Downing Street braces for Cummings criticism of pandemic policies

Boris Johnson’s team is ready for allegations by his former aide Dominic Cummings that the Prime Minister could have avoided thousands of deaths in the winter wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cummings is preparing an evidence package criticizing his former boss for the government’s slow response to the second outbreak of the disease, it was reported on Sunday.

Helpers are anxious because Cummings, as one of number 10’s most important figures, had access to private conversations, emails, and introductions. In November, as the government was under pressure to introduce a second lockdown, Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were both eager to resist the move unless it became inevitable.

Cummings “was pushing the Prime Minister hard to lock down earlier in the fall and he has ample evidence to show his decision to delay led to devastating consequences,” an ally told the Sunday Times.

He will have a public forum to argue against Johnson next month when he is scheduled to appear before a joint special health and science committees inquiry into the pandemic.

A friend of Cummings predicted fireworks, telling the Financial Times: “He never pretends to score. Always shoot for the target. . . and this stuff means a lot to him.

Although Britain is basking in one of the most successful vaccine deployment programs in the world, its death rate from the pandemic does not compare favorably with other countries. The official number of people who have died after contracting Covid-19 during the pandemic has exceeded 127,000.

Cumshots dropped a bomb on Johnson on Friday night when he accused him of falling “well below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.”

Among the former aide’s allegations was a claim that Johnson wanted Tory donors to secretly pay for the renovation of his apartment at No.11 Downing Street.

The government on Friday announced that the Prime Minister himself had paid for nearly £ 60,000 in renovations after scrapping a plan to have a donor pay the sum.

Liz Truss, international trade secretary, told the BBC Andrew Marr Show Sunday that the costs had been “borne by the Prime Minister”. But when asked if a donor initially loaned the money to Johnson, she said she “was not involved in the details of the apartment renovations.”

Labor is seeking to force a top minister to come to parliament this week to answer questions about the allegations about funding for the renovation. Shadow cabinet minister Rachel Reeves has written to Johnson asking for a full investigation into the money spent on the apartment.

Cummings also claimed that Henry Newman, a friend of Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds, was the source of the leak last year about the timing of the second nationwide lockdown. He wrote that Simon Case, cabinet secretary, told him “all the evidence definitely leads to Henry Newman,” adding that Johnson then asked if it would be possible to stop the investigation to avoid an argument with his fiancée. .

Yet the FT revealed on Friday that MI5, brought in by Case to investigate, believed the fugitive was in fact Cummings.

The case is expected to be questioned about the allegations on Monday when questioned by members of the select committee on public administration and constitutional affairs.

Labor, which is around 10 points behind the Conservative Party in the polls, is trying to capitalize on a storm of unsavory allegations ahead of the May 6 local election.

Lord Eddie Lister, a senior advisor to Johnson, resigned on Friday after it emerged he remained on the payrolls of two property developers while working in Downing Street.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, called for a full investigation into the government’s ‘sleaze’.

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