Local MPs silent on Cummings lockdown controversy
Wrexham & Clwyd South’s MPs have not responded to a query asking if they supported the Prime Minister’s view that Dominic Cummings acted on instinct and integrity during lockdown.
Senior Downing Street advisor Dominic Cummings, whose role also sees him attend the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies committee that feeds into Welsh Government ‘TAC‘ pandemic thinking, has caused controversy due to travelling from London to Durham during lockdown.
Yesterday saw a public briefing by the Prime Minster Boris Johnson where the actions of Mr Cummings were defended, with Mr Johnson saying “In every respect, he has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity”.
The Prime Minister said, “It is because I take this matter so seriously and frankly it is so serious that I can tell you today I have had extensive face to face conversations with Dominic Cummings and I have concluded that in travelling to find the right kind of childcare, at the moment when both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by coronavirus. And when he had no alternative, I think he followed the instincts of every father and every parent. And I do not mark him down for that. And though there have been many other allegations about what happened when he was in self-isolation and thereafter, some of them palpably false.”
“I believe that in every respect he has acted responsibly, and legally, and with integrity, and with the overwhelming aim of stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives.”
Claims have been made that Mr Cummings had been seen around 30 miles away at Barnard Castle during his period of self isolation, with another more solid dispute of facts surfacing between Downing Street and Durham Police. Downing St issued a statement saying “at no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter”, whereas the police state they did make contact with Mr Cummings’ father and offered advice.
Mr Johnson also defended the trip on the grounds of finding childcare, however a day earlier a Downing St statement detailed how no extra childcare had actually been required.
Over the weekend several other ‘spots’ of Mr Cummings near Durham have been documented on twitter, timestamped well before the current furore had erupted.
With the story developing over the Bank Holiday both local MPs Wrexham’s Sarah Atherton and Clwyd South’s Simon Baynes did not comment via their usually active social media channels.
Yesterday evening we emailed both MPs asking for their opinion on the matter, and asked specifically if they supported the Prime Minister’s view that the Mr Cummings acted legally and with integrity in his actions.
We pointed out that many people locally have personally followed the lockdown regulations, and guidance, to the letter with many therefore unable to see friends, relatives or be present at births, deaths or funerals. One inference taken by many following the televised briefing was such things were by choice, whereas acting on instinct could have been a reasonable excuse and inside the law.
We also noted that Mr Johnson said the guidance issued by UK Government remains in place and has not changed. We asked if they believed people should follow the legal regulations as set separately in England and Wales, or should they take action according to ‘instincts’ – as referred to by Mr Johnson.
Both Sarah Atherton MP and Simon Baynes MP have not responded.
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