Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, has said Britain could have avoided Covid lockdowns if the country had been much quicker in setting up a test and trace system.
Mr Hunt said wide ranging restrictions might have been rendered unnecessary if the UK had followed the Korean and Taiwanese example of tough test and trace regimes to monitor infected individuals.
He told GB News: “I actually thought we could have avoided all lockdowns if we had been much quicker and set up test and trace as they did in South Korea and Taiwan.
“Those two places actually didn’t have any lockdowns at all in 2020 so that would have been my preferred route.”
Mr Hunt suggested Prime Minister Boris Johnson had made a number of avoidable mistakes during the Covid pandemic.
‘I would have made different mistakes’
He said: “Would I have made some of the mistakes that Boris made? I don’t think I would have because of my experience as health secretary, but I would have made different mistakes.
“I think it’s impossible to go through something as extreme as a pandemic and get everything right, not just in this country, but actually leaders all over the world.”
During the interview on Saturday morning, Mr Hunt would not rule out running as leader to succeed Mr Johnson, but added that now was not the right time for a change in prime minister.
“I’ve always said that I don’t rule out going back into frontline politics and even having a crack at the top job,” he said.
But he added: “I don’t think now is the moment. We are in a very, very dangerous international situation.
“If we had a hiatus right now, and it takes several months to change a leader because of the Conservative Party rules, I think Putin will be absolutely delighted and it would be absolutely the wrong thing to do.”