Zöe Franklin condemns Guildford MP's support for Dominic Cummings and calls for Cummings to step down or be removed

May 23, 2020 1:59 PM

On Friday it was revealed that Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's chief advisor, broke the lockdown rules by driving 260 miles to County Durham with his family whilst sick with coronavirus in order to have his elderly parents help with childcare. Understandably this has angered and upset so many families and individuals who have diligently remained at home throughout the coronavirus outbreak in order to keep them and their families safe, and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. An illness which has resulted in thousands of people dying alone, families being unable to be with loved ones as they have died, or meant that people have been unable to be there to look after seriously ill relatives.

The lockdown rules about avoiding unnecessary travel and self-isolating were clear and designed to save lives, yet Dominic Cummings appears to have believed they didn't apply to him. To my mind it is clear that he should resign from his adviser position or be removed, as has happened for others in similar roles who ignored the rules.

Angela Richardson tweets re coronavirus and Dominic CummingsI was therefore surprised and disgusted to see Guildford's MP Angela Richardson tweeting in support of him.

As a parent myself I understand how hard it can be to look after your children when you are sick. However, given how contagious coronavirus is, there are clear rules about staying home to protect others if you are showing symptoms, and many families up and down the entire country have found a way to manage childcare whilst self-isolating through their own illness. There are also hundreds of volunteers in every community across Britain who are, day in and day out, diligently and selflessly doing shopping and picking up prescriptions for neighbours who are self-isolating. Society has come together during this crisis to make sure that, no matter what your circumstances are, help should be at hand to help you through self-isolation.

As such I find it inexcusable that, as far as our MP is concerned, there seems to be one rule for Dominic Cummings and another for the rest of us. Ms Richardson's support is also surprising given that in previous tweets she has made clear, repeatedly, that people should avoid unnecessary travel and stay home in order to save lives. Yet over the course of several tweets she is now attempting to justify behaviour which has potentially put lives at risk and has violated the clear lockdown rules which she herself had previously, and rightly, enthusiastically endorsed.

Ms Richardson's constituents deserve an explanation. Does she also think it's acceptable for the rest of us to leave self-isolation and travel the length of the country to visit relatives if we're infected with Covid-19? Or does she think that the rules don't apply to the Prime Minister's chief advisor?

I sincerely hope that, in addition to offering an explanation, Ms Richardson will reconsider her support for Dominic Cummings and join the growing chorus of voices calling for him to go.

Z Franklin signature

Zöe Franklin
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Guildford, Cranleigh and our Villages