Wed, 29 May 2024

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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Dominic Cummings says advisers should ‘toughen up’ following criticism

2 min read

Dominic Cummings has said Downing Street advisers should toughen up, following reports some had sought counselling for stress.

According to the Times, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser said advisers should expect to be held to “high standards [because they are] delivering for the people”. 

He added: “If I had personal issues with a family tragedy, I wouldn’t be working in this place. I would leave. The reality is it’s tough…

“You have got to be tough to do it.” 

Mr Cummings faced criticism last week over his “unkindness” at a meeting of ministerial aides on the eve of the reshuffle, in which he was reported to have said: “I’ll see some of you next week.” 

Speaking to the Times, Cummings said he had reflected on the criticism, adding that he had been “unkind” and picked on some advisers.

Senior Tory MP Huw Merriman blasted Cummings on Friday, blaming him for the “nasty streak” he said was running through Downing Street. 

Mr Merriman, who is chair of the Transport Select Committee as well as the all-party group on the BBC, told The House magazine that Mr Cummings had been a "breath of fresh air" in Number 10 over his plans to reform the civil service.

But he disagreed with Mr Cummings’ proposals regarding the future of the BBC. 

He said: "Where I get concerned is the somewhat brutal way behind [his methods].

"So the BBC is a good example of that. It's fair enough to say we need to have a conversation about whether the licence fee is going to still be relevant in 2027.

"There's nothing wrong with that. I agree with that conversation. But this whole thing about ‘whacking’, about ‘it's got hundreds of radio stations, and we're going to close them down’.

"It doesn't, it has 63 and so, therefore, the facts aren't correct."

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