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Tory grandees tell PM: it’s time to ease the coronavirus lockdown

A pincer movement of Conservative Party donors, cabinet ministers and senior Tory backbenchers is putting Boris Johnson under concerted pressure to ease the lockdown.  The prime minister is expected to return to work this week to face the strongest challenge yet to lift the social restrictions imposed on the public almost five weeks ago.

The backlash follows Downing Street briefings last week that Johnson was cautious about easing the lockdown and would “not be rushing to lift measures” after nearly losing his own life to the virus. Today Dominic Raab hit back at demands to ease the lockdown, insisting that Britain was at a “delicate and dangerous stage of the outbreak”.

Six Tory donors are calling on the prime minister to ease the restrictions amid signs the public is growing weary.  Their intervention came as the UK’s coronavirus death toll rose by 813 to pass 20,000 yesterday — less than a month after a senior health official said a total below that number would be a “good result”.

The chorus of disapproval from the donors who bankroll the party has been echoed by three cabinet ministers who are concerned about tens of thousands of businesses collapsing, inflicting irreparable damage on the economy. The revolt comes amid growing signs the lockdown is being flouted by the public.                                                               Source:  (Drawn from The Times 26/4)