Caroline Nokes says Boris Johnson may 'regret' decision to 'ignore' scientific advice

Boris Johnson may live to "regret" his decision to ignore scientific advice on a two week circuit break lockdown to cut coronavirus infections, a former minister has told ITV News.

Senior Tory Caroline Nokes criticised the government for saying it would "listen to the scientists" before choosing to "very obviously ignore their advice because you didn't like it".

She was commenting after the government was accused of ignoring its own scientists' calls for an immediate two or three week national lockdown.

Newly released documents show the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) told the government that a "circuit breaker" lockdown in England would help slow the spread of coronavirus at a meeting on September 21.

But Prime Minister Johnson did not take on this advice, instead announcing the three tier lockdown system in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Ms Nokes admitted she "didn't like" the idea of a two week circuit break lockdown, but added: "I think we may look back on the decision not to do that and regret it."

Speaking to the the Acting Prime Minister podcast, Ms Nokes also criticised the government for some of the ideas it has floated on how to stop illegal immigration from France across the English Channel.

The former immigration minister labelled one idea - to use a barricade of boats to block the Channel - as "bonkers".

She conceded that the Channel is "incredibly difficult to keep a close eye on and said the only way to resolve the issue would be by cooperating with the French authorities.

Also in the podcast, Ms Nokes, who is chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, told podcast host Paul Brand she wants people in the trans community to be treated with a "spirit of kindness".

She said a "period of silence might be helpful" for Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who is often vocal on Twitter over trans issues.

Ms Nokes also opened up about finding out on Twitter that she had been sacked as a minister by the prime minister after he won the Tory leadership election.

She said: "I think that's utterly devoid of manners. If you're going to sack someone, you should have the courtesy to tell them first, not to brief journalists."

"I just thought it was rude," she added, "it didn't come as any surprise. I hadn't backed Boris and the leadership and it was very obvious that if you hadn't backed him then you were for the chop.

"But it wasn't a great way to find out."

Listen to the full interview with Caroline Nokes below, or watch it on Youtube at the top of this page