A UK minister has denied newspaper claims that Boris Johnson said he would rather the bodies “pile high in their thousands” rather than order a third lockdown.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Johnson allegedly rejected calls for another lockdown during a meeting at Downing Street last October telling those in attendance: "No more ****ing lockdowns — let the bodies pile high in their thousands."
Defence secretary Ben Wallace refuted the claims, which are the latest in a stream of allegations regarding Johnson’s conduct and handling of the pandemic.
"It's not true — it's been categorically denied by practically everyone," he told Sky News.
"We're getting into the sort of comedy chapter now of these gossip stories — you know unnamed sources by unnamed advisers talking about unnamed events. You know — look — none of this is serious.”
The Daily Mail has yet to comment on the government’s response.
Johnson has come in for intense scrutiny in recent days after becoming embroiled in a spat with his former chief advisor Dominic Cummings.
Cummings branded the Prime Minister both incompetent and lacking in integrity after he was accused of leaking information about Johnson to the press.
Responding to the claims, the former chief advisor and chief architect behind the Brexit campaign claimed Johnson was planning to have Tory donors fund the renovation of Downing Street, branding the plan "unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations".
A spokesperson for Johnson has said all donations, gifts and benefits were properly declared and no party funds were being used to pay for the upgrades.