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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


Cummings should go – and then Boris!

by New Worker correspondent

THE PRIME Minister has thrown his weight behind Dominic Cummings, the premier’s right-hand man, now at the centre of a political storm for breaking the lock-down to visit his family in Durham in March. The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said: “The Prime Minister has treated the British people with contempt. One rule for Dominic Cummings, another for everybody else” amidst mounting calls for Cummings’ resignation amongst MPs that include 35 from the Tory ranks in the House of Commons.

Now senior Anglican clergymen have joined in, with the even the Bishop of Durham saying the public’s trust had been “broken”. The Right Reverend Paul Butler said many “who have worked so hard to abide by the rules and guidance of the past weeks will feel hurt, angry, and let down. Trust has been broken. For the nation’s sake rebuild it quickly”.

This was echoed by other leading figures in the Established Church including David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester, who said: “Unless very soon we see clear repentance, including the sacking of Cummings, I no longer know how we can trust what ministers say sufficiently for the Church of England to work together with them on the pandemic.”

increasing fire

This week Boris Johnson came under increasing fire from his own ranks over the Cummings affair despite his best efforts to move on following his top aide’s refusal to resign last weekend. Ministers insist Cummings did the right thing because he was seeking childcare for his young son even as the rest of the country was being told to stay at home. But five former Tory ministers are urging the man, seen as the power behind the throne, to go.

One junior minister has already resigned in protest. Douglas Ross, the Scotland Office minister, said: “ While the intentions may have been well meaning, the reaction to this news shows that Mr Cummings’ interpretation of the government advice was not shared by the vast majority of people who have done as the government asked. I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones; families who could not mourn together; people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidance of the government. I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.”

brazen

Cummings tried to brazen it out at a press conference on Monday saying that he had no regrets about making the 260-mile trek, with his wife and four-year-old son, whilst infected with COVID-19. He claims he drove to his parents’ estate to arrange for possible back-up childcare from his teenage niece, and that his family stayed in a separate building and only talked to his parents by shouting at them from a distance. He also said that a separate trip to Barnard Castle, some 30 miles from Durham, was only taken to see if his eyesight was good enough for the longer drive back to London. But his reasons for violating stay-at-home guidance did little to appease the mounting anger on the street at this latest display of Tory hypocrisy.

Latest opinion polls show the Tory lead slashed from 15 to six per cent over Labour, the biggest drop in a poll lead in a decade, whilst Johnson’s net approval has dropped 20 points to minus one per cent since the end of last week.