Dominic Cummings interview LIVE – Former aide admits handling of Covid Barnard Castle scandal was 'wrong in every way"

BORIS Johnson allowed Brits die from Covid to save his political career, Dominic Cumming has sensationally claimed.

The former top No10 aide made the bombshell claims during his first TV interview since leaving Downing Street, which airs this evening at 7pm on BBC2.

Speaking to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg, Cummings said Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance both urged the PM to lockdown last September to stop a killer second wave, but Boris told them “no no no”.

He also revealed Whatsapps the PM sent last October in which the PM said he said he no longer “buys into all this NHS overwhelmed stuff”.

In yet another broadside against the PM, Cummungs said: “His attitude at that point [autumn 2020] was a weird mix of partly it’s all nonsense and lockdowns don’t work anyway and partly, well this is terrible but the people who are dying are essentially all over 80 and we can’t kill the economy just because of people dying over 80.”

Read our Freedom Day live blog for the very latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: I WAS EXPLICIT THAT SENIOR LEADERSHIP OF TORY PARTY WAS NOT RIGHT TO LEAD THE COUNTRY

    "I was extremely explicit over the years that the senior leadership of conservative party were not the right people to be leading the country.

    "I don't think that's a reasonable claim to make about me."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON 'DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING AND HE NEEDED HELP' SAYS CUMMINGS

    "I thought BJ had some abilities in various ways, and also completely hopeless in other ways. there are many many people I know who I'd much prefer to see in no 10 but that wasn't practical.

    "I also felt that because Boris knows he needs help, that also provides an opp to push the country in a more positive direction.

    "He didnt know what he was doing but he did know he needed help."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS INSISTS VOTE LEAVE 'USED TRUE FIGURES' TO PUSH THROUGH BREXIT

    "We were using true figures… if the worst that can be said about a political campaign is that they used real figures but it needed more context – then you can say "vote leave has been more honest than any other political campaign".

    He added: "I don't think we won on false pretences – the arguments we made about the weaknesses, costs about the EU were vindicated"

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS ADMITS HE LOOKED INTO OUSTING BORIS JOHNSON AS PRIME MINISTER

    Former Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings said he looked into replacing Boris Johnson as Prime Minister only weeks after helping him to secure a 80-seat majority at the 2019 election.

    In an interview with the BBC, Mr Cummings – who was Mr Johnson's closest aide before resigning last autumn – said: "Before even mid-January we were having meetings in Number 10 saying it's clear that Carrie (Johnson) wants rid of all of us.

    "At that point we were already saying by the summer either we'll all have gone from here or we'll be in the process of trying to get rid of him and get someone else in as Prime Minister."

    He added: "(Mr Johnson) doesn't have a plan, he doesn't know how to be Prime Minister and we only got him in there because we had to solve a certain problem not because he was the right person to be running the country."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: WORLD EVENTS HAVE VALIDATED THE VOTE LEAVE WIN IN EU REFERENDUM

    "i obvously think brexit was a good thing", Cummings added.

    "The way the world has worked out since 2016 has validated Vote Leave."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: BORIS PUT HIS OWN POLITICAL CAREERS AHEAD OF PEOPLE'S LIVES

    "He put his own political career ahead of people's lives," he said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS ACCUSED OF 'DISTORTING INFORMATION' AROUND BREXIT AND LYING TO VOTERS

    Laura K says Cummings' Vote Leave campaign was "distorting information".

    Mr Cummings says the Leave campaign was not won on distorted truths.

  • Joseph Gamp

    LAURA K SAYS '350 MILLION BREXIT SLOGAN' WAS NOT THE COMPLETE TRUTH

    Dominic CUmminghs smiled when Laura K said his "£350million" line on the side of Brexit bus was "not the truth".

    Mr Cummings has wiggled out of the question.

    She also says he lied on Turkey imminently joining the EU at the time to twist the referendum vote in Leave's favour.

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: 'PM REFERRED TO THE TELEGRAPH AS HIS REAL BOSS'

    "Boris said repeatedly we should not have done the first lockdown," he said.

    "The PM referred to The Telegraph as his real boss," Cummings added in another explosive claim.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: NO ONE KNOWS IF BREXIT WAS A GOOD IDEA

    Cummings has said no one knows if Brexit was a good idea.

    He says anyone that thinks they do know "is a complete idiot".

    I don't know what sort of person you'd be if you didnt think Brexit was going to go down as a massive mixtake, says Mr Cummings.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS EXPLAINS BARNARD CASTLE SCANDAL FURTHER

    On trip to durham – "I'd had repeated security problems at my house going back to 2019, these problems had re-emerged… I'd said maybe I'd just move to my Dads farm in Durham.

    My wife was kind of ill but not with all the right symptoms.

    "The situation was extremely chaotic… the plan was when I discussed it with the PM – he agreed we should just say nothing about it. What then happened is that he suddenly changed his mind and said we cant stick with the initial plan. I said I'm not going into the security stuff and the whole thing turned into a whole mess."

    "Everything i said in the rose garden was true but i didn't go into all the security concerns in the background. There's also no doubt that the way we handled the whole thing was wrong – what I should've done is resigned, or spoken to my family and said we're just going to have to come clean about the whole thing."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS SAYS COVID 'WAS LIKE A DISASTER MOVIE'

    On Covid – "It was like a disaster movie but it was real. even in the first week of march [BJ] said 'business as usual', he didnt take it seriously. his view was that it was like swine flu and that he had seen these sort of scares before."

  • Joseph Gamp

    LAURA K SAYS CUMMINGS 'IGNORE GUIDANCE AND PEOPLE SAW HIM AS A HYPOCRITE'

    Laura says Mr Cummings ignored guidance and that people saw him as a hypocrite.

    But as I said", he continued, "that was not the case, that I was ignoring the rules".

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: THE WAY WE HANDLED THE SCANDAL WAS 'WRONG'

    "Everything I said in the rose garden was the truth, but I didnt go into security interests that were in the background," Mr Cummings said.

    I he saying that him and Boris Johnson ewas better to give the public a story that wasn't true instead of keeping silent or resigning.

    Mr Cummings admits that the way they handled the scandal was "wrong".

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS TALKS ABOUT INFAMOUS TRIP TO COUNTY DURHAM AND EXPLAINS WHY HE WITHHELD THE TRUTH

    Dominic CUmnmings says security problems at home and the issue of coronavirus in his wife led him to drive to County Durham.

    Laura says to him there was enormous public rage – and asks why he didn't tell truth.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: I STOPPED BORIS FROM VISITING QUEEN IN CASE HE GAVE HER CORONAVIRUS

    Cummings said he convinced Boris not to see the Queen in case he gave Her Majesty coronavirus.

    Downing Street denies the allegation.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS SAYS BORIS 'DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO BE PRIME MINISTER'

    "He doesn't have a plan, he doesn't know how to be Prime Minister and we only got him in there because we had to solve a certain problem not because he was the right person to be running the country."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS SAID 'WHY SHOULDN'T IT BE PULLING THE STRINGS' CUMMINGS ALLEGES

    Mr Cummings claimed that in 2019, ahead of the election, Mrs Johnson was happy to have Vote Leave officials working in Downing Street, but this later changed.

    He said: "As soon as the election was won her view was, 'why should it be Dominic and the Vote Leave team?' Why shouldn't it be me that's pulling the strings?'"

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: WE TALKED ABOUT REPLACING JOHNSON AS PM ONE MONTH AFTER ELECTION WIN

    Former Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings said he was looking to oust Boris Johnson as Prime Minister only weeks after helping him secure an 80-seat majority.

    Mr Cummings, who left No 10 in the autumn after a power struggle, accused Mr Johnson of not having a plan and said he "doesn't know how to be Prime Minister".

    In an interview with the BBC, the Vote Leave mastermind said he assisted the Conservative Party poll victory in December 2019 in order to settle the Brexit debate rather than due to any firm belief in his leadership.

    Mr Cummings also laid bare the extent of the fractious relationship between former Vote Leave officials and Mr Johnson's now-wife, Carrie Johnson only weeks after the landslide win.

    "Before even mid-January we were having meetings in Number 10 saying it's clear that Carrie (Johnson) wants rid of all of us," said the former de facto chief of staff.

    "At that point we were already saying by the summer either we'll all have gone from here or we'll be in the process of trying to get rid of him and get someone else in as Prime Minister."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS SAYS BORIS DISMISSED COVID AS AKIN TO A 'FAD' LIKE SWINE FLU

    Boris said Covid at first was like swine flu etc and he didn't take it seriously, Cummings has alleged.

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: THIS IS NOT REVENGE- WE NEED PEOPLE ASKING DIFFICULT QUESTIONS

    I'm speaking out because I want people asking questions – how are we being goverened?

    How are these power structures running, he says when asked about why he is speaking out.

    This is not revenge, says Mr Cummings, and "it doesn't matter if it's difficult".

    "We need people to be asking these difficult questions and to be asking for accountability," he adds.

    "You don't see my crying when people say bad things about me, do you?"

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: I HATE THAT THESE 'CHARACTERS' DOMINATE PARTY POLITICS

    He thought he was a guy who made a lot of jokes.

    I find it horrible that these kind of characters dominate party politics.

  • Joseph Gamp

    CUMMINGS: BORIS KNEW IT WAS 'LUDICROUS' FOR HIM TO BE PRIME MINISTER

    Cummingss calls the PM a complicated character.

    He's unusual for a politician in having an odd self awareness mode.

    He know's its ludicrous to be Prime Minister.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC CUMMINGS INTERVIEW AIRING NOW

    The BBC is airing an exclusive interview with Dominic Cummings.

    Follow our blog right here for latest news.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC CUMMINGS INTERVIEW TO AIR AT 7PM ON BBC2

    The former top No10 aide will make more bombshell claims during his first TV interview since leaving Downing Street, which airs this evening at 7pm on BBC2.]

    You can follow the updates in real time, right here, on our live blog.

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