Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Boris Johnson's approval ratings drop 20% as he refuses to sack Dominic Cummings
26 May 2020, 12:51
Boris Johnson's approval ratings have dropped into minus figures as he refuses to fire his senior aide Dominic Cummings over allegations he broke lockdown rules.
The Prime Minister's rating was +19 per cent four days ago, according to data tracker Savanta, but has now plunged to -1 per cent following his handling of the Cummings scandal.
The data also suggests that the overall government approval rate plunged to minus two per cent - marking a 16 per cent drop in a single day.
Mr Cummings took the unprecedented step of holding a press conference to answer questions about the allegations yesterday, and has so far had the full support of Mr Johnson.
The PM's senior aide admitted he had travelled 250 miles to Durham from London to seek childcare when he and his wife feared they were getting ill with coronavirus.
He also admitted visiting a local beauty spot, Barnard Castle, during the height of lockdown which was 30 miles away from where he was staying, but claimed he had made his journey to test his eyesight.
But unrest is growing within the Conservative Party itself over the controversy, with some claiming Mr Cummings broke lockdown rules whilst the rest of the country was told to "Stay Home" to stem the spread of the virus.
Scottish junior minister Douglas Ross went as far today as resigning from government after receiving hundreds of angry emails from his constituents.
Those who have remained loyal to Mr Cummings have also seen their approval ratings plummet according to the figures from Savanta.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, whose approval rating was 35 per cent four days ago, has dropped to 20 per cent, after he tweeted his support for Mr Cummings in the aftermath of the press conference.
And Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also seen his rating dip from 15 per cent to 14 per cent.
But with no general election in sight, the latest ratings are unlikely to rattle the government in terms of public opinion, but the opinions of his own MPs - many of whom have called for Mr Cummings' resignation - are likely to matter far more to the Prime Minister.