The UK was left reeling today from the astounding news that professional spin-doctor (aka, somebody who lies for a living) told big fibs live on national television.
Dominic Cummings, who brazenly twisted the truth, told outright lies and shifted blame from himself to the country’s media (who he accused of a ‘witch hunt’), is employed by the Conservative party for his ability to twist the truth, tell outright lies and shift blame.
Political analyst and news journalist, Jed Makepiece, said of Cummings’ extraordinary televised interview on Monday, “the shock here isn’t that Cummings lied, but that people are surprised Cummings lied. It’s literally what he does for a living.”
Makepiece added, “people should be far less worried that Cummings lied than they should that Cummings has apparent autonomy as a government adviser and appears to be entirely unaccountable for his actions. He is, now, effectively more powerful than Johnson, our official premier.”
As Michael Gove took to the cameras today to defend Cummings and push forward a desperate bid to ‘put a lid’ on ‘Cummingsgate’, Conservative voters up and down the country also took to social media to denounce the news ‘witch hunt’ and acquit Cummings of all wrong-doing.
But not all Tory supporters and MPs are happy with the outcome of the weekend chaos, with Scottish Tory Parliamentarian, Douglas Ross, resigning today in protest at the way the scandal has been handled.
In his letter of resignation, which he posted on Twitter this morning, Ross wrote: “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.”
Twenty two other back benchers, including Steve Baker, have now called for Cummings to resign, heaping more pressure on Boris Johnson to recognise the mood of the people and ‘do the right thing’.
Cummings appeared on live television yesterday afternoon to defend his behaviour and make an attack on the news media instead of (as most expected) apologise for travelling 250 miles during lock down and tender his resignation.
Today it emerged that Cummings’s claim that he predicted the Coronavirus outbreak was also false when it turned out that all he actually did was edit a previous blog article to make it look like he made the prediction.
Piers Morgan, the Good Morning Britain host who has transformed during the Coronavirus crisis from a champion of the Conservatives to their greatest and most outspoken critic, denounced Cummings as ‘contemptible’, while J K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, called Cummings a ‘cockweasel’.
Even that bastion of Tory central, the Daily Mail, appeared to have turned on its lords and masters at the opening of the week with a series of frontpage headlines lambasting Cummings and Johnson’s handling of the affair.
To the dismay of Johnson, Cummings and a gaggle of loyal front benchers, the story refuses to go away and, in fact, appears to be gaining traction by the hour.
With Parliament suspended for a two week break, there will be no PMQ, so Boris Johnson is off-the-hook and won’t face a blistering round of difficult questions from opposition leader, Keir Starmer.
However, this may prove irrelevant if the Conservatives themselves revolt en-masse and oust Cummings from their midst by sheer weight of numbers.
Meanwhile, the flouting of rules by one of the government’s most senior political figures saw the British public flock to beaches and tourist hot spots, abandoning social distancing and lock down measures for the sunny bank holiday weather.
The police are furious over the handling of the Cummings debacle, saying the actions of the government and Cummings in particular has made their job in policing lock down almost impossible.