Skip to main content

Conduct of Mr Dominic Cummings during the COVID-19 pandemic

Volume 677: debated on Tuesday 16 June 2020

In the five years since my election to this place, very little has elicited a stronger constituent reaction than the actions of Dominic Cummings in driving to Durham to self-isolate. In fact, one of the few things to rival it was the Prime Minister’s anaemic, craven and wholly inadequate response to the whole affair; the Prime Minister clearly has an issue telling truth to power. We should be in no doubt that Mr Cummings broke the rules. With regard to his infamous dynamic eyesight test, I have not spoken to anyone, including a good number of Conservatives, who bought the “Going out for a drive to local beauty spots with my entire family in tow to test my eyesight” line. In fact, I think it would be better for him to confirm that this was not true, as the alternative—that the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser decided that this was an appropriate action—speaks to the quality of advice that the Prime Minister is in receipt of. At a time when many of our constituents could not even travel to say their final goodbyes to loved ones, the actions of Mr Cummings, and those of the Government in justifying them, are indefensible.

The petition states:

The Petition of the residents of the constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire North,

Declares that the conduct of 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, was against the UK Government advice to “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”; further declares that the consistent support from the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet for Mr Cummings’ actions have undermined the UK Government’s own public health messaging.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to conduct an inquiry into the conduct of the Prime Minister’s Chief Advisor, and whether his continued employment is beneficial to addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And the petitioners remain, etc.