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Be it pandemic or Paterson, Johnson is showing he’s still in thrall to the Brexiteers | Gaby Hinsliff

There are no grownups in charge, and the prime minister clings to his diehard sceptics. Now even Tory MPs are asking questions

Boris Johnson’s tie was carefully tucked inside his shirt, all the better not to spread infection. He bumped elbows with nurses, rather than shook hands. But when the prime minister posed for the cameras at Hexham hospital this week, he didn’t bother with a mask.

He had been wearing one when he turned up, local papers reported just as every other visitor to the hospital must. But he shed it to do some press interviews and then emerged barefaced for his photocall. Was it just forgetfulness, or a deliberate nod to the strange minority of diehards who still enjoy watching him throw Covid caution to the wind?

Gaby Hinsliff is a Guardian columnist

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