Dominic Cummings, a former aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is accusing the UK leader of lying to Parliament. Johnson has said that he wasn’t warned about throwing lockdown parties during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. But Cummings says his former boss absolutely received a warning.
According to Cummings, he is willing to testify under oath that Boris Johnson was warned in advance of the May 2020 Downing Street garden party. He claimed that Johnson was told about how the event would break Covid-19 safety regulations, as well as anger the public that their government was not following the rules it set.
“While it’s bad that he is lying about this and generally lying all the time, much worse than these lies has been … encouraging everybody to think, as he did in September 2020, [that] ‘Covid’s over,'” Dominic Cummings wrote on his personal Substack newsletter.
UK’s first lockdown occurred on Mar. 23, a little under two weeks after the pandemic first hit. It isn’t until late June, however, that Boris Johnson began to attempt reopening before another surge in September placed the country under lockdown again. It’s in late May that the garden party allegedly occurred, just two months into the first pandemic lockdown.
Johnson claimed on Dec. 8 that he never saw the email and denied ever thinking that the garden party was anything more than a work event.
“Nobody told me that what we were doing was … against the rules,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “When I went out into that garden, I thought that I was attending a work event.”
“I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken,” Johnson stated. “If that turns out not to be the case … and people wish to bring allegations to my attention or to the police … then of course there will be proper sanctions.”
Senior members of the opposition party have also made statements calling for Boris Johnson’s resignation should it be determined that he lied about the lockdown parties.
Senior Civil Servant Sue Gray, along with Dominic Cummings, also claimed that the British PM threw “late-night soirees” and “wine time Fridays” all throughout Covid-19 social gathering restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
According to The Guardian, the news outlet has spoken to one official and several broadcast journalists who were told that concerns were raised to Johnson, but so far ex-aide Dominic Cummings has been the most prominent member of Johnson’s former team to step forward.
Though he helped the Prime Minister get into office, Cummings left after many disagreements and has since become a very vocal critic of Johnson.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab stated that if proven true, lying in Parliament is “normally … a resigning matter.” However, he dismissed Cummings’ claim that Johnson lied as “nonsense.”
Dominic Cummings has a lot working against him in this allegation. It turns out he actually attended one of the garden parties on May 15.
Seen in photographs with a glass of wine next to Martin Reynolds, Cummings later claimed that the May 15 garden party he attended was a “work event,” but that the May 20 soiree was not. Johnson’s wife was allegedly also in attendance at both events.
Despite this, Dominic Cummings continues to allege that he was against the lockdown parties for breaking Covid-19 regulations.
“I said to the PM something like: Martin’s invited the building to a drinks party, this is what I’m talking about, you’ve got to grip this madhouse,” he wrote in his personal Substack newsletter. “The PM waved it aside.”
Though under investigation, only a handful of conservative party members have called for Boris Johnson’s resignation.