CoVid19 and Dominic Cummings: Correspondence with Damian Collins MP
A Constituent has kindly shared with us their letter to Damian Collins MP regarding the recent behaviour of Dominic Cummings. Their letter, and Mr Collins’s response, are provided below.
Dear Mr Collins
As a Folkestone resident I am pleased you have called for Dominic
Cummings to resign.
His actions have brought politics into disrepute at a time when people
should be able to trust their leaders. Judging by the number of your
colleagues who share your opinion it is clearly damaging the government.
However, the overall effect may be to reduce trust further in the
parliamentary system and allow the enemies of democracy to gain a
foothold in the public forum.
Please continue to press for Cummings to go. Until he does the public
will take less notice of government pronouncements on measures to tackle
Covid 19. That is a matter of life and death.
[Name and address withheld.]
Mr Collins writes in response:
Thank you for writing to me about Dominic Cummings.
As a father myself, I know that you always seek to act in the best interests of your children when making decisions about the welfare of your family. However, as a result of the restrictions that were put in place following the introduction of the COVID-19 lockdown, we are not in a position where we can just act on instinct, instead we have to make decisions based on the rules that have been created to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
I believe that the guidance given to ‘stay at home’ was clear, and that deciding to drive his family from London to Durham so that they could self-isolate at his parent’s farm was against the intention of the rules of the lockdown. Indeed, as the former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police has stated, had Dominic Cummings been stopped by the police whilst making this journey he would almost certainly have been told to go back to London. Also, whatever the reason behind his trip to Barnard Castle, whilst he was staying in Durham, that was also in breach of the lockdown rules.
Dominic Cummings should have taken advice, and informed either the Prime Minister or senior staff at 10 Downing Street, before acting in this way. He did neither. Given the difficulties we have all experienced during the lockdown, I believe it would have been reasonable to have expected that he would have sought to isolate with his family in London and make the same kind of support arrangements that other families have had to make at this time.
It would have been better if Mr Cummings had explained his actions sooner and apologised. His failure to do this has damaged his position and it would now be best for the Government and the country if he resigned.
Damian Collins MP
House of Commons