Insiders tell of a Whitehall in panic mode and reveal virus spread far more widely than was acknowledged
Westminster is an infectious place. A tiny germ of controversy or rebellion can spread across parliament, through Whitehall and into the prime minister’s office within hours. The windowless offices are cramped, MPs sit elbow to elbow in a Commons chamber that can only squeeze just over 400 MPs into its seats, two-thirds of the number in parliament.
It is also a place of macho presenteeism, where the Greggs in Westminster tube station often serves as a nightly dinner spot for some of the most senior office-holders in the land.