The Guardian Newspaper has alleged that Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s (photo above) advisor, attended meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and made contributions to the debate. The newspaper reported that the involvement of Cummings “left other attendees shocked, concerned and worried for the impartiality of advice”.
Before the allegations were announced, and the involvement of Cummings on the committee was revealed, Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of Health and Social Care, said:
“These are very serious revelations and raise significant questions about the credibility of decisions being taken by the Government on the coronavirus. Dominic Cummings has no place on the Government’s scientific advisory group on the coronavirus.
He is a political adviser, not a medical or scientific expert. If the public are to have confidence in the SAGE, the Government must make clear Dominic Cummings can no longer participate or attend. We also need full transparency on who is attending meeting of SAGE and what is being discussed.”
The Guardian reported that one member of the committee said off the record:
“It contravenes previous guidelines about how you make sure you get impartial scientific advice going through to politicians, who make the decisions.”
George Eustice, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said in a news conference that the Government would be publishing the minutes of the meetings in due course.