By Anna Mikhailova and Glen Owen for The Mail on Sunday
Published: 23:22 BST, 12 September 2020 | Updated: 08:56 BST, 13 September 2020
Boris Johnson faced fresh pressure last night over his Covid clampdown after Tory donors warned that ‘draconian’ measures were strangling the economy and deterring workers from going back to their offices.
The ‘rule of six’, which bans groups of seven people or more meeting socially from tomorrow, has been introduced despite most city centres – and Whitehall offices – being deserted.
Soviet-born British businessman Alexander Temerko, who has given more than £1.2 million to the Tories over seven years, told The Mail on Sunday that protecting the economy should be the priority.
Boris Johnson faced fresh pressure last night over his Covid clampdown after Tory donors warned that ‘draconian’ measures were strangling the economy and deterring workers from going back to their offices
‘Without a strong economy, the NHS will be in grave danger. We must get people back to work immediately. The Civil Service must do the same,’ he said.
‘The Civil Service must be the example of the Government’s policy of a full return to work. This is vital for our economy. Workers in offices increase productivity in jobs and boost local economies that rely on them. Safeguarding the health of our economy is the key to saving our public health and society, too. We need mass testing, robust track-and-trace, and safe offices to get our economy working again.’
And today in this newspaper, hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, who gave the Tories £100,000 last year, said: ‘The whole country shouldn’t be forced to lock down and follow restrictions because of a group of people who are at risk. We should be allowed to get on with our lives in the normal way.’
Sir Rocco, who took three weeks to recover from coronavirus in March, said he has no plans to donate to the Tories again, adding: ‘At