Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
22 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Top UK scientist says government lacks strategy for tackling virus

By Samuel Horti

One of the UK’s most respected scientists has said the government is constantly playing catch up with the coronavirus because ministers lack a coherent strategy.

Paul Nurse, a Nobel prize winning geneticist and head of the Francis Crick Institute in London, said the country was “desperate for clear leadership at all levels”, and that if there was a clear strategy for tackling the virus, “I don’t see it”.

“The question I’m constantly asking myself is who is in charge of the decisions, who is developing the strategy, and the operation and implementation of that strategy?” he told the BBC.

“I get a sense the UK has been rather too much on the back foot, increasingly playing catch up, firefighting through successive crises… We have lions on the front line of clinical care, we need lions also on the leadership so we can actually really drive this forward.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy