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Public treated with contempt over Cummings saga - Telford council leader

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | Coronavirus | Published:

The British public been treated with contempt by the government over the Dominic Cummings saga, according to a council leader.

Dominic Cummings during his Downing Street statement

Shaun Davies, Labour leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said questions remain over the government advisor's account of his trip to Durham and subsequent car drive to test his eyesight.

Mr Cummings remains in post after giving an hour-long press conference where he explained his actions in what many have seen as a breach of the spirit of the lockdown rules he helped create.

Mr Davies said: "There are so many questions that remain unanswered and based up his account, if he was in a court of law there would be lots of cross examination questions that would show his account is just not credible.

"Why would you go for a drive with your wife and child in the car to test your eyesight? It is not credible.

"People will see it as one rule for Boris Johnson's unelected advisor and another for the rest of us. I obviously welcome a Scottish minister resigning and I think there will be a lot of decent Conservative MPs that will have heard the account from Dominic Cummings and will have the same feelings, and hopefully they will take a principled stand."

He added: "I know people that have not been at a close family member's funeral because of this, or missed seeing a newborn grandchild, and there is a real, raw anger at the hypocrisy of all this.

"I just think the government has treated people with contempt. The honourable thing to do and the decent thing is he should resign. Clearly he has not, so clearly the Prime Minister has picked him over millions of people who made the right decision despite the hardship we have all faced over the last eight weeks or so."

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Mr Cummings has been backed by a number of Shropshire's Conservative MPs, with Daniel Kawczynski, who represents Shrewsbury & Atcham, criticising calls for the advisor's resignation.

Writing on Twitter he said: "Mr Cummings acted in personal capacity as a husband/father in most appropriate way. In addition these actions complied with his responsibilities as a citizen at the very heart of government. Sir Keir wrong to demand resignation. Poor judgement on his part."

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Responding to a comment that the cabinet had taken part in "very little" talk about Mr Cummings at its latest meeting, Lucy Allan MP for Telford tweeted: "Glad that Cabinet is focused on how to ease lockdown. Many people have really suffered during this time and are still suffering. We need to move move forward and plan for the future."

Owen Paterson MP for North Shropshire tweeted a link to Mr Cummings' statement and added: "I fully understand constituents’ anger as clearly this should have been handled better. But the statement answers questions and deals with inaccurate allegations, so we can better understand the decisions he took under difficult circumstances."

Meanwhile, Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard said he had made the views of his constituents clear to senior members of the Government after being bombarded with emails over Mr Cummings' lockdown trip.

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