Dominic Cummings wanted Boris Johnson to scrap Sage

Dominic Cummings wanted Boris Johnson to scrap Sage amid concerns of leaking and lobbying from pro-lockdown advisers.

According to the Daily Mail, the Prime Minister was encouraged to take action against the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) over concerns some of the experts were pushing publicly for tougher restrictions.

Figures in Whitehall have also accused the scientists of being responsible for leaking proposals in a bid to bounce ministers into adopting stricter measures.

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The Prime Minister's former chief adviser is believed to have grown frustrated that members of the committee were allowed to talk publicly, and claimed discussing issues they were advising on “in a personal capacity” was not acceptable.

Dominic Cummings wanted Boris Johnson to scrap SAGE amid concerns of leaking and lobbying from pro-lockdown advisers.
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The paper reports the matter came to a head last year when Mr Cummings told the Prime Minister he should get rid of the body altogether.

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A source said: “Dom got to the point where he'd had enough of Sage.

"Every time we had an important decision coming up, there would be members popping up in the media pushing their own agendas. He wanted to scrap the whole thing.”

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The suggestion was dismissed by the Prime Minister, who has repeatedly insisted the UK Government’s approach has been guided by the science.

Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine said: “This is another indication of why the Conservative Government has questions to answer as to how handles this pandemic.

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“Sage is there for a reason and you would hope the government is listening to every bit of scientific advice available to them.

“The decisions the country needs for the moment should not be political ones, but taken on the best advice available.”

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Sage has drawn ire throughout the pandemic from Tory backbenchers, who have argued throughout the crisis the UK should open up.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: “The government has been bullied by some of these publicity-seeking scientists who take no account of the impact their ideas are having on the economy and education and so much else. They need to be reined in.”

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Last year Mr Cummings was reported to have attended a number of the committee’s meetings, raising concerns he could have impacted the group’s independence.

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