Region's MPs avoid questions over claims PM said 'let the bodies pile high'

Prime minister Boris Johnson at the lectern in Downing Street

Prime minister Boris Johnson has denied claims he said he would rather see "bodies pile high" than plunge the nation into another lockdown. - Credit: PA

Most of Norfolk's MPs are refusing to get dragged into the furious row over whether the prime minister said he would rather see "bodies pile high" than plunge the nation into another lockdown.

The claims, made by so-far anonymous sources, have rattled the government and along with further sleaze allegations have seen a dip in support for the Conservatives nationally ahead of the local elections next month. 

This paper contacted regional MPs Brandon Lewis, Liz Truss, Jerome Mayhew, James Wild, George Freeman, Chloe Smith, Richard Bacon and Peter Aldous, but none commented. 

Boris Johnson has vehemently denied making the comments.

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis (L) and North Norfolk Conservative MP Duncan Baker (R). Photos:

Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis (L) and North Norfolk Conservative MP Duncan Baker (R). Photos: Archant - Credit: Archant

And North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker has argued that no one has come forward to corroborate the alleged remark on the record.  


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“It appears to be not a great deal more than Westminster journalist gossip,” Mr Baker said.   

“Personally, the most important matter right now is running the country, getting people's lives back to normal and ensuring we carry on vaccinating the nation, in what has been one of the best rollouts in the whole world."   

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But Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis went on the attack saying: “My thoughts are with the many families who have lost loved ones to this pandemic, and for who these revelations will heap yet more pain and anguish upon them."

He claimed tens of thousands of people had died "needlessly" and accused the government of "corruption, incompetence and callous indifference". 

"Conservative MPs and councillors across the country must now answer this question: ‘Are Johnson's comments acceptable and if not, what are you going to do about it?’"    

The PM reasserted his denials during the weekly prime minister's questions in the House of Commons after a grilling from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

The claims follow a briefing war between Mr Johnson and former advisor Dominic Cummings with allegations the PM broke ministerial rules over the refurbishment of the Downing Street flat.

Speaking earlier this week before claims over the PM's lockdown comments, South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss dismissed Mr Cumming’s revelations as “tittle tattle”, saying that Mr Johnson had paid for the refurbishment himself. However she refused to say if he had received money from a donor to meet the bill.   

The Electoral Commission announced on Wednesday it was launching an investigation into the alleged flat donation.

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