In Brief

Boris Johnson adviser said Tories don't care about the poor or NHS

In a video from 2017 Dominic Cummings made damning remarks about Conservative MPs

Voters are right to think Tory MPs largely do not care about poorer people or the NHS, according to Boris Johnson’s new senior adviser.

In a video from 2017, Dominic Cummings said: “People think, and by the way I think most people are right: ‘The Tory party is run by people who basically don’t care about people like me.’”

He added: “That is what most people in the country have thought about the Tory party for decades. I know a lot of Tory MPs and I am sad to say the public is basically correct. Tory MPs largely do not care about these poorer people. They don’t care about the NHS. And the public has kind of cottoned on to that.”

Cummings is described by the Daily Telegraph as the “Vote Leave's campaign mastermind,” by The Independent as an “evil genius”, and by civil servants as “aggressive” and “intimidating”.

Responding to the remarks in the video, Ian Lavery, the chair of the Labour party, said it was a “staggering admission from the prime minister’s right-hand man”.

“As Dominic Cummings says himself, the Conservatives don’t care about anything apart from looking after their rich friends – whether that means selling off our NHS to American corporations in pursuit of a Trump trade deal, or giving tax cuts to big businesses while cutting public services. We need a general election and a Labour government to protect our health service from the likes of Boris Johnson,” Lavery added.

In the video, which was filmed at the Nudgestock event in 2017, Cummings also turns to the Vote Leave campaign pledge to give £350m a week to the NHS after Brexit.

Cummings says Johnson and Michael Gove, the co-leaders of the Vote Leave campaign, had realised they needed to keep their promise on the NHS “not only from the self-preservation point of view but also from the political smart point of view; they understood the power of actually delivering”.

He continues: “Me, Michael and Boris had talked about this... on the day of victory in the Vote Leave office, so when Boris came in on Friday 24th and punched the air and whatnot, he and I walked into this little room, amid beer cans and craziness, and I said to him: ‘The first thing you do is say we are going to meet this promise.’

“And he smashed his fist down on the table and said: ‘Absolutely no question about it.’ And if Michael had not taken out Boris, and Boris had run as leader, I am 99.9% recurring – as sure as I can be about anything – that Boris would have said I will honour the promises we made in that campaign.”

Since becoming prime minister last week, Johnson has not repeated that promise, although he has reportedly ordered that the delivery of cash for the NHS pledged by Theresa May be accelerated.

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