Dominic Cummings is expected to make allegations about Boris Johnson’s attitude to lockdowns and deaths
The PM’s former aide will appear before two parliamentary committees on Wednesday to reveal the behind-the-scenes details of the government’s response to coronavirus.
He is not expected to hold back and will reportedly tell MPs that the Prime Minister said: ‘I’m going to be the mayor of Jaws, like I should have been in March,’ when trying to hold back another lockdown late last year.
Mr Johnson has previously described the mayor in the Steven Spielberg film as the ‘real hero’ for keeping beaches open despite the rise in shark attacks.
According to ITV’s Robert Peston, Mr Cummings will claim the prime minister insisted he would not repeat what he saw as his mistake during the first lockdown, when he was pressurised over the possible collapse of the NHS.
Number 10 declined to comment directly on the claims, which come after the prime minister was forced to deny reports that he said he would rather ‘see bodies pile high in their thousands’ than order a third lockdown.
Boris Johnson reportedly justified delaying a second lockdown because Covid was ‘only killing 80-year-olds’ (Picture: AP)
A second Government source also told the Mirror that Mr Johnson had dismissed the disease as ‘only’ killing 80-year-olds last autumn.
They claimed he added: ‘If I was 80 I wouldn’t care, I’d be more worried about the economy’.
No 10 aides were reportedly concerned that the PM’s hatred of lockdowns would lead to him being regarded as a ‘Grandma killer’ by the public.
Downing Street did not deny Mr Johnson made the remarks, but insisted the government has always been focused throughout on saving lives.
A No 10 spokesman said: ‘There is a huge task for this Government to get on with.
‘We are entirely focused on recovering from the pandemic, moving through the roadmap and distributing vaccines while delivering on the public’s priorities.
‘Throughout this pandemic, the Government’s priority has been to save lives, protect the NHS and support people’s jobs and livelihoods across the United Kingdom.’
Dominic Cummings will appear before MPs to reveal the behind-the-scenes details of the government’s response to coronavirus. (Picture: AP)
The PM is likely to face the toughest questions yet on his handling of the pandemic as a result of Mr Cummings’ highly-anticipated showdown with the science and health committees tomorrow.
Mr Cummings was once a close adviser to Mr Johnson, working together to deliver the Brexit result, secure a deal and win the general election in 2019.
But since leaving Number 10 late last year amid reports of a power struggle behind the scenes, he has turned into a vocal critic of the government’s response to Covid-19.
The former aide has not commented on reports anticipating what he might say.
But he appears to have warmed up for his appearance with a series of around 60 tweets on Tuesday.
In his extensive Twitter thread Mr Cummings claimed the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) was split over whether to lockdown as late as March 18, with Department of Health and Social Care officials reportedly saying ‘lockdown just means it pops back up again in 2nd wave so why change strategy’.
He also suggested subsequent lockdowns after the first would not have been needed had mass testing had been developed properly earlier in the year.
In another tweet he claimed ‘one of the worst failings’ in the government response to the pandemic in spring 2020 was ‘the almost total absence of a serious plan for shielding/social care’.
Mr Cumming added: ‘In general, there was widespread delusion we HAD a great plan. It turned out to barely exist.’
However, some Tory insiders have slammed Mr Cummings for pursuing a ‘personal vendetta’ against the PM after their relationship broke down.
A government source told The Times today he was trying to ‘rewrite history’ and was a ‘rank hypocrite’ because he played an integral role in planning for the pandemic.
His now strict approach to lockdowns and following the rules may also raise eyebrows given the furore caused by his trip to County Durham and Barnard Castle in late March 2020.
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