Prime minister Boris Johnson has overplayed his hand by accusing former top advisor Dominic Cummings of systematic leaks. The skeletons are falling left and right out of the closet.
Cornered by his ministers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost his patience at a pandemic crisis meeting last October, according to three anonymous witnesses. ,”No more damn lockdowns’” he cried. Rather ‘thousands dead’ than sealing off the country again, it sounded grim from the mouth of the man who profiled himself as the champion of the fight against the coronavirus.
Johnson denied the allegations with a simple “no”, but even his political friends tend to believe the story. The prime minister is known as someone who regularly loses himself in exaggeration to make his point. The timing of the accusations is striking. Ever since Johnson accused his former top advisor Dominic Cummings of leaking sensitive information, left and right corpses have been dropping out of the closet.
The BBC published WhatsApp conversation between Johnson and billionaire James Dyson, who offered his services at the beginning of the crisis. The inventor of the powerful vacuum cleaner without a bag wanted to manufacture hospital ventilators, but asked for a tax benefit for his workers if they came to work temporarily in the United Kingdom. Dyson, an avid Brexiteer, got a quick answer. “I’ll take care of it tomorrow!’’
Johnson suspected Cummings ‘ hand in spreading the toxic suggestion of nepotism. By giving his staff the name of the mastermind behind the Vote Leave campaign to the media, he made a crucial mistake. The “Dom”, quit last fall after an internal feud, is vindictive. The Times describes him as someone who ’brings nuclear weapons to a pillow fight’.
Cummings reacted viciously in a blog on his website. Johnson is said to have shut down an investigation into a leak at the top of the government to please his fiancée Carrie Symonds. According to Cummings, long seen as the man behind the leak, Johnson wanted to cover up the affair when evidence pointed to a consultant, a close friend of Carrie Symonds.
In the same post, he cornered him by confirming rumours of shady practices by Johnson around the financing of his Downing Street flat. Johnson wanted to make donors of the Conservative Party pay secretly for the capital refurbishment.
,,I refused to help him arrange this’ ” wrote the political strategist. Johnson claims to have borne the costs himself, but a gift of £ 58,000 from Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row raises questions. The Daily Mail quoted from leaked emails that the deposit was intended ’to cover up payments already made by the party on behalf of the future Downing Street Trust’.
The British Electoral Commission has opened an investigation into the renovation. The prime minister is allowed to spend £ 30,000 a year in public money on his official residence. According to British media, the renovation may have cost about two grands.