A letter calling for Dominic Cummings' resignation by Ian Sollom, local Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson, was published in the 27th May edition of the Cambridge Independent. Below is the full text. If you agree with Ian that Cummings must go in order to restore public trust in the government's response to the pandemic please sign our petition.
It’s time for Dominic Cummings to resign
During times of national crisis, politics as usual is generally suspended. There is a natural and just tendency to 'rally to the flag': to will our Prime Minister, our government and our institutions to do their best regardless of our political allegiances. We all chip in and do what we can to help the national collective effort.
As a South Cambs district councillor, it’s been fantastic to see the army of volunteers and organisers step up in our communities to support the most vulnerable. But simply obeying the rules laid down to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus is the single most important contribution any individual can make. The sacrifices we have all made – and for some of us, there have been some truly heart-breaking sacrifices – have undoubtedly saved many lives.
In this context, Dominic Cummings’ actions in travelling to Durham during lockdown must be condemned. His trip risked spreading the virus around the country and flouted rules we all need to obey to protect each other. That Mr Cummings believes his actions were reasonable in exceptional circumstances is an extremely poor defence. These were not exceptional circumstances: countless families with young children have, as instructed by the government, isolated without support at home in this crisis, gritting their teeth and battling on. Many are rightly angry that someone at the heart of government did not keep to rules we were all told we must follow.
The Prime Minister’s backing of his advisor, denying any breach of the rules in letter or in spirit, risks undermining wider public trust and adherence to government guidelines. The possibility of more infections and more deaths as a result cannot be ruled out, and it is deeply concerning that the Prime Minister would put lives at risk in this way, apparently encouraging Conservative backbenchers to do the same: in tweeting similar unapologetic support for Mr Cummings on Saturday, South Cambs MP Anthony Browne revealed his own priorities for his time in office.
I would urge Mr Browne to reconsider his stance. As we move into the next phase of this crisis and new guidelines emerge, it is vital that we continue to feel we are all in this together, making the personal sacrifices that will continue to be necessary. For as long as the government continue to stand by Mr Cummings they show contempt for that collective effort. It is time for him to go.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for South Cambs