Politics

Sadiq Khan says Cobra hasn’t met since May 10 and he hasn’t spoken to Boris Johnson in four months



Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said there has not been a Cobra meeting since May 10 and he has not spoken to Boris Johnson in four months.

The Cobra, shorthand for the Civil Contingencies Committee, meeting involves a cross-departmental committee that comes together to respond to national emergencies.

The Prime Minister previously came in for criticism for having reportedly failed to attend any Cobra meetings in January and February related to Covid-19, before deciding to take over chairing the sessions on March 2.


Instead of holding Cobra meetings since May 10, Mr Khan said the Government has been speaking with devolved leaders such as Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford “bilaterally”.

On Friday morning, Mr Khan was asked on LBC radio when the last Cobra meeting was.

People queue up outside a coronavirus testing centre offering walk-in appointments in north London (PA)

He replied: “As far as I understand it, Cobra has not met since the 10th of May.

“Let’s just pause and reflect on that, Cobra has not met since the 10th of May and we are facing the biggest health, economic and social crisis since the Second World War.”

Asked when was the last time he had spoken to the Prime Minister, Mr Khan replied: “On the 10th of May.”

Presenter James O’Brien added: “And you have not had any personal contact with Boris Johnson since the 10th of May.” The London Mayor: replied: “No, No.”

There have been meetings with other Government departments in that period, Mr Khan said.

The London Mayor insisted Cobra meetings “work” and that party politics are “left at the door” when people attend them.

Mr Khan warned that London was two weeks behind the rest of the UK (Getty Images)

Mr Khan told LBC: “The reason why Cobra is important, by the way Cobra works, we know it works because when there’s a terror incident Cobra meets, and it’s successful at dealing with terror incidents.

“We know that in the past during previous incidents, Cobra’s have met and have led to resolutions.

“By the way, I speak as somebody who has been to many Cobra’s with many Prime Ministers, you do leave at the door the party politics, honestly it is a grown-up conversation, and people are tested and challenged.

“And the only thing we can conclude from this is that the Government does not like being challenged.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan later said the city is “two weeks behind” parts of the UK which have seen tighter coronavirus restrictions enforced.

The North East has seen a curfew for bars and restaurants (AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking in central London on Friday, the mayor said he is “really worried” about the rising number of cases in boroughs across the capital.

Mr Khan said: “What we’ve seen in other parts of the country and in the North East in particular is an instruction for bars and restaurants to close at 10pm.

“The reason for that is to minimise the amount of hours people spend socialising which can increase the risk of the virus spreading.

“We’re looking into all possibilities in London and we’re looking to see which policies across the country are successful.”

He added: “According to the latest evidence I’ve seen we’re about two weeks behind some parts of the country.

Speaking to ITV, Downing Street said there are daily coronavirus meetings and the Covid operation and strategy committees meet regularly.

The Standard has approached Downing Street for further comment.



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