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Dominic Cummings brands Boris Johnson a ‘gaffe machine’ who is ‘clueless about policy’

·2-min read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson  (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA Wire)

Boris Johnson’s spin doctors did not put him up for an interview with Andrew Neil at the general election because he is a “gaffe machine”, Dominic Cummings has claimed.

During the 2019 December election, the PM refused to be interviewed by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil who was at the BBC at the time.

Mr Neil, who is now chairman of GB News, challenged Mr Johnson, saying it was “a question of trust” for the Prime Minister.

Mr Cummings, the PM’s former top aide, has now revealed the apparent communications strategy behind the decision, claiming the PM was “clueless about policy”.

During a rant about political pundits on Friday, Mr Cummings tweeted: “Why the f*** would [we] put a gaffe machine clueless about policy & government up to be grilled for ages, upside=0 for what?!

“This is not a hard decision... Pundits don’t understand comms, power or management. Tune out!”

At the time, the PM told Andrew Marr he was “perfectly happy” to be interviewed by any interviewer “called Andrew” from the BBC. However, he did not take part in the interview.

Asked about Mr Cummings’ latest comments, a No10 spokesman said: “Of course that is not a characterisation that we would accept.”

The Vote Leave mastermind’s Tweets are the latest in the row between him and Downing Street.

Earlier this week Mr Cummings released another one of his incendiary blogs about the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

It contained screenshots of bombshell text messages in which Mr Johnson allegedly branded Matt Hancock’s performance on testing “totally f***ing hopeless” and considered giving some of his responsibilities to Michael Gove.

Mr Cummings left No10 in November 2020 following a bitter power struggle. He has gone on to make a series of claims about the Government’s handling of the pandemic, levelling much of his criticism at Mr Hancock. During is recent select committee appearance he accused the Health Secretary of lying, failing on care homes and “criminal, disgraceful behaviour” on testing.

Mr Hancock denied his allegations and said last week it was “telling” that he was yet to provide the joint Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee with written evidence.

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