One of the government’s scientific advisers has said he would have liked ministers to have acted “a week or two weeks earlier” in the virus pandemic.

Sir Ian Boyd, who sits on the Sage scientific advisory group, said “it would have made quite a big difference” to the death rate.

Ministers have always insisted they have been guided by the scientific advice during the pandemic.

Government figures show 36,042 people with the virus have died in the UK.

Sir Ian is a professor of biology at St Andrews University and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises ministers on Covid-19.

He started attending Sage meetings a month ago.

‘Slower off the mark’

He told The Coronavirus Newscast: “Acting very early was really important

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