Boris Johnson to face senior MPs amid Dominic Cummings row
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to be questioned by senior MPs at the Commons Liaison Committee for the first time since becoming PM. The Liaison Committee—that has a panel of 37 MPs—is the only Commons committee that can question the PM. Johnson will face questions over his chief advisor's violation of the lockdown and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, the PM's chief advisor drove around 260 miles from his London home to his parents' farm in Country Durham along with his son and his wife who had symptoms of COVID-19. Since the story broke last week, Cummings has defended himself saying that he felt it would be better to self-isolate in a place where he had better options for childcare.
There have been growing calls for Cummings to resign or be fired, however, the PM's chief advisor has refused to tender his resignation or to even apologize. Johnson on Sunday backed Cummings saying that he had acted "responsibly and legally."
The 90-minute Liaison Committee hearing is set to begin at 16:00 BST where the subject of Cummings's actions has been allocated less than 30 minutes, BBC reported. The report added that the bulk of the hearing will focus on the government's handling of the outbreak. Reportedly, at least 35 Tory MPs have called for Cummings to be removed from his post.
However, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told BBC, "It doesn't look as if any of the guidelines or the rules have been broken." Jenrick added, "And so my view is that now we accept that and we move on because there are many many more important issues that we need to be talking about....like the track and trace system, for example."
Writing in The Atlantic, staff writer Tom McTague pointed out, "Cummings did not seek out professional/political advice before embarking on his trip, which is at the very least open to serious questions over whether it complied with the government's lockdown guidance, and when he did tell his boss, no action was taken." McTague added, "When the media started asking questions, no information was provided."