Starmer Called for Cummings to Be Sacked Even Before Police Investigation

For all his talk of honour and integrity, it’s amazing how quickly Sir Keir changes his tune when the political winds blow in the wrong direction. Last week he announced he’d resign if, and only if, Durham Police issue him a fine over Beergate. If the Constabulary decides instead to give him the same treatment as Dominic Cummings – a sternly-worded letter and a slap on the wrist – he’s going to do the honourable thing and despite having been found to have broken the law, stick around like nothing happened. Here’s what he said of Cummings back in 2020 – before the police had even launched their investigation:

“This was a huge test of the Prime Minister, and he’s just failed that test. He hasn’t sacked Dominic Cummings, he hasn’t called for an investigation, and he’s treating the British public with contempt… that’s not a reasonable interpretation of the rules, and the Prime Minister knows it. One rule for the Prime Minister’s advisers, another rule for everyone else… If I were Prime Minister, I’d have sacked Cummings.”

One rule for the Prime Minister’s advisers, another for Sir Keir…

mdi-timer 12 May 2022 @ 11:01 12 May 2022 @ 11:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mary Foy Changes Tune on Lockdown Rule-Breaking

Now that Sir Keir is feeling the heat from his boozy lockdown curry night, Labour MPs are bending over backwards to explain why their leader’s Covid rule-breaking is somehow completely different to Boris’s, and why it’s right that Starmer remains in post provided he isn’t fined. One particular MP who might have some trouble with this is none other than the Honourable Member for Durham, Mary Foy…

Foy is probably best known for hosting the Beergate bhuna session in her constituency office, laughing and drinking merrily with her colleagues while the country was still in stage two of lockdown. She then went on to scream at Richard Holden for his asking Durham Police to reinvestigate the event. It turns out, however, that when Durham Police announced they wouldn’t fine Dominic Cummings over the infamous Barnard Castle trip, Foy had a few ideas about what should happen next. None of which involved Cummings keeping his job…

Here’s what Foy wrote in a public letter to Boris after the Cummings story:

“The vast majority of constituents who have contacted me have expressed the view that Mr Cummings’ actions have been insensitive and unacceptable at best, and many feel that they warrant further investigation by the police.”

While I understand today’s decision by Durham Police to take no further action, many of the constituents who have written to me would like Mr Cummings to resign or be sacked. Clearly, whether you stick by him or not is a matter for you, but the perception from my constituents, and I would hazard a guess that this is a common view across the North East, is that you are currently putting the interests of your chief adviser above that of the people of the region and the country as a whole.”

Even though Cummings received no fixed penalty, and the police decided they’d take no further action, Foy still took the time to write a two-page letter informing the Prime Minister how upset her constituents are, and politely suggested Cummings lose his job. Presumably her office is inundated with similar letters now, all demanding Sir Keir does the honourable thing…

Read Mary’s furious letter in full below:

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mdi-timer 11 May 2022 @ 10:43 11 May 2022 @ 10:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Good Law Project Quietly Accept Defeat in Cummings and Gove Case

Last month Guido pointed out how the Good Law Project were still gloating about their supposed court win against Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings over the decision to award a contract to the Public First agency. Despite losing the case on appeal in January, the GLP proudly displayed Jolyon’s false victory on their homepage throughout February. Even if you clicked through to their handy timeline of events on the case, the last recorded entry was February 2021 – months before the decision was completely overturned. Guido thought all this was relevant info for would-be donors, given how prominently the case appeared on the site…

It turns out Jolyon agrees: last week, the lost case against Cummings and Gove was sent down the memory hole. In its place is an advert for their latest pointless legal threat, which wouldn’t be complete without a link to their donation page. Any mention of their great victory defeat has quietly disappeared from the homepage…

The homepage is now surprisingly free of any past court victories for patrons to admire before handing over more cash. Odd given how many there are to choose from…

mdi-timer 11 March 2022 @ 15:00 11 Mar 2022 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cummings on the Media’s Moral Trollyism

From Cummings’ latest Substack:

“As the media thrashes around in one emotional spasm after another, herding towards some conventional wisdom then, after a spasm, herding in a new direction, the narrative whiplash intensifies: closing the borders is racist against China… closing the borders is obviously sensible only Brexit idiots oppose it… masks don’t work … wear masks or you’re evil… ‘the rule of law’ is fundamental, ‘process’ is good…. seize the evil’s people stuff now, ‘process’ is an intolerable smokescreen.….. sanctions won’t hurt normal Russians just the regime … we’ll use sanctions to wreck their economy and anti-war Russians (the most anti-Putin!) must be booted out of everything from chess to opera (even though it’s what Putin wants us to do)…”

mdi-timer 8 March 2022 @ 08:02 8 Mar 2022 @ 08:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cummings Gloats as Jolyon Loses Again, Court of Appeal Overturns High Court Ruling

The High Court ruling that a procurement contract was unlawfully awarded to a firm with apparent links to Dominic Cummings has this morning been overturned by the Court of Appeal. This latest defeat for Jolyon once again reiterates the pointlessness of the taxpayer cash-wasting vanity project. Will this latest ruling get the usual wall-to-wall BBC coverage awarded to Jolyon’s rare supposed victories?

The case relates to a contract awarded to Public First at the start of the pandemic. Responding to the announcement Cummings tweets:

“Lord Chief Justice crushes Kimono-fox-killer: total vindication for my decisions on moving super speedy on procurement to save lives (remember all the ignorant nonsense from pundits/minor social scientists/Remainiacs?)”

Here’s what Cummings had to say on the initial judgement back in July:

“Like the OWID decision, another decision I made at the height of the crisis last year was recently the subject of legal action. The High Court found that my decision to hire a company to provide insight into public understanding of covid was ‘unlawful’ because of ‘apparent bias’. Not actual bias, which the court agreed there was no evidence of, but ‘apparent bias’. This ‘apparent bias’ existed, the court said, because there was not a paper trail showing my thought process and the extent to which I considered hiring someone else. The judge inferred that I had not considered others therefore this could look like apparent bias — if the entire paper trail was made public in a JR into bias, which is obviously very circular reasoning!

In fact I did consider hiring others, I considered it extremely quickly and made a decision — one of dozens that day, and not the most important. I did not go through a formal process, I did not write down a list of criteria and pretend to ‘rank’ different companies. We had not time, we had a disease doubling every 2-3 days. I thought very quickly, made a decision, then moved on to another similar decision, then another. That was my job. My decision was expert, as the judge accepted. (Our data was appalling, PHE’s communication plans were no good, we urgently needed to figure out how to communicate better to lower the probability of killing people by mistake, so I hired a company I knew would do an excellent job and they did.)”

For some people the bureaucratic procedure is more important than the outcome. They are not the kind of people you want in control during an emergency…

mdi-timer 18 January 2022 @ 10:13 18 Jan 2022 @ 10:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Raab: A PM Lying to Parliament “Normally” a Resigning Matter

In the wake of last night’s accusation from Dominic Cummings – that Boris gave the go-ahead for the 20th May drinks party – Raab had the task of defending No.10 today in the aftermath. Just when Tory MPs were beginning to hope the weekend had marked a turning point on this…

After himself accidentally referring to the 20th May gathering as a “party” on Sky News, Raab then appeared on Today to explain whether the PM would have to resign if it was clear he’d misled the House:

“it would normally, if it’s not corrected…if it’s lying and deliberate in the way that you describe […] it would normally under the Ministerial Code and the governance around Parliament be a resigning matter. That is the principle…”

Pressed on why he used the word “normally“, Raab added:

“Because I don’t have the rules in front of me to quote you verbatim. And forgive me as a lawyer, but I like to be accurate about this […] people in public office are meant to hold the highest standards, and I think it’s absolutely right.”

For now, it’s Cummings’s word against Boris’s. Sue Gray, over to you…

mdi-timer 18 January 2022 @ 08:52 18 Jan 2022 @ 08:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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