‘I can understand why he did it’ - Suffolk MP on top aide’s lockdown visit
PUBLISHED: 18:08 24 May 2020 | UPDATED: 18:36 24 May 2020
Two Suffolk MPs have defended the actions of senior Government aide Dominic Cummings after he travelled from London to Durham during lockdown.
The PM’s chief adviser travelled more than 260 miles with his child during the coronavirus lockdown to be near his family.
This, along with further allegations that he later broke lockdown rules for a second time, has sparked outrage among the public, who have questioned why Mr Cummings was able to make this journey while others have been unable to visit family or be with loved ones in their last hours.
Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney said today he could understand the senior adviser’s decision to make the first trip from London to his parents’ home in Durham County, but said he would reserve judgement on claims surrounding a second journey until the facts were established.
“My view is that, based on the established facts that he went with his wife and child to Durham in March, I can understand why he did it.
“He and his wife had symptoms, if not indeed had Covid-19, and were concerned for the welfare of their child.
“They concluded the best decision was to be somewhere completely self-contained, where they were self-isolated and didn’t need to go out because they were provided for by other family members.”
The MP continued: “In terms of other things talked about future visits to that area, if correct, and I have yet to see they’ve been confirmed, I would view the situation differently.
“If he and his wife had got to a stage where they were unable to look after their child, I would completely understand why they wanted to be close to his parents and self-contained.”
Meanwhile Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP, Matt Hancock, tweeted to say: “I know how ill coronavirus makes you. It was entirely right for Dom Cummings to find childcare for his toddler, when both he and his wife were getting ill.”
Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex declined to comment on the matter when we approached him.
During his briefing this evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he understood the concern about Dominic Cummings’ actions.
“I can totally get why people might feel so confused and so offended by the idea that it is one thing for people here and another thing for others. But really having looked at what happened, having looked at his intentions and what he was trying to do for the good of his family, I really think most people will understand what he was doing and, above all, what he did - if you look at the measures that he took - they were designed to stop the spread of the virus.
“I think that he, at all times, behaved responsibly and legally.”
There have been calls for Mr Cummings to resign from his government role in light of the revelations.
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