Health secretary Sajid Javid has come under fire for telling people not to “cower” from the virus in a tweet announcing his “full recovery from Covid a week after testing positive.”
Javid said his symptoms were “very mild, thanks to amazing vaccines”, before adding: “Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”
“Cower” was trending on Saturday night with people outraged by the health secretary’s insensitive choice of words. Labour MP and former secretary of state for work and pensions Yvette Cooper tweeted back: “129,000 people who died didn’t cower, they fought for their lives[.]
“Frontline workers didn’t cower, they kept calm & carried on[.]
“Millions in lockdown didn’t cower, they followed your rules & made sacrifices for others[.] Glad you’ve recovered but pls never treat illness as weakness”.
“No, we’re not “cowering”, replied the writer and activist George Monbiot. “Unlike you [Javid], we’re seeking to take responsibility: not to catch it, not to spread it, not to end up with a Long Covid epidemic for which you have made no plans.
“But you – you cower before the Tory donors who insist on ripping down our protections.”
Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster called on Javid to consider his position in his tweet that stated: “The job of Govt is to keep people safe. To show empathy with folk. To seek to protect people when necessary. This is not acceptable. You might want to reflect and think about your role as health secretary in England.”
Johnson and Raab risk losing seats at next election
Elsewhere, the Telegraph reports the existential threat to the parliamentary careers of both the prime minister and the foreign secretary because of the impact Covid restrictions have had on the travel industry.
Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab hold seats in constituencies with the highest number of aviation jobs at risk by the government’s borders and quarantine policies.
The article states both the PM and his secretary of state “risk losing their seats at the next election because of the chaos over foreign travel” with the 3,356 voters in Johnson’s Uxbridge constituency directly employed in the aviation industry – “enough to slash his 7,210 majority to within a whisker of defeat”.
158 seats have over 1,000 aviation workers
Raab faces a similar fate with 1,666 aviation jobs in his seat of Esher and Walton, that could “wipe out his slender 2,743 majority” if they vote tactically.
There are 158 MPs representing constituencies which have more than 1,000 aviation workers, according to a report for the Airlines UK by the York Aviation consultancy.
Former Conservative party chairman and transport secretary Lord Patrick McLoughlin has warned that aviation workers feel “increasingly abandoned” by Number 10 which is overseeing a “much weaker aviation recovery than in Europe, the US and elsewhere”.