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Is this a Thatcher moment for Boris?

A tearful Margaret Thatcher leaving Downing Street in 1990. Trinity Mirror/Mirrorpix/Alamy

Covid almost killed Boris Johnson last year, says Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun. “Today it looks like polishing him off as PM.” When BoJo’s “hardman” Brexit negotiator, David Frost, resigned yesterday, he complained about the government’s “direction of travel”, citing the plan B “Christmas lockdown” among his reasons. It revives memories of Geoffrey Howe’s “devastating speech” after quitting the Margaret Thatcher government in 1990. “The Iron Lady was out on her ear within weeks.” A New Year “circuit-breaker” to save the “cash-guzzling NHS” risks triggering the leadership challenge Boris is desperate to avoid.

Frost’s opposition to on-off Covid crackdowns also resonates with millions of jaded voters. The public have been driven from shops, pubs and restaurants by “shroud-waving” medics. “Sage is peppered with communists who would cripple capitalism at the first whiff of a Covid mutant.” But the group’s “scaremongering” models, which inevitably predict “thousands of deaths and a broken NHS”, have always proved “wildly inaccurate”. The first omicron victim was a man in his seventies who had refused to have a jab, as have three in four patients in intensive care. Growing scepticism about the government is turning law-abiding citizens into Christmas law-breakers, with families mixing and ignoring rules on testing and self-isolation. “BoJo has his work cut out to survive. And so does anyone who wants his job.”

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