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Dominic Cummings: Eight takeaways from his interview

Dominic Cummings has given BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg his first main TV interview.

1) The PM resisted a second lockdown

With Covid charges rising final autumn, there was a debate inside authorities about whether or not a second lockdown was wanted in England.

Mr Cummings says Boris Johnson was extremely against new restrictions, which Labour was calling for by mid-October.

He claims the PM despatched him a WhatsApp message on 15 October, arguing that most individuals who have been dying have been of their 80s.

“That’s above life expectancy. So get Covid and Stay longer,” he allegedly wrote, including: “And I now not purchase all this NHS overwhelmed stuff. Of us, I believe we could must recalibrate.”

However the authorities says it has taken the “vital motion to guard lives and livelihoods, guided by the very best scientific recommendation” all through the pandemic.

Dominic Cummings: The Interview shall be broadcast within the UK on BBC Two at 19:00 BST on Tuesday, and it is going to be obtainable on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds

2) Boris Johnson needed to maintain seeing the Queen in particular person

picture copyrightPA Media
picture captionThe Queen normally meets prime ministers as soon as per week at Buckingham Palace

Early within the pandemic, in keeping with Mr Cummings, Mr Johnson needed to maintain going to his weekly one-to-one conferences with the Queen in particular person.

However, on 18 March final yr, he provides, Mr Cummings warned the PM that the then 93-year-old monarch can be vulnerable to dying if she caught coronavirus.

“That is fully insane,” he says he instructed Mr Johnson, who, he provides, then modified his thoughts.

Downing Avenue denies that this incident occurred.

3) Cummings did not inform the complete story about his County Durham journey

picture copyrightPA Media
picture captionDominic Cummings gave a press convention within the Downing Avenue backyard after his journey to Durham

After his street journey to County Durham throughout lockdown final yr was uncovered, Mr Cummings confronted the media within the Downing Avenue rose backyard. He mentioned he had made the journey to his dad and mom’ farm after his spouse fell sick.

However he tells the BBC, there have been additionally “safety issues” surrounding his household residence in London that he didn’t reveal when he answered questions.

Referring to the press convention, he says: “What I ought to have completed is both simply resigned and mentioned nothing about something, or I ought to have spoken to my household and mentioned, ‘Pay attention, we’re simply going to have to return clear about the entire thing’.”

4) He has doubts about Brexit

picture copyrightchannel 4
picture captionDominic Cummings’s position within the 2016 Vote Go away marketing campaign was the topic of a Channel 4 drama

Dominic Cummings has been portrayed because the brains behind Vote Go away’s victory within the 2016 EU referendum. Benedict Cumberbatch even performed him as a unusual near-genius within the Channel 4 drama Brexit: The Uncivil Warfare, arising with slogans like “Take again management” that struck a chord with hundreds of thousands of voters.

However, Mr Cummings tells the BBC that anybody who says they’re positive, 5 years after the consequence, that Brexit is an efficient factor should “have a screw free”.

Nonetheless, he provides: “Clearly I believe Brexit was factor.”

Mr Johnson has mentioned that Brexit will permit the UK to “take again management of our legal guidelines and our future” and permit the nation to hunt commerce offers with the broader world.

5) Carrie Symonds tried to affect Downing Avenue appointments

picture copyrightReuters
picture captionThe prime minister and Carrie Symonds – now Carrie Johnson – married earlier this yr

Within the interview, Mr Cummings claims Carrie Symonds needed to do away with him and different former Vote Go away workers who have been working in Downing Avenue.

Earlier than the 2019 common election, he claims, Ms Symonds believed her fiancé wanted Mr Cummings and the previous Vote Go away crew to win, however “as quickly because the election was received” her view grew to become “Why should not it’s me that is pulling the strings?”

“The state of affairs we discovered ourselves in is that, inside days, [we] have been in a state of affairs the place the prime minister’s girlfriend is making an attempt to do away with us and appoint full clowns to sure key jobs,” he says.

A Downing Avenue spokesperson says: “Political appointments are completely made by the prime minister.”

6) Cummings mentioned eliminating Boris Johnson

Inside days of the Conservatives successful the 2019 common election, Mr Cummings says, he started speaking to his allies inside Downing Avenue about ousting Boris Johnson.

“We have been already saying, ‘By the summer time both we’ll all have gone from right here, or we’ll be within the means of making an attempt to do away with him and get another person in as prime minister,’” he provides.

“He would not have a plan, he would not know the way to be prime minister and we solely acquired him in there as a result of we needed to remedy a sure downside not as a result of he was the suitable particular person to be working the nation.”

7) The PM hasn’t been in contact currently

picture copyrightPA Media
picture captionMr Cummings left his Downing Avenue job in November final yr

As soon as Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser – on the very coronary heart of No 10 – Dominic Cummings says he hasn’t spoken to his ex-boss since he give up Downing Avenue.

The PM, he provides, tried to get in contact by cellphone after he give up, however he did not reply.

It doesn’t “hassle me by some means” whether or not they converse once more, he claims.

8) Cummings would not cry over criticism

Portraying himself as somebody who needed to reform authorities and was opposed by the “institution”, Mr Cummings says he wasn’t afraid to upset individuals to get issues completed.

Folks considered him “usually as a nightmare”, he says.

“In case you are airing huge troublesome issues, it should be upsetting for lots of people… Lots of people have a pop at me, however you do not see me crying about it.”

Mr Cummings – challenged repeatedly all through the BBC interview to again up his model of occasions – says a lot of his claims shall be corroborated if there’s a public inquiry into the federal government’s dealing with of the Covid disaster.

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