Exit is chance to restore trust between No 10 and MPs, one senior backbencher says
Conservative MPs have hailed Dominic Cummings’ departure from Downing Street, saying they hope it could mark a change of approach in No 10.
Following the resignation of Lee Cain as Boris Johnson’s head of communications, Cummings denied he would immediately follow his close ally and fellow veteran of the Vote Leave campaign out of the door.
Cummings told the BBC that “rumours of me threatening to resign are invented”. However, he also said his “position hasn’t changed since my January blog”.
In the 2 January post, which announced the intention to hire data scientists and “assorted weirdos” to work inside No 10, Cummings said the recruitment drive was intended to “improve performance and make me much less important – and within a year largely redundant”.
One source confirmed Cummings’ departure, saying he had “started talking about it a couple of months ago”. They said: “I think it was always predictable that there would be a big bust-up and Dom would leave. He’s done that in most jobs he’s been in.” [ . . . ]
Conservatives including former leaders criticise plan to override withdrawal deal
Boris Johnson is facing separate Conservative rebellions on Brexit and Covid-19 rules, as Tory MPs mobilise to undermine the controversial legislation that overrides the EU withdrawal agreement.
The tabling of an amendment by a former minister, Bob Neill, to the internal market bill in an effort to create a parliamentary veto on overriding the UK-EU divorce deal sets up a showdown next week on the bill’s second reading in the House of Commons.
Among other senior Conservative figures who have also come out strongly against the bill’s proposed powers is the former party leader Michael Howard, who said it was “a very sad day last week when the Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, admitted that amending the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU will break international law”. The peer also said he would be “very surprised” if the bill got through the the House of Lords, where the Conservatives did not have a majority [ . . . ]
The British prime minister suggested a link between his weight and his susceptibility to covid-19.
LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested a link between his weight and his susceptibility to covid-19, as he launched a new government anti-obesity program on Monday that will see junk food advertising limited and restaurants and pubs required to post calories for food and drink.
The campaign began with newspaper editorials and a social media blitz that included a video showing Johnson fast-walking in slow-motion — in a white button-down shirt and blue slacks — accompanied by inspirational string music and his dog, Dilyn.
PM gives Downing Street press conference as lockdown measures are eased again
Boris Johnson has implored people to behave responsibly and safely as England’s chief medical officer admitted Saturday’s easing of the lockdown left the country treading a narrow path with serious risks “on either side”.
Our goal remains to enable as many people as possible to live their lives as close to normally as possible in a way which is as fair and as safe as possible. pic.twitter.com/q6SMGxtNst
Dominic Cummings is yet to admit fault and apologise for breaking lockdown rules. But why not? Likely because it’d make his position untenable.
Whether it was his ludicrously long trip from London to Durham while suffering from coronavirus symptoms, or his jolly to Barnard Castle not long after, Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules.
The reaction to his violation of rules, his refusal to apologise, and the government’s decision to retrospectively alter the interpretation of rules to protect him have provoked outrage amongst the majority of the population.
So much so that a Daily Mail poll found that 66 percent of people think he should leave his position.
So when Cummings sat in Downing Street’s Rose Garden on Sunday afternoon to take questions from journalists and explain himself, it was noticeable that for all the words he said – and there were 2,513 in total – ‘sorry’ wasn’t one of them.
We sat down with Anthony Burr, the founder of Burr Media, a PR and communications expert, who explained why even a cursory apology from Cummings would have made his position untenable.
There were 2,513 words in Dominic Cummings' statement on breaking lockdown, and not one of them was 'sorry'.