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BBC's Nick Robinson loses it in furious clash with Labour MP 'No, I want you to be clear!'


BBC host Nick Robinson condemned a senior Labour MP for refusing to “be clear” in his responses, as he took a swipe at confused positions inside the party. Nick Robinson pressed Labour Party’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds on the party’s response to the Dominic Cummings saga. Mr Thomas-Symonds refused to say whether he agreed with the Shadow Attorney-General Lord Falconer that Mr Cummings had broken the law.

On Thursday, Durham Police concluded that Boris Johnson’s senior adviser may have been in breach of “stay at home” guidance and lockdown advice.

However, the police force decided, following the examination, that no further action will be taken in the matter.

The Prime Minister has continued to ignore calls for Mr Cummings to be sacked, despite a growing revolt among backbenchers in his own party.

Following the Durham Police finding, Lord Falconer said Dominic Cummings “unquestionably broke the law” when he travelled to Durham beauty spot Barnard Castle, despite this not being clear from the Durham Police’s findings. 

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This prompted Nick Robinson to query: “What do you know that Durham Police do not know?”

Mr Thomas-Symonds responded: “I think the Durham Police were clear. They said they won’t take any action because they don’t take action retrospectively, which has been applied across the country.

“As far as the spirit of the guidelines, no-one would interrupt the rules like he has.”

Nick Robinson fired back: “We can all take an opinion on Mr Cumming’s behaviour.”

The row of Mr Cumming’s future has dominated headlines and overshadowed the Prime Minister’s decision to ease the lockdown in England from Monday.

Labour’s leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was “extraordinary that the prime minister stopped the scientists being able to answer a question put to them by journalists”.

This comes after Mr Johnson blocked journalists from asking his top scientific advisers, Professor Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, about their opinion on the matter.

Sir Keir said: “The government has been saying for weeks on end, this is about transparency, it’s about answering whatever questions you’ve got.

“And then on the question people want to hear an answer on, he stops them answering. It’s the wrong thing to do.

“I don’t think he’s going to have impressed anybody with that tonight. I don’t think he’s impressed anybody over the past week.”


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