Sunday 26 April 2020


Dominic Cummings (right) pictured with Boris Johnson and Michael Gove
during the referendum campaign

Labour are spitting feathers over news that the PM's chief advisor had attended meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).  The group advises the government on its coronavirus strategy, but Labour are angry over the presence of Dominic Cummings.  The Shadow Health Secretary has gone as far as to demand that the government bar him from future meetings.  Jon Ashworth said: "He [Cummings] is a political adviser, not a medical or scientific expert. If the public are to have confidence in SAGE, the government must make clear Dominic Cummings can no longer participate or attend".

What is the problem here, exactly?  Cummings is the Prime Minister's most trusted advisor and Boris Johnson has been incapacitated for weeks.  What is so odd about the PM continuing to have an ear to the ground?  Cummings is not chairing these meetings, he's observing and asking questions.  The meetings are chaired by Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific advisor and a man now familiar to millions from the government's daily briefings.

The SAGE meeting that sparked this latest media storm had 23 people in attendance - 21 of which were scientists and/or medical experts.  The way in which The Guardian reported the story exposes the real reason Labour (and their media allies) are riled by Dominic Cummings.  It is nothing to do with 'confidence in SAGE', but has everything to do with Brexit.  The other non-scientist present at the SAGE meeting was Ben Warner, who The Guardian reports is "said to have worked on the Vote Leave campaign".  The 'Vote Leave' connection was then repeated by other media outlets, including the BBC.  Cummings was also a key figure in Vote Leave, but how is this relevant to the fight against coronavirus?

It isn't, but Remainers simply cannot let go.  Their defeat in 2016 and subsequent three and a half year failed campaign to overturn the Leave mandate has left them feeling exceptionally bitter.  It's no coincidence that aside from Cummings and the PM himself, the Remain media and Labour politicians are extremely hostile to Priti Patel - another prominent Vote Leave backer.  How often have we heard calls for her to be sacked or resign?  Jacob Rees-Mogg also faced sustained pressure to resign last year.

Remainers lost in 2016 and were humiliated in 2019.  Now they want vengeance for those defeats and they won't be happy until they have cleansed government of all Brexiteers.