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Dominic Cummings Calls UK PM Johnson a 'Joke' in Wake of Damning Report on COVID-19 Response

© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLEFILE PHOTO: Dominic Cummings, special adviser for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives at Downing Street, in London, Britain, November 13, 2020
FILE PHOTO: Dominic Cummings, special adviser for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives at Downing Street, in London, Britain, November 13, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
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The political strategist worked for the head of the Conservative Party for more than a year and stepped down after allegations that he violated government rules on the coronavirus and reports of power struggles on Downing Street. He has since launched a series of attacks on the Prime Minister and the Government.
Dominic Cummings, former chief adviser to Boris Johnson, has harshly criticised the Prime Minister and the Government in the wake of a COVID-19 report, which looked into the Government’s response to the pandemic. The political strategist dubbed his former boss a "joke" as he argued that Britain needs "a new political system".

“The system [for dealing with crises] was bad for many years before COVID-19. I and others put into place, worked to try and improve the system in 2020 after the first wave. Unfortunately the Prime Minister – being the joke that he is – has not pushed that work through,” he said.

Cummings was interviewed by reporters hours after two government committees released a report, which criticised how the authorities handled the coronavirus pandemic, with MPs describing the policy as "one of the most important public health failures" the country had had. It said the government’s slow response to the outbreak of COVID-19 during the first days cost thousands of lives.
Here are the key findings of the report:
MPs confirmed allegations that the Government introduced the lockdown too late;
“Many thousands” of deaths in care homes could have been avoided with the elderly treated as an “afterthought”;
the test-and-trace system worth £37 billion showed “slow, uncertain, and often chaotic performance”;
ministers were blinded by “group- think” among top scientific advisers;
The last point is important as it reiterates the accusation made by Dominic Cummings this spring, when he testified before MPs on the government’s response to the pandemic. The former chief adviser said authorities’ actions were “a classical historic example of group-think”. The more people criticised the Government’s plans, the more those on the inside said others did not understand, Cummings said.

How Have The Authorities Responded?

Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay defended the Government’s policy on COVID-19, saying it was based on scientific evidence. Asked by a SkyNews reporter whether he wanted to apologise to the public, Barclay said the following:

"Well, there are lessons to learn but the point is that we took decisions based on the science, we protected the NHS, we got the vaccine deployed at pace but we accept where there are lessons to learn we are keen to do so."

Ministers have rejected the accusation that the lockdown was imposed late, again saying that the decision-making process was based on scientific data.

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a public inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic, noting that authorities should "accept responsibility" for the mistakes they made and apologise to the families of the deceased.
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