With one of the highest number of cases and deaths in Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic had a massive impact on the UK and was a significant challenge for a newly elected government focusing on resolving its departure from the EU – an issue which continued to divide the nation. Prime Minister Johnson’s government initially played down the threat posed but the tone quickly changed in March when a full lockdown was instituted. The framing of lockdown coupled with his contraction of the virus led to initial high public support but from May public confidence declined as the government was forced to make a number of major U-turns. Strategies and styles across the nations of the UK diverged – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in particular positioning herself as an alternative national leader within Scotland. The cracks in the union caused by Brexit have been exacerbated by the pandemic, Johnson and his government appear to have weakened credibility and to largely speak for England alone.