Matt Frei 10am - 1pm
Dominic Cummings scandal proves the elite are above the law - Alastair Campbell
23 May 2020, 15:02 | Updated: 23 May 2020, 15:06
Alastair Campbell insisted that the scandal surrounding Dominic Cummings is proof that this government sees itself as above the law.
Former Downing Street Press Secretary and political aide Alastair Campbell joined Matt Frei to discuss the scandal surrounding Dominic Cummings ignoring lockdown rules. Matt began by telling Mr Campbell that "according to the statement, Dominic Cummings wasn't ill while they were driving up to Durham" and wanted to know where the issue is if this is the case.
The political aide was quick in reminding Matt that "the Prime Minister who's his boss was on the television saying the one thing you shouldn't do is put your child with grandparents", which was the objective of Mr Cummings' journey.
"I'm not buying any of this" he said, referencing the angle that was being taken in official statements where the son of Mr Cummings was the justification for the journey. "His offence given that he was infected is worse than Catherine Calderwood and Neil Ferguson" who were vilified for breaking lockdown rules while simultaneously telling the public to abide by the rules.
Mr Campbell argued that this scandal is a prime example of how officials see themselves as above the law. "This is the elite, this is what they do" he said. "They don't actually care that much about the people."
During the conversation, Mr Campbell stated that there are serious questions to be asked over whether the Prime Minister knew that Mr Cummings had flouted the rules.
Matt wanted to know if the former press secretary was suggesting "that there may have been a cover up here" to which Mr Campbell made no commitment to the suggestion.
Tony Blair's former advisor pointed out that there has been a record during the coronavirus crisis of the government condemning people such as the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland Catherine Calderwood and government scientific advisor Neil Ferguson who flouted lockdown at other points. "Now that it's one of their own" the government are doing all they can to dismiss any wrongdoing.
Answering the question of whether or not the Prime Minister knew that Mr Cummings had ignored lockdown rules, "that's the question people in your profession have to find out" was his answer. Mr Campbell was sure to make the point however, that when he moves from his home his work colleagues usually find out quickly, and wondered if this was the case now too.