Dominic Cummings faces slew of Barnard Castle gags as he reveals he had emergency eye operation

9 November 2023, 08:36

Dominic Cummings and his eye surgery and, right, the town of Barnard Castle
Dominic Cummings and his eye surgery and, right, the town of Barnard Castle. Picture: Social Media/Alamy

By Asher McShane

Dominic Cummings has faced a barrage of jokes online after he revealed he had to undergo eye surgery.

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Boris Johnsons former chief adviser said he was rushed to Moorfields eye hospital after a routine appointment for a check-up.

He posted on Twitter: “Was going to blog on Sedwill evidence but after routine appointment this am was shoved in a cab to an emergency eye operation, thanks so much to *brilliant Moorfields staff who looked after me with such kindness today.

 "When the bandage is off, I'll need to test it out... Suggestions welcome..."

During lockdown Mr Cummings drove his family on a 52-mile round trip from Durham to Barnard Castle.

He later claimed he made the journey to test his eyesight before undertaking the 300-mile drive back to London.

His post was met with a deluge of gags and pithy swipes.

One person commented simply: “The punchline writes itself.”

Another said: “A cab? Surely you should have driven yourself?”

A third posed: “Finally got an eye test!”

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Mr Cummings defended his ‘eye test’ drive in a now infamous press conference from the garden of No10.

He said at the time: “: "My wife was very worried, particularly as my eyesight seemed to have been affected by the disease.

"She did not want to risk a nearly 300-mile drive with our child given how ill I had been.

"We agreed that we should go for a short drive to see if I could drive safely, we drove for roughly half an hour and ended up on the outskirts of Barnard Castle town.

"We did not visit the castle, we did not walk around the town."

Boris Johnson defended his actions at the time, but WhatsApp messages revealed his real reaction to the saga.

Cummings apologises for coarse language during Covid inquiry testimony

In messages shared with the Covid inquiry, dated July 19 2021, Johnson said: "Cummings a total and utter liar. He never told me he had gone to Durham during lockdown.  

"I only discovered when the stories started to come out about Barnard castle etc. I believed Mary Wakefield when she wrote a piece in spec giving impression they had been in London the whole time.  

"He later claimed that he had told me but that my brain was so fogged by Covid that I didn't register.  

"It's not true, I would have noted it.  

"He never told me. I then tried my very best to defend him."

Cummings said that the handling by Downing Street of the fallout from his trip to Barnard Castle was an "absolute car crash" and "did cause a lot of people pain".