Boris Johnson "dug a hole" by defending Dominic Cummings - Ex-Labour spin doctor

24 May 2020, 19:06

By Seán Hickey

A former Labour spin doctor was not impressed by Boris Johnson's support of Dominic Cummings.

Lance Price, former adviser to Tony Blair joined Ian Payne to share his instant reaction to Boris Johnson standing by his chief adviser Dominic Cummings amid allegations he flouted lockdown rules.

Ian was less than impressed by the PM standing by Mr Cummings and asked the former Labour spin doctor "would that have been your way to play it?"

Mr Price began by telling Ian that "the only way you can draw a line under an individual or a policy is to go out there with all the facts and be as transparent as possible." "This was textbook of how not to do it" he said. The former advisor condemned the stance of the Prime Minister and insisted that the public will be far from impressed with the defence of Mr Cummings.

Ian wanted to know what would Mr Price advise Boris Johnson did, also throwing into the debate that because the PM wasn't clear or transparent, he has convicted Mr Cummings to being guilty in the eyes of the public.

Mr Price felt for the British public, imagining that when they see the story they will be "scratching their heads completely unclear why it was acceptable in the Prime Minister's eyes for Dominic Cummings to do what he did" arguing that "if any of us did it we'd be rightly criticised for doing it."

The former adviser could only describe the PM's press briefing as him spending "the best part of an hour digging a hole" and believed he has lost the confidence of the public by his actions.

Mr Price reminded Ian that "later this week the PM will give us new advice on how lockdown would change" and believed the public will ignore the new rules completely.

"Why would anyone listen to that when theres one rule for the Prime Minister and his friends and another rule for the rest of us" he said, adding that "he can't explain why that is" which makes matters worse for the government.

Mr Price placed all the blame on Dominic Cummings, telling Ian that as a government adviser "you should never allow yourself to become the story and he has become the story."

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