The number of daily infections remains at a record high, leaving several crucial sectors – such as health, education and transport – with major staff shortages and the NHS may be left unable to cope.

Boris Johnson has taken a huge gamble by failing to follow Scotland and Wales in putting in place measures to help limit the spread of the Omicron
Boris Johnson has taken a huge gamble by failing to follow Scotland and Wales in putting in place measures to help limit the spread of the Omicron

This time last year, the country was in the depths of another Covid lockdown.

The hope at the time was that 2021 would be the year we finally saw the back of the pandemic. Then Omicron struck.

Once again, we have welcomed in a new year under the shadow of the virus.

The Government’s reluctance to impose further restrictions in England has meant that many of us were able to celebrate the arrival of 2022 in some fashion. But the celebrations were much more muted than in previous years, with revellers keeping one eye on the clock and another on the possibility of becoming infected.

Throughout the pandemic, the British people have shown remarkable resilience and fortitude. That spirit continues to guide how the nation responds to the latest Covid wave.

Notwithstanding the success of the vaccination programme, there is an acceptance that we will be living with the virus for some time.

The stoic attitude of the public stands in contrast with the dithering and disarray shown by the Prime Minister in recent weeks.

Boris Johnson has taken a huge gamble by failing to follow Scotland and Wales in putting in place measures to help limit the spread of the Omicron variant of SARS-Cov-2.

The number of daily infections remains at a record high, leaving several crucial sectors – such as health, education and transport – with major staff shortages.

If cases continue to rise, there is still the horrifying possibility that the National Health Service will be left unable to cope.

A strong leader would by now have addressed the country, to explain the reasoning behind his policies in dealing with this public health crisis. But Mr Johnson has failed to do so because it would mean admitting that his Covid policy is driven not by the science, but by a fear of rebellion by his Tory backbenchers.

When a Prime Minister no longer commands the authority to make the right decisions for the country, then you must question how much longer they can remain in office.

Royal shambles

This June, the country will come together to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

This landmark event will be an opportunity for the nation to show its appreciation for our longest-reigning monarch and, hopefully, lift her spirits following the passing of Prince Philip.

But at the moment, a dark cloud hangs over the festivities because of the unsavoury claims levelled against Prince Andrew.

The Prince has already tarnished the name of Windsor through his friendships with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

By refusing to cooperate with the US authorities, he threatens to cause even more damage to the Royal Family – just as the country marks his mother’s glorious reign.

It is high time the Duke of York put his family and his country first.

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