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Dominic Cummings ‘undermined’ trust in pandemic advice, says study

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University College London found the actions of the Prime Minister’s chief adviser reduced willingness to socially distance. Some 40,000 people in UCL’s Covid-19 Social Study were asked several times between April 24 and June 11 how much confidence they had in the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

After news of Mr Cummings’s 264-mile drive broke on May 22, in England confidence dropped about 0.4 points.

There was no comparable drop in the devolved leaderships of Scotland and Wales and that gap with England has continued to widen.

The survey revealed adherence to lockdown dropped more rapidly in the following weeks, particularly in England.

Dr Daisy Fancourt, of UCL, said: “These data illustrate the negative and lasting consequences that political decisions can have for public trust.”

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