Ed Davey: Johnson must sack Cummings now

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Shortly after Dominic Cummings’ extraordinary media conference, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, said:

Countless people have lost loved ones and made enormous, heartbreaking sacrifices every single day since lockdown began.

Dominic Cummings has shown that these sacrifices by millions of people don’t matter to him. His refusal to have the decency to apologise is an insult to us all. It reveals the worst of his elitist arrogance.

The bond of trust between the Government and the people has well and truly been broken. The buck stops with the Prime Minister. By failing to act, he risks his Government’s ability to tackle this awful pandemic and keep people safe.

The Prime Minister must come clean about what he knows and terminate Dominic Cummings’ contract. It is now clearer than ever that, once we are through this crisis, there must also be an independent inquiry to review the Government’s actions.

Ed appeared on BBC News shortly after the media conference and added:

Cummings is now a distraction. The Prime Minister’s failure to act is making the job of dealing with coronavirus worse.

The PMs judgement is now on the line, and if he fails to deal with Cummings, his colleagues may start to ask “Is this the man we want to lead the country?”.

The lack of contrition (from Dominic Cummings) displayed a level of arrogance which is alarming.

Him remaining in post is getting in the way of the government dealing with this crisis.

Here is a clip of Ed’s appearance on BBC News:

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60 Comments

  • Cummings does ‘contrite’..I didn’t believe any of it..With the government’s facilities at his disposal ‘testing’, security and child care, whilst remaining in his London home, would’ve been a phone call away!

    Ed did really well on the news following Cummings’s rose garden statement..

  • I thought Cummings gave a pretty good account of himself and suspect that public opinion will turn in his favour against the stone throwers.

    However he may have been foolish to boasr that he foresaw a coronavirus pandemic coming and wrote a paper on it last year. If he is so clever why has the UK Government response seemingly been less successful than in some other countries. Ed Davey would be better to focus on this rather than getting in the gutter with the Bench of Bishops

  • Yes this information that he wrote about a pandemic coming along. Where is the report ? What happened to it? Why was it not acted on. Questions to be answered.

  • Barry Lofty 25th May '20 - 6:47pm

    How can anybody defend Cummings arrogance, he deserves all the criticism he gets. I speak as someone who has not seen my children and grandchildren for 12 weeks and there many more in a worse position than myself, why should he feel he is above the corona virus law he supposedly helped to put in place? What an arrogant self serving bunch this government is!

  • I think public opinion is turning in favour of Cummings, I don’t know anyone in real life (not on line) that thinks he should resign. Time for Davey to move on to other things.

  • Andrew Melmoth 25th May '20 - 7:30pm

    He just confirmed the substance of the allegations are true. The regulation he is relying on doesn’t apply to people with suspected coronavirus. He complains about the media but the most inaccurate media report about this scandal was the one written by his wife in the spectator.
    Rather than draw a line under the story the press conference just raises more questions.
    Why did he think putting his son in an enclosed space for 5 hours with someone with suspected coronavirus was better for the child than staying in London?
    What was he planning to do if he had become ill or broke down on the drive to Durham?
    If the point of going to Durham was to access childcare why did he visit a hospital to pick up his son during the period he was presumably infectious?
    Is it really likely that on the only times he came into contact with the members of the public he was recognised?
    What sort of person goes for a drive with their wife and son to test their eyesight?

    Millions have made terrible sacrifices for the wider public good. He has fatally undermined the government’s key public health messages during a pandemic. He has to go.

  • Funny, I don’t know anyone in real life who thinks he should stay. So by my equally valid straw poll, Ed should carry on.

  • The lockdowns are ending. It’s time move on. Really, there should be an inquiry about how we ended up locking down based a computer simulation favoured by the George W Bush administration in 2006 (apparently influenced by a high school project on contact amongst student).
    This would be much more productive than indulging the people’s court of twitter’s penchant for mob fury and demands that offenders against social mores shuffle around like disgraced members the CCP.

  • expats

    ‘Cummings does ‘contrite’..I didn’t believe any of it.’

    Excuse me I think my wife has Covid 19 & I’ve been mixing with people that now have it, are you free to come to my flat to look after my 4 year old child.

    Would have been a stampede of volunteers for sure.

  • Charles Smith 25th May '20 - 9:02pm

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed his senior adviser Dominic Cummings on Sunday, despite calls from within his own Conservative Party for the aide to resign for driving 400 kilometres during the coronavirus lockdown.
    Cummings, architect of the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, came under pressure when newspapers reported he had travelled from London to northern England in March when his wife was ill with COVID-19 symptoms during a nationwide lockdown.
    https://worldabcnews.com/british-pm-resists-calls-from-own-party-to-sack-top-adviser-who-crossed-u-k-during-lockdown/

  • Andrew Melmoth 25th May '20 - 9:18pm

    He didn’t need childcare. All three them ended up at hospital in Durham. The whole purpose of the stay at home message was to avoid people spreading the virus from one part of the country to another. They put the lives of other families at risk to deal with a contingency which given their age was never likely to arise.

  • John Marriott 25th May '20 - 9:27pm

    If ‘malc’ is right, it just shows how out of touch people like me are with modern thinking. Of course Cummings won’t resign. He’s got a skin as thick as a rhinoceros. As for ‘Glenn’s’ assertion that “the lockdowns are ending”, be careful what you wish for. Without a vaccine or an effective treatment, we may need to use them again, if enough of us take our lead from Cummings and decide to ignore advice. He’ll be telling us next that it’s all part of a right wing conspiracy to nail us down while they develop a vaccine with intelligent nano cells to keep us under control.

    So, in Mr Cummings, we have our new Norman Lamont, who repeated those words made famous originally in a song by Edith Piaf; “ Je ne regrette rien “.

  • Tony Greaves 25th May '20 - 10:25pm

    I am just intrigued by bits of this story. (1) Did Cummings really drive for five hours up to midnight, without a stop, as he said? Is that safe or sensible? (2) Did no-one in the car even want a pee for five hours? Even a four-year-old (who did however need a pee on the trip to Barnard Castle)? (3) And then again on the drive south (unless they did stop for fuel which Cummings can’t remember? Has he no receipt? (4) Does a tankful of fuel in his car really last for 530 miles from south to north plus 60 miles to Barden Castle and back and at least one other local trip? He can’t remember filling up again? Anyway it was a pretty shabby performance though perhaps not as bad as Johnson’s.

  • Ed is having a good cummingsgate.

  • There were references to “work” and “the office” in the Cummings presentation but given the implications for the country in taking a drastic decision in the face of a difficult family situation he doesn’t seem to have consulted anyone on the work front. That in itself is a reason for seeing him as dangerous.

  • John Marriot
    They are ending right across Europe. They’re even looking at ways of restarting tourism. A vaccine could be years away and the track record for the ones aimed at other coronaviruses don’t suggest a magic bullet.
    I don’t understand this enthusiasm for destroying human contact, sport, public transport, cities, the arts, music, jobs and quarantining the healthy. I don’t see it as a left or right wing issue. I mentioned the model favoured by the Bush administration because the computer program used was influenced by a fourteen-year-old’s high school project. Plus if the virus was circulating in December 2019 and as the testing in London suggests around 20 percent of the population already had it, then it is possible that the current outbreak IS the second wave. The Nightingale hospitals were not built just in case and the existing hospital wards were not cleared on the off chance that it might prove prudent. It was because the models suggested huge numbers of virus victims. It turned out that they were wrong and that It’s a complication for existing health problems, not the black death. If we keep closing down for that, then why not flu or measles or any other thing that reminds us we’re mortal.

  • The most positive and convincing thing today about Cummings D.M. was that he’d had a shave, wore a nice clean white shirt with a collar, tidied up what’s left of his hair…. and…. did I detect a hint of tan cream ?

  • Quite simply, if we are relying on this guy’s judgement to assist the government with a public health emergency and policies to get the UK through one of the worse crisis in history and this guys judgement was that…..After experiencing severe covid like symptoms which left him debilitated to the point where it severely affected his vision and to test his vision and his ability to drive his wife and 4-year-old child home on a journey of 270 miles, his judgement was to take a 60-mile round trip test run with a 4-year-old in tow.

    No thank you Mr Cummings, your judgement is seriously lacking if you are seriously willing to put your own toddler at risk like that, I don’t want you making up policies for our country and putting OUR families and loved ones at risk.
    Move along swiftly please as you are clearly lacking the skills and judgement that the country needs

  • Yousuf Farah 26th May '20 - 3:14am

    Cummings and Johnson have only shown that they are smart enough to truly know the nature of their electorate. In that no matter what they do, no matter how malicious it is to the country and electorate, they will still be voted for by the people, purely because they are the ones promising a tougher position on immigration. So in that respect, they have already won the next election, and possibly the one after that, since the ones most likely to beat them (Labour), aren’t willing to commit to ending freedom of movement. And the Tories know this, they know that all the average joe really cares about is immigration, and whether it can be put to an end.

    That is the reality of the matter, you can debate other stuff as much as you like, but the reason the Conservatives are in government (and always are), is because they know what ordinary people, by that I mean the working class-the majority-you and me, really want. And so those who are opposed to people like Cummings and Johnson, doing whatever they want and being angry it, until we realise this, there is no point complaining about Cummings, because it is meaningless in the long run.

    Sometimes people say, you have to fight fire with fire, but in this case, you have to BE fire to beat fire.

  • Richard Easter 26th May '20 - 6:20am

    Cummings should go, and furthermore I don’t know anyone who supports him at all – and that includes Brexit voters. His ridiculous dog and pony show yesterday was utterly insulting to millions.

    He has deliberately travelled across the length of the country when infected and entered assorted premises in Durham (hospital, petrol station, parents property), appears to have taken a banned leisure trip to Barnard Castle (under the guise of what appears to be a motoring offence as well) – convienently on his wife’s birthday.

    He has made a mockery of the rules, he has made the efforts of not only NHS staff but also other key workers – who have risked their lives look like a waste, he has effectively defiled the memory of the dead and he has well and truly upset large numbers of ordinary people who have made huge sacrifices – being unable to see family or friends, visit sick loved ones, bury loved ones, run a business, get married, see new grandchildren and so forth.

    He has opened the floodgates now for everyone to make trips to Cornwall, Devon, Dorset Cumbria, Norfolk and other regions and criss cross the country. Weston Super Mare’s hospital became overloaded yesterday.

    The man is a selfish menace. And it’s nothing to do with his political viewpoints. It is to do with his insane actions. It really is one rule for one and another for everyone else.

  • Richard Easter 26th May '20 - 6:27am

    Yousuf Farah – The Tories may have claimed to be tough on immigration, but they were quite happy to leave the borders open during a pandemic, whilst other nations “took control”.

    The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

    I’m not sure they speak for the working class either. They seem to have convinced a lot of older manual workers in small towns. But they haven’t made inroads into working class people under 40, nor working class areas such as Merseyside. And white working class Brexit voting military cities such as Plymouth and Portsmouth have still returned Labour MPs in some seats.

    I’m not sure it is as clear cut as working class people are all Tories. It also doesn’t help if the likes of Cummings are blaming the press, and this is the narrative being stoked up – because people will put two and two together and wonder if all they hear about Corbyn or Starmer is true as well…

  • John Marriott 26th May '20 - 7:30am

    @Glenn
    Oh, to have your joy of life and faith in your fellow man, or at least “human contact”. It’s human contact that spread this virus in the first place, aided and abetted to a large extent by air travel. It could be too early human contact that could start a second wave of infection.

    I don’t buy your “we’re already in a second wave” theory. It looks like things will be opening up over here whether some of us like it or not, thanks, to a large extent, to the example set by a certain Mr Cummings.

    Talking of him and his family, I greatly enjoyed Lord Greaves’ comment. I guess, Tony, it’s a case of “to pee or not to pee”.

    PS It’s just me being pedantic; but it’s Marriott with two T’s, Glen!

  • Richard Underhill 26th May '20 - 8:32am

    I always wanted my wife to be able to drive.
    If one needs an optician one sees an optician.
    Michael Gove MP is wrong about “honour and integrity.”

  • Alex Macfie 26th May '20 - 8:39am

    Yousuf Farah: In early 1993, The Economist carried a piece in its Bagehot slot imagining the aftermath of a general election in 1996 in which the Tories had been re-elected with an increased majority of 60 seats. The newly-elected Labour leader, Gordon Brown, was giving qualified support to John Major’s latest privatisation plans.
    So it appears that as late as 6 months after Black Wednesday there were still those who bought the narrative that the Tories were invincible and destined to be in power forever following their unexpected 1992 election victory. Well we know what actually happened.
    So I’m not convinced by Yousuf’s defeatist narrative that the Tories have already won the next election.
    The public mood on immigration is more liberal than it used to be, so the Tories may not even be able to play that card anymore. But that’s not the most important thing here. However smart they may think they are, it looks like they have seriously misjudged the public mood on Cummingsgate, a major miscalculation that could easily haunt them throughout the remaining 4–4½ years that this government has to run. We have yet to see how this scandal will affect poll ratings (and the Tories are still enjoying their crisis bounce, so the effect may not be immediate) but this could be the start of the Tories becoming deeply unpopular and never recovering before the next election (or for a long time afterwards), like the Tories after Black Wednesday and us after the Coalition and Tuition Fees.

  • The latest, shall we say, terminological inexactitude, from Michael Gove this morning. He ‘didn’t know Cummings was in Durham until Friday when the story broke’.

    Come on, Mikey boy ? One of your best mates, worked for you for seven years, disappears from Downing Street in the middle of a national crisis and you don’t know where he is or ask questions about where he is ? In the words of Lord Greavsie you’re taking the pee.

  • Catherine Smart 26th May '20 - 8:56am

    Can’t Dominic Cummings wife drive? If his eye-sight was questionable, he should not be on the public road at all. It may be that the car was not insured for her to drive – but a phone call would have fixed that, surely? Or is he one of those men (usually of an older generation and not as common as previously) who cannot bear being driven by a woman?

  • John Marriott 26th May '20 - 9:22am

    So, Mr Cummings was wondering whether he could see straight after his brush with unconfirmed Covid-19. Has he ever wondered whether he can THINK straight as well? As for Michael Gove, what an unctuous load of waffle he talks. I can imagine him saying to a police officer if he had had a car accident; “Actually, Officer, I was struck by this stationary vehicle”.

  • John Marriot
    There is nothing stopping you self isolating if you’re that scared of germs and your fellow man. I just don’t see it as a good reason for destroying the fabric of society.
    You wouldn’t exist without human contact (I’m pretty certain my parents made me through human contact and I’m betting the same for yours). Your home would not be built without human contact. The food you eat would not get to you without human contact. The things you enjoy watching or listening to or the car you drive would not exist without human contact. It’s pretty difficult to do anything without human contact. It’s not about faith in human nature. it’s about the reality that we can’t indefinitely run society as if everyone in it is frail or old and would be immortal if only we stopped being or wanting to be socially active and accepted “the new normal”. I think it’s unreasonable.

  • Richard Underhill 26th May '20 - 9:40am

    Douglas Ross MP has resigned as a government minister.
    Has he been under pressure from the Tory Whips office to publicly support the party line?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Ross_(Scottish_politician)

  • Glenford Bishop 26th May '20 - 10:03am

    Aha, now I see why the rather irrational permission to ‘travel as far as you like now’ has come from, when in fact a radius of twenty or thirty miles would have been more in tune with an easing of knockdown. Of course: this was agreed in order to attempt to mitigate any public flack if that story about Durham ever got out, even though it occurred during the complete restriction on travel the devious so and so’s cooked it up, despite opposition I believe, to try to lessen the impact and exonerate Cummings. I have no confidence in any of it any more.

  • Michael Gove told Kay Burley this morning that Cummings was following the national guidance in driving to a beauty spot. The date Cummings drove to Barnard Castle ? April 12th…… before the guidance was published. You’d think the loquacious Mr Gove would fact check before deliberately spreading terminological inexactitudes live on the media. And….. did Cummings help to draft the new guidance with anything particular in mind ?

    Anyone with knowledge of the route to the River Tees at Barnard Castle from Durham City (regardless of eyesight) would know you have to pass through the town centre on the A67 to get there…… unless you drive for an hour each way via Scotch Corner.

  • The taking over of the news by the Cumming’s story – blanket coverage – is outrageous, a very minor affair that should have come and gone after a few minutes coverage. I am much more interested in how Sweden has got on without a lock-down, for instance – no news on that. Or how Thailand, with its millions of Chinese tourists, escaped with relatively few deaths. Or how the mega-dose vitamin C therapies worked out. Etc, etc.

    BTW, Ed Davey and Cummings, at a quick glance, look quite similar facially…

  • Sepulchral, portentous male voice…

    “This… is an Official Message From The Government”

    “LEAVE HOME.

    SPREAD…THE…VIRUS

    COST LIVES”

  • Dominic Cummings did not comply with the Instruction to Say At Home Twice. 27 March and 13 April.

    Cummings made a statement-

    2nd of April, “my child woke up. He threw up and had a bad fever.” IE. The same symptom his wife had on March 27 which caused him to move his family to Durham. He said his wife was recovered by 2 April. He said he was incapacitated on 2nd but recovered by 3 April.

    Saturday 11th of April “I was still feeling weak and exhausted” but with “no Covid symptoms”. “I sought expert medical advice. I explained our family’s symptoms and all the timings, and I asked if it was safe to return to work on Monday”.

    But, Sunday 12 April, “my eyesight seemed to have been affected by the disease. I felt a bit sick.” IE. The same symptom his wife had on March 27 which caused him to move his family to Durham. “We agreed that if I continued to improve” we would return to London. “We returned to London on the evening of Monday 13 April, Easter Monday”.

    Knowing he had Covid 19 symptoms, Dominic Cummings did not isolate his family on 12 April. He did not Stay at Home. He moved his family from Durham to London. He did not tell his employer his symptoms of 12 April. He returned to work 14 April.

    “I have never been tested”

    Taking away the self justifying Hubris, concocted over three days with the Prime Minister, we are left with these facts. Cummings should be Sacked. Boris Johnson should be removed. Both men are Deceivers.

  • Nonconformistradical 26th May '20 - 12:06pm

    @Glenn
    “It’s about the reality that we can’t indefinitely run society as if everyone in it is frail or old and would be immortal if only we stopped being or wanting to be socially active and accepted “the new normal”. I think it’s unreasonable.”

    Are you implying that the old and/or vulnerable are expendable in the interests of the majority who are not in either of these categories?

  • There is a very important principle here. Rules are for the common people. The elite will do what they like. The Bullingdon Club was there to teach that important principle.

    A few elite people spreading the virus around don’t matter very much, in the grand scheme of things. One or two excess deaths in Durham won’t be noticed, and can’t be pinned on anybody. Only the common people need to do what they are told.

    Orthodox Tory advisers will have told Johnson that there is a suitable way to deal with this problem, which is to compel Cummings to resign, but promise to quietly bring him back again once the heat is off. That is the way successive governments have usually tackled such problems. But for Johnson, it is a very important matter of principle that he should act differently. Johnson must demonstrate that the rules do not apply to him.

    That’s why Johnson prorogued Parliament. The prorogation achieved nothing at all in terms of Brexit legislation. It was not intended to. It was done in order to prove that Johnson could do something which everybody condemned as outrageous, and that he would get away with it.

    Showing that you are above the law is not something that you can just do as a one-off. You have to continually repeat the action, in multiple contexts, and show that it is always successful. Cummings has given Johnson a great opportunity to stick two fingers up against anybody who might stand in his way. He has delightedly taken that opportunity.

  • Paul Barker 26th May '20 - 1:09pm

    Congratulations to The (Junior) Minister who resigned over this, the anger he feels seems to be shared by a lot of other Tory MPs.

    On top of the “One Rule for Us…” aspect a lot of Tories are appalled at the way a mere “Advisor” has become more important than Senior Ministers. What is the point of spending Decades slowly climbing the Greasy Pole when some crackpot off the streets can just swan in & tell you what to do.

    The Minister who resigned may well believe that his action might help his Career in the long run.

  • The comments which struck me was that Cummings “had to get back to work” indicating that if he was absent , the idiots left in charge would muck everything up.Well they did even whilst he was there. But it shows who is really running the country or isnt, whichever way you want

  • John O 25th May ’20 – 8:17pm…………………….Excuse me I think my wife has Covid 19 & I’ve been mixing with people that now have it, are you free to come to my flat to look after my 4 year old child.
    Would have been a stampede of volunteers for sure…………

    The instructions were clear…Stay at home. It seems that, for a man of his calibre, he made no attempt to make any local/government arrangements; just jumped in the car and drove north.
    He failed to inform Johnson, Raab, Gove or any other minister when and where he was going; I’d be tempted to ask Johnson, “Who works for whom?”; however, an honest answer would embarass Boris even more. As for telling us that he never spoke of it with Johnson until last Friday??????
    It’s not often that Gove is short of a lie but, when asked on LBC, about “driving 60+ miles to test his eyesight”, the best that Gove could come up with was that he wasn’t an expert on driving…

    The death rate, PPE and Care home scandals hasn’t affected Johnson’s popularity; this knocked him ‘negative’…It’s a sad fact but this seems to galvanise the British public far more…
    “Go for it Ed!”

  • Nonconformistradical
    I’m staying that we shouldn’t destroy the fabric of society in a wild extended experiment in social control. If we do this for this health scare, why not for every health scare? We protect the vulnerable where we can, but we don’t do this by shutting social activities down indefinitely. I’ve been a final stage carer. I feel sorry for anyone who goes through it. I just don’t see it as a good reason to restrict people who are not in that position. You can always self isolate if you are scared of the reality that people are social creatures and that life will go on without you, but they are and it will.

  • Yeovil Yokel 26th May '20 - 3:02pm

    “BTW, Ed Davey and Cummings, at a quick glance, look quite similar facially……” Perhaps, Frank West, you’re someone else who needs to take a 60 mile drive to check his eyesight.

  • @ Paul Barker “The Minister who resigned may well believe that his action might help his Career in the long run”. He won’t have a career next time round, Paul, and the Tory Leader at Holyrood Mr Jackson (sit on the fence) Carlaw is tottering.

    @ expats “The death rate, PPE and Care home scandals hasn’t affected Johnson’s popularity; this knocked him ‘negative’…”………….

    The latest Ipsos Mori poll up here in Scotland (14 and 20 May, pre-Cummings), found Ms Sturgeon and the Scottish government have done a better job of handling the pandemic than Mr Johnson and the UK government.

    82% said Ms Sturgeon had handled the outbreak “fairly” or “very” well, to 8% “fairly” or “very” badly, giving her a net approval rating of +74. The Scottish government’s score was +67.

    30% said the prime minister was handling the outbreak “fairly” or “very” well, compared to 55% “fairly” or “very” badly – a net approval rating of -25. The UK government’s overall rating was -17.

  • David Allen 26th May '20 - 3:53pm

    Can’t resist calling out this classic Own-Foot-Shot (25th May 6.35pm):

    “Ed Davey would be better to focus on this rather than getting in the gutter with the Bench of Bishops”

  • Survation poll (fieldwork carried out 22-26 May)

    Con 46%
    Lab 33%
    Lib Dem 8%
    Green 4%

    Leadership approval ratings:

    Boris Johnson net + 18% favourability rating
    Keir Starmer net + 16%

    Considering the Cummings story over the last week both Johnson and the Tories seem to be doing pretty good.

  • Looking at the politics of all this, how much of the already trimmed (trimmed of Stewart, Gauke, Gyimah, etc) Tory party is Johnson prepared to alienate in order to keep his SPAD ? The Brexit right (Baker) are not happy and I understand that Tom Tugendhat and Tobias Elwood, both select committee chairs, have been excluded from today’s Liaison Committee meeting with Johnson.
    Does the Tory party still have men in grey suits and has their calculus regarding the value of Johnson changed in that past 48 hours, I wonder ?

  • An example of how ‘beyond reason’ the defence of Cummings has gone was shown yesterday evening…
    In reply to a question from a vicar about whether members of the public who had been fined for travelling during the lockdown could have them reviewed, if they were travelling for childcare reasons, Hancock promised to speak to colleagues at the Treasury about the issue and the government later confirmed it would be looked into by the Home Office.

    When you are prepared to overturn the law to accomodate an advisor’s misdemeanors the country is ‘broken’…

  • Alex Macfie 27th May '20 - 8:26am

    @malc: Both Tory support and Johnson’s approval ratings represent falls from the previous Survation poll a month ago.
    Party support: Con 48%; Lab 31%; Lib Dem 8%; Green 5%
    Approval ratings (net): Johnson +39%; Starmer +14%

    Most noteworthy is the sharp fall in Johnson’s approval rating. Note also that the fieldwork for the latest Survation poll was from Friday 22nd to Tuesday 26th May, thus while the Cummings scandal was beginning to play out. The latest YouGov poll for the Times, whose fieldwork is only Monday+Tuesday, shows a much sharper fall in the Tory lead, from 15 points (in the previous YouGov/Times poll a week earlier) to 6 points.

    So unfortunately for Cummings cheerleaders like malc, the scandal is adversely affecting Tory popularity. Whether the Tories can bounce back from this remains to be seen. To me, it has the hallmarks of a scandal that drags a party down to depths from which it cannot recover in time for the next election. Not only will this particular scandal run for some time, but it is likely to lead people to look at the rest of the government’s actions in a different light going forward.

    Unfortunately for the Lib Dems, we have still not moved according to either pollster (6% from YouGov, 8% from Survation).

  • Alex Macfie

    I’m not a Cumming’s cheerleader – I just don’t like the witch hunt against him. The behaviour of the reporters outside is home has been disgraceful. That said he obviously did somethings wrong, the question is whether he deserves to be sacked or not. Johnson has decided not, so the government will just have to ride out the storm. In the current circumstances I don’t think they will be to disappointed to still be polling between 44-48%.

  • @malc: The Tories’ poll ratings have been artificially high ever since the December election. First the electoral honeymoon period, then the “glory” of “Getting Brexit Done”, then the crisis bounce. As the country is still in crisis mode, one would not normally have expected a major shift in polling at this time. But the Tories are now losing popularity, and this can almost certainly be put down to Cummingsgate.

  • Why is it the Lib Dems engross themselves in `process politics`. Is it because they don’t want to tackle difficult issues (for them) like migration, the economy or CCP?

    All I ever hear from the Lib Dems is Brexit and Cummings. Are they one and the same thing. One does wonder?

    I get the impression that the Lib Dems don’t want to share power. They prefer to snipe from the sidelines.

  • james – Libdem actually has superior economic policies than other parties, if you bother to read. But of course you don’t, because you are actually a conservative troll.

  • Alex Macfie 27th May '20 - 1:46pm

    james: Exactly what opportunity do the Lib Dems have to “share power”? With a government that has an 80-seat majority? And no, Brexit and Cummings are not the same thing, but Cummings is in the news right now, and our best opportunity to get any exposure at all in the media is to talk about this issue that looks about to discredit the Johnson administration.

  • Barry Lofty 27th May '20 - 2:43pm

    James; The government’s handling of the present crisis has been bad from the start, to say the least, and for one of the main architects of their policy and it’s instructions to the general public to be found blatantly breaking his own orders is making a mockery of the sacrifices of people up and down the country, so Liberal Democrats keep sniping from the sidelines or from anywhere else and I hope they keep digging about some other issues which have been hidden from public view.

  • Phil Beesley 27th May '20 - 3:16pm

    malc: “I’m not a Cumming’s cheerleader – I just don’t like the witch hunt against him. The behaviour of the reporters outside is home has been disgraceful.”

    Dominic Cummings is a senior political advisor. He is entitled to security protection — perhaps noted when his parents contacted Durham police. He is getting protection from physical harm, which is right. It is not the role of the police to protect him from shouted insults or questions from journalists or people waving surprisingly eloquent and grammatically correct banners.

  • Phil Beesley

    Nobody should be harassed outside their home like this, especially when there are young children living there. I’m rather stunned that you think this is acceptable – remember the outcry from Lib Dems when remain MP’s were shouted at and insulted. That was at their place of work – imagine the outrage (rightly so) if that had been at their homes.

  • @ malc I agree with you, though I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for the man and think he should be dismissed.

    @ Phil Beesley “It is not the role of the police to protect him from shouted insults or questions ……… Dominic Cummings is a senior political advisor.”

    His wife and his child are not…… the grammar or otherwise of shouts and waved banners is of absolutely no consequence to a four year old who must be terrified at what is going on outside his home. Try to empathise with a little boy who now would normally be expecting to have a story read to him before he goes to bed………….. and don’t forget the neighbours who’ve got rights too.

  • Richard Underhill 27th May '20 - 7:42pm

    At the Liaison Committee today Boris completely refused to answer questions about his aide. The number of Tory MPs complaining is now up to 40.

  • @ Richard Underhill “Boris” ? Why do you use the intimate singular.

    The man is Johnson, as in, “Corbyn”.

  • Frankly the Conservatives deserve a Pride’s Purge.

  • Antony Watts 31st May '20 - 8:09am

    Actually we don’t have a single Dom Covid problem. We have two, maybe interconnected problems.

    First, Cummings is not the man we need anywhere near our government, especially so close to our Prime Minister. He has a murky background, I quote, “An unelected, foul-mouth oaf at the heart of Downing Street is dangerous and unacceptable”. Remember this is the man that dragged us out of the EU, a driver of Gove & Johnson in Vote Leave with numerous lies and deceptions – NHS £350 Million… Turkey joining the EU… Take back control from the tyranny of the EU… EU causes all our problems… Analytical scandal…

    Second, under the influence of Cummings we have little or no forward vision of strategy for UK. This is a failure of our minsters, but for sure encouraged by the views of Cummings who believes that the way to work is not to plan to the benefit of our society, but to take any two sides and views and play the game of “chicken” with them. Generating acrimony as a way to get a result. The problem of this approach is that it does not make any progress, but just reflects which of the tired old ideas can win a beauty contest.

    So? We need a vision of UK’s future. Where are we going? Analysing the position of UK in Europe the EU thinks we should,

    1. Pursue fiscal policies aimed at achieving
    – prudent medium-term fiscal positions and
    – ensuring debt sustainability,
    – while enhancing investment.
    Strengthen the resilience of the health system.

    2. Ensure the adequacy and coverage of the social protection system to provide
    – support for all and
    – in particular those most affected by the crisis.

    3. Foster
    – innovation and support human capital development.
    4. Front-load
    – mature public investment projects (hospitals, Climate, EVs) and
    – promote private investment to foster the economic recovery.
    5. Focus investment on
    – the Green and Digital transition, in particular on
    — housing,
    — clean and efficient production and
    — use of energy,
    — sustainable transport infrastructures and
    — high speed broadband networks.

    What do you think? Do we have enough clever people to do this?

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