The Government was told by the UK’s intelligence community from the outset that China had concealed the true scale of the pandemic, sources claim. A senior former MI6 official says that Ministers were told ‘not to believe Beijing’s claims’ and to pour cold water on all information coming out of China. Britain’s intelligence agencies knew what
The Government was told by the UK’s intelligence community from the outset that China had concealed the true scale of the pandemic, sources claim.
A senior former MI6 official says that Ministers were told ‘not to believe Beijing’s claims’ and to pour cold water on all information coming out of China.
Britain’s intelligence agencies knew what was ‘really happening’ from the beginning and had made London ‘fully aware’, according to The Daily Telegraph.
An unnamed MI6 source told the paper: ‘The idea that the UK would have taken Chinese figures at face value is frankly ridiculous.
‘If the Chinese are lying, the role of the intelligence community is to know what the real figures might be if they are being hidden.
‘We didn’t believe these figures coming from China. The Government would have been fully aware of the true scale of the virus in China at that time.’
Britain’s intelligence agencies knew what was ‘really happening’ from the beginning and had made London ‘fully aware’, according to former senior MI6 sources
The new allegations imply that Mr Johnson sat on his hands before March 23, raising further concerns over his competence as Prime Minister (pictured, Covid-associated deaths)
However, the Prime Minister already faces accusations of failing to treat the virus as a sufficient threat to public health in the months before March 23.
A Sunday Times investigation in April reported that Mr Johnson had not chaired five Cobra meetings concerning the outbreak in early 2020.
Combined with his failure to visit badly flooded regions of the UK after successive storms, he was taunted by Jeremy Corbyn as a ‘part-time Prime Minister’.
If true, the new allegations imply that Mr Johnson sat on his hands despite early warnings from Britain’s intelligence community.
They raise further concerns over his competence as Prime Minister.
The dossier, which has been circulated between Western governments, cites evidence that the virus was passed to humans via a Wuhan lab (pictured, group handling bats)
The new claims have emerged during a major diplomatic row between Western powers and China over Beijing’s alleged cover-up of the outbreak.
International pressure is building on the Chinese regime to come clean after a bombshell intelligence dossier accusing Beijing of lying was leaked.
The dossier, which has been circulated between Western governments including Britain, cites evidence that the virus was passed to humans via a Wuhan lab.
It also claims that China persecuted whistleblowers as part of the cover-up, and obstructed efforts by other countries to develop a vaccine.
The classified document, from the Five Eyes security alliance of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, risks shattering the fragile consensus which has held among the nations – with the exception of President Trump – to avoid direct accusations against the Chinese government over the pandemic.
Leaked to Australia’s Saturday Telegraph, the dossier makes scathing criticism of the alleged cover-ups and persecution mounted by the Chinese since the outbreak.
Mr Trump’s Five Eyes allies have been reluctant to join in with his criticisms of Beijing – despite having access to the same intelligence briefings – particularly when China is providing vital protective equipment and ventilators to countries such as the UK.
It is likely that Boris Johnson received intelligence briefings on the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei, before ordering the lockdown (pictured, January 24, 2020)
Mr Trump’s Five Eyes allies have been reluctant to join in with his criticisms of Beijing (right, President Xi Jinping) – despite having access to the same intelligence briefings
US Secretary of State says there is ‘enormous evidence’ that the pandemic originated in Wuhan laboratory
Mike Pompeo said there was ‘enormous evidence’ that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan
By Valerie Edwards for DailyMail.com
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was ‘enormous evidence’ that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in Wuhan.
‘There’s enormous evidence that that’s where this began. We’ve said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China,’ Pompeo said on ABC’s This Week .
‘We took a lot of grief for that from the outset. But I think the whole world can see now. Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories,’ he added.
Experts believe the virus started spreading as early as February in the United States before it forced states to issue lockdown directives for millions of Americans beginning in mid-March.
There are more than 1.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US with at least 68,000 deaths.
It is also likely to increase calls for China to pay reparations to other countries if the claims are substantiated with Trump already demanding $1trillion.
The dossier says China moved to cover up the seriousness of the outbreak from early December, claiming: ‘Despite evidence of human-human transmission from early December, PRC authorities deny it until January 20.’
It called Beijing’s secrecy over the pandemic an ‘assault on international transparency’, and pointed out that China imposed travel bans on people travelling inside its borders as it told the world that travel bans were unnecessary.
Addressing the possibility that the virus had leaked from the Wuhan Institute, the report cites several studies led by scientist Dr Shi Zhengli as concerns.
It highlights the fact that Dr Zhengli – dubbed Bat Woman – and her team have conducted research in the lab into deadly bat-derived coronaviruses – with at least one of the virus samples being a 96 per cent genetic match for Covid-19.
UK security sources said that they were ‘checking out’ the details in the report.
Xiong Jun, from the Chinese Embassy in London, said: ‘The head of the Wuhan Institute of Virology stressed in an interview that the institute is run on a set of strict management rules. High-level bioresearch safety labs have sophisticated protective facilities and strict measures to ensure the safety of laboratory staff and protect the environment from contamination.
‘There is zero infection within the institute. It is the established general opinion of [the World Health Organisation], and scientists and professionals in the field of public health in the vast majority of countries including the US that there is no evidence showing the virus came from a lab. As the pandemic is spreading, the international community should co-operate on fighting against the virus.
‘This is the only way to defeat Covid-19. Rumour-mongering as well as slander and smear will only damage international solidarity.’