Statement on Dominic Cummings

I have had many constituents get in touch with me this bank holiday weekend, understandably angry with what appears to be a breach of lockdown rules by a senior advisor to the Prime Minister.

 

All of you have obeyed the rules over lockdown, in order to stop the spread of this terrible virus. People have made extremely difficult decisions to keep loved ones safe – not just to shield the most vulnerable in society but to also protect our NHS from becoming overwhelmed.

 

I know that so many of my constituents have done the right thing, even when this has caused great hardship and sacrifice. Many of you have told me your own stories, such as grandchildren who have been left unable to see grandparents, family being unable to attend funerals, parents who have been juggling working, caring and home schooling as well as healthcare workers who have been unable to see their children in order to keep them safe.

 

It is only right and fair that Mr Cummings’ thinking behind his decision be heard. I have listened carefully to the explanations that have been given and his reasons for travelling, specifically the necessity of safeguarding his child who required an overnight stay in hospital during their period of isolation. He categorically denied newspaper reports of a return to Durham later that month after returning to work in London. Nevertheless, many people have dealt with the same situation whilst remaining at home and will remain angry that he made the decision to travel.

 

Mr Cummings should have informed the Prime Minister of his decision to travel and explanations regarding his actions should have been provided much sooner. It is hugely disappointing that many people have felt let down by his decisions and by the impression that the rules regarding lockdown were not being properly obeyed, at least in spirit if not in practice.

 

In order to defeat Coronavirus we have all been asked to accept significant and unprecedented restrictions in our lives and it is only right that those in the public eye should be seen to be behaving in the right way. I have made my views and the strength of my constituents’ feelings known to the Prime Minister.

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