Former cabinet minister and sitting Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley has urged Dominic Cummings to ‘consider his position’ after he accepted driving 260 miles during the lockdown.
Mr Cummings, a top advisor to Boris Johnson, admitted he drove his wife and four-year-old son 260 miles from their London home to Durham in April so they could self-isolate on his parents’ land.
The senior advisor addressed the national and faced members of the national media insisting his actions were lawful because of his ‘exceptional’ family circumstances. He had previously said he and his wife were at risk of catching coronavirus leaving no one to care for their son.
Mrs Bradley – who served as the Culture Secretary and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland- says the decision has caused ‘significant damage’ to the Government as many saw the journey to be flouting the lockdown laws at the time.
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Mrs Bradley said: “I would like to thank the many many people who have written to me about Mr Cummings and his actions and I want to assure you that I have every sympathy with you and your views.
“Over the last few weeks, the British people have been asked to make the most enormous personal sacrifices. I have been so 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.
“I want you to know that I have shared your views at the highest level. Mr Cummings is, in my view causing significant damage to the work that the Government are doing to get us through the pandemic. I hope that he will recognise this and consider his position.
“I have read the stories of personal sacrifice you and 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.”
A letter calling on Mr Cummings to resign has already been signed by 44 MPs while Congleton’s Fiona Bruce has already said she feels his actions were not ‘acceptable’.
Newcastle-under-Lyme MP Aaron Bell said released a statement saying he would not have taken the same trip but criticised the media’s approach to the issue, while Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullis said it was not in the ‘spirit’ of the lockdown law.
Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke South, has called for Mr Cummings to apologise.
At the time the top advisor made the trip to Durham, families were being told to stay at home unless traveling for work, one exercise a day, or to collect essential shopping.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms was told to isolate.
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