Tory MP slammed for ‘tolerable level’ of Covid deaths comments

03 Jan 2021 2 minutes Read
Esther McVey MP by
Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0)

A Tory MP has been slammed for suggesting that there was a “tolerable level” of Covid deaths.

Esther McVey the Conservative MP for the prosperous Cheshire constituency of Tatton, shared a quote from a Telegraph column by Robert Dingwall, which suggested treating Covid-19 like the flu, which led to accusations of being “appalling” and “unpleasant” from supporters of Welsh Independence.

Scientific studies have found that Covid-19 is far more deadly than the seasonal flu, however, Dingwall, a sociology professor, urged people to ignore the doctors and scientists and instead put their faith in politicians, when deciding how best to tackle the virus.

Ms McVey, who also shared a link to the article, said: “U.K. needs to confront ‘The challenge that faces us is to decide – are we going to try to pursue the elimination of Covid-19 regardless of the costs or decide on a tolerable level of deaths (like we do with the flu) in order to return to a normal life?’”



Glenn Swingler, a Councillor for Plaid Cymru, said: “And where is the level of tolerable? How many dead is acceptable? What is normal? Is normal good?”

Plaid Cymru activist Lewis Owen said: “This is absolutely appalling, especially from an elected official.”

Welsh independence supporter Donna Warburton said: “‘Tolerable level of deaths?’ Covid is not flu. You really are unpleasant.”

Janet Henderson said: “’A tolerable level of deaths’? Some perspective needed here. We’ve lost more people than we lost civilians in the whole 6 years of WW2. There is no such thing as a tolerable level of deaths on which we decide. Even in wartime no one feels there is.”

ICU consultant Dr Chris Booth said: “Tolerable level of deaths is an obscene concept from an elected representative.

“Presumably this is an attractive concept to many because they think it won’t be them or their friends/family who will die.”

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