Peer: Despicable to blame Government for Covid-19 death rate given obesity

Britain's high Covid-19 death rate is not the Government's fault but partly because the "majority of people are obese", according to a Conservative peer.

Lord McColl of Dulwich told peers it is "despicable" to blame those in power in Westminster.

He claimed the reason for the mortality rate was because of obesity levels, population density and the country's status as a travel hub.

Lord McColl also urged Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to join Boris Johnson's drive to reduce obesity in order to "reduce the mortality in future pandemics".

The UK death toll is more than 41,700, with separate figures published by the statistics agencies showing 57,500 cases where Covid-19 was mentioned on a death certificate.

Lord McColl told a debate on coronavirus regulations: "As a doctor, I am very, very concerned about preventative medicine.

"What was clear about the pandemic early on was that the majority of those afflicted had many medical conditions that made them much more vulnerable to Covid.

"Obesity and Covid is a very dangerous combination and the reason for this is obesity impairs the immune system.

"The reason the high mortality in the UK is because the majority of people are obese, and the population is the densest in Europe and moreover is the travel hub of Europe.

"Blaming the Government for the high mortality is therefore one of the most despicable allegations I've heard in this pandemic.

"That kind of propaganda simply demoralises the public.

"Keir Starmer has said he wants to help the Government fight the pandemic."

Lord McColl added: "If he really wants to help the British people, Keir Starmer should join the Prime Minister's campaign to reduce obesity now in order to reduce the mortality in future pandemics."