Dominic Cummings had a 'three-hour debate' with waiters on holidayAugust 24, 2021
Dominic Cummings had a ‘three-hour debate’ on Brexit and Scottish independence with waiters who refused to serve him at Highland restaurant
- Former Downing Street aide was dining at The Celidh Place, Ullapool, on holiday
- But staff there reportedly told bosses they were not keen to serve the strategist
- Mr Cummings was mastermind of Vote Leave, while Scotland voted to remain
- He later offered to speak to the staff and returned for a ‘three hour’ long debate
Dominic Cummings engaged in a three-hour political debate with unhappy restaurant staff while on a Scottish getaway with his family, it has been claimed.
The former Downing Street aide is said to have entered into a lively back-and-forth with waiters at The Celidh Place in Ullapool, Scotland, after they told bosses they were not keen on serving the Vote Leave maestro.
In order to placate staff, restaurant owner Jock Urquhart is said to have taken it upon himself to serve the Prime Minister’s former chief advisor.
But when he spilled the beans about his staff’s displeasure, Mr Cummings is said to have offered a private debate.
According to the Inverness Courier, the strategist, who was holidaying in the Scottish Highlands with his family at the time, returned to the restaurant alone the next day.
Dominic Cummings (pictured during his interview with Laura Kuenssberg last month) engaged in a three hour political debate with unhappy restaurant staff while on a Scottish getaway with his family, it has been claimed
The former Downing Street aide is said to have entered into a lively back-and-forth with waiters at The Celidh Place (pictured) in Ullapool, Scotland, after they told bosses they were not keen on serving the Vote Leave maestro
He is then said to have had a three hour debate – with topics ranging from Brexit to the Scottish referendum.
While restaurant owner, Mr Urquhart, said neither side was won-over by the other, he claimed Mr Cummings returned the next day for a meal. And Mr Urquhart said his staff did serving Mr Cummings this time.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Urquhart, who is the son of a former SNP MSP, said: ‘It was quite an experience to get one of the big beasts.
‘He was slippery – he didn’t give anything away and he was not telling tales out of school.
‘We didn’t change our minds on Brexit and I didn’t convert him to the cause of Scottish independence.’
After staff grumbled about serving the Vote Leave mastermind, Mr Urquhart (pictured) is reported to have stepped in and offered to do it himself.
The extraordinary set of events reportedly began last week when Mr Cummings turned up at the venue, billed as a ‘literature-themed hotel and restaurant with views of the Fannichs mountains’.
On the first night the strategist came for dinner, on August 8, Mr Urquhart was out. But he returned on August 11.
After staff grumbled about serving the Vote Leave mastermind, Mr Urquhart is reported to have stepped in and offered to do it himself.
‘Refusal of service on the grounds of political belief is a dangerous slippery slope,’ he told the Courier.
But after being told of the staff’s objections, Mr Cummings then offered to come back the following day and speak to staff.
Mr Urquhart said: ‘Mr Cummings was aware of this animosity, but he chose to dine with us and offered to spend some of his own time in a robust and frank exchange of views with those members of staff less enamoured with his presence.
‘That meeting took place later in the week and it was a very interesting experience for all concerned.’
According to the Telegraph, Mr Cummings returned the following day with his family for another meal, his fourth to the restaurant during his holiday, and this time the staff served him.
Mr Cummings was the mastermind behind Vote Leave – a campaigning organisation that played a key role in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Mr Cummings left Downing Street last November (pictured left) after losing a power struggle within Number 10. Since leaving he has become a vocal critic of the Government, including on its handling of Covid and in particular of Mr Johnson (pictured right)
Scotland, where Mr Cummings was on holiday at the time of his debate, voted 62 per cent in favour of remain, which has given rise to calls for a new Scottish referendum.
After his Vote Leave success, Mr Cummings later became Boris Johnson’s top aide and was credited as a key player in helping the Tories to win an 80 seat majority in the 2019 election.
But he left Downing Street last November after losing a power struggle within Number 10.
Since leaving he has become a vocal critic of the Government, including on its handling of Covid and in particular of his former boss, Mr Johnson.
In May he branded Boris Johnson ‘unfit for the job’ of PM while delivering an extraordinary condemnation of the ‘disastrous’ coronavirus response during a seven-hour evidence session with MPs.
And last month he followed up his criticism with an hour-long bombshell interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, in which he claimed the PM ‘doesn’t have a plan’ for government.
He also accused Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie, a former Tory Comms chief, of ‘trying to appoint clowns to key positions’.
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