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London politics news LIVE: Boris Johnson announces end to self isolation after positive test

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PM’s plan will ‘lead to unnecessary deaths’ says Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group

The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign group has said “people will die directly” because of the prime minister’s plan to scrap free testing.

They said that those deaths were “avoidable” and could threaten further action in the future because “testing is the most effective way to avoid the need for restrictions”.

Read the full statement below

Libby Akinnola, spokesperson for the group, said in a statement: “For the over 1,000 families that have lost loved ones to Covid-19 in the last week, the pandemic is anything but over.

“People will die directly because of the decision to scrap free testing, and those deaths are avoidable.

“Just as the government was late starting testing, costing thousands of lives, they are going to be too early finishing it, with the same consequence.

“Testing is the most effective way to avoid the need for restrictions, so there is no way in which this benefits ordinary people.

“The prime minister talks of the country ‘needing to get our confidence back’, but this will only further damage the confidence of the millions who are vulnerable.

“He also talked of ‘relying on people to exercise responsibility’ ignoring the financial impact of this decision.

“For instance, many key workers, who kept this country going through the pandemic, will now be left to choose between food, bills or testing.

“Boris Johnson might hope this decision will save his skin, but he knows that it will lead to unnecessary deaths.

“It’s clear from the government’s refusal to start the inquiry that even they don’t really believe that the pandemic is over, yet they are happy to use it as a slogan to justify throwing ordinary families to the wolves.

“This is exactly the sort of decision making that we feared when we called Boris Johnson a ‘walking public health hazard’ and tragically our worst fears are coming true.”

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