MP releases statement about her position on Dominic Cummings
PUBLISHED: 16:10 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:15 01 June 2020
Kemi Badenoch, the MP for the Saffron Walden constituency, has released a statement about her position on the reports of the most senior government adviser breaching coronavirus lockdown guidance.
The statement comes after her office said lots of emails about the issue were sent through.
It read: “Thank you for writing to me regarding the reports of Dominic Cummings breaching the government’s lockdown guidance.
“As you may be aware, Durham Police issued a statement yesterday, May 28, which concluded that Mr Cummings was not in breach of the regulations when travelling and locating himself in Durham. They did say there may have been a minor breach regarding his journey on April 12, which they were not pursuing. Details can be found at https://www.durham.police.uk/news-and-events/Pages/News%20Articles/Durham-Constabulary-press-statement--.aspx
“However, I do understand the concerns you and others have raised. The last few months have been very challenging and difficult for us all, as we have done our best to maintain social distancing and work within the guidelines.
“Since the lockdown began, my office has received thousands of emails and letters asking for clarification on the advice issued by the government and also complaints about the way it has been interpreted or acted on by their neighbours, local councils, the police and other bodies. As much as possible, I have strived to provide clarity but have also recommended to some constituents that they need to use their own judgement based on their personal circumstances.
“This does not mean that the government guidance is advisory only, just that it is not and cannot be exhaustive. It also means that views on how people are carrying out social distancing can be subjective. I therefore welcomed the statement that Mr Cummings made, addressing the allegations, providing his perspective on what actually happened and clarifying which of the many rumoured actions were true and false.
“For the avoidance of doubt, rules relating to looking after small children, particularly if a parent, or both parents, are unwell, allow for discretion. Mr Cummings has stated that on his wife becoming unwell, and the likelihood of him becoming unwell also, they took the decision to locate themselves in a place that offered the least risk to others, and could provide childcare, if necessary. In the event he, his wife, and child all were unwell during the period of them being in Durham.
“Mr Cummings has stressed that this was not a family visit; the family did not interact with other members of their extended family and were able to self-isolate in a private dwelling alone.
“Whilst I disagree with some of Mr Cummings’ actions, I do not in any way believe he has put others at risk, which for me is the key issue. I am fully aware that not everyone will agree with me. I also trust the Prime Minister’s judgement and if he still has faith in Mr Cummings and is content for him to continue as his special adviser, then I am also content to let the matter end there.
“We have worked incredibly hard to help stop the spread of this dreadful virus. My focus right now is ensuring the government is issuing the right guidance for our constituency and doing everything it can to facilitate an economic recovery and protect jobs. This is what I will continue to work on as your local MP.
“Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, and please do contact me again if I can help in any way.”
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