Chest-banging Boris Johnson ‘refused to isolate for a WEEK after first displaying Covid symptoms’ and told aides he was ‘strong like bull’ – before later being hospitalised and spending days in intensive care with virus

  • PM entered quarantine on March 27 and ended up in intensive care with Covid
  • Sources told Times he had a cough a week beforehand but wouldn’t isolate
  • Downing Street said ‘appropriate measures’ were taken to ensure he isolated

Boris Johnson was today accused of refusing to self-isolate with Covid symptoms for a whole week before being laid low by the virus and having to be treated in intensive care.

The Prime Minister went into quarantine on March 27, 2020, and was later taken to London’s St Thomas’s Hospital, where he spent three days in the high-dependency unit amid fears for his life.

But officials today claimed he had been showing signs of having the virus, including a cough, for almost a week before agreeing to shut himself away, dismissing concerns by banging his chest and proclaiming himself ‘strong like bull’.

Speaking to the Times they also alleged that once officially in isolation he failed to follow the rules and had in-person meetings with staff.

Downing Street today said ‘appropriate measures were taken to ensure the PM was isolated’.



Images show the Prime Minister’s changing appearance as his battle with coronavirus continued in 2020 from (top row left to right) March 27 and 28 and (bottom row left to right) April 1 and 2

The Prime Minister went into quarantine on March 27, 2020, and was later taken to London’s St Thomas’s Hospital, where he spent three days in the high-dependency unit amid fears for his life

Last summer former No10 aide Dominic Cummings claimed Mr Johnson wanted to meet the Queen at the start of the pandemic despite signs Covid was spreading in Downing Street.

In a fresh assault on his ex-boss, Dominic Cummings said he had to persuade the PM not to have his weekly audience with the monarch in case he gave her the fatal virus.

In an hour-long interview with the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg, he said: ‘I said “what are you doing?” and he said “I’m going to see the Queen”, and I said, “what on earth are you talking about, of course you can’t go and see the Queen”.

‘[The PM] said, “ah, that’s what I do every Wednesday, sod this, I’m gonna go and see her”.’

The former chief adviser alleged he warned the PM that there were already people in No 10 who were isolating and told him: ‘You might have coronavirus.’

He added: ‘I just said, ‘if you… give her coronavirus and she dies what are you gonna do, you can’t do that, you can’t risk that, that’s completely insane’.

‘And he said, he basically just hadn’t thought it through, he said, “yeah, holy s***, I can’t go”.’

Boris Johnson is facing a make-or-break PMQs today as dozens of Red Wall Tories threaten to put in no-confidence letters within hours amid rising anger over Partygate.

The party is plunging into meltdown as ministers round on a group of newly-elected MPs over a coup attempt branded the ‘Pork Pie Plot’ – because one of the plotters represents Melton Mowbray.

Around 20 MPs are said to have held a meeting yesterday lunchtime to coordinate sending letters required to spark a vote on ousting Mr Johnson. The revolt was fuelled by the premier’s car-crash interview in which he appeared close to tears when grilled about the litany of allegations about lockdown breaches in Downing Street.

There is speculation that the threshold of 54 letters to trigger a full no confidence vote could even be reached today – although 1922 chair Sir Graham Brady keeps the tally a closely-guarded secret.

Seven MPs have publicly confirmed contacting Sir Graham, but the true figure could be significantly higher. A desperate attack by ministers and whips – including branding them ‘f***** nobodies’ – seems to have backfired.

Although more letters do seem to be going in, other MPs are keen to wait for the results of the Partygate probe being carried out by top civil servant Sue Gray – which could come as early as Friday.

One senior Northern MP told MailOnline they thought the number of letters was around 30 currently, and is likely to reach 54 soon. ‘It could well be in next couple of weeks,’ they said.

Another normally loyal backbencher warned a lot will hang on Mr Johnson’s performance at PMQs this afternoon.

Defence minister James Heapppey was sent out to put the case for the PM this morning and said he ‘trusted’ the leader, but conceded he too had been ‘battered’ by voters.

‘I choose to believe what the Prime Minister has said. But I know that that’s not good enough for many of my constituents,’ he said.

Mr Heappey said: ‘I think everybody in Government, everybody in Parliament, is acutely concerned about what has happened and the reaction of the public.

‘Our boss is not the Prime Minister. Our boss is those who send us to Westminster to represent us and they are furious at what they have heard, and so it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that every single member of the Government, every single member of the party, is balancing those two loyalties.’

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