Editorial: The buck stops with Boris Johnson

Editorial: The buck stops with Boris Johnson
Editorial: Now that the lid has been lifted by Dominic Cummings, it is clear Mr Johnson personally took key decisions – often against his scientists’ advice, despite claims he was ‘following the science’, and without consulting a barely functioning cabinet

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fter his remarkably candid appearance before the Commons health and science select committees, Dominic Cummings will doubtless be vilified as a wrecker determined to bring down a prime minister who pushed him out as his chief adviser last November. Critics will accuse him of recreating the past to try to change the public’s poor view of him forged by his ill-fated trip to County Durham during the first lockdown.

Strikingly, a very different Mr Cummings emerged after his seven hours of testimony: not the all-powerful Rasputin-like adviser but someone who lost many arguments on coronavirus inside Downing Street and whose relationship with the leader with whom he “got Brexit done” had deteriorated beyond repair several months before Mr Cummings departed.

This was a more humble, contrite, even at times self-deprecating Mr Cummings, who said: “It is completely crazy I should have been in such a senior position, in my personal opinion. I’m not smart.” Ministers had expected him to say “I told you so” but Mr Cummings admitted his share of mistakes and blame for a flawed initial response to the pandemic which he argued cost tens of thousands of lives.

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