Thank you to those who have emailed me over the past few days in relation to Dominic Cummings. I have held off publishing my response because I wanted to wait until we had all the facts and until after yesterday’s press conference. If you didn’t watch the press conference, I would urge you to do so:
As I am sure you can imagine, I have had hundreds of emails over the past few days from people angry about the revelations that have come to light. These sentiments have been clearly expressed to the Prime Minister, and like you, I was also angry about the suggestion that a senior Government official might not have been sticking to the same regulations that you and I have.
Over the past 10 weeks, I have spoken to many constituents and given advice about what I believe the regulations do and don’t allow, and I know many residents and their families have had to make huge sacrifices and some very difficult decisions. As a single parent of a young daughter, I also understand the very real concerns about what would happen to her if I had got the virus; and I know this is something that many constituents have also worried about.
I do not know Dominic Cummings and have never met him. However, I do recognise that he clearly battled with similar decisions, amid doing a stressful job and feeling his family home was under threat. Mr Cummings has set out the facts of the matter and the reasoning behind the decisions he took. I welcome his openness about this, but clearly it would have been better if he had come forward with this information sooner.
I know many constituents who have heard the statement have raised further questions about alternative actions that may have been available to him. Mr Cummings was extensively questioned by the media yesterday, and I do not believe there is anything further to gain from an unelected official being questioned further. I think Mr Cummings has explained how he believed his actions fit within the regulations, but I do not believe I would have made the same choices that he did.
Above all, I feel that this weekend has been an unhelpful distraction from the genuine needs of my constituents during this pandemic. I will take the time to respond to the 300+ emails on this matter, but please bear with me while I prioritise those who are asking for assistance with personal or business matters.
I know constituents are very angry, and I’m concerned by the messages I am receiving that the confidence in the guidelines may have been threatened. Please remain steadfast in your commitment to them. To all of you who have stuck to the rules and made personal sacrifices to do so, I am enormously grateful to all of you. Please do not let your anger over Mr Cummings’ actions undo all the hard work you have put in to flattening the curve and keeping yourselves and your families safe.