Students shouldn’t have gone back to uni in September, says Dominic Cummings

But everyone enjoyed the food parcels, Dom

Dominic Cummings advised against students returning to uni in September, he has revealed to MPs.

Within weeks of students going back to uni there were mass lockdowns, complaints of substandard food, and talk of students being kept in halls for Christmas.

The former chief advisor to Boris Johnson said he warned against sending students back, as part of an overall opposition to reopening society in the autumn.

Cummings told MPs he had lost the general argument on reopening, and said “once that happens, lots of things naturally flow – like for example students coming back in September. Which, clearly, if you took a different view of it, you’d never have done.”

The controversial aide eventually quit in November 2020.

In a marathon testimony to MPs, Cummings also said Matt Hancock should have been sacked multiple times for lying, and that Boris Johnson was not fit to be prime minister.

Labour also called on the government to delay the return in September, while an editorial in the British Medical Journal warned that “re-opening universities is high risk”. At the time, culture secretary Oliver Dowden defended the move, telling the BBC: “Young people have paid a huge price during this crisis and I think it is only fair to try and get them back – we have got clear guidelines for them to follow.”

But soon after the return to campus, cases spiked and over 1,700 students at Manchester Met were forced to self-isolate in halls.

Trapped students across the country were made to make do with depressing, rip-off food parcels while they spent a fortnight in their rooms. Sussex Uni charged students £25 for a box that cost about £8.50 to put together.

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