Cummings row: Cabinet Office investigates after civil service “truth twisters” tweet

Cabinet Office investigating 'unauthorised' tweet sent in heat of Cummings lockdown row

Photo: PA

The Cabinet Office is investigating an “unauthorised” tweet sent from the official UK civil service Twitter account that branded the government “arrogant and offensive” in a row over top special adviser Dominic Cummings’s apparent breach of coronavirus lockdown rules.

The tweet, sent out on Sunday evening from the official @UKCivilService account after prime minister Boris Johnson defended his chief aide Dominic Cummings from criticism after he breached lockdown rules, read: “Arrogant and offensive. Can you imagine having to work with these truth twisters?”

It was removed within 10 minutes of being posted on Sunday evening but not before racking up more than 30,000 “likes” and being archived for posterity.

It appeared as a row unfolded over the revelation that Cummings had apparently broken lockdown rules. Cummings admitted making a more than 250-mile round family trip to his parents’ property in Durham while he and his wife had Covid-19.


The spad said he had travelled to ensure there was childcare for his young son.

The prime minister has so far stood by his aide, which has prompted fierce criticism and the resignation of a junior minister.

And this morning a scientist advising the government on its response to the coronavirus crisis said Boris Johnson’s defence of Cummings threatens to “undermine” measures intended to prevent the infection from spreading.

In a statement on Twitter, 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.”

In response to the initial tweet, Harry Potter author JK Rowling offered to give a year’s salary to the person responsible.

Rowling, who has an estimated net worth of around £800m, was among those attacking Johnson for backing Cumming's actions. She said: “When you find out who it was, let us know. I want to give them a year’s salary.”

When you find out who it was, let us know. I want to give them a year’s salary.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 24, 20

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