Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet slammed as ‘UTTERLY DEVOID’ of talent in scathing attack
Published: 12/03/2023- 13:19
Updated: 12/03/2023- 13:42
Lord Jonathan Sumption has blasted Rishi Sunak's cabinet and the MPs that served former Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “utterly devoid of talent”.
In a recent article in The Telegraph, Lord Sumption labelled the current cabinet as “a cabinet of mediocrity”.
Now in a new interview with The Camilla Tominey Show on GB News he said: “I do think I did make it clear that I thought that there were exceptions to that.
“I think that Sunak and Gove, who took opposite views as it happens on the lockdown, are extremely talented individuals who would have an honourable place in any cabinet. But the problem about the cabinet, is that it was chosen primarily for its unconditional loyalty to Boris Johnson.
Rishi Sunak's Cabinet have been labelled "utterly devoid" of talent
“And if you look back historically, you really have to go back to the early 1930s to find a cabinet so utterly devoid of talent as this one.
“I don't think the quality of politicians has gone down, because I think that something like two-thirds of MPs have always been blockheads. But the great art of government is to choose your ministers from the others who are not blockheads.
“There are lots of talented people in politics. They're not in the cabinet. They certainly weren't in Boris Johnson's cabinet
Speaking to GB News, Lord Sumption also branded Matt Hancock’s behaviour in the leaked WhatsApp messages “an abuse of power”.
Lord Sumption said Matt Hancock abused his power
He told Camilla Tominey: “It was an abuse of power. Whatever you think about lockdowns, and it's a controversial issue, what these files show is the complete disorganisation of the governmental process.
"This is classically a failure of government.
“The government took the original lockdown decision against the recorded advice of SAGE at the time.
"The whole government, and to some extent SAGE, then moved into propaganda mode and set about frightening people, buckling to justify their decision, and buckling to force compliance.
"The result has been catastrophic collateral effects, but whether you agree with that or not the governmental process was seriously defective.
"What is involved and what it should have involved at any rate, was somebody to take a grip on the whole problem in the round, not just the clinical problem, not just the infection problem, but the economic problems, the educational problems, the social problems, the problems of mental health, and that never happened.
“I have described Matt Hancock as a fanatic, because my definition of a fanatic is somebody who has only got room for one idea in his head at any one time.
"And that's unfortunately characterised the whole of Matt Hancock's approach to this. He swatted away any kind of dissent"
Lord Sumption slammed the current Cabinet
"He refused to consider the examples of countries like Sweden which had managed to avoid serious results without taking these drastic measures. This is an appalling way to conduct government, whether you agree with the outcome or not.
“The problem really is that you cannot have a system in which people are only looking at one aspect of the problem. All public policy is pluses and minuses, and you must look at all of them. You cannot simply just look at half the problem and hope to solve it that way. And the blame I would put not just on Matt Hancock but on the Prime Minister.
“What the lockdown files suggest is that in many ways, Boris Johnson's heart was in the right place.
“He does seem to have had an idea of the serious economic and social damage that was done by lockdowns. He does seem to have felt that there were times when we should have relaxed the lockdown much sooner, but he never really had the courage of his convictions.
“He was too easily pushed about by advisors who had an agenda which was based almost entirely on public relations.
“And one of the things that the lockdown files very clearly show is that rather than following the science, essentially, the government followed what it thought the public wanted.
"Now, in some contexts that's perfectly admirable, but you have certain occasions when statesmanship consists in saying to the public, 'Look, what you're asking for is a quick patch and the long-term consequences will be disastrous'. That's something that a statesman ought to be able to do, and Boris Johnson was completely incapable of doing it.
“So, he was always being pushed back into the box by his advisers, and in the end, therefore, nobody was in control of the most important aspect of the pandemic, which was to decide how we are going to compromise between the health priorities, the economic priorities and the other things that we should really be caring about.”