Rishi Sunak fears scientific advisers are “moving the goalposts” on the requirements for ending lockdown amid growing frustration within the Government.
The Chancellor is concerned that scientists have replaced the original target of protecting the NHS and saving lives with a focus on getting case numbers down, potentially delaying the end of the restrictions. He has told allies that Britain is approaching a “fat lady sings moment” when lockdown must be lifted, never to return.
On Wednesday, Boris Johnson announced that more than 10 million people – almost one-fifth of the adult population – have now had at least one vaccine dose, describing it as a “colossal” achievement.
It follows the publication of evidence that vaccines slash transmission rates and new data showing that one in seven over-16s in Britain has already had Covid, which has increased the clamor among MPs for a faster lifting of lockdown.