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Decision not to bring in Wales-style ‘circuit break’ lockdown led to Cummings resignation – report

13 Dec 2020 2 minute read
Dominic Cummings. Picture by Radical Larry (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s failure to bring in a short circuit-breaker lockdown as happened in Wales was behind Dominic Cummings’ resignation from Downing Street, according to a report in the Times.

The newspaper refers to sources who say there was a “simmering tension between Cummings and Johnson” over the failure to go into lockdown earlier.

Wales went into a circuit-breaker lockdown, called a ‘firebreak’ by the Welsh Government, between 23 October and 9 November.

But the Times‘ report reveals that Cummings, alongside SAGE scientists, had been lobbying for a lockdown in England as early as September 21.

However, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, intervened and invited four academics to No 10 who lobbied for a less restrictive approach, including one who argued for ‘herd immunity’.

The Prime Minister relented and sided with the lockdown sceptics, while the Welsh Government announced its own lockdown on 19 October.

Johnson would ultimately announce his own four-week lockdown on Halloween.

According to the Times “sources say the underlying reason” for Dominic Cummings’ resignation “was the simmering tension between Cummings and Johnson over the failure to bring in the circuit-breaker in September. This is denied by Downing Street.”

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