Tory MP Tim Loughton has said it is time for his fellow party member to resign following claims he ignored Government lockdown rules.
Mr Cummings drove more than 260 miles from his home in London to his parents’ house in Durham, with his wife, who had coronavirus symptoms at the time, and his child.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson publicly defended his right hand man during Saturday’s daily press briefing saying that his key aide had ‘acted responsibly, legally and with integrity’ and ‘followed the instincts of every father and every parent’.
However, Mr Loughton said he saw ‘no justification’ for Mr Cummings’ actions.
In a statement last night, Mr Loughton said he has ‘regretfully come to the conclusion’, that Mr Cummings ‘must resign or be removed’.
Although Mr Loughton admitted he was ‘not a fan’ of Mr Cummings, he said it was ‘better to do my own research’ before coming to an ‘informed and measured conclusion’.
“Not surprisingly the subject that has dominated my email inbox most this weekend has been the actions of the Prime Minister chief special adviser Dominic Cummings,” the Tory MP said.
“I waited for further justification for his actions in the media today and hopefully at the Downing Street briefing given by the Prime Minister this afternoon or even from Dominic Cummings himself.
“I have seen no justification that has convinced me and more importantly I have seen little evidence that it has convinced my constituents or the public at large.
“Instead I have been concerned at the considerable damage that this story is doing to the Government and most crucially to its authority to carry on the important work it needs to continue to do to keep us all safe.”
Since the Downing Street press conference, along with ‘most other’ parliamentary colleagues, Mr Loughton said he has been inundated with emails from constituents calling for Dominic Cummings to stand down.
He added: “Notably, many of them are from people who are writing to me for the first time as their MP, some citing considerable sacrifices that they and their families have had to make during the lockdown.
“They cannot understand or approve therefore of what looks like ‘double-standards’ applied to one Government official. As with all correspondence from constituents I read it carefully and take note.
“It may be that there is further information still to come out about Dominic Cummings’ movements and I am sure that many people will empathise with the personal pressure that he and his family were under.
“However, many others in similar or worse positions have made the choice not to ‘reinterpret’ the lockdown rules laid down by the Government. It is even more important that they are followed even more relentlessly by those responsible for making and enforcing them.”
Mr Loughton said the situation is a ‘great pity’ for someone who has ‘contributed so much’ to the Government.
“But his continuing in the role any longer can only undermine the authority of the Prime Minister and the Government at a time when both need to be completely focused on getting the nation through the next stage of the coronavirus crisis,” he said.
“I am also worried that a number of scientists providing expert advice to the Government have also expressed the concern that their work is at threat of being undermined.
“I have been very impressed with the way that Boris Johnson, despite his own near-death experience, has managed the crisis and led the nation through a time of unprecedented challenge.
“It is essential that he is free to carry on this vital work without the distraction that Dominic Cummings remaining headline news would inevitably bring.
“It is essential that the Government continues to carry the trust of the people to continue to make the difficult judgements that we need ministers to make.”
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