BORIS Johnson consulted with the mastermind behind Sweden’s anti-lockdown coronavirus response before announcing new covid measures.
The PM spoke with Anders Tegnell who convinced the Swedish government not to shut down the nation – and has seen the Scandinavian country avoid a second wave.
Prof Tegnell’s strategy avoided a full lockdown with only gatherings of more than 50 people banned while the public took on voluntary social distancing as many opted to work from home.
But the new measures introduced today seemingly show the Prime Minister ignored his advice.
Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak heard from Prof Tegnell, as well as Oxford University’s Prof Carl Heneghan, an expert in evidence-based medicine, who has argued against the need for another blanket lockdown, and epidemiologist Prof Sunetra Gupta are also understood to have given advice.
Lockdown critics argue Sweden’s approach was best – suffering fewer deaths than Britain and so far no second wave.
However Prof Tegnell has this week claimed that ministers are considering a brief ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown to stem a surge in coronavirus in the nation’s capital, Stockholm.
Downing Street confirmed that Boris Johnson received the briefing from the controversial Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell over the weekend.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The PM has canvassed a wide variety of scientific opinion over the course of the weekend and it was part of that discussion.” He added Mr Johnson held the evidence session with a “number of scientists” via Zoom from the Cabinet Room in No10 on Sunday.
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