MP ‘not convinced’ by adviser’s answers
Biddulph MP Karen Bradley has said she is “not convinced” by Dominic Cummings’ explanation of his now-famous trip to Durham, and called upon Boris Johnson’s adviser to resign.
As has been widely reported, Mr Cummings breached the coronavirus regulations he himself drew up, lied about it and, when confronted, claimed he had only taken a day trip to tourist destination Barnard Castle on his wife’s birthday to test his eyesight.
Mrs Bradley thanked “the many, many people” who had written to her about Mr Cummings and his actions.
She told them: “I want to assure you that I have every sympathy with you and your views.”
She said: “Over the last few weeks, the British people have been asked to make the most enormous personal sacrifices. I have been proud of the way that people in Staffordshire Moorlands have behaved and that the vast majority have followed the rules. We have all done everything asked of us because we were told that doing so would save lives.
“I wanted to give Mr Cummings a chance to make his case before passing judgement and not rush to comment until hearing his account of what happened.
“Having done so, I am afraid that I am not convinced by his explanation. I can well understand that any parent wants to protect their child, and have enormous sympathy with acting to do that.
“But so much of the account goes beyond that simple human instinct and suggests that there were breaches of the rules to avoid some of the hardships that many have endured.”
She said she had shared her constituents’ views “at the highest level”.
She said: “Mr Cummings is causing significant damage to the work that the Government is doing to get us through the pandemic. I hope that he will recognise this and consider his position.”
She added: “I have read the stories of personal sacrifice many others have made. We expect those that lead us to lead by example, especially those with such a significant influence on Government.
“I can reach no other conclusion than that for the sake of this country, Mr Cummings should do the right thing now and stop damaging the work that needs to be done.”
As we reported last week, Congleton's MP Fiona Bruce, who stopped short of calling on Mr Cummings to resign, said she had passed on the “strong” views of her constituents, who she said felt “badly let down” by Mr Cummings.
She said: I cannot condone what he did, nor accept that his interpretation of the guidelines was reasonable. My constituents have gone to great lengths to stay at home during this crisis. Many have endured enormous strain, and in some cases, real suffering.
“They are entitled to feel badly let down by someone in leadership with an obligation to be an exemplar.”
She added: “I am ensuring that this and the strength of feeling in my mailbox, have been communicated to the highest level of Government.”
Macclesfield MP David Rutley, whose constituency covers Bosley and North Rode, has not responded to the Chronicle over the issue.