Political agendas must be dropped in Dominic Cummings debate - Maajid Nawaz

24 May 2020, 14:32 | Updated: 24 May 2020, 14:33

By Seán Hickey

Agreeing that the odds are stacked up against Mr Cummings, Maajid Nawaz warned against motivated reasoning in the debate.

Maajid Nawaz urged listeners against letting political opinions cloud their judgement on Dominic Cummings amid the allegations he ignored lockdown rules. He explained motivated reasoning as taking "an issue that's really powerful and you only use it for your political enemies."

He used the example of how the government's science adviser Neil Ferguson "was used in this way" when he was attacked by the right side of politics for flouting lockdown rules and the left kept relatively quiet or ignored the news completely. He also used the example of the Bret Kavanaugh trials in the US and how the left were vocal in scrutinising the supreme court candidate, but have kept quiet when allegations arise around Joe Biden's allegations of sexual abuse.

"Those who were calling for Neil Ferguson's head are defending Cummings and vice versa" Maajid stated, branding it "hypocrisy and it stinks."

He urged the public to take a stance on a topic based on principles rather than political views. "Don't politicise principles that are really important" he warned, whether it be based on arguments on racism, sexism, or in this case, coronavirus lockdown rules.

Maajid called for people to lose their political agenda when debating the Dominic Cummings scandal
Maajid called for people to lose their political agenda when debating the Dominic Cummings scandal. Picture: PA

Prior to his warnings, Maajid broke down his own anger at Dominic Cumming's ignoring lockdown rules. Although admitting that he thinks "the science doesn't back a national lockdown anymore", Mr Cummings shouldn't be seen to break his own rules.

"Hypocrisy doesn't wash with me" he said. Maajid made the point that Mr Cummings ignoring his own rules is a major issue but the public should not hide behind their political views.

He made the point that "if you're the architect of the rules, people are going to be upset with you if you're found breaking them."

"It sickens me" Maajid seethed, calling for government officials to be consistent in their maintenance of the rules.