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If Boris Johnson's gamble over lockdown goes awry, he will struggle to find anyone else to blame

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When Dominic Cummings was riding high in No 10 last year as the Prime Minister’s most senior aide, he made plans for a “control centre” on Whitehall. The idea was that a mission control hub – which took inspiration from Nasa – would improve government efficiency by putting all the relevant people in one open-plan space, with data and stats projected on the walls.

There was just one problem: Boris Johnson did not want to work there. Johnson stayed in his study as Cummings moved parts of No 10 down the road to 70 Whitehall.

It turned out to be an apt visual example of the pair’s deteriorating relationship. After a bruising first few months in office after the Tory landslide, Johnson was growing tired with how much control Cummings had in decision-making – reportedly saying to him before his departure: “Why do so many people around here [No 10/Cabinet Office] care more what you think than what I think? I’m sick of it.”

Since Cummings left government, that problem has gone. The control room has been disbanded – with aides returning to their old desks. Now no one in government is in any doubt as to who now makes the decisions.

When Johnson stood up on Monday to unveil his plans to lift nearly........

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