08:52AM, Thursday 28 May 2020
MP Joy Morrissey has backed Dominic Cummings after the Prime Minister’s chief adviser faced calls to resign for travelling from London to Durham during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Mr Cummings addressed the nation at a press conference on Sunday to clarify his actions following reports in national newspapers he had flouted lockdown rules.
The political strategist said he drove 260 miles to a cottage on his father’s land on March 27 due to fears he and his wife would not be able to care for their young child if they fell seriously ill with COVID-19.
He added he completed a 60-mile round-trip to Barnard Castle on April 12, 15 days after he first displayed symptoms of coronavirus, to test out his eyesight ahead of a potential return to London.
Conservative MP Joy Morrissey, whose constituency includes Burnham and Marlow, said the time had come to ‘respect’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to keep Mr Cummings in his post.
Her statement said: “People have made many sacrifices during lockdown to help slow the spread of the virus. It is therefore entirely understandable and justifiable that people had serious questions about Mr Cummings’ trip to Durham.
“However, having now explained himself to the public, and answered numerous questions from journalists, I think it is time we respect the Prime Minister’s decision to keep Mr Cummings in his important position.
“We now need to refocus on continuing to lift the lockdown safely and securely so we can get our economy moving, and reunite with our loved ones once more.”
Windsor MP Adam Afriyie added: “It is right that Mr Cummings has explained the reasons for the actions he took to protect his wife and young child.
“I continue to focus my energies on lifting lockdown safely to secure the livelihoods of my constituents and get our economy back on track.”
Slough MP Tan Dhesi accused the Prime Minister and his chief adviser of ‘double standards’ over the Government’s official guidance to ‘Stay Home, Save Lives, Protect the NHS’ during the UK lockdown.
The Labour MP said: “Millions of people have made incredible sacrifices during lockdown – they’ve stayed at home, to protect our NHS and save lives.
“Many have gone months without seeing loved ones and missed births, birthdays and funerals.
“Therefore people are rightly livid about the double standards of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, with respect to the government guidance they themselves imposed on everyone.
“There simply cannot be one rule for the Government elite and another for the rest of us.”
Maidenhead MP Theresa May had not responded to a request for comment on the issue at the time of going to press.
The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in the Royal Borough and Slough amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.
A new Maidenhead father has hit out at a registry office for the way they have handled the official registering of his baby in Slough.