Iain Dale 4pm - 7pm
Maajid defends Cummings at SAGE meetings: "If you were PM, would you ban him?"
25 April 2020, 16:30
Boris Johnson's chief advisor has a right to be at coronavirus action meetings in order to understand the science.
After revelations that two senior Number 10 advisors have been present at SAGE meetings where the science behind the UK's coronavirus action is discussed, Maajid Nawaz didn't see an issue with Dominic Cummings attending such meetings.
He defended the presence of the PM's chief political advisor at these meetings as a means for Boris Johnson's inner circle to understand better the scientific evidence behind coronavirus action.
Matt, a caller from Reading wasn't so sure that having Dominic Cummings at meetings of scientists was a good thing, insisting that he might be manipulating the scientists into giving information he wants to hear, and also potentially Mr Cummings may be filtering the coronavirus advice he is giving to the Prime Minister so his narrative is served.
Maajid told Matt that it was "highly unlikely the PM will only get coronavirus information through Dominic Cummings" and that Matt's theories were "not really in accordance with reality".
Matt argued that "SAGE is supposed to be advisor to PM, not Dominic Cummings" and that we should be worried that he has a say in the information Boris Johnson takes from the coronavirus science meetings.
Maajid tried to reason with Matt, asking him "would you ban your own chief advisor from meetings to understand the science?"
When Matt told him he believed that he would ban his own advisor from meetings Maajid couldn't help but laugh.
He reasoned that your chief advisor is the person "you trust more than anyone else and you'd ban him?" Maajid couldn't believe Matt's logic and cut the call short.