Sedwill Slams Cummings and Government’s Pandemic Preparedness

In his first wide-ranging post-job interview, former Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill told Laura Kuenssberg there is “a genuine question” about whether the UK could have been “better prepared” for Coronavirus; confessed to feeling “troubled” by attacks on the Civil Service; and admitted he felt Dominic Cummings’s infamous journey to County Durham during lockdown was a “mistake” that “clearly undermined” the government’s Covid rule narrative. No goodwill from Sedwill…

On Trump: Sedwill said the Special Relationship is stable and commended the Whitehouse for its diplomatic efforts in the Middle East:

“President Trump is a very unusual occupant of that office in his personal style and the way he articulates the US position but the underlying alliance is based on much more than the individual relationships at the top.”

On China and Russia: Sedwill says the UK mustn’t be “naive” when dealing with them:

“rhetoric [has suggested] that countries with very different political systems, essentially authoritarian political systems, are edging towards our values and viewing the world, then we’ve probably been mistaken and have overstated the natural alignment”

On Civil Service criticism:

“It is damaging to good governance and those responsible should recognise the damage they’re doing, even if they’re indulging themselves in some short-term tactical ploy,”

On Covid-preparedness:

“we didn’t have in place the exact measures, and we hadn’t rehearsed the exact measures… I think there is a genuine question about whether we could have been better prepared in the first place and that is obviously a very legitimate challenge.”

Laura should have asked Lord Sedwill what he’s planning on spending his £250,000 golden handshake on…

mdi-account-multiple-outline Mark Sedwill
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