The UK’s ruling Conservative Party saw its lead in polls drop by a few points amid a political battle over the prime minister’s siding with his closest aide, David Cummings.
A YouGov survey for The Times published on Wednesday showed that the Conservative’s lead dropped by four points to 44% as compared with the Labour party which rose five points to 38%week-on-week.
YouGov noted that the poll covered 1,629 adults between May 25 and 26.
“Following a tough week dominated by the actions of the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, the Conservatives have seen their 15-point lead over Labour slip to just 6 points,” YouGov said.
Cummings made headlines allegedly for breaking multiple lockdown restrictions throughout April, the latest being driving 260 miles across England earlier this month to bring his children to his parents after his wife tested positive for coronavirus.
Cummings drew ire from Britons, who was said to have resisted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s eight weeks of pleading to follow the government’s strict lockdown rules.
Johnson, batting back accusations that he allowed his aides to break the rules, defended Cummings saying he acted “responsibly, legally, and with integrity.”
“I think he followed the instincts of every father and every parent, and I do not mark him down for that,” Johnson said on Sunday.
He said that he sat with Cummings on Sunday, who claimed to have isolated himself “for 14 days or more” even if it was not at his home in London.
According to YouGov, 70% of the public believe that the political debate will make it harder for the government to get future lockdown messaging across to the public as it not only damaged the government’s public standing but also undermined its rules regarding the lockdown.
David Lammy, the Labour Party’s shadow justice minister, said during Johnson’s briefing that the latter “insulted every person in [UK] who has made sacrifices to follow the rules he implemented to save lives in this pandemic.”
It can be learned that Neil Ferguson, a leading epidemiologist and a member of the scientific body advising the government, was sacked for breaching lockdown rules by reportedly allowing his lover to visit his home.
Meanwhile, a separate poll conducted by survey firm Savanta on Tuesday showed that Johnson’s approval rating plunged to -1% from the 19% registered on Friday, while government trust fell to the negative territory, dropping 16 percentage points in a day to -2%.