Dominic Cummings swayed SAGE coronavirus debate in his favour, report claims

PUBLISHED: 09:36 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:36 29 April 2020

Top government advisor Dominic Cummings allegedly pressued SAGE advisors to introduce a government lockdown; Stefan Rousseau PA Wire

Top government advisor Dominic Cummings allegedly pressued SAGE advisors to introduce a government lockdown; Stefan Rousseau PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson’s top advisor, Dominic Cummings, has been accused of swaying Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) debates during coronavirus meetings.

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Cummings reportedly pressured the independent scientific body to enforce a lockdown sooner and to shut pubs and restaurants down within two days of a meeting on March 18th.

SAGE insiders told Bloomberg that the former Vote Leave director made his thoughts clear during SAGE briefings, casting doubt on Downing Street’s claims that Cummings attended meetings as a part of a coronavirus ‘fact finding’ mission.

Shortly after the intervention food and drinks establishments were advised to close.

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The Guardian reported last week that Johnson’s top advisor and a former Vote Leave data scientist, Ben Warner, had attended SAGE meetings as far back as February, raising concerns about the government influencing expert scientific debate around coronavirus measures.

This comes as pressure mounts for the government to disclose the names of SAGE advisors after concerns emerged around the decision-making process during the meetings.

Chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Valance has promised a partial disclose of names.

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