Why is this important: Cummings, a controversial figure known as the architect behind the Brexit campaign, has become one of Johnson’s most embarrassing critics since stepping down from government after a bitter power struggle last year.
- Cummings has poor public approval and a poor trust rating – especially after being accused of breaking the UK’s strict COVID lockdown rules last year – but his role as the most powerful aide in Downing Street gave him unique insight into the government’s early response to the pandemic.
- The UK was one of the worst-affected countries in Europe, both in terms of coronavirus death tolls and economic damage, but a leading vaccine rollout has brought the country back to the brink of normalcy .
- Cumshots testified that in February 2020, Johnson viewed COVID-19 as a ‘scary story’ and suggested he could ask England’s chief medical officer to inject him with the virus on live television to reassure the public.
- Herd immunity – either in September 2020 after a single spike or in January 2021 after a second spike – was viewed by the UK government as “inevitable” until mid-March, Cummings testified. The claims that the top UK official even pleaded for “chickenpox parties” to infect people. Downing Street has denied that deliberately targeting herd immunity, which would have resulted in mass deaths, has ever been government policy.
- Cummings testified that on March 13 a health department official went to see him and said, “I’ve been told for years that there was a plan for this. There is no plan. We have huge problems. I think we’re absolutely f ** I think we’re headed for disaster. We are going to kill thousands of people. ”
- Cumshots says that Health Secretary Matt Hancock “should have been fired for at least 15, 20 facts, including lying to everyone repeatedly in a meeting after a meeting in the Cabinet room and in public” . He said he conveyed this opinion to Johnson on several occasions.
- Despite his disproportionate role in the Conservative Party’s landslide victory in the 2019 election, Cummings insisted that the choice between Johnson and Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn shows Britain’s politics are broken: “Any system that ends up giving choice having two people like that lead is obviously a system that has gone very, very badly. ”
The other side: In the Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, which took place while the testimony was in progress, Johnson denied that the government had ever been complacent about COVID and insisted it had taken “all the measures ”to“ minimize loss of human life ”, in accordance with the best scientific advice. .