Why Dominic Cummings will have to resign or be sacked

Dominic Cummings. Picture by Radical Larry (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Ifan Morgan Jones

The response from many people to the revelation that Dominic Cummings broke the UK Government’s own rules on coronavirus travel has been to shrug the shoulders.

Yes, he should resign, they say – but he won’t. Nothing matters any more. The public are apathetic, the government has no sense of public duty, there’s one rule for them and another for us.

There’s a danger here that we have slowly been condition by years of Trump and Brexit to think that nothing government does has any consequences any more. They always get away with it.

But I think this is fundamentally different. The reason all the Brexit bad news did not harm the government was that most people, or at least enough people, supported Brexit come way may.

In a hyper-partisan political divide, perceived incompetence does not matter, because most people would rather a seemingly incompetent government which agrees with them that a competent one they fundamentally disagree with.

But this is what makes the case of Dominic Cummings completely different, in that the public overwhelmingly support the lockdown.

More than that, the vast majority of people have adhered to it, even at great personal cost to themselves. People have not been able to attend the funerals of close family members because of the lockdown.

As a result, the news that the top advisor of the UK Government which imposed that lockdown on them disregarded it so flagrantly will genuinely anger an awful lot of people.

 

Contrary

According to the Daily Mirror, shortly after the lockdown was imposed Cummings’ travelled 250 miles from London to his parents’ home in Durham with coronavirus symptoms.

Mr Cummings and his wife, who was also unwell, stayed at his parents’ home while self-isolating.

Going to stay with elderly parents when you come down with Covid would seem to me, and no doubt most people, to be the exact sort of thing the rules were designed to discourage.

The UK Government’s own rules which remain in force despite the lockdown being relaxed are completely unambiguous: if you have coronavirus symptoms you must stay at home.

My partner and I were ill with coronavirus at about the same time as Dominic Cummings. We were looking after four children, including what was at the time a two-month-old baby.

The idea that we should, while symptomatic, have driven to my partner’s parents’ house – just five miles away – for help with the childminding duties was clearly at that time totally contrary to the strict lockdown rules imposed across the four nations.

Not everyone will have caught the coronavirus but people across the UK will have kept their distance from loved ones and will in many cases have not been able to work because they thought they weren’t allowed to take their children to elderly parents.

This strict message was reinforced by the resignations of top government scientist Neil Ferguson and Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood for less severe breaches of the rules.

Whether to sack Cummings is clearly going to be a tough decision for Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He is very much the ideological cornerstone and administrator of the whole government’s approach.

But the UK Government only has two options – do the right thing or watch the story become an open sore that weeps for days or weeks.

In the days of Corbyn’s opposition they may have been able to shake it off, but Keir Starmer will be pouring salt into that wound for however long Cummings remains in post. It will endlessly undermine anything the UK Government has to say on the lockdown.

And if they choose to keep Cummings it will also have the side-effect of fundamentally undermining the lockdown in the minds of the public. And in the midst of a pandemic that has already killed tens of thousands, that would be inexcusable.

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Paul Brant
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Paul Brant

Sacked? He will probably end up promoted with this Government.
Wasn’t Priti Patel sacked recently .

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Recently?! That happened in a vanished era, when someone else was in charge!

Senior members of the present government are in their posts for but one single reason: they were ‘Vote Leave’ partisans. Other normally essential – or at the least, desirable – attributes such as experience or talent are quite secondary.

And in some cases – Hancock and Patel spring particularly to mind – manifestly absent.

Jeff Kent
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Jeff Kent

I agree

Andrew Jouguet
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Andrew Jouguet

He should be sacked or made to resign I think it’s a disgrace that Boris Johnson is backing him if it was a member of the public did this they would be heavily fined. I voted for Boris to be are prime minister because I thought he was up to the job and believed in what he stood for now I’m not so sure. If he doesn’t take action on this and just brushes it under the carpet it’s going to damage his reputation as are prime minister. I don’t think mr Dominic Cummings is telling the hole truth neither,

Jeff Kent
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Jeff Kent

Base on the evidence that I have read and heard from various sources , I totally agree.

Jeff Kent
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Jeff Kent

I agree

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

I think his (Cummings) story is he was self isolating in a property adjacent to his parents. I appreciate what you say re the letter of the law but was any harm done? Is there any evidence lockdown has succeeded? Infections are falling but is there any evidence it’s due to lockdown? Plenty of evidence (Oxfird, Stanford et al) it’s not. Anyway lockdown is virtually over now, very few really taking it seriously as a health measure but liked by governments and the police for opportunities of social control. Sacking Cummings is going to be like sacking someone after discovering… Read more »

John
Guest
John

You really have no idea. Your analogy to the laws on homosexuality is not only false, but inappropriate and possibly offensive.. I’m old enough to remember a time for more honourable politics, where high office was no guarantee of no wrongdoing, but if caught and exposed then you bowed out. You seem to be happy to tolerate lawbreaking
, justified by your own disdain for a very full body of international evidence about the benefits of lockdown, then to dismiss us for being over sensitive. Hence the downvoting. Again, you have no idea.

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

The point is that according to Downing st, Cummings and others no law was broken. The police ‘spoke to him’, so what? The police have trashed their reputation in this crisis with their own busy body jackboot attitude. Remember a chief constable threatening to inspect peoples shopping trolleys coming out of Sainsbury’s for the police’s definition of ‘none essentials’? Plus many other examples. My analogy with the 1950’s Sexual Offences Act is appropriate insofar as Cummings is being pilloried for an alleged offence that will soon not exist. John you are plainly one of the unthinking group I identify in… Read more »

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Much of what you say is broadly correct, but, and it’s a big but, this creep’s paw prints are all over the rules they imposed on the rest of us. The ruling elite have demonstrated repeatedly that the rules are there to contain us little people while they, the ones that “really matter”, are free to do as they please. Guys like Cummings have overlooked the little note that said – but please be a bit discreet !. Kinnock jnr did as well but we’ll have to wait until the next election and Port Talbot/Aberafan show no symptoms of ever… Read more »

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

The other really irksome thing about this Cummings story is that if I had emailed my nearest Tory MP or national paper at the start of lockdown to ask if i could drive 250 miles to stay near my folks as I had cold/flu like symptoms I would have been roundly criticised and vilified and told not to be so stupid. The motto of the elite ‘To ordinary people: do as we say not as we do’.

Jason Evans
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Jason Evans

Wow, you have total backtracked there, you wasn’t attacking the action of the political elite in your first comment, in fact you was defending Cummins actions. You was however having a go at people who are doing their utmost to get this virus gone until a vaccine can be found, with your “the holier than thou” statement, and so you defended Cummins and so all those others like Kinnock, Berry et al ! How you wish there was a delete button. Oh yes and I am one of the “holier than thou” crowd and wear the badge proudly, you see… Read more »

John
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John

Plain Citizen, your argument is full of so many holes and strange logic that I don’t intend to engage any further. I am also prejudiced against Cummings and the other puppets and would certainly like to see him go. None of which is relevant to the rights and wrongs of his actions, but to attempt to defend him exposes your own tolerance of elitism, political privilege and ignorance of the main body of scientific opinion. And I am “unthinking”?

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

My argument on this may be too nuanced and deep for this audience. Firstly the government say he has not broken any laws on the basis he was self isolating, protecting his family etc. 2nd merely being ‘spoken to’ by a busy body police force who gave no basis for handing out ‘advice’ and tacitly admit Cummings had no case to answer reinforces that contention he has not broken any laws. 3rdly even if he had broken a regulation, lockdown is finished as an intellectually justifiable policy so prosecuting him for something which will be legal in a few days… Read more »

Leigh Richards
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Leigh Richards

With news emerging tonite he flouted lockdown rules more than once think its reasonable to conclude he’ll soon be spending a lot more time with his family…..

Geoff Hollett
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Geoff Hollett

Well, we can all see your political colours? The Chief Medical Officer in Scotland had to go, the eminent Professor Nial Ferguson resigned but Dominic Cummings, Robert Jenrick and Gove are different? The rules don’t apply to those that made them?

Ann Owen
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Ann Owen

Plain citizen – What planet are you on? There’s evidence from many many countries that lockdown works. And exampes that when it’s lifted there is an increase in cases. But countries like Germany have the trace, track,contact and isolate regime up and running efficiently, ao that they can control new outbreaks. Nothing near that is operational here, so people disregarding lockdown (the only protection at our disposal) and going their merry selfish way puts us all at risk or imprisoned at home! The whole point of a public health response to a pandemic is that stopping the virus depends on… Read more »

Jeff Kent
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Jeff Kent

All I can say to this is that millions of law abiding citizens of the UK follow all the rules laid down by our Government . Why shouldn’t Cummings. He should be sacked otherwise, I understand, if he resigns he could get a very nice severance package.

James Wilson
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James Wilson

what happens next will depend largely on how the media report this. If Keir Starmer is allowed to get under the skin of any counter argument that the Government, oops sorry ‘Downing street sources’, make in a very public way – it might be impossible for the media to do anything other than behave appropriately, as opposed to in the increasingly common partisan way, and his fate will be set. However, arent there two other bigger elements, well two at least, to this story. 1. Downing Street have known of this for some weeks, think I read 6 weeks? ,… Read more »

Lost the plot
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Lost the plot

I have never bet myself, but the best way to work out the probability of a political event happening is to look at the betting odds, but I can’t find any odds in the usual placed like Betfair. Maybe it is too early in the cycle.

My feeling is he would only fall together with Boris. The pair know where each others skeletons are burried !!!!!

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

Boris will not lead the Conservatives into the next election and the way the Gov’t response to covid is shaping he will be gone by Christmas with Cummings. Gove (a pathological liar and incapable of standing up to any negative publicity, press or anywhere else) will be favourite but Hunt is my dark horse with Sumak a rank outsider.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Boris hasn’t got much mileage left in this job that’s for sure. As to who or what might succeed it looks a pretty bleak and feeble field. After the event his party may see the light and start recruiting real talent instead of opportunistic greedy bastards. There again look at the other parties all fully loaded with chancers and careerists.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I think you’re right about Hunt. Runner-up in the Tory leadership contest, but left out of cabinet by Bunter, he’s succeeded in securing chairmanship of the Commons Health and Social Care select committee, which offers him a way to maintain his profile. In that role he’s quite effectively managed to walk the tight-rope of supporting the government while simultaneously subtly distancing himself from its every twist and turn.

My sense is that even now he’s quietly and carefully lining himself up for another stab at the leadership, in the eventuality that Bunter’s manifest ineptitude results in his toppling from his perch.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Hunt ? This is the buffoon who presided over Health when advice was ignored, near-criminal decisions were taken. This is the kind of opportunistic careerist I was referring to earlier.

Nigel Bull
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Nigel Bull

Listen to the R4 interview and reconsider………you may still be right, but also a little wiser.

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Not denying the possibility of him getting to be P.M , but that would be proof of how light on talent they are. He would guarantee continuity for the core policy of ignoring sound advice if it didn’t fit the political policy mix.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

True enough. But politics is about machination and self-advancement.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I don’t dissent from any of that, Huw. But (a) that’s true of many of them ( and it’s not confined to Tories) and (b) he’ll be relying on the notion that public memory’s short and the past quickly becomes another country.

Nigel Bull
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Nigel Bull

You are right re Hunts ambitions. He was R4 just after your comments and his words aligned with your thoughts. Out of the cabinet when it all goes wrong before mounting his white charger to rescue the party.

E Williams
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E Williams

Didn’t Robert Jenrick, Housing minister flaunt his own Gov’s rules by Travelling to his 2nd home then onward to his parents place using ‘delivering medication’ as an excuse? Is he still about? Granted, Starmer wasn’t in post then and Cummings is bigger game. So lets see.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Never thought I might be saying this in respect of the abominable Dom, but I do have some initial degree of sympathy with the guy over this, if I try to imagine myself in his place. He went down with the plague pretty early on when folk were pretty much in panic mode, and if what I heard on the radio this morning’s correct, his wife had it before he did. Humanly speaking, that all seems to me to add up to a rather scary scenario, and all the more so when you’ve got a little child to take into… Read more »

Justin Robinson
Member
Justin Robinson

The manufactured outrage from the left at a man who went home to be with his family is sickening. Why weren’t you calling for the resignation of the Welsh Health Minister when he decided to have a picnic in a Cardiff park with his family 2 weeks ago? The hypocricy sticks. Unless you call for them both to resign you’re just trying to score political points.

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

The Vaughan Gething story was fake news, manufactured by The Sun in a fit of pique at the Drakeford Government’s insistence on not lifting the ban on travel into Cymru. If Gething has to go eventually, it’ll be because he has not succeeded in meeting the challenges that he, his government, and the Welsh people currently face.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

If the Tories do kick him out, it may be for a whole raft of stuff now in the public domain. But we are in Cymru, so let the Saes do
what they want with him. First thing I would do is get him out of view, what a mess! Dominic Cumberbatch he is not.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I do rather wonder what Mrs Cummings saw in him – given the outward manifestation, it must syrely have been some inward charisma?!

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Oh dear, I wonder what me wife, err…………………………………..

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Re the UK government’s current position post-Dominic, I’ve just spotted a neat tweet from Krishnan Guru Murthy, associate ‘anchor-man’ on Channel 4 News, which runs as follows:

‘The advice is very clear. If you are well you used to have to stay at home apart from essential travel but now you must stay alert but not stay away from home. If you have the potentially deadly virus you can stay away from home if you need help with childcare. Thank you.’

jones
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jones

More lies and deception! His wife’s article in the Spectator, says he was sick in bed for 10 days.So he was sick with Cov19,gets his wife to spin a story,drive 250 miles with his son and wife, and then visited his elderly parents in Durham.So many wrongs,its hard to fathom the the utter arrogance and contempt for the British public,this excuse for a human being has. https://spectator.us/getting-coronavirus-bring-clarity/amp/

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

There’s an alternative narrative circulating which has it that Mrs Cummings succumbed to the virus first, and that the heroic Dom, mindful of the needs of his wife and child, drove to the sanctuary of his folks in Durham in the interests of their safety and welfare.

I think they need to get the story straight. Until they can do that, I reserve the right to class Dom as an arrogant, lying , manipulative scrote. In fact, like most of the contemporary Tory party.

Kate
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Kate

This article needs some serious proofreading. Mistakes all over the place. Your editor should be ashamed to publish this.

Kerry Davies
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Kerry Davies

Anyone bother asking why he didn’t go round his brother-in-laws? Jack lives in London. That’s what really cuts the legs off every possible argument he has, he never even asked his nearest relative for help but took his disease to his elderly parents’.

A wretch!

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

A pretty despicable act by a pretty despicable person. I don’t understand and I certainly don’t emulate those who choose to use affectionate nicknames for those people who have done great harm to the people of the UK. Names like ‘our Dominic’ or using familiar names, such as ‘Boris’, ‘Bojo’ or even ‘Bunter’ for Prime Minister take away from the truly sinister nature of these people. Let’s not forget the death toll directly attributable to the polices enacted by these charlatans, which stood at 130,000 lives ended sooner than they needed to, and the death toll of Covid 19 which… Read more »

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

As perhaps one of the originators of ‘Bunter’ – being ancient enough to remember Gerald Campion’s keen TV representation of the character – there’s nothing remotely ‘endearing’ in my attribution of nicknames, As far as I’m concerned these people are ghoulsa pplauded by fools.

Plain citizen
Guest
Plain citizen

Just because we make up nicknames to ridicule (Bojo the clown), or to contrast a superficially endearing and avuncular manner with a crackpot and psychopathic personality (eg ‘Uncle Joe’ for Stalin when he embarked on policies which deliberately starved or murdered over 20 million of his own people) doesn’t mean the true nature of their sinning is hidden. Policing nicknames on the grounds of political correctness is going too far.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

No policing, no ‘political correctness’. I was expressing my opinion, as I am allowed to do so, and nowhere did I suggest for a moment that I was out to silence anyone with a different viewpoint, or that they should, in general, be silenced.

Leigh Richards
Guest
Leigh Richards

With news emerging tonite that he flouted lockdown rules on other occasions – and even the likes of the daily mail deserting him – think its fair to conclude dominic cummings will soon be spending a lot more time with his family

JOSIE BELLMON
Guest
JOSIE BELLMON

THE ARROGANCE AND LACK OF RESPECT FOR THE SUFFERING OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UK IS REVEALED IN THIS ACT AND IN PARTICULAR IN THE BARE FACE LIES OF THE DENIAL. INSULTING THE PEOPLE WHO PUT THIS SAD GROUP OF BOY SCOUTS IN POWER AT THIS TIME OF NATIONAL CRISIS IS UNACCEPTABLE AND HE SHOULD BE FORCED TO RESIGN AS AN ACT OF CONTRITION AND RESPECT TO THE NATION AND THE NHS. IT IS RIDICULOUS FOR THE SHABOLIC MR JOHNSON TO CONTINUE WITH THIS DEFENCE OF HIS CRONIE. HUBRIS COMES BEFORE THE FALL. MRS THATCHER FOUND THAT OUT. DONT INSULT… Read more »

Mary Groves
Guest
Mary Groves

Well he is a weazle, a man who’d arrogance knows no bounds. It is my view that he is a psychopath, I think the world is lucky that he probably had good parenting , god only knows what mayhem he would have wreaked had he not. I believe he is running the country, the puppet master, this suits the lazy, uninformed liar who is currently the priminister of this country. What a shower they are,lying is par for the course, they twist and turn to fit what suits. Johnson: a lazy bafoon. Hancock: A lying incompetent bully. Patel: An inverted… Read more »

Caroline Alexander
Guest
Caroline Alexander

Not to be overly cynical but could the DC possibly have been motivated by the desire to convalesce in fresh air and stunning scenery in the County Durham countryside rather than the grim streets around his London home? No way will Boris, aka the Invisible Man, throw him to the wolves. The Court Jester needs his hatchet man…

David Sheen
Guest
David Sheen

If has to resign, so does Stephen Kinnock !

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Now more reports emerging about Dom’s alleged peregrinations:

(a) that he was spotted in Barnard Castle, thirty miles from Durham city, on Easter Sunday, which if true suggests that he wasn’t that ill after all; and …

(b) that he was again spotted in Durham city on April 19th, after he’d been seen returning to work at no. 10, which if true, suggests that he made the northward trip twice.

Genuine reports, or mischievous folk jumping on a bandwagon? We might never get to know, I suppose.

jones
Guest
jones

Knives are out! Steve Baker MP calls on Dominic Cummings to go. https://thecritic.co.uk/boris-must-take-back-control/

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Plus, within the last hour, Simon Hoare, Damian Collins, Roger Gale. Craig Whittaker and Peter Bone.

Some of these hard-line Brexiteer crusaders too! I think Bunter’s in something of a cleft stick now; with MPs like Baker and Bone backing the going of Cummings, he faces the twin risks of alienating some of his most ardent supporters and simply looking weak and in thrall to Cummings if he lets the latter stay on.

I suspect the latter will worry him most!

Jacky
Guest
Jacky

Boris couldn’t careless what we all think he’s to scared to sack him because he must have something on him Boris doesn’t want coming out

Mike
Guest
Mike

Should be sacked straight away . If not everybody in country will leave home even if they have cronover19. And travel the whole Length of the country to see there immmediat family. Get a grip Boris sack him . Or the public will no longer beck you . And the rules on isolation might as well not be there , cause no one will observe them any more . One law for you at government . One for the public. Piers Morgan is so right to question your decision S. To late to close our airports and do a lockdown… Read more »

Noel Smith
Guest
Noel Smith

As Dominic Cummings has not resigned and the prime minister has asked for his resignation I believe Boris Johnson should stand down as he doesn’t back UK citizens,OrUK Law.

Steve Duggan
Guest
Steve Duggan

Interesting, there appears to be liitle criticism from the right wing press – there’s a surprise! They hound to resignation others but not the puppet master. It will have to be the public who eventually decide Cumming’s fate along with his minion Johnson. There is no where to hide Cummings – do the honourable thing and resign.

Anthony Mitchell
Guest
Anthony Mitchell

Oh no! Another politician has done something bad again……. Yet we forget about the banks that shaft us good, proper, nice and deep.

Ann Owen
Guest
Ann Owen

I don’t know about the shrugged shoulder bit in this article – have you seen the video of the public barracking Cummings got from his neighbours, hanging out of windows and voicing absolute disgust, when he gor home from work yesterday? I think he’s lost in the court of public opinion – by now even the Mail is critical of him! For me the question is why has this come out now – what else is going on that we should be uncovering??

Geoff Hood
Guest
Geoff Hood

If a different member of Boris’s government had done what Cummings did and caused this problem, I wonder what Cummings would have advised Boris to do about it