IN relaxing the stay at home rules, Boris Johnson has made a grave mistake. When he spoke to the nation, on May 10, Boris did not make it clear that he was speaking for England alone and that, under devolution, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were making their own more cautious rules for containing the pandemic.

Boris’s high risk strategy relaxes leisure activities, encourages potentially dangerous work situations and endeavours to get kids back to school before it is truly safe. But his main mistake is the destruction of the united approach across the four nations of the UK, thereby sending out mixed messages to the citizens of them all – even changing the message in England, alone, from “stay at home” to “stay alert”.

Instead of adopting a unilateral gung-ho approach, Boris should have desisted from diluting the original lockdown measures, at least until the other nations of the UK were ready.

A man of our PM’s education should have heeded the identical words of Aesop, the Greek story teller, Patrick Henry, Founding Father of America, and Winston Churchill of whom he (Boris) wrote a biography: “United we stand. Divided we fall.”

Steve Kay, Redcar & Cleveland councillor.