Sir Keir Starmer has confirmed that he would have sacked Dominic Cummings if he was Prime Minister after Boris Johnson leapt to the defence of his aide.
The Leader of the Opposition said the decision to keep Mr Cummings on was “an insult to sacrifices made by the British people”.
“This was a test of the Prime Minister and he has failed it,” he said, calling for an “urgent inquiry” to be led by Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill into Mr Cummings’s actions.
"If I were Prime Minister, I would have sacked Cummings."— SkyNews (@SkyNews) May 24, 2020
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for an investigation into accusations Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules, saying Boris Johnson is "treating the British public with contempt."
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“Responsibly, legally and with integrity”
Johnson backed his de facto chief-of-staff last night, saying Mr Cummings had “acted responsibly, legally and with integrity”.
The PM said: “I have had extensive face-to-face conversations with Dominic Cummings and I have concluded that in travelling to find the right kind of childcare, at the moment when both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by coronavirus – and when he had no alternative – I think he followed the instincts of every father and every parent.
“And I do not mark him down for that.
“Though there have been many other allegations about what happened when he was in self-isolation and thereafter, some of them palpably false, I believe that in every respect he has acted responsibly and legally and with integrity and with the overwhelming aim of stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives”.
Starmer has seen his approval ratings jump in the last two weeks.
Almost half (47 per cent) of UK adults approve of the way the Labour leader is handling his job vs. 35 per cent two weeks ago.
Less than one in five (17 per cent) disapprove giving him a net rating of +30 per cent.
In contrast, prime minister Boris Johnson still has a net positive rating (45 per cent approve, 39 per cent disapprove, +6 per cent net approval) but this has declined since his high point of +28 per cent immediately after his recovery from coronavirus, the Opinium poll shows.