Theresa May demands full release of data behind Covid-19 decisions

Theresa May accused Boris Johnson of choosing data to fit his coronavirus policies, as she insisted the Government must reveal the economic cost of lockdown.

The Conservative former prime minister tore into predictions said to have informed her successor's decision to impose a second national lockdown in England, which will start on Thursday and last until December 2.

But Mr Johnson was not in the chamber to hear the criticism, as the Prime Minister opted to leave shortly after Mrs May got to her feet and acknowledged that she did not "envy" the decisions facing him and the Government.

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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation outside 10 Downing street in central London on May 24, 2019. - Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday that she will resign on June 7, 2019 following a Conservative Party mutiny over her remaining in power. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
The Prime Minister had faced calls to resign after a backlash against her new Brexit deal.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May reacts as she announces her resignation outside 10 Downing street in central London on May 24, 2019. - Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday that she will resign on June 7, 2019 following a Conservative Party mutiny over her remaining in power. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves the back of Downing Street, in London, Britain, May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Prime Minister, Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street on May 24, 2019 in London, England. The prime minister has announced that she will resign on Friday, June 7, 2019 (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
File photo dated 30/09/2007 of the then Shadow Leader of House of Commons Theresa May addressing the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool wearing wellington boots. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 07/10/2009 of the then Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Minister for Women Theresa May addresses delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 19/05/2011 of the then Home Secretary Theresa May arriving at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in Central London. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 22/11/2011 of the then Home Secretary Theresa May walking towards Downing Street after a Ceremonial Welcome for Turkey's President Abdullah Gul on Horse Guards Parade, in central London. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 02/05/17 of Prime Minister Theresa May having some chips while on a walkabout during a election campaign stop in Mevagissey, Cornwall. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 13/07/16 of Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip John outside 10 Downing Street, London, after meeting Queen Elizabeth II and accepting her invitation to become Prime Minister and form a new government. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 07/07/17 of Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending the G20 summit in Hamburg. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
La Première ministre britannique Theresa May, le 21 mai 2019 à Londres
File photo dated 03/10/18 of Prime Minister Theresa May dancing as she arrives on stage to make her keynote speech at the Conservative Party annual conference. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street.
File photo dated 15/06/1999 of Conservative MP Theresa May leaving Conservative Central Office in London, after being appointed shadow Education and Employment secretary in a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle announced by Tory leader William Hague. The Prime Minister is expected to announce details later today of her timetable for leaving Downing Street. (PA)
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street, as uncertainty over Brexit continues, in London, Britain May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after giving a speech on Brexit in Westminster in London, Britain, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech on Brexit in London, Britain May 21, 2019. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to give a speech on Brexit in Westminster in London, Britain, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip May leave church near High Wycombe, Britain May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to give a speech on Brexit in Westminster in London, Britain, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain's Prime Minster Theresa May looks on during a EU election campaign event in Bristol, Britain May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
Prime Minister Theresa May dancing with students and staff at I.D. Mkize Secondary School in Cape Town, which is twinned with Whitby High School in Yorkshire. The two schools are part of a British Council funded teacher exchange scheme called 'Connected Classrooms'. The prime minister is on day one of her trip to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya on a trade mission designed to bolster the UK's post-Brexit fortunes.
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Mr Johnson had already spent time in the chamber for Prime Minister's Questions and decided to depart once Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had made his speech during the debate on the new Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Speaking as MPs considered regulations for a second lockdown, Mrs May said: "This pandemic has challenged governments across the world and ministers have been under relentless pressure in dealing with this issue.

"But, just as ministers are making tough decisions, so are Parliament, and Parliament will make better decisions if it is fully and properly informed."

She criticised Labour's circuit-breaker proposal, claiming it could have ended up being repeated "again and again and again".

But she then turned her fire on the projections used by Mr Johnson.

She said: "It appears the decision to go towards this lockdown was partly, mainly, to some extent based on the prediction of 4,000 deaths a day.

"Yet, if you look at the trajectory showing in that graph that went to 4,000 deaths a day, we would have reached 1,000 deaths a day by the end of October.

"The average in the last week of October was 259, by my calculations. Each of those deaths is a sadness and our thoughts are with the families, but it's not 1,000 deaths a day.

"So the prediction was wrong before it was even used.

"And this leads to a problem for the Government – for many people it looks as if the figures are chosen to support the policy rather than the policy being based on the figures.

"We need these proper analyses. We need to know the details behind these models. We need to be able to assess the validity of those models."

Mrs May also raised concerns about a lack of data on the cost of the Government's Covid-19 decisions, including on mental health, domestic abuse, non-Covid-19 treatments, "possibly more suicides" and to the economy.

She told MPs: "Jobs lost, livelihoods shattered, businesses failing, whole sectors damaged. What sort of airline industry are we going to have coming out of this? What sort of hospitality sector? What sort of small independent shops will be left?

"The Government must have made this analysis, made this assessment – let us see it and make our own judgments."

On public worship, Mrs May added: "My concern is that the Government today making it illegal to conduct an act of public worship, for the best of intentions, sets a precedent that could be misused for a Government in the future with the worst of intentions."

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