Dominic Cummings fires back at James OBrien in furious row after BBC interview

Boris Johnson comments on Cummings leak rumour

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Boris Johnson’s former chief aide corrected Remainer claims that the UK’s vaccine rollout was “slower” because Britain had left the European Union. Critics led by anti-Brexit campaigner James O’Brien claimed leaving the EU meant “coronavirus vaccines would be slower to reach the UK”.

But Mr Cummings said the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to the UK population was “much faster than Brussels” after opting out of being part of the EU scheme during the transition period.

The latest UK Government stats show 68 percent of UK adults are fully vaccinated, compared to just 40.2 percent in EU countries.

During a BBC interview last night, Mr Cummings also said the Brexit campaign promise to give the NHS an extra £350million per week if the UK left the European Union “drove everyone crazy” because it was true.

The former Vote Leave mastermind admitted the figure, which was emblazoned on campaign buses used by key Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson, was used as a “trap” for the Remain side as it exposed the “true balance sheet” of EU membership.

Remainer critics have argued the figure was misleading as it did not take into account the rebate the UK received from Brussels.

But justifying the figure, Mr Cummings said: “The reason why that figure worked and the reason why it drove everyone crazy and the reason why people are still talking about it now is that we were using true figures.”

In a candid admission, he also said it was “perfectly reasonable” to argue that Brexit was a mistake, but that anyone who was confident either way had “got a screw loose”.

The former Downing Street aide also said he thought Brexit was a “good thing” based on events of the past five years.

 

He continued: “I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say Brexit was a mistake…of course it’s reasonable for some people to think that,” he continued.

“I think that obviously, I think Brexit was a good thing.

“I think that the way in which the world has worked out since 2016 vindicates the arguments that Vote Leave made in all sorts of ways. I think it’s good that Brexit happened.”

Mr Cummings had also revealed during the hour-long programme that he had helped broker a deal between Boris Johnson and Michael Gove to head up a new government after the Brexit result.

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Dominic Cummings recalls 'deal' made with Boris Johnson

Asked whether he thought Mr Johnson would become the next Prime Minister after the 2016 EU referendum, Mr Cummings said: “Yeah, sort of.

“I thought that, so I negotiated between him and Michael Gove a deal over the previous couple of weeks about what to do in this situation.

“The deal actually was that Michael did not want to run in the leadership contest, that he would be Chancellor, that Boris would be Prime Minister, but that we would create a certain kind of Number 10, and that we would very rapidly deliver all the promises that the campaign had made during the referendum campaign.”

Mr Cummings finally admitted that he thought Mr Johnson being Prime Minister was “terrible for the country”.

But he said that he and “a few dozen” backers sought to use his premiership to their advantage.

The chief of staff in No 10 said he had found Mr Johnson to have “hopeless” traits after working with him during the 2016 Brexit referendum, but agreed after he entered Downing Street three years later to assist him.

But Mr Cummings, who left No 10 in the autumn after a power struggle, admitted he was now working to hasten the Prime Minister’s demise.



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