Politics

Boris Johnson's approval rating plummets to -1% after defending Dominic Cummings


Government approval ratings have plummeted since Boris Johnson doubled down in his defence of Dominic Cummings.

Mr Johnson’s personal approval rating now stands at -1%, according to pollsters Savanta Comres’ daily tracker.

It was +19% four days ago, before his defence of Mr Cummings. It was 25% two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, overall government approval has plummeted by 16 points overnight, to -2%.

That means more people said they disapprove of Mr Johnson’s leadership than approve of it for the first time since the start of the Coronavirus crisis.

And Labour Leader Keir Starmer’s personal rating rose from 7% to 13% over the same period.

This morning, senior ministers continued to defend the Prime Minister’s senior aide, after he admitted travelling 260 miles to a Durham hideaway despite the public being told to remain in their primary residence.

He also admitted driving 30 miles to a beauty spot with his wife and son, claiming he was checking if he was fit to drive before embarking on the return trip to London.


Michael Gove said he only found out that Mr Cummings had travelled to Durham when the story was revealed through the media.

The Cabinet Office minister told BBC Breakfast he had been unaware of Mr Cummings’ journey until Friday evening.

He said: “When I read the story I was convinced there would be an explanation from Dominic, because I know he is a man of honour and integrity.”

Further defending the senior Government aide, Mr Gove said: “People can then form their own judgment about whether or not what they thought he did was wise. My own view is that it is entirely reasonable.

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“The allegation from some was he was heedlessly and recklessly putting other people in danger, I think if we look at the whole story we can see that was not the case.”


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But Scotland Minister Douglas Ross resigned from the government this morning, saying he could no longer defend Mr Cummings’ actions to his constituents.

In a tweet announcing his resignation, Mr Ross wrote: “I haven’t commented publicly on the situation with Dominic Cummings as I have waited to hear the full details.

“I welcome the statement to clarify matters, but there remains aspects of the explanation which I have trouble with.

“As a result I have resigned as a government Minister.”

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A Number 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister would like to thank Douglas Ross for his service to government and regrets his decision to stand down as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland.”

Mr Cummings’ unprecedented statement in the No10 rose garden yesterday came after more than 20 Tory MPs demanded Mr Cummings resign or be sacked over his 260-mile drive to Durham in late March.

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Furious members of the public said there was one rule for them and another for the PM’s pals after they were firmly told to stay at home.





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