This England (2022): Season 1, Episode 6 - Episode #1.6 - full transcript

Boris Johnson returns to Downing Street as the government begins to ease restrictions. The Cummings Durham story comes out and forces Dom to address the rule violation.

(pensive music)

(Boris yawns)

- [Carrie] Morning.

- Oh, good morning.

{knocking at door)

- Come in.

Thank you, Robert.

- Would you like breakfast
in bed, prime minister?

- Oh, yes, please.

- No full English though.

The doctor sent us a diet sheet.

- Good, good, fresh start.

New lean, mean Boris.

Say goodbye to the roly-poly,

hail-fellow-well-met Boris of yesteryear.

- I'l bring the juice and muesli.

- Good.

Thank you.

Easter Sunday Christ rose from the dead,

what did he do on Monday?

Pootle around a bit
and help in the garden?

- I don't know what Christ
did but you're gonna rest.

- Oh God, here he comes.

Go away.

Why have we never trained that bloody dog?

- So testing...

Where are we at with that?

- We are increasing capacity

but there have been a few teething issues.

- And we're currently at?

- Currently around 18,000 a day.

«And I heard there was a
problem with PHE testing?

- We have a shortage of swabs

and there has been an
issue with the enzymes.

- We reckon we're
getting around 3% errors.

-Can I remind everyone that
we have a current target

of 100,000 tests per day
by the end of this month.

- We are aware of that,

though that wasn't a target that we set.

That was your target.

{knocking at door)

- Come in.

- Prime Minister?

- Ah Pericles, the man himself,

would you put it over there
please on the table by the desk?

- Yes, Prime Minister.

- He's my hero, he died
in the plague in Athens.

We are made of sterner stuff.

- Is that good there Prime Minister?

- Very good, thank you so much, thank you.

- Prime Minister.

- [Reporter] And I'm very
sorry to say that 11,329 people

have now died from coronavirus,

every one of them a tragedy.

(siren wailing)

- [Doctor] Okay we're here.

- [Doctor] Here we go Andrea.

- Okay in here please.
- Thanks Becky.

We'll just put you by the bed now, okay?

- Hi Andrea.

Hi Andrea it's Becky.

It's gonna be alright honey,

we're gonna get you a
bed and monitor, alright?

- [Doctor] Welcome back Andrea.

You're back at Northwick Park.

We're going to look after you now.

- Who made the decision not to test

the un-symptomatic care workers?

We know from our tests
that they're a major cause

of hospital infections.

- Well presumably there
just aren't enough tests

to allow that.

- But why aren't they
using more of our labs?

Just setting out brand new lighthouse labs

is bound to be slow out of the blocks.

Who makes these decisions?

And why are they not setting
up testing everywhere?

And why is the government ignoring

two Nobel prize winners in medicine?

- Exactly.

- [Speaker] Morning.

- Morning.

- Hello Dom.

- [Dom] Hello.

- Welcome back.

- Thanks.

- It's delicious.

- Really?

I mean do you really, actually
find muesli delicious?

- Yes.

- Baffling.

- Don't do your old
fogie impression on me.

- Youth of today.

- In through the nose, fill those lungs,

out through the mouth.

- Oh god, I feel like a geriatric.

- We need to build your
strength gradually,

just day by day.

And the harder you work
the stronger you'll be.

- Shall we see, what is he doing?

Daddy's busy.

Come on.

- [Speaker] The report
describes yet another

well publicized incident in China

in which two researchers
conducting virus research

were exposed to SARS coronavirus samples

that were incompletely inactivated.

- We're almost half way through April.

How close are we to meeting
your target on testing?

- Yeah, we're at just under 20,000 a day.

- Where were you supposed
to be by this point?

- We're roughly on target, thanks Dom.

- Can you send me your projections

so we can track your progress daily?

- The Department of Health
are sharing all their data

if you wish to check it.

-I do wish to check it.

I'd like to see those
projections daily please.

- We need some good news, alright?

We need to get something out there,

get something positive out there,

we're taking a lot of flak on care homes,

we need something to announce.

- [Reporter] All around Britain

people are out in the street,

but inside the nursing
homes and care homes

the situation is critical and
it seems to be getting worse.

- [Matt] Yeah, go on.

- Telegraph says Care
England fears as many

as 7,500 could've died after
contracting the disease

in care homes.

- Shit,

Morning all.

So go on, what is today's good news?

- Gowns, we're going to run out of gowns.

We need to change the
guidelines on when they're used.

- We can't have doctors using unsafe PPE.

- We don't have the supply,

the only solution is to ration the demand.

- How can we do that?

- We could perhaps reduce the
number of specific situations

in which they need to be
used to try and dampen demand

without undermining safety,

a clarification rather than a ban.

- We've had a change of
PPE guidance from PHE.

-Oh God.

Let me guess, the gowns?

- Well we don't need them
apparently, just an apron.

- Right, yeah I mean that makes
sense doesn't it, obviously,

given that the virus only
attacks us from the front.

- Sats are coming up to 80s,

are you happy for prior closure?

- Prior closure.

Thank you.


- Prime Minister, the NHS saved your life.

Now, we need you to save ours.

- Fuckin' hell.

- We need personal
protective equipment now.

- Now, the situation around
PPE has become quite serious.

- [Mark] Matt, we need
something to announce.

- Yeah well we have sourced 400,000 gowns

from a supplier in Turkey,

but we should wait for it to
arrive before we announce it.

- Yeah it's important that
we don't over promise.

- We are under promising
and under delivering.

There's a total lack of ambition,

it seems to me the
whole system is failing,

no one's in charge, no one's responsible,

we need to get someone in from outside

who can get things done.

- Well that was the
philosophy behind NHS supply

in the first place.

Jim Spittle came from Tesco,

Jin Sahota came from Technicolor

and they implemented a supermarket style

just in time system to save money,

you could argue that's
why we're struggling now.

- Look, we need our own
version of Beaverbook

to come in and turn things around

and I've been thinking
about Paul Deighton,

he delivered the Olympics,

I'm sure he can deliver
on masks and gowns.

- [Matt] Alright, Turkey, where are we at?

- We've got three planes on the tarmac

at RAF Brize Norton ready to go.

- Okay, great.

- The one problem is
we're still struggling

with the export permit from
the Turkish governments.

- Today I can announce
that we'll be taking

a large delivery of PPE
from Turkey tomorrow.

- Matt specifically said not to announce

the Turkey shipment.

- But we're trying to cover your backs,

get something positive out
there for them to talk about

and by the way you can tell Matt

Boris spoke to Paul
Deighton and he's said yes,

we're gonna announce tomorrow.

- Dom wants us to fuck up
50 he can tell everyone

how crap we are and he wants
everyone to be crap except him.

- Well look maybe we get
Deighton to own Turkey,

I mean he is the new tsar after all-

- Yeah I don't think he's that stupid.

Make sure you tell everyone
it was Downing Street

that briefed out Turkey and not us.

- Yeah, I have done.

I'll see you in a bit.

- [Reporter] The government has appointed

the 2012 Olympics chief
executive, Lord Deighton,

as PPE tsar.

- Right, oh...

Yeah red, hang on.

There we go.

-I think the appointment of Lord Deighton

will give renewed drive and focus

to really coordinate this...

- Hello?

- Pippa, it's Dave.

Sorry to bother you on a Sunday.

It's just I got a call from someone I know

saying that he and his wife
just saw Dominic Cummings

in Houghall Woods up here.

- In Durham?

- Yeah?


But he was in London last week.

- Yeah.

1 thought you might wanna take a look.

- Well when was he there?

- [Dave] I got a call five minutes ago.


- [Child] Come on it's your go.

- Okay, thanks.

{telephone ringing)

Hi Jeremy, it's Pippa.

- Hi Pippa.

- We've just had a tip
off that Dom Cummings

might be wandering around Houghall Woods.

No chance of you going
down there now is there?

«It'll take me a little
while to get there

but I'll get a photographer
there as quickly as I can.

- Now will you play?

- Yes, now I will play.

- Excuse me gents, I'm from
the Daily Mirror newspaper,

I don't suppose you've seen
this gentleman have you?

-No, no.

- Thank you for your time, cheers.

- So the Mirror are asking
where Dom was yesterday.

- What do you mean yesterday?

- Was he in Durham or was he here?

- Fuck's sake, not again.

(telephone chimes)

(phone buzzes)

(Pippa sighs)

- The Mirror is digging for stuff about us

being in Durham during lockdown.

- Has The Guardian gone away?

- Seems to have.

- Good.

- [Reporter] A new testing
center opens at Chessington Zoo

but the car park is empty.

Staff say they're only averaging

three or four tests per hour.

- Right, well we pretty
much have a week to go,

where are we at?

- The good news is capacity's
pushing 40,000 tests per day.

- Yeah, that's still not
even half way there, but...

- Bad news is although capacity is 40,000,

we're only actually doing around 20,000.

- We need to meet this target.

- After the uncertainty of the bug itself,

we emerged from quarantine into the almost

comical uncertainty of London lockdown.

Queuing is a pain in the
arse and the most fun

you'll have all day.

Did you read my lockdown
article for The Spectator?

- Yeah.

- Was it okay?

- Yeah.

- I thought it might help.

- Have you seen The Spectator today?

- Strangely Jack, I don't have
much time to read magazines.

- There's an article by Mary Wakefield

about their self-isolation.

- People are frightened and they're calm,

it's spring and it's lockdown,
queuing is a pain in the arse

and the most fun you'll have all day.

- [Automation] One new message.

- Hi, it's me again
about Dominic Cummings.

Look, it's probably too late
now but a friend of mine

said she saw him as well
in the woods near here.

- [Matthew] That's great news.

Was the same day you saw them?

- No, it was the 19th.

- Two weeks later?

Can I talk to them?

- No, they're very nervous.

They don't want to be identified.

So can you publish the story now?

- [Matthew] Not if I can't speak to them.

- But they spoke to me,
they're a second source.

- Yeah absolutely.

Where were they when they saw him?

- They were walking in the woods

and Cummings was there
and as they passed him

he said something about how
beautiful the bluebells were.

- He spoke to them?

- [Caller] Yeah.

(slow ominous music)

- Good morning.

Jeremy Armstrong from the
Daily Mirror Newspaper,

we're just making some enquiries
about Dominic Cummings.

Were you here last Sunday by any chance?

- Well I'm here most Sundays.

- Would you recognize Dominic Cummings?

- Sorry to trouble you.

Jeremy Armstrong from the
Daily Mirror Newspaper.

Were you here last Sunday by any chance?


- Okay, thank you.

- Thank you so much, you're
all very kind to see us off.

Thank you.

Don't get cold, take this rascal from me.

I want to thank you all
for looking after us,

you're very kind.

- Welcome back Prime Minister.

- Thank you.

(Boris sighs)


Okay, right.

This way, it's a left turn for you Dylan,

left turn, Dylan, come on.

- [Emily] Good morning Prime Minister.

- Oh Emily, sorry, you wouldn't mind

taking Dylan for a walk would you?

- Yes of course Prime Minister, thank you.

- You're probably gonna need that.

Okay thank you, right okay, there we go.

- Yes!

(room cheering and applauding)

Good to have you back.

- You are too kind, thank you.

If this virus were a physical assailant...

- We have got to announce on Friday

that we have carried out 100,000 tests

in the previous 24 hours.

- Yeah and I think we need to focus on

having the capacity to do 100,000.

- Alright well have we got the capacity?

- We're maybe 20,000 short.

- Yeah well we cannot be 20,000 short.

- We could include the antibody tests

as well as the PCR tests.

- Yeah and where would that get us?

- Nearer.

- Well what about the home testing kits?

- We're already counting those.

- Yeah but we're counting them

when the test results come in.

- Yeah.

- Well if we counted them
when they were sent out,

then that would boost
the numbers wouldn't it?

- Yeah.

Very good, that is it, that is it.

- I like the word restart,
I think that's hopeful.

- No it suggests failure.

You restart a computer
after it's fucked up.

- But what are we telling
them, to go out or to stay in?

- Getting back to normal?

- No not normal, it's
a step towards normal.

- Do we even wanna go back to normal?

Don't we wanna suggest that the new world

might just be better than the old?


(Boris sighs)

- Are you alright Prime Minister?

- Yeah I'm good, I'm good.

Yeah just overdid it a bit, yeah.

- Oh shit.

- [Boris] What is it?

- I think my water's just broken.

- Well, shall I call the doctor?

-No I don't need a doctor, I need my mum.

- [Boris] Have you had any contractions?

- Yeah, I dunno, I think...

No, I haven't, I think
they were Braxton Hicks.

- Mm okay.


I'm gonna head down if you...

- Alright fine.

- [Boris] Alright bye!

- Bye, bye.

- I believe that the pandemic has exposed

systemic weaknesses in our government,

complex systems like
government need to employ

the best cognitive technologies.

I wrote about the need
to make decisions fast

during a crisis in my blog.

- Yes, yes I read it.


- We need seeing rooms
rather than cabinet rooms,

we need dynamic tools to see
deeper into complex systems,

to see across time and
see across possibilities,

thus making it easier to
work with reliable knowledge

and interactive quantitative models.

- What does that actually
mean in practice?

- Well one thing it means
is that the cabinet office

needs to be responsible
directly to Number 10.

- We are already.

- There has been a failure
to have a coherent,

effective response to the pandemic

and a failure to have
prepared for the pandemic,

this is something I've
written about before.

- We had assessed the risk of a pandemic

and there were recommendations as to

how to mitigate the impact.

- Which were not acted upon.

- No, because the government's
priority was saving money.

It's the government's responsibility,
not the civil service.

- You want to maintain the status quo.

- Well in my opinion one of
the problems that we have

is that we have a whole
class of special advisors

who don't trust the civil service.

- Like me?

- Well yes, to be blunt.

Advisors who are in the main
ex-journalists or activists

who have no experience of
delivering or managing,

whose expertise is in PR or campaigning,

whose interest is in eye catching phrases

or promises or arguments,

they're used to being on the outside

lobbing bombs and bricks
through the windows

rather than being on the inside

engaging with the boring
problems of how to deliver

ata local level day in, day out.

- The Civil Service is
programmed to be dysfunctional,

it excludes the most able people.

- Look at the special
advisors you've appointed,

do you honestly think they're more capable

than the Civil Servants we have here?

- Actually yes, I do.

- We have a rigorous selection process

on the basis of ability,
not political opinion.

You know people have worked
here for 20 or 30 years

delivering complex programs
to all governments-

- 20 to 30 years, exactly.

- Well I've read your
blogs and your criticisms

of the Civil Service and
of the Civil Servants,

you obviously despise us.

Maybe that contempt leads to
a bad working relationship.

I mean imagine a new
manager coming into a club,

let's say José Mourinho at Tottenham

and imagine he spent years saying how

every player in the club,
every coach, the chairman,

all of them are lazy and
venal and incompetent

and imagine he then arrives

and has to work with these people.

I mean you wouldn't
expect it to be a success,

you'd want to clear them all out,

but what if he couldn't
clear them all out?

- He would be given the
authority to clear them out

or he wouldn't go to the club.

- Right tests, how we doing?

- We're getting closer by
counting the home tests,

we're almost there.

- Well almost isn't good enough.

- We could sort of delay
sending out the tests today

and tomorrow and send
more out on Thursday,

it could get us over the line.
- So, can you manage that?

- [Chris] Well, we could try.

(Carrie screaming)

- Oh, are you alright?

- I think I need to go to hospital.

- Oh, we have lift off?

-I hope so because
this is fucking painful.

- And how often are the contractions?

- I don't know, I haven't timed them.

- And how dilated are you?

-I don't know.
- Well shall I take a look?

- No, call the fucking hospital!

- Right okay, absolutely, will do.

- Oh my God.

Oh my God.

- Here we go, are we in the right place?

- Hello Carrie.

Hello Prime Minister.

- It's Boris tonight, Boris.


I'm Beryl.

- Is that helping?

- Yeah I think so.

- Yeah that's what they taught
us in the old NCT classes.

- Oh yeah?

Surprised you can remember, 20 years ago.

- Oh no it's like riding
a bike, you never forget.

- Good to know.

- 0h, God!

No, I should...

Do I need to count, shall I count them or-


- Alright, okay yeah, great, great.

You want a sandwich?


- You sure?

- Oh yeah.

- Good, good Carrie.

Breathe through it, breathe through it,

resist the urge to push
and another deep breath.

Don't push, just breathing, breathing,

breathing with me Carrie.

- Doing really well.

- Good, good!

Just a little push, just a
little push, okay it's coming.

Just give me a little
push, just a little one.

Good, good, oh.


- Oh, hi.

Hi, oh my God.

- A beautiful baby boy.

- Hi.

- Well done.

- [Carrie] Hi.

- [Dominic] From today,
we're moving to improve

daily reporting system for deaths.

- Ready to go PM?

- Yes, back to work Gazza.

- Oh by the way, the
Palace says you can run

in their grounds if you like.

- Well that's very nice of Maj...

- We recorded an additional
3,811 deaths in total.

- Well thank you, thank
you, thank you so much.

It went very very well, very well.

She pushed it out like a trooper.


- [Reporter] The race
is on to find a vaccine

to fight the virus.

Today, AstraZeneca and the
Jenner Institute at Oxford

announced a new deal to work together

to try and fast track the roll out

of their potential Covid-19 vaccine.

- He has a lot of hair hasn't he?

- Well yeah he takes after Boris.

- That's right, yes exactly.

- What's his name?

- Wilfred Laurie Nicholas.

- [Mother] Aww, nice.

- Yeah, after the two grandads.

- And Nicholas after two doctors.

- So what will you actually call him?

- We're not sure yet are we?


- No, not yet so...

- It's terrible not being able
to come and see him properly.

Give him a hug.

- [Carrie] Yes, and change a nappy.

- Yes.

- The old team back together again.

Good to see you boys.

- Good to see you Prime Minister.

- Congratulations on your baby.

- Oh thank you so much.

Well, shall we?

Once more unto the breach dear friends.

And so I can confirm
today for the first time

that we are past the peak of this disease,

we are past the peak and we
are on the downward slope.

- [Reporter] The people
were out in the street

again last night but the
death toll continues to rise

as the government faces questions

about its handling of the crisis.

(Wilfred crying)

- [Doctor] How are you
this morning, Aisha?

- [Aisha] Not good.

- Look you've heen on this
therapy now for 48 hours,

we don't wanna see you intubated do we?

So look, I can start you on a trial,

you'll be given one of
a series of four drugs

which might help, it might be a placebo.

How do you feel about
that? Do you wanna try?

- Well?

- We have requests for
more than 30,000 home tests

so when Amazon send them
out we will technically

get over the line of 100,000 capacity.

- Excellent, good job.

- [Speaker] But that does mean we'll drop

below that margin tomorrow.

- We can worry about that tomorrow.

At the beginning of
last month I set a goal.

I can announce that we have met our goal,

the number of tests yesterday
on the last day of April

was 122,347.

- Well that's very convenient.

-I know, last day of April, it's lucky.

- It's quite a wide reaching trial.

- What will she be having?

- It'll be a drug or a placebo

but it could really help Aisha's recovery.

She'd also be helping future patients

by being part of this trial.

- Beta, is it what you want?

- Okay.

Okay you have our permission.

- [Reporter] The Nightingale
Hospital in East London

is to close.

The hospital, which opened
on the 3rd of April,

has 4,000 beds but has only
had 54 patients in total.

The 12 patients being
treated there at the moment

are being transferred to
other London hospitals.

- [Reporter] The United
Kingdom has overtaken Italy

to report the highest official death toll

from the new Coronavirus in Europe,

increasing pressure on
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

over his response to the crisis.

- Professor Neil Ferguson has
quit as a government advisor

on Coronavirus after admitting breaking

the very rules he helped introduce.

- I'm speechless.

Yes, I think it is
absolutely the right decision

that he resign.

I mean I'm not allowed to get involved

in the operational
decisions of police matters.

- So when Matt Hancock said
there were 100,000 tests

that had been done,

actually 40,000 of those
tests were postal tests.

- So how many tests did they do?

- We just don't know.

- But yesterday we learned, tragically,

that at least 29,427 people in the UK

have now lost their lives
to this dreadful virus.

That's now the highest number in Europe.

The UK was slow into lockdown,

slow on testing, slow on tracing,

and slow on the supply
of protective equipment.

- What a cunt.

- [Reporter] As the Red
Arrows fly over London

to celebrate the 75th
anniversary of VE Day,

the British people are once
again facing a deadly enemy,

this time, the Coronavirus.

- And when I look at our country today

and see what we are
willing to do to protect

and support one another,

I say with pride that
we are still a nation

those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen

would recognize and admire.

(Wilfred crying)

- It's your turn.

- What?

- [Lee] So we have the new slogan.

- Stay alert.

Really, stay alert?

- You see the problem is that,

because our plan is to
gradually relax the rules

and our messaging just,
by its very nature,

has to be kind of vague.

Now stay at home, that was
great because it's simple

and it's static but well
now we're telling everyone

to exercise more now but then next week

go to a garden center
and then maybe go to work

if you can but don't if you can't.

- We have focus grouped it.

- Quarantine for people
who arriving from abroad?

- Yes, well there was an
argument for quarantine

in the early stages.

We don't believe that it
makes sense to quarantine now

unless it's from specific areas

with a very high amount of covid.

- People know that the
virus came here from abroad,

they wanna know it's
not gonna happen again.

- Statistically Dom, it makes little sense

to quarantine from a country
with a lower rate of covid

than we have.

- We have focus grouped this.

People don't want their
sacrifices to be wasted.

If we have one death
arising from the arrival

of someone from Italy, we will be blamed.

- Yeah, I thought we were
being led by the science

and not by focus groups?

- Itis now almost two months

since the people of this country began

to put up with restrictions
on their freedom.

- Oh shit.

- Okay again yeah.

It is now...

(phone vibrating)

Yeah, yeah I'm in the middle of filming.

Well you'll find out tonight.

I know you're a cabinet minister,

1 don't have fucking Alzheimer's.

Well watch the broadcast tonight

then you'll know what the
policy is like everybody else.

I say, well what are you gonna do, resign?

Stay alert Gazza!

Stay a-fucking-lert!


Where were we?

«1am concerned ahout
the lack of transparency

in recent spending.

Contracts with Public First
to bring in Gabriel Milland,

with Topham Guerin to bring in Ben Guerin.

I mean the appointment of Ben Warner's

brother's company Faculty
to do data management.

- We appointed people we
trust, the best people.

- We're taking about hundreds
of millions of pounds

being spent on consultancy
firms with no open competition.

This could just look
like jobs for the boys.

-I just thought you'd like to know,

The Mirror want to talk to me.

- What?

- They've heard that Cummings was up here

and somebody must've told
them that I'd seen him.

- I promise you we will
get this story out, please.

- Look, I told you almost a
month ago that I'd seen him

and you've done absolutely nothing.

Can you not speak to The Mirror?

They must have a source.

- [Reporter] Rishi Sunak today
announced the continuation

of the furlough scheme.

- Hello Pippa, how are you?

- So, a collaboration?

- Cooperation.

- We'll need some clear ground rules.

- [Speaker] Of course.

- I'l have to talk to my bosses.

- Thank you.

- The Equality and Human Rights Commission

has said it's deeply concerned
by potential breaches

in the human rights of the elderly.

The government's strategy
has been to protect the NHS

from being overwhelmed,

but at what cost to Britain's care homes?

- Yeah so we call our source ABBA.

- Alright, what are they like?

- They're great, very detailed,
very precise, very together.

What's Bluebell like?

- Bluebell?

- Sorry, my name for them.

It's because of Cummings
talking about the bluebells.

- How'd you know that?

- Your source is a friend of my source.

- [Pippa] Oh right.

- [Matthew] What are they like?

- Well to be honest, we haven't
talked to them directly.

- What you haven't, but
someone at The Mirror has?

- No, they were too nervous
about being identified.

- Surely you must have
the scientific evidence,

you're able to tell me
the base underpinning

the department's decision to
reopen schools for reception.

- That was not a departmental decision.

That was a cabinet decision.

- So The Mail are running with a story

that our school reopening
plans are in chaos.

- Well that's rubbish.

- Not surprising really
given the scientific office's

performance at the Select Committee.

- His statement was factually accurate.

- It was idiotic.

- It was correct in saying
that it was a cabinet decision.

(Wilfred crying)

- Il go.

- No, I will, I wasn't asleep.

Ithink he's hungry.

- Oh no, no, no I'll go.

You get some sleep love, come on.

Okay, okay.

- [Source] We don't want any publicity.

- Well I don't know your names,

so there is no way anyone
can find out from us

and you're sure it was Dominic Cummings?

- [Source] Yes.

- [Pippa] Was he alone?

- [Source] No, he was with his wife.

I assume it was his wife, a woman anyway.

We passed them on the path.

Cummings said something about
the bluebells looking lovely.

- We heard the recording.

We all agree the story seems good

but we can't publish without
knowing who bluebell is.

- Yeah, I agree.

- The relationship between Dom and Sedwill

is at breaking point I believe.

Mark believes Dom is
trying to push him out

and effectively take control
of the Civil Service.

- Well okay so, what, is there a solution?

- I think it would be extremely
disruptive to lose Mark now.

- Is he threatening to go?

- We're already facing Philip Rutnam

suing for constructive dismissal,

Dom wants to get rid of Simon
McDonald at the Foreign Office

after his Select Committee performance

and there are issues at
the Justice Department too.

- Well yeah but Dom wants us to transform

the way we govern so
you know he'll always-

- But I don't believe that losing the head

of the Civil Service in
the middle of this crisis

is in the country's best interests.

- I love Dom but you know
he's not a chief executive,

he's not a manager, he's an ideas man.

- [Speaker] Does the Prime
Minister think that it's right

that care workers coming from abroad

and working on our front
line should have to pay

a surcharge of hundreds,
sometimes thousands of pounds,

to use the NHS themselves?

- We've been deluged with complaints.

We can't have clap for
carers and then tell them

to pay up for healthcare.

- People hate it, focus
group reports are explicit.

- Alright so we err, we
cancel the charge do we?

- Yeah.

-I agree.

- Right, so if we're gonna change that,

I mean couldn't someone
have seen this coming?


I mean isn't it someone's actual job

to see what's coming towards
us and give me a heads up?

- How are you?

How are you feeling?

- Well to be honest a
bit knackered actually,

what with the virus and the
baby and the job, you know.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

What about you?

- Oh I'm okay.

Nothing too exciting.
- Yeah?

- It would be so good to
see you, you know, properly,

you know, when this is over.

- Yeah.

- Great.

- Sounds good.

- So, what can I do you for?

- We've had a report
about Dominic Cummings

being up here in Durham during lockdown.

Do you know anything about that at all?

- I was wondering when someone
would ask me about that.

- Really?

- Yeah, we spoke to the family.

-Is this off the record?

- You know what, if you
ask me an official question

1 can give you an official response.

- We can run this story on the basis

that the police have been looking into it.

-I'm nervous.

Downing Street have
denied this story before.

- They denied the 19th,
they haven't denied the 5th.

- Which the police confirmed.

- We should give Downing
Street the right to respond.

(phone chimes)

- What the fuck?

- What?

- Pippa says The Mirror and The Guardian

are gonna run a story on Dom
being in Durham tomorrow.

- Oh fuckin' hell.

Let me see.

- They're asking for a comment.

- Yeah, tell them they're cunts.


- I'm not sure you can say
that to a journalist anymore.

- Policy development.

I need to know your
underdoing of the dynamic-

- Dom!


I need a word.

Gotta do it.

- I'll be back in a moment.

- Yes, okay.

- So I've got The Mirror and The Guardian

asking for a comment on a story

that you were in Durham during lockdown.

- No comment.

- Okay well they're gonna
run with it tomorrow.

- No one cares where
spads go or what spads do,

it's just lobby people hot air.

- Alright, I'l get Jack to deny it then.

-No, I'll handle it.
- Well we can do it-

-I said I'l handle it.

- Did the PM know you were up there?

- Yeah.

- When?

- Before he went into hospital.

I don't remember exactly when.

- You know this is gonna get messy.

- I said I'l handle it, alright?

- So according to The Met,

Durham Police are gonna
confirm The Mirror story.

- I'll be working from home.

- Into your room now,
you've got five minutes.

Go go go.

There you go, well done.

(phone vibrating)

Hi Jeremy?

- [Jeremy] Hi Pippa, we've got it.

- Yes.

- It's all bullshit, it's
the same usual suspects,

The Mirror, The Guardian, the
fucking left leaning cunts,

they're just trying to find
titbits to feed their readers.

- Okay, so we're good to go?

8:00pm, let's synchronize our watches.

-I didn't breach any guidelines,
1 should fucking know,

I helped to write them.

- Well done.

- My first ever front page story.

- Brilliant.

- [Carrie] He has to resign.

- But he doesn't want to.

- It's not a case of what he wants.

He's gonna drag you down with him.

- Yeah, once they smell
blood they just want more,

you know, they're like sharks.

Well that makes them sound
way too glamorous, you know,

they're like hyenas and they're, you know,

once you're down and
wounded they gather around.

Just gotta keep on plowing
across the savannah ignoring them

and then they're too
cowardly to, you know,

to come in for the kill.

- [Reporter] Boris Johnson
gives Dominic Cummings

his full support.

The opposition says it's double standards,

Labour's Rachel Reeves
calling for an investigation.

- I want to go to the playground.

- We can go to the playground.

- I can get up myself.

Did you see that?

- I know, you're really
good at doing that.

Oh we need tiger, we need
tiger, alright come on.

Right, let's go.

Alright, let's go.

- [Robin] Hello?

- Hi, is that Robin Lees?

It's Matthew Weaver from The Guardian.

- [Robin] That was quick.

- Yes, so when did you
think you saw Cummings?

- I'm pretty sure it was him.

I can remember his number plate,

it was on the 12th of April.

- You remember his number plate?

- [Robin] Yeah I've got a good memory

for that sort of thing.

« Here he comes.
- Morning Mr Cummings.

- Hey guys.

Social distancing.

Move out the way, create a path through.

- Are you getting ready to go?
- Doesn't look good does it?

- Who cares about good looks?

It's a question of doing the right thing,

it's not about what you guys think.

- Are you gonna consider
your position Mr Cummings?

- [Dominic] Obviously not.

- [Reporter] The public
are probably very angry.

- I don't think so.

You guys are probably as right about that

as you were about Brexit.

Do you remember how right you were,

how right you all were about that?

- Dom has sent us a statement to issue.


I'm sorry, where is Dom?

- Judging by the TV news
footage he's gone to the park.

- Well why isn't he in the office?

- I think he's trying to signal
that he doesn't give a fuck.

- Well he'd better start giving a fuck!

- So Number 10 have said at no stage

was he or his family
spoken to by the police

about this matter as is being reported.

- Well that's just wrong.

We have the Durham Police statement saying

what he did was unwise and frustrating.

- And Robin Lees is happy
for us to use his name.

(phone chimes)

- Mirror and Guardian are
claiming Dom was in Barnard Castle

on the 12th and Durham on the 19th.

- Well no, we know he was
in Durham on the 12th.

- Barnard Castle's not in Durham.

- Where is it?

- Hang on.

It's 24.4 miles away on the fastest route

or 26.6 via Dentgate Lane.

- And what the fuck was he
doing in Barnard fucking Castle?

Call his number until he fucking answers.


- The important thing is that everybody

stays in the same place while in lockdown,

that's clearly what happened in this case.

Now the Prime Minister would've known

that Mr Cummings stayed put
and didn't come out again

until he was feeling better.

- Did no one tell that fucking
idiot not open his mouth

and talk shit.

- Well actually I don't think
that technically is wrong.

- In what way is it not wrong?

- Well presumably Dom was feeling better

when he went to Barnard Castle

or else he wouldn't want
to go for a walk, would he?

- Is that supposed to be a joke?

- Yes.

- Hi Lee.

«Yeah The Mirror and
The Guardian were saying

that you were in Barnard Castle
on the 12th, is that right?

- They have a witness?

- Yeah.

They're also saying you were
in Houghall Woods on the 19th,

now you were down here
on the 14th so what,

does that mean you went back up there?

- That's not true.

I'l draft a response.

- [Reporter] Dominic
Cummings has faced his own

political mortality before,

surely now he's running out of lives.

- [James] Were you at Barnard Castle?

- Yeah.

- [James] When did you
return from Durham to London?

- On the 13th.

- [James] Well what about
this story that you were there

on the 19th?

- I was in London on the 19th.

I have photos, data on my
phone, I was in London.

Perhaps the PM and I could talk privately?

- Sure, sure.

How is Mary?

- She's finding it pretty
difficult at the moment.

- Yeah, I can imagine.

- [Dominic] tl blow over.

- Gabriel's organized some focus groups,

get a sense of whether
it's cutting through.

- [Boris] Right thanks, yeah.

- You do remember that I told you

I was in Durham on the phone.

- Oh come on Dom.

It's not a question of
what I feel or think

or believe about you being
in Durham and you know that.

- We have almost five years ahead of us.

There's a huge amount of work to be done.

In five years time no one will remember

Barnard Castle or Durham.

This is just a bit of bad
weather, it'll blow over.

(Boris speaking Latin)

- All men make mistakes,
the only crime is pride.

-l don't believe it was
a mistake to go to Durham.

- I was looking at some of
the papers from Imperial

about the spread of the virus.

They estimate that about one
and a half million people

were infected by the time we locked down.

Two weeks earlier that figure
would've been about 75,000.

- Yeah, they were reported
in The Times yesterday.

- 22 days of dither and delay
that cost thousands of lives.

- People have died all over the world.

There were failures.

That's why we need to change the system.

Sage isn't fit for
purpose, PHE's a disaster,

the NHS is full of time servers,

the Department of Health is incompetent.

This crisis was a health crisis.

The next will be transport
or work and pensions.

We need to use this disruption to build

a different system of government.

- You complain a lot about
failure in government,

about how it's never
punished, sometimes rewarded,

but was this all their fault?

It's this big government that isn't us?

I mean, haven't we failed?

1 think we failed.

You fucked up Dom.

- Dominic Cummings is a
complete and utter disgrace

who needs to go.

- He's unscrupulous and selfish.

- He should resign and we
should be concentrating

on more important issues.

(Wilfred crying)

- [Carrie] Good luck!

- Thank you.

Am I really gonna have to say all this?

Fuck's sake.

Don't touch the hair, thanks.

- [Speaker] It's time.

- Good afternoon.

I want to begin by
answering the big question

that people have been
asking in the last 48 hours.

I believe that in every respect
he has acted responsibly

and legally and with integrity.

And I have concluded that
he followed the instincts

of every father and every parent.

Yes, lain?

- Did Dominic Cummings make
a trip to Barnard Castle

in April when he was isolating,

or at least was based in Durham?

- Again, I just repeat
what I said earlier on,

I'm content that at all
times throughout his period

in isolation he behaved
responsibly and correctly.

«You know that is not
going to be the end of it.

- Were you watching?

- Yes.

He is going to bring you down.

- Good.

- Sack him!

Sack him, sack him, sack him, sack him.

- I'm gonna sack you one day.

- Is that a complaint?

- Yeah, I thought the
whole point of having

a young girlfriend was that
you got lots and lots of sex?

- Yes, and babies.

Do you remember that we have a baby?

- Yeah.

- Hi, I got your email
about Dominic Cummings.

- We saw him here, in Durham.

- [Pippa] When?

- On the 19th of April.

- And where?

- [Clare] In Houghall Woods.

- And you're sure it was Dominic Cummings?

- [Clare] Absolutely.

- And you're willing to
have your names published?

- [Clare] Oh yes.

- That's The Mail.

Not The Mirror, The Mail.

You have got to get rid of him.

- [Boris] What is the plan?

- Well we need to draw a
line under this somehow.

- It's not gonna be easy.

- In my opinion and I'm sorry to say this,

but Dom has to go, he can
come back at a later date

but right now he's causing
too much collateral damage.

- Well he doesn't wanna go.

«1 don't think it is
right that you go out there

and take the flack for Dom.

It's not right.

-I agree.

- [Lee] Maybe Dom should make a statement,

we get him out there.

- Dom, talk in public?

He's not gonna like that.

- [James] Maybe then he'll
understand how angry people are.

- Coffee?


- Gabriel's gonna pretend to be a cross

between Peston and Kuenssberg.

- Pest-berg.

- Give you a dry run.

Have you brought a change of clothes?


- Cleo?

Get him something sensible to wear.

- Hey Nicola, they've announced Cummings

is doing a press conference
today in Downing Street.

We're in the lobby
today but can't go in,

I've got the kids, can you cover for me?

- [Gabriel] So why did you
travel to Barnard Castle?

- [Dominic] To make sure that
1 was okay to drive to London.

- Weren't you putting
other people at risk?

- No, because we socially
distanced at all times.

- When you found out
your wife had the virus

you went home immediately.

- Yep, to check that she was okay.

- But then you came back
into Downing Street,

a busy office, after
having been in contact

with someone with the virus.

Wasn't that in breach of the guidelines?

Weren't you risking
infecting your colleagues?

-I could say that I socially
distanced at the office.

- Why didn't you just have the
stuff you needed sent home?

- Do you think he's done a runner?

- Good luck.

- Thank you.

- Hi there.

Sorry I'm late.

Good afternoon, thanks for coming.

Yesterday I gave a full
account to the Prime Minister

of my actions between the 27th of March

and the 14th of April of
what I thought and did,

and he has asked me to repeat
that account directly to you.

1 know that millions of
people in this country

have been suffering, thousands have died,

many are angry about what
they've seen in the media

about my actions.

On Sunday the 12th of April,

15 days after I had
first displayed symptoms,

I decided to return to work.

My wife was very worried,
particularly given my eyesight

seemed to have heen
affected by the disease.

- What the fuck?

They never said that to me.

- [Dominic] We agreed that we
should go for a short drive

to see if I could drive safely.

- Why doesn't he just fucking apologize?

- And ended up on the outskirts
of Barnard Castle town.

In the last few days there
have been many media reports

that I returned to Durham
after the 13th of April.

All these stories are false.

There is a particular
report that I returned there

on the 19th of April.

Photos and data on my phone
prove this to be false.

- Fuck.

- Last year I wrote
about the possible threat

of coronaviruses and the
urgent need for planning.

For years I have warned of
the dangers of pandemics.

The truth is I had argued for lockdown.

1 did not oppose it.

I wanted to explain what I thought,

because I think that people like me,

who helped to make the rules,

should be accountable for their actions.

- Let me just say at the
outset that I can't speak

on behalf of special advisors,
as that is not my job.


- When you told us that
Dominic Cummings was isolating,

quote at home,

did you know at home meant Durham

or did you think it was London?

- No, the context of my
answer was just pointing out

that he wasn't at work.

- Yeah but you said he was at home.

- I was just pointing out
that he wasn't at work.

- [Speaker] You told us he was at home.

It seems odd you would tell us that

without knowing where he was.

- I was just pointing out
that he wasn't at work.

- I actually think that
they've been quite brave

in the way that you've
been prepared to sacrifice

the credibility and popularity
of your own government

just to stand by your man.

You've somehow managed to
unite a nation in condemnation

and indignation over your
handling of Mr Cummings.

- Prime Minister, you said that
a number of the allegations

that are made about Dominic
Cummings were false.

You were with him for six hours.

Did you see the evidence to prove that?

- Meg I, you know, I don't
want to, I don't want to...

- Yes or no Prime Minister,
it's a simple question.

Did you see the evidence?

- If it'll please you I'll say yes I did,

but 1, you know, I don't want to yeah...

I don't want to in any way
cloud, you know, issues...

- We have to run the Edwards' story.

They are the perfect witnesses.

She's a nurse.

He's supplied Nightingale hospitals.

He's a Tory.

They are really clear and
they're willing to be named.

- Cummings has said very
clearly this is not true.

- Exactly!

We've got him!

- And the PM said that
he'd seen the evidence.

- Exactly, we've got him too.

- Cummings has specifically
said this story is untrue.

If we print this and then he
brings out his phone records

and proves he was in
London then we're fucked.

- Okay.

Allright, well bye for now then guys.

Okay, thank you, bye bye.

- Fuck!

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!


Sorry sweetheart.

Bad day at the office.

(dramatic music)

{knocking at door)

- What?

- Can I have a word about this-

- No, not a good time.

Can I ask one question?

- [Dominic] Of course.

- Why did you change your blog?

Retrofit it to include coronavirus.

I mean didn't you know that people

would be able to find that out?

I mean are you not tech savvy?

I mean why do you have to try to show

that you had predicted
the pandemic on your own

like some fucking super forecaster?

(Boris speaking in Latin)

-I don't speak Greek.

- Yeah and I'm not gonna translate.

(crowds cheering and applauding)

This royal throne of
kings, this sceptred isle,

this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

this other Eden, demi-paradise,

this fortress built by nature for herself

against infection or the hand of war,

this happy breed of
men, this little world,

his precious stone set in the silver sea

which serves it in the office of a wall

or as a moat defensive to a
house against the envious,

less happier lands, this blessed plot,

this earth, this realm, this England.

Usually leave it there,
you know, forget the rest.

This England, whose rocky shore beats back

the envious siege of watery Neptune,

is now bound in with shame,

with inky blots and
rotten parchment bonds,

that England that was
wont to conquer others

hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

Ah would the scandal vanish with my life?

How happy then were my ensuing death?

- You're not going to die.


You're right.

(pensive music)

-I think in retrospect it's clear

that the official plan was wrong,

it's clear that the whole advice was wrong

and I think it's clear that we obviously

should've locked down essentially
the first week of March

at the latest.

The truth is that senior
ministers, senior officials,

senior advisors like me
fell disastrously short

of the standards the public
has a right to expect

of its government in a crisis like this.

-In England from today we're once again

asking you to stay at home.

- It's completely crackers
that someone like me

should've been in there, just
the same as it's crackers

that Boris Johnson was in there.

(cheering and applauding)

- It is with a very heavy
heart I must tell you

we cannot continue with
Christmas as planned.

1 paid the fine immediately and I offered

the British people a full apology.

Itis clearly now the
will of the parliamentary

Conservative Party that
there should be a new leader

of that party and therefore
a new Prime Minister.

(crowd cheers and applauds)

(slow dramatic music)