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Dominic Cummings claims Boris Johnson resisted autumn lockdown calls joking only over-80s were dying

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Boris Johnson attempted to resist pleas for a second lockdown last autumn, joking that the Covid pandemic was only killing pensioners, his former aide Dominic Cummings claimed last night.

In a fresh assault on his ex-boss, Mr Cummings alleged that the Prime Minister said he ‘didn’t buy’ evidence from scientists and other experts that the NHS was in danger of being overwhelmed.

The former advisor, who was sacked at the end of last year, shared WhatsApp messages with the BBC as he alleged the Prime Minister was reluctant to heighten restrictions because ‘the people who are dying are essentially all over 80’ and therefore expendable.

In his first broadcast interview, with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, the hostile former chief adviser to Mr Johnson accused his one-time boss of putting ‘his own political interests ahead of people’s lives’.

He also revealed that the Prime Minister also wanted to carry on meeting the Queen in person while Downing Street was rife with Covid, eventually backing down when it was pointed out he could kill her.  

Mr Cummings has repeatedly accused the Prime Minister of being too slow in imposing the second lockdown, which came into force on November 5.

The political adviser, who left Downing Street during a bitter row in November, shared a series of messages from October 15 that appear to be from Mr Johnson to aides.

‘I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on covid fatalities. The median age is 82 – 81 for men 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get COVID and live longer. Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (4 per cent ) and of those virtually all survive. And I no longer buy all this nhs overwhelmed stuff. Folks I think we may need to recalibrate,’ they read.

‘There are max 3m in this country aged over 80. It shows we don’t go for nation wide lockdown.’

Boris Johnson wanted to meet the Queen at the start of the pandemic despite signs Covid was spreading in Downing Street, it was claimed last night (pictured: Dominic Cummings in an interview with Laura Kuenssberg)

Boris Johnson wanted to meet the Queen at the start of the pandemic despite signs Covid was spreading in Downing Street, it was claimed last night (pictured: Dominic Cummings in an interview with Laura Kuenssberg) 

In a fresh assault on his ex-boss, Dominic Cummings said he had to persuade the PM (pictured right) not to have his weekly audience with the monarch in case he gave her the fatal virus

In a fresh assault on his ex-boss, Dominic Cummings said he had to persuade the PM (pictured right) not to have his weekly audience with the monarch in case he gave her the fatal virus

WHAT THE PM POSTED TO HIS STAFF

‘I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on Covid fatalities. The median age is 82 – 81 for men, 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get Covid and live longer. Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (4 per cent) and of those virtually all survive.

And I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff. Folks I think we may need to recalibrate. There are max 3m in this country aged over 80. It shows we don’t go for nationwide lockdown.’  

In his first TV interview since leaving No 10, Mr Cummings claimed the PM ‘put his own political interests ahead of people’s lives for sure’.

He said Mr Johnson’s attitude last autumn was a ‘weird mix’ of ‘partly ‘it’s all nonsense and lockdowns don’t work anyway’ and partly ‘well this is terrible but the people who are dying are essentially all over 80 and we can’t kill the economy just because of people dying over 80′.’

He added: ‘Lots of people heard the Prime Minister say that, the Prime Minister texted that to me and other people.’

However Tory MPs rallied behind Mr Johnson. Peter Bone has dismissed Mr Cummings’s allegations, saying the former aide was driven by revenge and had failed to prove a series of explosive claims he made about the inner workings of No 10 before parliamentary committees in recent months.

‘He didn’t provide the evidence when he was before the select committees, which he promised to do. He failed miserably to do that,’ Mr Bone told the BBC.

‘If you want my opinion, you can discount virtually everything Dominic Cumming says about anything.

‘He is a man who is driven by revenge and serious journalists cannot possibly believe what he says.’

Mr Cummings  also revealed Mr Johnson wanted to meet the Queen at the start of the pandemic despite signs Covid was spreading in Downing Street, it was claimed last night.

In a fresh assault on his ex-boss, Dominic Cummings said he had to persuade the PM not to have his weekly audience with the monarch in case he gave her the fatal virus.

He told the BBC: ‘I said ”what are you doing?” and he said ”I’m going to see the Queen”, and I said, ”what on earth are you talking about, of course you can’t go and see the Queen”.

‘[The PM] said, ”ah, that’s what I do every Wednesday, sod this, I’m gonna go and see her”.’

The former chief adviser alleged he warned the PM that there were already people in No 10 who were isolating and told him: ‘You might have coronavirus.’

He added: ‘I just said, ”if you… give her coronavirus and she dies what are you gonna do, you can’t do that, you can’t risk that, that’s completely insane”.

‘And he said, he basically just hadn’t thought it through, he said, ”yeah, holy s***, I can’t go”.’ 

Mr Cummings also claimed that Mr Johnson repeatedly said ‘we should never have done the first lockdown’. 

Cummings claimed he told Boris Johnson that 'of course he couldn't go and see the Queen' at the start of the pandemic (file photo)

Cummings claimed he told Boris Johnson that ‘of course he couldn’t go and see the Queen’ at the start of the pandemic (file photo)

The former chief adviser alleged he warned the PM that there were already people in No 10 who were isolating and told him: ¿You might have coronavirus'

The former chief adviser alleged he warned the PM that there were already people in No 10 who were isolating and told him: ‘You might have coronavirus’

Mr Cummings also claimed the PM was reluctant to tighten restrictions last autumn because ¿the people who are dying are essentially all over 80¿

Mr Cummings also claimed the PM was reluctant to tighten restrictions last autumn because ‘the people who are dying are essentially all over 80’

In his first TV interview since leaving No 10, Mr Cummings claimed the PM ¿put his own political interests ahead of people¿s lives for sure¿

In his first TV interview since leaving No 10, Mr Cummings claimed the PM ‘put his own political interests ahead of people’s lives for sure’

He said: ‘After the first wave passed and after he came back to work, initially his view was essentially, ”thank goodness we did do that”, but very quickly, as the Telegraph and various parts of the media and Tory Party started screaming, he then basically reverted and said ”actually the whole thing was a disaster, we should never have done it, I was right in February, we should basically just ignore it and just let the thing wash through the country and not destroy the economy and move on”.’

Mr Cummings left Downing Street in November following a power struggle and has since been highly critical of the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

Last night Downing Street denied that the incident where the PM and Mr Cummings discussed visiting the Queen took place.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

A Downing Street spokesman told the BBC: ‘Since the start of the pandemic, the Prime Minister has taken the necessary action to protect lives and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice.

‘The Government he leads has delivered the fastest vaccination rollout in Europe, saved millions of jobs through the furlough scheme and prevented the NHS from being overwhelmed through three national lockdowns.

‘The Government is entirely focused on emerging cautiously from the pandemic and building back better.’

The interview will be shown on BBC2 tonight at 7pm.

Mr Cummings left Downing Street in November following a power struggle and has since been highly critical of the Government¿s handling of the pandemic

Mr Cummings left Downing Street in November following a power struggle and has since been highly critical of the Government’s handling of the pandemic

Last night Downing Street denied that the incident where the PM and Mr Cummings discussed visiting the Queen took place

Last night Downing Street denied that the incident where the PM and Mr Cummings discussed visiting the Queen took place

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