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Dominic Cummings to give public statement amid MP revolt

PUBLISHED: 13:41 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:47 25 May 2020

Dominic Cummings. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Dominic Cummings. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Dominic Cummings will give a public statement this afternoon after allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Downing Street has confirmed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA WirePrime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The move comes as calls for him to resign and explain his actions mount, following revelations he travelled 264 miles to his parents’ estate in Durham while his wife was suffering coronavirus symptoms.

Boris Johnson is facing a revolt from scores of his own backbenchers as they line up to condemn the Prime Minister and his chief adviser.

Mr Johnson’s defence of him on Sunday has failed to quell dissatisfaction among his own MPs with 15 Conservative backbenchers having called for Mr Cummings to go, while several others have spoken out against his actions.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous is among those to today call for the aide to resign having yesterday came out in support after suggesting that “the welfare of Mr Cummings’ child was of understandable importance”.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous.
 Picture: Archant library.Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Archant library.

MORE: MP changes view and says Dominic Cummings should resign after flood of angry emails

Mr Aldous said he had “changed his perspective” following a strong public response - including emails from constituents he says have never contacted him before.

He said: “I was originally sympathetic to Mr Cummings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended Dominic Cummings during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA WirePrime Minister Boris Johnson defended Dominic Cummings during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

“But questions have been raised about whether the family were completely self-isolating in County Durham and whether they took a family trip to Barnard Castle, 30 miles away from where he was staying.

“These new developments have made me reconsider.”

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: UK ParliamentMid Norfolk MP George Freeman. Picture: UK Parliament

This afternoon Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman tweeted: “To restore the Cabinet’s damaged authority to demand lockdown compliance, Dominic Cummings needs today to: 1. give a clear, coherent & acceptable account, and an apology to the British people for not abiding by his own instructions (as they have). Or 2. Resign.”

It follows a tweet last night in which he said we needed “some humility” and “a clear acknowledgement” that people would be angry if they sensed double standards, and “a sincere thank you to the millions of people (including fathers) who have made sacrifices Dominic Cummings didn’t.”

The EDP has contacted other Norfolk MPs for their views.

MORE: Norfolk parents divided over Dominic Cummings’ controversial lockdown travel

On Saturday Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, a member of the cabinet as Northern Ireland Secretary, tweeted: “Father looks after child, within guidelines.....&...?”

Other Conservative MPs who have stated Mr Cummings should step down include Peter Bone, Damian Collins, Caroline Nokes, Julian Sturdy, Robert Syms, Craig Whittaker, James Gray and Martin Vickers.

Newly elected MPs including Elliot Colburn, Paul Holmes and Jonathan Gullis have also said they have “conveyed the strength of local feeling to relevant colleagues” after being contacted by constituents.

Opposition parties have also been fiercely critical.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Johnson had failed a test of leadership, adding that his decision to take no action against Mr Cummings was “an insult to sacrifices made by the British people”.


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