PM Johnson has faith in top medical officer - health minister

FILE PHOTO: A man crosses the road in the City of London financial district amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain September 23, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faith in his top medical adviser, health minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday, after reports said the government had sought advice on the COVID-19 pandemic elsewhere.

Hancock was asked about a report that Johnson had asked Sweden’s top epidemiologist for advice, and whether Johnson had lost faith in England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.

“No, on the contrary... There are reasonable disagreements between scientists and the role of Chris Whitty as chief medical officer is to try to synthesise all of that scientific advice and present what he thinks is the best possible scientific analysis,” Hancock told BBC Radio.

“Then we take decisions based on that advice and of course, listening to voices right across the board, it’s only natural that we should.”

Reporting by Kate Holton and Sarah Young, writing by Alistair Smout, editing by Paul Sandle