Dominic Cummings should be held to account for his Covid-19 mistakes – not just the PM | John Rentoul

Dominic Cummings should be held to account for his Covid-19 mistakes – not just the PM | John Rentoul
The prime minister’s former chief adviser likes to think that he can see the future better than the blinkered mortals with whom he has to work – but he is his own unreliable narrator, writes John Rentoul

W

e have to respect Dominic Cummings’s dedication to open government, putting himself forward for three – or possibly four – hours of questions on the subject “coronavirus: lessons learnt”. We ought to be in favour of people in powerful positions in government being accountable for their conduct, as soon as possible after the events, even if they are no longer in a powerful position.

But too much of the pre-publicity seems to assume that the prime minister is bang to rights, guilty of the most appalling mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that all Cummings needs to do is to turn up at the committee and reveal “The Truth”, namely the secrets that prove what his critics think they already know.

That takes it for granted that Cummings is a reliable witness, which is a thesis that deserves to be tested rather than accepted uncritically. So although Boris Johnson will be on trial tomorrow, his chief accuser ought to be too.

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