Phillip Schofield has lambasted Dominic Cummings over his honesty regarding his ‘trip to Barnard Castle’ after the former top aide’s scathing attack on the government.
On Wednesday May 26, Cummings appeared before a joint parliamentary committee, where he made a series of shocking claims about the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including that the government’s lockdown plan had a section on ‘who do we not save?’
Cummings also apologised over how his infamous trip to Barnard Castle unfolded, saying: ‘I am extremely sorry over the whole thing’, explaining that he was trying to deal with security issues at the time and didn’t tell the ‘full story’.
During the first lockdown, Cummings was heavily criticised after he claimed that he drove to the town of Barnard Castle to test his eyesight before a longer journey, having previously been unwell with coronavirus.
On Thursday’s edition of This Morning, Schofield called out the fact that Cummings didn’t tell the whole truth at the time, after guest Beverley Turner said that Cummings ‘himself said they needed to be more transparent’, adding: ‘A lot of this confusion and the mistrust perhaps wouldn’t have happened if they’d been more honest from the start.’
‘Shame he wasn’t a bit more honest about his trip to Barnard Castle, but we’ll come to that in just a moment,’ Schofield responded.
Last March, Cummings drove his family to Durham to stay at a property on his parents’ land after his wife became ill, suspecting that he might also become unwell.
Having developed coronavirus symptoms, Cummings was cleared in April to come back to work.
However, before driving back to London from Durham, he drove 30 miles to Barnard Castle to supposedly test his eyesight before doing the longer journey to the capital, despite the nation being in a state of lockdown.
Before making his jibe about Cummings, Schofield explained how before Cummings’ testimony took place, there were people saying that ‘this is a story that’s going to stay in Westminster’, saying that they weren’t ‘sure that anybody is going to be bothered around the country’.
‘And then you get this hatchet job that went on,’ he said.
Later during the segment, Matthew Wright – who was appearing as a guest over video chat – said that ‘you do think that somebody needs to be held accountable’ over the handling of the pandemic, although an inquiry isn’t going to take place until next year.
Schofield said that in his view, ‘regardless of whichever government’ happened to be in power, it was ‘going to be bumbling’.
‘Regardless of whichever government it happened to be at that time when this thing strikes, if it’s never happened before, including Cummings and the prime minister and the health secretary, isn’t there going to be bumbling until you figure out what the hell’s going on?’ he said.
Following Cummings’ testimony, several people on social media remarked that they can see Benedict Cumberbatch playing the political strategist for a second time to depict the series of events.
Cumberbatch first played Cummings in the 2019 Channel 4 drama Brexit: The Uncivil War.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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