Norfolk MP calls on Dominic Cummings to resign as pressure mounts on the prime minister’s chief aide
PUBLISHED: 19:57 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 19:57 27 May 2020
The MP for Mid-Norfolk has added his name to the list of those calling for the prime minister’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings, to resign over the controversial journey he made to Durham during lockdown.
In a press conference on Monday, Mr Cummings defended a 260-mile trip from London to Durham he made with his family during lockdown, saying he believed he behaved “reasonably”.
Now, Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman has added his name to the list of MPs from across the political spectrum calling for Mr Cummings to resign.
Mr Freeman said he had received close to 1,000 emails in the last 48 hours from “people who do not usually email their MP, expressing their anger at how Mr Cummings has let down the national effort to defeat the pandemic.”
He said: “It has become clear from my inbox that the scale and depth of the anger felt by constituents is like nothing I have seen in 10 years. Many across Mid-Norfolk are angry that their sacrifices for the greater good seem not to have been matched by such a senior figure in government.
“Many have also asked how or why they can be expected to comply with instructions the PM’s own senior advisor can’t stick to.
“This situation clearly can’t be allowed to go on.”
On Monday, morning, Mr Freeman said Mr Cummings needed to give a “clear, coherent and acceptable account and an apology to the British people for not abiding by his own instructions” or else he should resign.
After the conference, he tweeted: “Hmm. Not great. Downing Street Covid briefing and PM’s important announcement on easing lockdown overwhelmed by continuing questions and controversy on #Domnishambles #curfewgate.”
In the letter issued by Mr Freeman on Wednesday, he said he had been “determined to give [Mr Cummings] a fair hearing and, in the face of a coherent account, the benefit of the doubt.”
But that as “the full story unfolded” he had found his “credibility and patience was stretched.”
“It’s clear to me that Mr Cummings’ actions have seriously undermined the authority of the government, the prime minister and the public health message,” he said.
Mr Freeman added that he felt the “national confidence in, and consent to abide by, our government public health messaging has been profoundly damaged.”
“I believe Mr Cummings must now apologise and resign his post, so that we can rebuild public trust and consent, and focus on the vital task of defeating this virus and navigating our economy and society through a phased end of lockdown as effectively as possible.”
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