The regional director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Europe has made a barbed reference to Dominic Cummings in calling for leaders, advisers and the public to ‘build trust’.
Dr Hans Kluge said a symbiotic relationship between ‘leadership and citizenship’ was needed, saying it was ‘very important’ for the former to ‘build trust’ with the latter.
Kluge declined to comment on the case of Boris Johnson’s senior adviser specifically, but, asked what concerns he had about the efficacy of government messaging when senior advisers and politicians are deemed to have broken lockdown rules, he said: ‘There is a need for two elements.
‘One is what we call responsible governance – it means that the leadership is listening to the public health and epidemiological data, (and that it) communicates with the public.
‘And it’s very important to build trust, like for example, we have been seeing in Scandinavian countries, this partnership between the people and the politicians.
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‘Second, we need responsible citizenship, which means for the citizens to listen to trustful, responsible governance.’
His comments came as the row over Boris Johnson’s decision to stand by Dominic Cummings – who drove around 260 miles from London to Durham with his wife and four-year-old child during lockdown, and subsequently took a trip to Barnard Castle to see if he was fit enough to drive before returning to the capital .