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Tory election donors call on Boris Johnson to end 'harmful' lockdown

(130 Posts)
GagaJo Sun 26-Apr-20 12:55:08

Six multi-millionaires who bankrolled the Conservative party’s election victory last December have called for Boris Johnson to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The group of donors are seeking to put pressure on the Prime Minister as he returns to work on Monday, citing fears over the potential for further damage to the UK economy.

Financier Michael Spencer, who has donated over £5m to the Tories in the last few years, told The Sunday Times: “We should start loosening up the lockdown as soon as we reasonably can and allow the economy to start moving forward.

“We should really begin to offer a narrative of how and when it’s going to stop.”

Financier Michael Spencer is one of those putting pressure on the Prime Minister.

While Steve Morgan, the former boss of the housebuilder Redrow, who gave £1m to the Conservatives’ general election campaign, said: “We’re actually in danger that the medicine, if you want to call the lockdown that, is more harmful than the cure.”

Billionaire Peter Hargreaves, Phones4u founder John Caudwell, banker Sir Henry Angest and restaurateur Richard Caring - who donated over £2m to the election campaign between them - also called for an easing of the lockdown measures.

Despite originally setting a review date of April 13, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on April 16 that the shutdown would be extended for at least three more weeks.

The situation will be reviewed again on May 7.

At the Downing Street briefing on Saturday, Home Secretary Priti Patel refused to comment on what the Government's exit strategy was, saying it would be "irresponsible" to get people's hopes up.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also stepped up pressure on the Government to set out an "exit strategy" for lifting the lockdown.

In a letter to Mr Johnson he said the UK was again in danger of falling behind other countries, which were already engaged in "adult" conversations with their citizens as to how the restrictions could be eased.

"The British public have made great sacrifices to make the lockdown work. They deserve to be part of an adult conversation about what comes next. If we want to take people with us and secure their consent, this is necessary now,” the letter reads.

The Government insists that the lockdown must continue, but some Britons have been tempted back outside to green spaces by days of constant sunshine.

GagaJo Sun 26-Apr-20 12:58:56

I'm with the government on this one. We are nowhere near ready to end the lockdown.

These people financed the Tories and now feel they have a right to partially control C19 policy that will risk the lives of many 'little' people. Not to mention, put those in the front line even MORE at risk. THEY will be OK. They have huge homes they can live in and staff to protect them from the real world danger.

All for the sake of them losing profit. They need to s*d off back to their mansions and stop interfering. This isn't about their profit margins. It's about the lives of mums, dads, grandparents and many other loved ones dying unnecessarily.

GagaJo Sun 26-Apr-20 13:00:44

(and for the little clique of right-wingers on here, I'd just like to point out that I AM non-partisan about the C19 response. This is an example of it.)

Whitewavemark2 Sun 26-Apr-20 13:02:37

The multi millionaires have to look after their wealth.

They are not too bothered about the virus as they can shut themselves away somewhere safe, on their island, huge estate of yacht.

Their voice will be listened to.

GagaJo Sun 26-Apr-20 13:06:09

I hope the government hold firm as they have so far WWM.

Sparklefizz Sun 26-Apr-20 13:22:30

Yes, I hope the Govt holds firm.

3nanny6 Sun 26-Apr-20 13:24:33

Something tells me that Boris will come charging back into the flow of things when he returns to work tomorrow (Monday) with his raring to go mindset. Somehow why do I feel nervous about his return.

These multi-millionaires will be putting the pressure on for an end to lockdown they are interested in their wealth.
Their voices will be listened to
Sir Keir Starmer will also be putting on the pressure for an exit strategy to move the country out of lockdown.

Many U.K. citizens are also saying get us out of this lockdown. What is our fate? Will everything start to a controlled return to some normality? Even at the expense of
many lives of the people in this country.

Teetime Sun 26-Apr-20 14:40:42

I think it is time to ease the lockdown and give people something to hop for. I would start with opening the churches.

Smileless2012 Sun 26-Apr-20 14:45:02

IMO it's to soon. The number of deaths is still tragically high and I for one wont be rushing back to the life we had before the lock down began.

Sparklefizz Sun 26-Apr-20 14:48:13

Neither will I Smileless2012

Whitewavemark2 Sun 26-Apr-20 14:48:52

teetime well that’s 1% of the population sorted

Elegran Sun 26-Apr-20 14:50:33

Someone needs to remind them to read what happened in 1918. The first wave of the flu virus caused 3 to 5 million deaths. The second wave caused 20 to 50 million. Those who are ignorant of their history are condemned to repeat it.

Elegran Sun 26-Apr-20 14:53:25

Most of the churches are sharing their Sunday services online, and keeping in touch with their congregations by phone or internet. They don't need to gather in person.

Smileless2012 Sun 26-Apr-20 14:53:34

That is what the Government fears Elegran and rightly so. It's what anyone urging either a reduction of the lock down or doing away with it all together should fear too.

Lucca Sun 26-Apr-20 14:56:19

Genuine question Teetime. Why churches ?

Elegran Sun 26-Apr-20 14:56:50

The newspapers and other media should be publicising the dangers of premature relaxation of restrictions, particularly ones like the Sun, Mirror, Express etc, which seem to have a readership that pays a great deal of attention to what they report about the virus.

GagaJo Sun 26-Apr-20 15:00:20


The economy, while important is not as important as moving into full-scale plague and a complete overwhelming of our NHS.

We need to stay firm and stay in lockdown! Hundreds of daily deaths.

Smileless2012 Sun 26-Apr-20 15:01:07

Online church services and other means of keeping in touch with friends from church are no substitute for 'the real thing'. Our church building is large and the congregation small be comparison so social distancing could be easily maintained.

That said, and as much as I miss it, I won't be rushing back if I fear the relaxation of the lock down comes to soon. Going to the supermarket once a week is stressful enough TBH.

MaizieD Sun 26-Apr-20 15:14:08

I really don't think that Keir Starmer is stupid enough to want an easing of lockdown before it is safe to do so. He just wants to know what the planned strategy is/will be. It would be as ridiculous to go for easing lockdown on an unplanned basis as it was to dither and delay implementing it...

One doesn't have to immediately implement a planned strategy. It's just so as to allow people to plan; so they know roughly what to expect.

Equally, it doesn't have to be rigidly adhered to if circumstances change. But, of course, the government would consider and plan for a number of different scenarios ..... wouldn't it?

It would be very foolish of anyone to think that the economy will pick up where it left off. Rather than pandering to its wealthy donors the government should be considering how to support all the population to mitigate, as far as possible, the effects of lockdown.

vampirequeen Sun 26-Apr-20 15:22:43

Well if the donors are demanding their quid pro quo, lock down will be over sooner rather than later. BJ is back on Monday morning so lockdown could be over by Monday teatime grin.

These people never give money away without an eye to the main chance. It's payback time.

dontmindstayinghome Sun 26-Apr-20 15:24:45


How on earth would the economy benefit from opening the churches? The only 'wealth' generated by them goes straight into their own coffers.
Only a very small percentage of the population use them anyway!

MaizieD Sun 26-Apr-20 15:28:56

I'm not sure how the economy would benefit from everyone dropping like flies from an increased rate of infections...

What a waste of everyone's sterling efforts up to now that would be...

Chestnut Sun 26-Apr-20 15:34:08

A tad unfair to assume that the wealthy are only interested in themselves. After all, they employ thousands or even millions of people and they are suffering more than their wealthy bosses.

vampirequeen Sun 26-Apr-20 15:51:13

Not unfair at all. Capitalists rely on the workers to produce the goods and supply the services that create their wealth. This has nothing to do with worrying about the workers. Workers are simply a means to make money and if the workers aren't working then the capitalist can't benefit from their labour.

notanan2 Sun 26-Apr-20 15:58:58

Just because they have selfish motives doesnt mean theyre wrong