Week Ahead: Dominic Cummings expected to go on the attack over Government's Covid response
A CUMMINGS STORM
Boris Johnson is likely to be in for an uncomfortable morning on Wednesday when his former aide Dominic Cummings gives evidence to MPs on the joint Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee.
Mr Cummings will give his insider’s view on the Government’s response to coronavirus and is expected to be highly critical of many elements of how the pandemic was dealt with.
Earlier this month, Mr Cummings gave a preview of his opinions as he blamed the Government secrecy for the “catastrophe” in spring 2020.
He said the pandemic plan was supposed to be “world class” but turned out to be “part disaster, part non-existent”.
Mr Cummings, who has seen the classified elements of the Covid-19 response, suggested the Government could make 99 per cent of its vaccine plans public without risk as national security concerns are “almost totally irrelevant to the critical parts of the problem”.
Mr Cummings, who left Downing Street in November after a behind-the-scenes power struggle, may well be asked by MPs about his own behaviour during the early stages of the pandemic and his infamous trip to the North East and in particular the visit to Barnard Castle.
GEORGE FLOYD REMEMBERED
Tuesday will be the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck for over nine minutes. A video of the killing triggered a racial justice movement across the US that quickly spread to the rest of the world. Last month, Chauvin was found guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
In Britain, to coincide with the anniversary the TUC and Stand Up To Racism have organised a week of action and are encouraging workers to take the knee at 6pm on Tuesday to show solidarity with the campaign for action on institutional racism, justice for families still campaigning after the deaths in custody of their loved ones and ethnic minority communities who have died disproportionately during the Covid pandemic.
On Wednesday, Leeds Trinity University is hosting a special Black Lives Matter event which will see university staff, students and alumni coming together to share their experiences of racism.
The Champions League final on Saturday night is certain to deliver an English winner as Manchester City and Chelsea face each other.
The two sides will each be backed by 6,000 supporters at the match in Porto, with fans advised to travel via official club travel which will see them arrive into the country, attend the match and then head straight back to the airport.
Porto was confirmed as the host for the match following UEFA opting to switch the match from Istanbul after the Government’s decision to put Turkey on its ‘red list’ meant English fans would have been unable to travel. Wembley had been in contention to stage the match but the Government was unable to agree to quarantine-free travel for sponsors, VIPs and broadcasters.
DYLAN’S BIG DAY
Bob Dylan turns 80 on Monday, offering his fans around the world a chance to reflect on his astonishing and ever-evolving musical career.
BBC Radio 4 have been putting on a series of programmes about Dylan and on Monday Sir Lenny Henry will present What’s So Great About… Bob Dylan? which will explore his sometimes divisive legacy.
Mohit Bakaya, controller of BBC Radio 4, said: “The impact and influence of Dylan and his music is unique.”
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