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Lib Dems: Dark arts of Cummings have no place in Downing Street

by Steve Beasant on 29 July, 2019

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill calling on him to block the appointment of Dominic Cummings as an Advisor to Boris Johnson on grounds of suitability.

The letter cites that Cummings has previously been found in contempt of parliament for refusing to attend a Select Committee and highlights a track record of dubious behaviour in relation to leaked documents and unsubstantiated campaign claims during the EU referendum. 

Commenting on Cummings appointment and the representation to Sir Mark Sedwill, Layla Moran said:

“The appointment of Dominic Cummings should send shivers down the spines of UK citizens. This is a man who has peddled lies and flouted the truth for sheer, cynical political gain.

“The dark arts that he proffers should have no place in Government, and no place in Downing Street. If Boris Johnson is serious about uniting our country, then appointing one of the most divisive figures in politics is hardly the best start.

“Boris Johnson needs to act like a Prime Minister, and not be the puppeteer of someone who has so little respect for the British people.”


Sir Mark Sedwill KCMG
Cabinet Secretary
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall

24 July 2019

Dear Sir Mark,

I am writing following the news today of the appointment of Dominic Cummings as senior adviser to the new Prime Minister.

My concerns centre on Mr Cummings’ suitability for such a role. As an employee of the Prime Minister in a Special Adviser role, he should comply with Part 1 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, which requires ‘SpAds’ to act with integrity and honesty, as well as other aspects of the code as laid out in the code of conduct.

Mr Cummings has repeatedly demonstrated that he falls short of these standards. Examples include but are not limited to:

• He refused to give evidence to the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee regarding foreign influence and the manipulation of voters during the Brexit referendum. By doing so he was found to be in contempt of Parliament by the Commons Privileges Committee.

• He knowingly leaked a confidential report by the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on the inquiry into the use of fake news and misuse of data in the Brexit referendum campaign.
• As Campaign Director for Vote Leave, he was responsible for the use of misleading campaign information, including falsely claiming that £350 million was being sent weekly to the EU by the UK, and that after Brexit this could be directly reinvested into the NHS.

• He has previously created hostile working environments within Government. Mr Cummings and Michael Gove were described by civil servants in the Department for Education as creating an ‘us-and-them, aggressive, intimidating culture’ in 2013 to The Independent.

I therefore request that you consider intervening on this matter and blocking this appointment.

We cannot allow individuals who cannot behave with honesty and integrity to play such a vital role in the running of Her Majesty’s Government. The people of the UK deserve better than that.

Yours sincerely,

Layla Moran MP

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