Investigation launched into ‘truth twisters’ tweet

Written by Matt Honeycombe-Foster on 26 May 2020 in News

Post from official civil service account appeared to criticise Johnson and Cummings

Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/PA Images

A government investigation has been launched after the official civil service Twitter account appeared to brand Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings “arrogant and offensive”.

The Cabinet Office confirmed that it was looking into an “unauthorised” post sent to the account’s quarter of a million Twitter followers.

The tweet was sent as the prime minister finished a press conference on Sunday in which he launched a full-throated defence of Cummings, his most senior adviser, amid a major row over his movements during the coronavirus lockdown.

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Johnson said his aide had “acted legally, responsibly and with integrity” and “followed the instinct of every father and every parent” when he made a 264-mile trip from London to Durham to seek childcare while he and his wife feared they had coronavirus.

But the @UKCivilService account said in the now-deleted post: “Arrogant and offensive. Can you imagine having to work with these truth twisters?”

Responding to the tweet, the Cabinet Office said: “An unauthorised tweet was posted on a government channel this evening. The post has been removed and we are investigating the matter.”

Cummings is a longstanding critic of the civil service who has argued that "almost no one is ever fired" in an organisation in which "failure is normal".


About the author

Matt Honeycombe-Foster is acting editor at PublicTechnology sister publication PoliticsHome, where this story first appeared. He tweets as @matt_hfoster.

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