Boris Johnson dismisses claim he will quit in six months due to Covid fatigue as ‘absolute nonsense’

Is Lord Voldemort practising the Dark Arts in Westminster, briefing against the PM? Is Sir Humphry a fully fetlocked stalking horse for disgruntled members of the party? Has anyone issued a statement saying they have “full confidence” in Boris Johnson? – Owl

By Catherine Neilan, Politics Live Editor 25 August 2020 

The Prime Minister has rubbished suggestions he could step down in the next six months, labelling them as “absolute nonsense”. 

Sir Humphry Wakefield, Dominic Cummings’ father-in-law, had reportedly claimed that Boris Johnson was still struggling to recover from Covid-19 and would stand down in six months, it was reported on Monday. 

Sir Humphry, father of Dominic Cummings’s wife Mary Wakefield, went on to compare the Prime Minister having the virus to being gone in the fetlock, a term used to describe an injured animal. 

“If you put a horse back to work when it’s injured it will never recover,” the Times reported him as telling one of their readers. 

Mr Johnson was hospitalised for two weeks after catching coronavirus back in March, spending three days in intensive care.

He later told journalists that the team had “contingency plans in place… for what to do if things went badly wrong”. 

However, he recovered without having to be intubated and was discharged before spending another fortnight recuperating at Chequers. 

Just days after he returned to work, the Prime Minister became a father again, with he and partner Carrie Symonds welcoming baby Wilfred to the world. 

For several weeks after his return, Mr Johnson appeared gruff and short of breath. He has lately embarked on a fitness regime of jogging and healthy eating as he champions a ‘Better Health’ anti-obesity campaign. 

In July, he said he had already lost more than a stone since he became ill. 

During a visit to a factory in Devon on Monday, the Prime Minister told local reporters: “I’m feeling, if anything, far better than I was because I’ve lost some weight”. 

The report about him stepping down was “absolute nonsense”, he added.

One senior Government source told the Telegraph: “He is buzzing with energy the whole time. This whole thing is absurd.”

Another added: “It is just absolutely bizarre. I have never heard anything further from the truth. It’s utter nonsense.”

The second source said there were “no signs of long Covid-19”, the condition that has plagued some sufferers of the disease many months after infection. 

Mr Johnson has been urged to step up support for these “forgotten victims” of the pandemic. 

Liberal Democrat MP and chair of the coronavirus all-party Parliamentary group Layla Moran has written to the Prime Minister asking him to formally recognise this condition, and set up a working group to address their needs. 

She said: “Those living with the long-term impact of Covid-19 have become the forgotten victims of this pandemic. Many are suffering daily from debilitating symptoms but feel they’re not being listened to or taken seriously.  

“It’s vital the government listens to these concerns and steps up support including for those who weren’t hospitalised or tested. We also need further efforts to boost research into treatments that could provide much-needed relief to patients.  

“We’ve heard harrowing evidence from those who have lost loved ones to this terrible disease and have been given the cold shoulder by Number 10.

“The Prime Minister must commit to meeting with bereaved families and agree to their calls for a judge-led public inquiry.”