Coronavirus UK: Rishi Sunak's deputy denies rift with Boris Johnson

Rishi Sunak's deputy denies Covid rift between his boss and Boris Johnson after Chancellor said 'our lives can no longer be put on hold' and Tory rebels win vote on 'rule of six' Treasury Chief Sec. Stephen Barclay insisted both men were working 'in tandem'  Mr Sunak on Thurtsday said the nation needed to learn to 'live without fear'  Mr Johnson's noticeable absence from Commons chamber fanned rift rumours 

By Jack Elsom For Mailonline

Published: 17:15 BST, 25 September 2020 | Updated: 02:59 BST, 26 September 2020

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Rishi Sunak's deputy has swatted away suggestions of a rift between the Chancellor and Boris Johnson over the Government's coronavirus strategy.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay insisted both men were working 'in tandem' and denied Numbers 10 and 11 were adopting different approaches.

On Thursday Mr Sunak said the nation needed to learn to 'live without fear', just days after the Prime Minister tightened coronavirus laws amid a steep rise in cases.

Unveiling his Winter Economic Plan, the Chancellor said 'our lives can no longer be put on hold,' which was widely interpreted to contradict the message from his boss. 

Mr Johnson's noticeable absence from the Commons chamber - he instead toured a police station in Northamptonshire - further fanned speculation of a rift.

Meanwhile MPs will be granted a vote on Mr Johnson's controversial 'rule of six' on October 6, in a win for more than 40 Tory rebels MPs.

Rishi Sunak

Boris Johnson pictured in his Uxbridge constituency today

Rishi Sunak's deputy today swatted away suggestions of a rift between the Chancellor (pictured left yesterday) and Boris Johnson (pictured in his Uxbridge constituency today) over the Government's coronavirus strategy

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay insisted both men were working 'in tandem' and denied Numbers 10 and 11 were adopting different approaches

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay insisted both men were working 'in tandem' and denied Numbers 10 and 11 were adopting different approaches

Mr Barclay played down reports of a rift, telling BBC Radio 4's Today: 'The Prime Minister and the Chancellor

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