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Tory MPs have made clear their disdain for Dominic Cummings after the prime minister’s former top adviser sharply criticised Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and other government figures for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Though only a few dozen Conservatives originally demanded his resignation last spring for making trips during the first national lockdown, many have now piled in on the former Vote Leave campaign director, credited with helping the party to win a large majority at the last election by dismantling parts of Labour’s “red wall”.
In a subtle jibe at Cummings the morning after his seven-hour evidence session to two parliamentary committees, a Conservative backbencher, Dehenna Davison, displayed a “Barnard Castle eye test” behind her during a virtual appearance in the Commons.
The Bishop Auckland MP’s constituency contains the beauty spot Cummings visited from Durham last April; he said he make the round trip to test his eyesight before driving back to London.
Anna Turley, the former Labour MP for Redcar who lost her seat in 2019, pondered: “Alexa, what’s the definition of gaslighting?” While Thom Brooks, dean of Durham Law School and director of Labour Academics, tweeted: “Dominic Cummings’ drive to Barnard Castle was a major factor undermining public confidence in guidelines aimed at protecting the public and saving lives. It’s not a joke – and Bishop Auckland voters deserve better than this.”
Other Conservatives in the Commons on Thursday attacked Cummings’ “unsubstantiated Westminster gossip” and branded criticism of the government “opportunism and revisionism”, despite the serious nature of his claims.
They include: that Johnson ignored scientists’ advice to order a second national lockdown, that hospital patients discharged into care homes with Covid were not properly tested and that the health secretary lied and held back some coronavirus tests to meet a “stupid” target.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Tory MPs turn on Dominic Cummings over Covid testimony | Dominic Cummings