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School of Politics and International Relations

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands by his rule-bending strategist as lawmakers cry foul

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a tough round of angry queries, serious skepticism and even mockery from British lawmakers on Wednesday over his continued support for his top political strategist, Dominic Cummings, who left his London home when he and his wife were stricken by the novel coronavirus to travel 260 miles to a family home. The scandal has cost Johnson support in the polls, raised questions about fair play and created backlash over the lockdown, just when the government is trying to convince parents that it's safe to send their children back to school. Professor Tim Bale from Queen Mary University of London said the scandal "could be quite damaging" because it upends Johnson's narrative that all Brits are in the same boat. The government's response to the crisis "relies on everybody feeling we are all in this together, and if it seems that is no longer the case, or maybe never has been the case, then I think that's bound to rebound badly on the incumbent Prime Minister and his Government," Bale said. "If there's one thing that unites Brits, it's that they place a premium on fairness and they loathe hypocrisy."

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