Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

Minister dismisses Dominic Cummings claims as 'tittle-tattle' - with Labour demanding inquiry

Lord Barwell The Cummings war could be 'extremely destabilising' Lord Barwell The Cummings war could be 'extremely destabilising' Credit Rex
Cecil Davis | 26 April, 2021, 12:21

Meanwhile, asked about the claim that Mr Johnson tried to stop an inquiry into how plans for last November's national COVID lockdown in England were leaked before being formally announced, Ms Truss dismissed the allegation as "tittle-tattle".

A Cabinet Office source said that, if asked, Mr Case will undercut two core claims made by Mr Cummings in his 1,000-word blog on Friday night.

He is also expected to face questions about lobbying rules during the appearance before the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally covered the cost of refurbishing his Downing Street flat, a minister said, seeking to quash claims by Johnson's former top adviser that the prime minister had planned to get donors to pay for it secretly.

Mr Cummings - who wrote the blogpost in response to claims from Number 10 "sources" that he was behind recent leaks about Mr Johnson's private conversations - also questioned the prime minister's "competence and integrity".

The disclosure is likely to further anger Mr Cummings who released his onslaught after he was accused by No 10 of a series of damaging leaks including text message exchanges between Mr Johnson and the entrepreneur Sir James Dyson.

The announcement comes amid growing calls for Johnson to explain how his lavish renovation was paid for, following allegations from ex-chief adviser Dominic Cummings.

That counters Mr Cummings' claim that he was cleared by Mr Case of being the source - described as the "chatty rat" - who told reporters about the imminent lockdown.

COVID-19: Over 3.32 lakh fresh cases in India in single day
Maharashtra , Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh remain the worst affected states by the pandemic . The national recovery rate is 83.49 per cent whereas ten states account for 82.94 per cent of the new recoveries.

It follows Mr Cummings' dramatic departure previous year from No 10 amid the fallout of a bitter internal power struggle with Ms Symonds.

On Friday, Johnson's office said the government had followed the rules over the apartment renovation and that the prime minister had not interfered in a government leak inquiry.

A No 10 spokesperson said: "At all times, the government and ministers have acted in accordance with the appropriate codes of conduct and electoral law".

But during a round of broadcast interviews, she repeatedly refused to say whether the bill was initially settled by the Conservative Party, or one of its donors, in which case it should have been declared as a loan under party funding rules.

"What I know is the prime minister has personally met the costs of the flat refurbishment and that is what people in Britain want to know", Liz Truss, Britain's trade minister, told BBC television on Sunday.

However, the Electoral Commission said that a month after it first revealed that it had contacted the Tory Party over a reported £58,000 donation in relation to the flat, those talks were still continuing.

Labour has also called for a new independent commission to be launched, on ethics and standards in government.

The government said "due diligence is carried out on every contract".