Government’s top scientist said he was reprimanded for saying action should have been taken sooner

Explainer: How Vallance’s diaries exposed Covid chaos inside No 10

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The UK should have gone into lockdown at least a week before it happened, Patrick Vallance has told the UK’s Covid inquiry, saying also he was reprimanded by two senior civil servants after he called for action to be taken in mid-March 2020.

Vallance, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser until earlier this year, said that while Boris Johnson first announced a lockdown on 23 March, by the weekend of 14-15 March it was clear to him that action was needed.

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