James O'Brien takes a look at Boris Johnson's ministerial "team sheet"

21 October 2020, 10:59 | Updated: 21 October 2020, 11:06

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

James O'Brien examines Boris Johnson's team sheet of Ministers after days of talks with leaders in Greater Manchester about financial assistance which ended without agreement yesterday.

Examining Boris Johnson's "team sheet" of Ministers led to James O'Brien imagining the conversation between the PM and Dominic Cummings.

It comes after events over the last 24 hours in Greater Manchester where the Government imposed Tier 3 restrictions - including the closure of pubs, bars and betting shops - from Friday without the agreement of local leaders.

Talks broke down with the Government unwilling to provide the £65 million asked for by mayor Andy Burnham as the "bare minimum to prevent a winter of real hardship".

The Government had offered £60 million and Mr Jenrick said: "the mayor and local leaders were not willing to agree to the package of support that we wanted to put in place".

James said: "Imagine last night, Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson, Rasputin Cummings and his mark, running through the teamsheet."

Putting on a voice James said: "Dom, we've got a big problem in Manchester, we've got some serious firefighting to do my broski."

Imagining the reply from the Prime Minister's senior adviser said: "Then Dominic Cummings got the teamsheet out and said let's look at who our to players are."

"Dominic Raab is apparently hibernating, Priti Patel's too busy telling fibs about lawyers and obsessing about dinghies, who have we got left?"

Pretending to look at a sheet of paper James said: "We've got Jacob Rees-Mogg and Robert Jenrick."

"What, this is the Cabinet of the UK Government?"

Pointing out that the Government had sent Robert Jenrick to speak to the media, "the bloke who waved through a £45m bonus for a property developer? We're going to send him out to explain why we can't afford £5m in Manchester?"

James ended with a warning, "if you think 5 million quid was enough to break the bank in Manchester, you've got another think coming."