Now Dominic Cummings is accused of breaking civil service rules

Dominic Cummings during his rose garden speech
Steve Topple

Just when Dominic Cummings may have thought things couldn’t get any worse, the co-leader of the Green Party has accused him of breaching special adviser rules. He’s said Cummings didn’t just break them once, but twice. And he wants an official investigation into the PM’s adviser’s actions.

The Cummings circus continues

The scandal about Cummings’ alleged breaches of lockdown rules during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic refuses to go away. Tory MPs are ‘revolting‘ against Boris Johnson. A government minister has quit in protest. Religious leaders have received ‘death threats‘ because they criticised Cummings. A significant reason for him not to quit has emerged. And meanwhile, while the PM’s aide was allegedly rule breaking, the rest of us were being pulled up by police.

But the strangest twist in this sorry saga came when Cummings gave a press conference over his actions. From the Downing Street rose garden, he claimed among other things that one of his excursions while in Durham was to ‘test his eyesight’. He also explained his now infamous ‘bat out of hell’ bolt from Downing Street on 27 March. Because it was then he found out his wife was ill with coronavirus:

Another bizarre twist came as Cummings claimed he wrote on his blog last year about the potential “threat” from a coronavirus pandemic. But as Full Fact noted, he didn’t. Cummings actually edited one of his blog posts in April this year to make reference to SARS, another of the coronaviruses.

Amidst this circus, the co-leader of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley has perhaps nailed one of the real problems with the saga. And it’s that Cummings may have actually twice breached code of conduct rules for special advisers.

Rule breaches?

Bartley has written to cabinet secretary and head of the civil service Mark Sedwill:

You can read Bartley’s full letter here. He thinks that Cummings has twice breached the rule which says:

Special advisers must not take public part in political controversy, through any form of statement whether in speeches or letters to the press, or in books, social media, articles or leaflets.

Bartley thinks that Cummings’ blog editing and press conference represent these breaches. He said in a press release on the PM’s aide’s blog editing skills:

If Mr Cummings has gone back to edit blog posts while he was a special adviser to the Government… that clearly needs investigating. …

it would appear to be a clear breach of the special advisers’ code of conduct.

He noted of the press conference:

There must be an explanation about why the press conference was permitted, who was involved, what resources were used as well as an investigation into whether Mr Cummings himself broke the civil service code.

Untenable?

So far, neither Downing Street nor the Cabinet Office has commented. But if Bartley is right, then Cummings’ position would surely be untenable. This is a Tory government, though – so anything is of course possible. And whether the damage he’s done outweighs Johnson’s professional and personal relationship with him remains to be seen.

Featured image via the YouTube – The Telegraph

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  • Show Comments
    1. The man is running the country, unelected. Johnson’s behaviour is saying as much. Cummings has been permitted to expand his role as adviser to one of unofficial PM. Javid had to resign because of Cummings’ high-handedness. Here is a partnership of a lazy, vain, PM and and intrusive, arrogant, usurper who seems to think there is no difference between being elected and appointed. It has to be said that the man, for whatever reason, clearly has problems. There are those who claim he is a genius on the grounds that “Take Back Control” and “Get Brexit Done” bear comparison with “To be or not to be…” These are not pieces of genius, they are examples of stupefaction. They are debased advertising slogans. That they swayed the electorate reveals merely how reduced our democracy is, how debate has sunk to the level subliminal advertising. Genius is bringing an NHS into being against the opposition of the Establishment. Getting people to believe that the Sun and the Daily Express tell the truth is idiocy. Maybe poor Mr Cummings is what they use to call, cruelly, and “idiot-savant”. His blog reads like the rantings of a mind out of kilter. Such speculation aside, he’s an eyesore. If he really cares for his family, he should resign at once. This can only damage everyone involved.

    2. There was a crooked man,
      and he had a crooked aide.
      Who took a crooked journey.
      260 miles each way.
      He has a crooked project.
      Worth a crooked lot of loot.
      That’s why his crooked boss.
      His crooked aide won’t boot.

    3. This summer pantomime show the Tory Party of Death is putting on with the chief clown Killer Johnson & his ilk hamming about, just shows us how far into the sewer of corruption & farce UKania has descended. David Cameron described Cummings a ‘career psychopath’. That observation came from fellow recognition I have no doubt. The problem is most seem enthralled by the entertainment value alone while ignoring the damage being done alongside CV19 & the 60,000+ deaths the Tories have managed to accrue so far in 5 short months.
      This is bad enough but on top of this devastation they shut the economy down it seems to make certain more die or kill themselves in an opportunist pension paying saving plan. The dead don’t claim for anything. Hold on – it will get MUCH WORSE.

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