A storm was brewing over Westminster today after a leaked memo revealed the government had deliberately introduced populist lockdown weakening measures in an attempt to divert media and public attention away from the mounting calls for Dominic Cummings to resign.
At the Prime Minister's regular Covid -19 press conference, the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg launched a scathing attack on Boris Johnson’s government. She said the leaked email talked about successfully taking control of the news agenda by announcing a series of substantial changes to the lockdown regulations. Changes designed purely to take pressure off Boris’s own personal adviser Cummings. The email, thought to come from inside Number 9, went on to talk about the changes being against the Governments own medical officers’ strong advice.
Boris replied that he thanked Laura for the opportunity to put the record straight and to announce, “that from Monday everyone will be able to meet with up to nine friends in any location of their choosing.” Adding, “anyone who doesn’t have nine friends will be supplied with top up friends by the dept of work and pensions.”
Not to be deflected, Kuenssberg pressed on asking, “can I remind the Prime Minister, the question was about the leaked email. Isn’t it true Prime Minister, that Cummings was the story and Cummings still is the story.” Boris quickly interrupted asking “Aren’t puppies lovely?”
An obviously frustrated Kuenssberg angrily persisted with her line of questioning, insisting the PM, “address the subject of Cummings and the leaked email.” “Absolutely,” replied the PM. Followed by a long pause.
“Well? Demanded Kuenssberg.
“Yes, thank you,” replied the PM, adding, “Did I mention that all little girls under five would be given a free unicorn?” He continued, “I am also happy to be able to announce that due to the welcome drop in the covid-19 infection ‘R’ rate to below zero, all pubs would be opening with immediate effect and all drinks would be free till Christmas!”
“Below zero?” Queried Kuenssberg, “Is that even possible?”
“Indeed,” replied the PM “In the interests of open government, we have had the figures scrutinised by the oppositions Diane Abbott.”
By Perry Wilsher