Amid the fallout of a global pandemic, the last thing any government would want is a scandal surrounding the Prime Minister’s top aide. Yet that is the position Boris Johnson’s party has found itself in, with parliament divided over Dominic Cummings and his controversial travels across the country during the strictest phase of coronavirus lockdown. A key player in the narrative, which Cummings sought to explain in a meeting with the press on Monday, is the Chief Adviser’s wife, Mary Wakefield. Indeed the outing during which Cummings drove from this family’s Durham home to nearby Barnard Castle on Easter Sunday – purportedly to test his eyesight – took place on 12 April, which was Mary’s 45th birthday. So just who is the woman who has found herself at the centre of the debate?
As Commissioning Editor of the Spectator, 45-year-old Wakefield is certainly already familiar with the British media – albeit not usually as one of its major subjects. In recent weeks she has even written of her life during the pandemic, penning articles such as ‘Are you a lockdown eel or a pygmy goat’ (she identifies herself as in the ‘eel’ camp), and ‘Getting coronavirus does not bring clarity’, about her own experience of the illness. Any reference to the family’s journey out of London was conspicuously absent from such articles.
The Chillingham Castle website attests to the illustrious history of Mary Wakefield’s ancestors, relating that ‘Sir Humphry Wakefield’s family have lived on the same lands in the Lake District for 400 years, just half the length of time the Greys have lived at Chillingham and their other surrounding castles. The Hon. Lady Wakefield [Mary’s mother] is daughter of the former Lady Mary Grey from nearby Howick Hall, and from the historic Chillingham family line. The Hon. Lady Wakefield’s father, Lord Howick, was a Knight of the Garter, a one-time Governor of the former Rhodesia, of the South African protectorates and, finally, of the then Mau-Mau stricken Kenya.’
TAP – I would like to know who the background connections are. Are there any links to the Stanleys/Ridleys? The hereditary peerage seems to be increasingly influential in the anti-Brexit stance of the Boris Johnson government. The late Rose Paterson, former wife of Owen, was a Ridley, very recently dying in a strange ‘suicide’ at her Shropshire home.
Is it possible that Boris is the servant of Britain’s old aristocracy, the inherited wealth of Britain’s aristocrats, standing against the EU, the recently arrived Rothschilds (19th century), the Vatican and the current royal family?
Are the aristocrats trying to shore up their finances and their survival against the EU and its seeming determination to destroy inherited private wealth? Are we watching the barons trying to fight back against a tyrannical King Charles, who is controlling the United Nations, The World Economic Forum and a Marxist agenda of total concentration of power to the centre, as part of his sustainability agenda?
Cummings would not be eligible to marry an aristocrat if he was a commoner.
So who is Cummings and what is his real background? Probably not poor reading between the lines.
Cummings was born in Durham on 25 November 1971. His father, Robert, had a varied career. (TAP – no details given), primarily as an oil rig project manager for Laing, the construction firm. His mother, Morag, a university graduate, was a teacher and behavioural specialist. Sir John Laws, a former Lord Justice of Appeal, was his uncle.
After attending state primary school, he was privately educated at Durham School and Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied under Norman Stone,graduating in 1994 with a First in Ancient and Modern History. One of his former tutors has described him to the New Statesman as “fizzing with ideas, unconvinced by any received set of views about anything”. He was “something like a Robespierre – someone determined to bring down things that don’t work.” Also in his youth, he worked at Klute, a nightclub owned by his uncle in Durham.
After university, Cummings moved to Yeltsin’s post-Soviet Russia from 1994 to 1997,[failed verification] working on various projects at the encouragement of Stone. He worked for a group attempting to set up an airline connecting Samara in southern Russia to Vienna in Austria which George Parker of the Financial Times said was “spectacularly unsuccessful”. He subsequently returned to the UK.