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Boris Johnson rules out Dominic Cummings ‘inquiry’

Wednesday, 27 May 2020 6:00 PM 

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Boris Johnson appeared upbeat during his remote meeting with the influential members of the Commons Liaison Committee

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has taken a big risk today by effectively ruling out a formal investigation into the conduct of his chief strategist during the strictest phase of the coronavirus lockdown.

Addressing the Commons Liaison Committee (CLC) on videolink, the PM said he “did not propose to add” to his previous statements on Cummings or what he described as the “autobiography” his key adviser delivered his news conference on Monday.

The CLC is an important body in the House of Commons which oversees the work of Parliament’s 32 select committees, in addition to the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Expressing his desire to bury the whole affair, the PM said it was now time to “move on” from the row.  

Johnson also claimed – against all available evidence – that the British public has had enough of the “political ding dong” over the Cummings saga.

Asked by CLC chairman, Sir Bernard Jenkin, whether the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill (who is the UK’s top civil servant), should investigate Cummings’ actions, the PM replied: “Quite frankly, I am not certain that right now an inquiry into that matter is a very good use of official time”.   

Pressed by Jenkin on whether the government’s “moral authority” had been “undermined” by the row, the PM simply said: “This has really been going on for several days now – in the media at least”.

Johnson’s steadfast support for his controversial chief strategist – who in many British people’s eyes has blatantly breached lockdown rules – is a big gamble which not only threatens the government’s popularity but also risks inflaming divisions in the ruling Tory party.

At least 35 Tory MPs have adequately responded to public opinion by calling for Cumming’s resignation.

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