Boris Johnson has issued a fresh call for workers to return to “buzzing” town centres following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister said “we will and must see people back in the office” as he continued his drive to end working from home.
He told the Tory conference: “As we come out of Covid, our towns and cities are going to be buzzing with life because we know that a productive workforce needs the spur that only comes with face-to-face meetings and water cooler gossip.
“If young people are to learn on the job in the way they always have and must, we will and must see people back in the office.”
Johnson also hailed the success of the vaccine rollout – and the capitalist system that led to the development of the jabs.
“It was not the Government that made the wonder drug, it wasn’t brewed in the alembics of the Department of Health.
“Of course it was Oxford University, but it was the private sector that made it possible.
“Behind those vaccines are companies and shareholders and, yes, bankers.
“You need deep pools of liquidity that are to be found in the City of London.
“It was capitalism that ensured that we had a vaccine in less than a year.
“And the answer therefore is not to attack the wealth creators, it is to encourage them.”
A spokesman for the Public and Commercial Services union said: “It is deeply disappointing to hear Boris Johnson recklessly suggesting people return to offices without any reference to how it can be done safely.
“We are clear that any increase in numbers should be based on a risk assessment and hybrid working should become the norm where workers have maximum flexibility.
“The Prime Minister is contradicting his Government’s own policies as the Tories are legislating for the right to request flexible working from day one.”
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