Thank you for contacting me on the matter of Dominic Cummings. I have received an unprecedented number of emails on this matter. I have replied to the first 1000 but I am now no longer replying, as there is nothing further I can say that will change the situation, but I will continue to read and digest your concerns. I am, however, concerned that there are constituents here in North Devon that need help with all sorts of other matters that I cannot assist whilst replying to the barrage of emails on this one topic. I have heard your anger, and I have communicated it back to Westminster.
And like you, I have felt a mixture of anger, disappointment and frustration in recent days.
We are all making significant sacrifices and coping with situations we could not imagine just a few months ago. Many of us have lost people in our lives and have not been able to see family and friends. It has been incredibly tough for everyone.
I do not personally know Mr Cummings. All I know of his behaviour in recent weeks is the frank and open statement he has given to the national media, where he explained why he took the decisions he did as a father and a husband. I prefer not to judge unless I am aware of all the facts, particularly as there seems to be a lot of misinformation in the media these days often generated by social media assaults on individuals.
Over 1000 people have contacted me regarding Mr Cummings and I wanted to ensure I knew as much as possible before responding. I have read each and every email sent to me on this topic. I have raised questions which I felt needed answering and made the strength of feeling in North Devon clear to the party leadership.
I will not rehearse the timeline of events with you in this reply. I am sure you either watched the press conference or have since read about it.
Although I believe his actions were motivated by his desire to do what he felt was necessary to protect his family in exceptional circumstances, if placed in the same situation, I do not believe I would have made the same decisions. I would have also considered my own position. I am a big believer in taking responsibility for one’s self and the decisions we each take.
However, the Prime Minister knows far more of what has happened throughout the pandemic than you or I. He has taken his decision to retain the services of his advisor who is an employee and not an elected representative.
As I have already made clear to the party leadership, this has been a deeply unhelpful distraction we could do without as a nation dealing with a pandemic.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for following the guidance which has helped save lives. This has significantly reduced the prevalence of the virus across our country. It has also reduced the rate of infection (R), which has given the Government the opportunity to take steps to reduce restrictions and re-open society.
I very much hope the Government can now move on from this as there are so many other pressing matters associated with Covid-19 that need attention. As your MP, I will continue to focus my efforts on the hundreds of emails I continue to receive daily, on other topics, from constituents requiring my help and support.
I would be doing a disservice to you and those who need help during this difficult time if I acted in any other way.