Expert used by Boris Johnson to reject international coronavirus comparisons tells the PM he’s wrong

The expert whose work Boris Johnson has deployed to reject international coronavirus comparisons, has told the PM to stop.

Over the past week, Johnson and his scientific advisers have regularly cited an article written by David Spiegelhalter in the Guardian, in which the statistician argues we should be “very cautious” about international comparisons.


However, tweeting yesterday evening, Spiegelhalter called on the PM to stop using his article to wholeheartedly reject the idea of learning from other countries.

“Polite request to PM and others: please stop using my Guardian article to claim we cannot make any international comparisons yet,” he said.

“I refer only to detailed league tables-of course we should now use other countries to try and learn why our numbers are high.”

As we reported yesterday, although Spiegelhalter is cautious about international league tables, he doesn’t think the UK has mounted an effective response to coronavirus.

Speaking to Sky News earlier this week, he said: “There are countries that have not done very well. That includes us.”

Regardless of how other countries have performed, it’s clear our response has been completely inadequate.