We now know for sure what most Westminster watchers have always suspected: Boris Johnson is prepared to move heaven and earth to try to protect his most trusted adviser Dominic Cummings.Instead of his chief aide falling on his own sword after revelations that he had broken lockdown rules, the prime minister decided this weekend to become Mr Cummings’ own human shield instead.And it has wounded him and his government – not just politically but in substantive policy terms too.When it comes to handling the coronavirus crisis, the decision to defend Mr Cummings’ 260-mile trip to Durham to seek childcare support from his family has blunted not just the stay at home message but the wider rules.Why should the public follow guidelines that those in power do not? Advertisement “Trashing” all the lockdown advice in a “few short minutes” is how Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the government’s advisory group of behavioural science, put it on Sunday night.Ministers worry that it could mean the R number begins to rise, bringing in turn more cases, more deaths and even a second wave; the economic, social and public health consequences of which are unconscionable. More from Boris Johnson Boris Johnson may have… Read full this story
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