Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 13th May 2020.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows very well, the UK has been going through an unprecedented, once-in-a-century epidemic. He seeks to make comparisons with other countries that I am advised are premature, because the correct and final way of making these comparisons will be when we have all the excess death totals for all the relevant countries. We do not yet have that data. Now, I am not going to try to pretend to the House that the figures, when they are finally confirmed, are anything other than stark and deeply, deeply horrifying. This has been an appalling epidemic.

What I can tell the House is that we are getting those numbers down: the number of deaths is coming down; the number of hospital admissions is coming down. Thanks to the hard work of the British people in reducing the R and reducing the number of fatalities, we are now in a position to make some small, modest steps to begin to come out of some of the very restrictive measures that we have had. I think that people do understand what we are trying to do as a country. As for the international comparisons that the right hon. and learned Gentleman seeks to draw now, he will have to contain his impatience.