North London MPs slam Dominic Cummings over lockdown journeys – and Crouch End ‘plague doctor’ returns to mock beleaguered government adviser
PUBLISHED: 14:11 26 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:11 26 May 2020
North London MPs – and Crouch End’s fancy dress ‘plague doctor’ – were scathing after the prime minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings was forced to explain why he had travelled from Islington to County Durham during lockdown.
Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer, who is also the leader of the Labour Party, said if he’d been PM he would have sacked Mr Cummings, while Hampstead and Kilburn’s Tulip Siddiq was also
Sir Keir said: “This was a test of the prime minister and he has failed it. It is an insult to sacrifices made by the British people that Boris Johnson has chosen to take no action against Dominic Cummings. He added that the lack of action “undermined” the government’s public health message.
Ms Siddiq (Lab, Hampstead and Kilburn), who is a shadow minister, said: “For me, it’s about the govt losing the moral authority in the eyes of the public who have sacrificed so much during this pandemic. We can’t have one rule for them, one rule for us.”
Fellow shadow minister Catherine West (Lab, Hornsey and Wood Green) also tweeted. She said: “Hundreds of emails in my inbox today. Each unique, but the anger the same. PM has treated the British people with contempt and thrown the public health messages that are so crucial in a global pandemic into chaos.”
Meanwhile, the ‘plague doctor’ – a person wearing medieval fancy dress who has previously appeared in Crouch End – mocked Mr Cummings by posing with a card suggesting they were hoping to hitchike to Durham.
Mr Cummings, who is believed to have contracted Covid-19, and his wife and child travelled to his family’s estate despite his wife showing coronavirus symptoms and the wider lockdown rules being in place.
He has cited “exceptional circumstances” around arranging for the care of his 4-year-old son
A trip from his family’s estate to market town Barnard Castle has also been criticised, as non-essential journeys were not allowed at the time.
On Monday afternoon Mr Cummings said: “I think it’s reasonable to say that other people would have behaved differently, in different ways, in this whole situation.
“But as I stress I was trying to balance lots of competing things.”
Mr Cummings’ uncle, who until retirement was one of the country’s most senior judges Lord Justice Laws, died of coronavirus in April. The PM’s adviser explained that, like many others affected by coronavirus, the family was not able to hold a normal funeral.
“None of us saw him, none of us attended his funeral,” he said.
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