Dominic Cummings has further burnished his reputation as – depending on your view – gnomic sage or patronising troll by replying to a journalist’s questions on HS2 with a series of cryptic replies referring to a children’s TV show.
Boris Johnson’s chief adviser was stopped by a BBC crew as he left his north London home on Tuesday morning, and asked about the government’s decision to proceed with HS2, a project Cummings has opposed.
Cummings replied: “The night time is the right time to fight crime – I can’t think of a rhyme.” The lines come from the theme tune for PJ Masks, a cartoon series about a trio of pre-schoolers who, when their parents are asleep, don costumes to battle similarly youthful foes.
Based on a series of French children’s books called Les Pyjamasques, the show is produced by a number of TV companies from the UK, US and France, and has a range of spin-off merchandise.
Asked by the BBC journalist if the decision on HS2 meant he had lost influence in No 10, Cummings replied: “I think we need PJ Masks on the job.” Pressed again on the project, he ostentatiously checked his phone for a while before adding: “PJ Masks. They’re your guys.”
The theme continued with the answer to a final question about the imminent cabinet reshuffle: “PJ Masks will do a greater job than all of them put together.”
Cummings and his wife, the journalist Mary Wakefield, have a son born in 2016, who is in the target age for PJ Masks and the likely reason for his exposure to the show.