Downing Road braces for Cummings critique of pandemic insurance policies
Boris Johnson’s workforce is braced for allegations from his former aide Dominic Cummings that the prime minister might have prevented hundreds of deaths within the winter wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cummings is getting ready a file of proof criticising his former boss for the federal government’s sluggish response to the second surge of the illness, it was reported on Sunday.
Aides are anxious as a result of Cummings, as one of the senior figures in Quantity 10, had entry to non-public conversations, emails and shows. In November, as the federal government got here underneath stress to introduce a second lockdown, Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak had been each anxious to withstand the transfer except it turned unavoidable.
Cummings “was pushing the prime minister arduous to lock down sooner within the autumn and he has a number of proof that exhibits that his resolution to delay led to devastating penalties,” one ally informed the Sunday Instances.
He may have a public discussion board to make his case in opposition to Johnson subsequent month when he is because of seem earlier than a joint inquiry by the well being and science choose committees into the pandemic.
One buddy of Cummings predicted fireworks, telling the Monetary Instances: “He by no means feints to attain. At all times shoots for the goal . . . and these things issues vastly to him.”
Though Britain is basking in one of the profitable vaccine rollout programmes on this planet, its demise price from the pandemic doesn’t evaluate favourably with different nations. The official quantity of people that have died after contracting Covid-19 throughout the pandemic has handed 127,000.
Cummings dropped a bombshell on Johnson on Friday night when he accused him of falling “far beneath the requirements of competence and integrity the nation deserves”.
Among the many allegations from the previous aide was a declare that Johnson had needed Tory donors to secretly pay for the renovation of his flat at Quantity 11 Downing Road.
On Friday the federal government introduced that the prime minister had paid for almost £60,000 of renovations himself after abandoning a plan to get the sum paid by a donor.
Liz Truss, worldwide commerce secretary, informed the BBC’s Andrew Marr Present on Sunday that the prices had been “lined by the prime minister”. However requested whether or not a donor had initially lent the cash to Johnson she mentioned she was “not concerned within the particulars of flat renovations”.
The Labour get together is looking for to power a senior minister to return to Parliament this week to take questions on the allegations concerning the funding of the refurbishment. Rachel Reeves, shadow Cupboard Workplace minister, wrote to Johnson calling for a full investigation into the cash spent on the flat.
Cummings additionally claimed that Henry Newman, a buddy of Johnson’s companion Carrie Symonds, was the supply of leaks final 12 months concerning the timing of the second nationwide lockdown. He wrote that Simon Case, cupboard secretary, had informed him that “all of the proof positively results in Henry Newman”, including that Johnson had then requested if it will be potential to cease the inquiry to keep away from a row together with his fiancée.
But the FT revealed on Friday that MI5, introduced in by Case to hold out the investigation, believed the leaker was the truth is Cummings.
Case is about to be requested concerning the allegations on Monday when he’s quizzed by MPs on the general public administration and constitutional affairs choose committee.
Labour, which is round 10 factors behind the Conservative get together within the polls, is making an attempt to capitalise on a blizzard of unsavoury allegations forward of the native elections on Might 6.
On Friday Lord Eddie Lister, a senior adviser to Johnson, resigned after it emerged that he had stayed on the payroll of two property builders whereas working in Downing Road.
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour chief, has referred to as for a full inquiry into authorities “sleaze”.
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