Whitty and Vallance should have spoken out over Cummings, claims top scientist
- Credit: PA
One of Britain's leading scientists has said that Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance should have spoken out over Dominic Cummings' breaking of the coronavirus lockdown rules.
Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize winning geneticist, said that England's chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser 'should have said something' about Boris Johnson's senior aide.
He told ITV's Peston: 'I think it would have been proper for the scientists to point out that Dominic didn't behave in the best way, maybe he did or maybe he didn't break the rules, but he certainly damaged, dented the reputation of the government, certainly damaged the attempt to keep everybody behaving. They probably should have said something.'
The pair were said to have refused to do the press conference immediately after Cummings' Rose Garden statement to journalists, because they would not back his account of events.In subsequent press briefings Boris Johnson prevented both experts from commenting on the situation 'to protect them' from a 'political argument'.
Nurse also criticised claims from the government that it was 'following the science'.
'I think what's really important and perhaps not fully recognised is how tentative knowledge is about a virus when it suddenly appears on the scene. And what that means is that the science is not always going to be right.
You may also want to watch:
'So this phrase, 'We're all going to follow the science,' is just too naive really, you've got to dig underneath that, because there will be different opinions, different views, it will evolve as our knowledge gets more and more secure, which is how science works.'
- 1 The only Brexit export boom is from UK businesses rushing to Europe
- 2 Boris Johnson proposes saving United Kingdom with 'Project Love' plan
- 3 The stench of scandal seeping out from Britain
- 4 Former Brexit secretary 'privately agreed' with Gina Miller's court action over Article 50
- 5 MEPs again refuse to ratify Brexit deal amid concerns No 10 is flouting conditions
- 6 How the vaccines have shifted opinions over Brexit
- 7 Tory candidate under fire after describing Brexit chaos as a 'hiccup'
- 8 PRINCE PHILIP: Why this Danish, Greek, German immigrant epitomised Britain
- 9 PMQs: Commons speaker reprimands Boris Johnson over Greensill response
- 10 Major and Blair were right about Brexit and Northern Ireland
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.