Politics Explained

Has Boris Johnson recovered from the public backlash over the Dominic Cummings affair?

There are glimmers of hope for the PM, but he should still be worried. Once trust is lost, it’s difficult to regain, writes Andrew Grice

Sunday 07 June 2020 16:40
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Anger over the scandal has started to dissipate but disappointment in the prime minister lingers
Anger over the scandal has started to dissipate but disappointment in the prime minister lingers

Boris Johnson’s allies hoped the storm over allegations that Dominic Cummings breached the lockdown rules would soon blow itself out once the media spotlight moved on.

So far, they have been disappointed. Mr Johnson’s and his government’s ratings have continued to decline. According to Ipsos Mori, more people (43 per cent) now have an unfavourable view of Mr Johnson than a favourable one (39 per cent) for the first time since March. In April, 51 per cent were favourable and 31 per cent unfavourable.

Opinium found that Mr Johnson’s ratings flipped during the week the Cummings row dominated the media and have not recovered. Before the story broke, 45 per cent approved of the way the prime minister was handling his job and 39 per cent disapproved. Its latest figures show that 44 per cent disapprove and 37 per cent approve. Only a third of people (34 per cent) approve of the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, down from two-thirds (65 per cent) in March.

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