Jonathan Sumption was once the epitome of the Establishment — a brilliant barrister who represented the Government in the Hutton enquiry, Supreme Court Justice, supporter of the Remain campaign and esteemed historian of the Hundred Years’ War. But then Covid happened.
Over the past year, his unabashed criticism of lockdown policies has turned him into something of a renegade. It is a development that mystifies him; as he sees it, his views have always been mainstream liberal, and it is the world around that has changed.
In the course of our conversation, the retired judge doesn’t hold back. He asserts that it is becoming morally acceptable to ignore Covid regulations, and even warns that a campaign of “civil disobedience” has already begun.