Monday, April 22, 2024
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Today’s talking point


OF all the towns in all the world, they had to put it there. 

In April last year, Dominic Cummings made his infamous drive to Barnard Castle in apparent breach of lockdown travel rules to ‘test his eyesight’ after suffering coronavirus symptoms.  

Now a major Covid-19 vaccine bottling plant is about to start production. Where? No joking … in Barnard Castle.  

Boris Johnson said a deal has been agreed with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to ‘fill and finish’ 60million doses at its facility in the County Durham market town, beginning as early as May. 

It’s one of those ‘you couldn’t make it up’ stories that again enlivens the saga of Cummings, who was the Prime Minister’s top aide when he drove 260 miles from London to relatives in Durham with his wife and young son after all three developed Covid symptoms. Later, he drove 30 miles to Barnard Castle to ‘test his eyesight’ before returning to London – and into controversy. 

So what is it about Barnard Castle, Covid and Cummings? Is it just a comic coincidence, or are we looking at the pandemic version of the Bermuda Triangle? If Cummings visits the factory, will he say: ‘There’s a site for sore eyes?’ And will we see further twists?  

Feel free to discuss this or anything else on your mind.  

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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