Cummings warned newsletter could breach code of conduct for special advisers

·2-min read
Dominic Cummings (PA Wire)
Dominic Cummings (PA Wire)

Dominic Cummings may be in breach of the official code of conduct for special advisers if he releases government information in his new newsletter, Downing Street has suggested.

Boris Johnson’s former top aide has launched a £10-a-month subscriber service on Substack.

In a post he said he would reveal information on the battle to tackle the coronavirus pandemic for free, alongside some details of his time inside Downing Street.

But "more recondite stuff on the media, Westminster, inside No 10, how did we get Brexit done in 2019, the 2019 election etc" would be available only to those who paid, he said.

Subscribers have been told they can pay £100 annually or £10 monthly. Those who pay £200 a year will have "founding member" status.

The newsletter emerged yesterday as the health secretary Matt Hancock defended himself against allegations made by Mr Cummings, including that he had lied over testing for care home residents.

Mr Hancock told MPs that the government had "operated better in the past six months", after Mr Cummings’ dramatic resignation in November.

In a message on Substack, Mr Cummings said he would use the platform to expand “soon on the evidence I gave to MPs and publish evidence to encourage MPs to take responsibility and force such an inquiry to happen as soon as possible.”

Asked if No 10 would respond if government documents were released by Mr Cummings in the newsletter, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: "I’m not going to get drawn on that issue, I don’t think you’d expect me to comment on that, but as you’re aware all current and former special advisers are asked to act in full accordance with the special advisers’ code of conduct."

Asked whether No 10 thought releasing the evidence Mr Cummings says he has which backs up his allegations would breach the code , the spokesman said: "I’m not going to get into hypotheticals, as I said, we expect all current and former special advisers to act in full accordance with that code of conduct."

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