Robert Peston Robert Peston

How Tory MPs plan to clip Cummings’s wings

(Getty images)

On 26 May, Dominic Cummings will give evidence to MPs grouped on the health and science super committee, chaired by Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark.

This will be box office politically, because – as I have mentioned – Cummings will prosecute Boris Johnson and his scientific advisers for failing to lock down early enough in March 2020, and Johnson and Rishi Sunak – though not the scientists – for failing to lock down in early September (not late September).

But the Tory controlled committee will not allow him to use them to humiliate the PM in other ways (though some might say the charge that the PM put thousands lives at risk by refusing to lock down is humiliating enough).

The committee’s members expect Cummings to give them a massive ‘dump’ of papers and data.

‘We will sift through what he gives us, keep the stuff relevant to our investigation into lesson learned from the [Covid-19] crisis and will hand the rest back.’

Which is all very well. But a question is begged about who exactly will sift Cummings’s evidence, and having read whatever resonant revelations he makes, will they be able to delete the compelling information from their brains?

PS – To explain, Cummings believed the data justified locking down from early September onward. The PM – backed by Rishi Sunak – refused his urgent entreaties to do so.

In late September, the Scientific Advisory Committee for Emergencies made its formal request for a circuit-breaking lockdown, which was also rejected by Johnson and Sunak.

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