Tory MPs say Dominic Cummings could drive ‘coach and horses’ through UK defence policy without proper scrutiny
- Credit: PA
A group of Tory MPs say that without proper scrutiny, Dominic Cummings could drive a 'coach and horses' through the UK's defence policy when he launches a major inquiry into how the sector.
Senior Tories have called on Cummings to submit to questioning over his role in a major review of the UK's defence capabilities.
Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the Commons select committee on defence and was once a minister of the department, said Cummings should not be allowed to drive a 'coach and horses through our defence architecture'.
You may also want to watch:
The prime minister's top aide was granted access to tour classified sites including MI5, MI6 and the SAS in July ahead of a review.
- 1 Our PM demonstrates why Latin lessons plan is a bad idea
- 2 Boris Johnson’s latest offence shouldn’t be overlooked
- 3 The cannabis conundrum
- 4 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 5 Can King Louis turn back the clock?
- 6 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 7 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 8 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 9 Why Germany's Greens failed to rise on floods
- 10 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
Ellwood and other MPs on the committee are now calling on Cummings to explain his role in the Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development, as well as explain who will be leading it.
The Telegraph reported that Cummings has been invited to give evidence to the Defence Select Committee on the issue twice.
He declined the first invitation and is yet to respond to the second.
Ellwood told the newspaper: 'It's unclear what his role is and yet he's happy to let it be known he is visiting clandestine agencies.
'We aren't even clear as to who is running the report. If we don't know who is running it then how can we test the parameters in which this review is being conducted?'
He said there must be 'proper scrutiny and transparency' of the review in order to prevent 'someone with the mindset of Dominic Cummings running a coach and horses through our defence architecture'.
The former defence minister said he was concerned Cummings' role in the review was 'far greater... than anyone anticipated'.
Those sentiments were echoed by fellow Tory MP Bob Seely who sits on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
He said: 'I don't know who is leading the review. It would be good to have a named individual who oversees the contributions, and who can talk publicly about it.'
It emerged Cummings toured Britain's defence establishment in July amid claims that he was determined to 'sort out' procurement and organisational issues.
A memo leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald showed Cummings was set to visit the headquarters of the Special Boat Service, the SAS, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the Rapid Capabilities Office, and the defence intelligence unit.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.