not hesitate to take further measures which would be more costly."

But it's still "too early" to tell if the package of measures announced last week – like the 10pm pub curfew – is having an affect on the cases.

Mr Johnson told Brits tonight: "No matter how impatient we may become, how fed up we may become, we must show collective forbearance, common sense and willingness to make sacrifices for others."

In the face of a Tory rebellion over his coronavirus strategy, Boris said we must stick together "with confidence".

He warned of a "huge" loss of life if Brits didn't follow the rules and gave up.

And again he refused to give in to critics who say the nation should "give up" and "let the virus take its course".

He hit back after days of Tories attacking his handling of the pandemic: "I profoundly disagree and I don't think its what British people want.

"They don't want to throw in the sponge, they want to fight and defeat this virus."

It came as:

  • Today 7,108 cases were recorded, showing yesterday's spike wasn't just an anomaly – and 71 deaths were recorded.
  • The data on hospital admissions soared upwards – particularly in the North East and North West
  • A stark divide between the North and South was shown in the latest coronavirus figures
  • Professor Chris Whitty begged people not to stop going to hospitals and other appointments if they needed to – but admitted intensive care cases were "not going in the right direction"
  • Boris announced he would give more regular press conferences as the second wave continued to ravage the country


The press conference comes after days of rows over the new coronavirus laws, where grumpy MPs were threatening to rebel because they hadn't been given a vote on them.

Most of the new laws are passed through Parliament with no votes and sometimes no debate.

Tory rebels had joined forces to demand they get a say in any future measures.

Today the Speaker refused to give the rebels a vote on the new coronavirus laws – but the Government sealed a deal with them to stave off a rebellion.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle gave the Government a slap down for not giving MPs a say on emergency measures to fight the pandemic before they came into force – but said an amendment risks undermining certainty in the law.

He said this afternoon: "I am now looking to the Government to rebuild the trust with this House and not treat it with the contempt that it has shown." 

Later on Matt Hancock revealed a peace deal with Tory rebels which would see them get a vote on new national measures "wherever possible" – which should see most of the MPs back down.



One of the chief rebels, Sir Graham Brady, said the change would "reassure Parliament and, most importantly, the British public" as he admitted he would climb down from a rebellion.

Steve Baker retweeted a message saying: "They've wisely extracted concessions out of the Government instead of a symbolic debate."

The PM's press conference today comes after he got muddled over the rule of six yesterday – wrongly saying it didn't apply outside.

He was unable to clearly explain what they were today as he fumbled over whether people could meet outdoors in the North East.

Later he was forced to clarify the rules with a tweet just hours after a chaotic press conference.

It comes after new laws preventing people from mixing between families will come into place in the North East today.

Boris held his top team for a Cabinet meeting this morning ahead of the press conference.

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