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Conduct of Mr Dominic Cummings during the COVID-19 pandemic

Volume 677: debated on Wednesday 10 June 2020

I rise this evening to present a petition on behalf of my east end constituents, who have been outraged by the actions of the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, during lockdown. When everyone else has been told to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives, Dominic Cummings was using Barnard Castle as some sort of Optical Express drive-through service, which would be the height of irresponsibility at the best of times, but is even more outrageous during a global pandemic. The fact that the Prime Minister and the rest of the Cabinet have sought to defend this only reaffirms the widely held view that with this Tory Government, it is one rule for them and one rule for everyone else.

The petition states:

“The Petition of residents of the constituency of Glasgow East,

Declares that the Prime Minister’s Chief Advisor, Mr Dominic Cummings, driving 260 miles to Durham during lockdown for childcare reasons when he and his wife were displaying symptoms of COVID-19, acted against the UK Government advice to “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”; further notes that driving a 60-mile round trip to Barnard Castle to test if his eyesight was suitable for driving was potentially dangerous to himself, his family and other road users, and also breached the “Stay at Home” message; further declares that the support from the Prime Minister and other senior members of the Cabinet for Mr Cummings’ actions weaken the efforts for public compliance with the stay at home and social distancing requirements; and further notes that the whole episode has upset many people who have abided by the rules and guidance, missing out on the chance to say goodbye to loved ones, not being able to see new-born members of their families, and missing family contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to conduct an inquiry into the conduct and justification of the Prime Minister’s Chief Advisor and that he be requested to consider his position; further to instruct all special advisers to adhere to the same rules as other members of the public.

And the petitioners remain etc.”