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  • Jacob Rees-Mogg suggests ’the weather’ is to blame for UK’s sky-high coronavirus death toll

    Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested “the weather” is to blame for the UK’s sky-high death toll from coronavirus, in the latest extraordinary explanation given.

    The Commons leader also pointed to “the practices of individual cultures and societies” – although he did not expand on the thesis.

    The reasoning comes after a different government minister drew criticism for claiming the UK was particularly vulnerable as “a global travel hub”.

    Most experts have pointed to Boris Johnson’s reluctance to lock down society until late March – after an explosion of Covid-19 infections – as the key reason for more than 50,000 deaths.

    But, facing questions about that “shocking” record in the Commons, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “A wide range of factors have affected death rates in different countries.

    “Even things as simple as the weather may have influenced how the virus has spread, and so may the practices of individual cultures and societies.

    “I think, therefore, that these headline comparisons are not necessarily enormously illuminative.”