Local MSP Rona Mackay has joined a wide-range of cross-party voices calling for Dominic Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, to resign after flouting the very lockdown rules he helped devise.
It was revealed Mr Cummings broke lockdown rules by travelling over 260 miles to his parents’ estate in Durham, while his wife was experiencing coronavirus symptoms.
In an unprecedented event, Mr Cummings held a press conference where he delivered a detailed account of his movements and motivations for doing so. However, this did not have the intended effect of calming the anger expressed by the public and appeared to raise more questions than it answered, particularly regarding his decision to drive to Barnard Castle with his family. He claimed to have undertaken this journey to ascertain whether his eyesight was suitable, after it had been affected by coronavirus.
From all sides of the political debate, a growing number of elected members are calling for Mr Cummings to be removed, including the Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw who made a u-turn after initially supporting Boris Johnson’s decision to condone his adviser’s behaviour.
Ms Mackay said,
“The Conservatives standing by Mr Cummings truly are defending the indefensible and undermining the public health message after months of people abiding by the guidance and enduring incredible hardships.
By his own admission, Mr Cummings did not self-isolate when his wife displayed symptoms, travelled across the country to stay on his family estate, used local health services with capacity to support the local populace, and drove 30 minutes to visit a heritage site to test his eyesight. He has admitted to breaking lockdown on multiple occasions after being unable to get help with childcare in London.
“This is gravely insulting to those who have been unable to hold weddings, attend funerals, spend final moments with their loved ones, and isolated at home to protect the public and our front line workers. Mr Cummings circumstances were not exceptional.
“People in East Dunbartonshire are rightly outraged that this privileged and powerful individual is still in post, and it calls into question Boris Johnson’s judgement and respect for the public. This issue speaks to the very heart of inequality between the bosses and the rest of us as Jackson Carlaw neatly articulated weeks ago and is exactly why this saga will continue until Mr Cummings is out of Number 10.
“Here in Scotland, the public health message has been clear and consistently put the health of the public and essential workers first: by staying home, we really are saving lives and protecting our NHS.
“The Scottish Government will be reviewing the current rules and will set out the gradual easing of these restrictions when it is safe to do so.”