Westminster opposition parties are set to meet to discuss how to deal with Dominic Cummings following revelations he travelled 270 miles to County Durham while ill with the coronavirus.
Labour, the SNP, and Liberal Democrats and other party leaders will gather in a bid to map out the ‘next steps’ on Dominic Cummings, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said.
Cummings has come under mounting pressure to resign after it emerged he travelled 270 miles to his family cottage in County Durham while ill with Covid-19 at the height of the lockdown. Boris Johnson’s chief advisor made the trip to seek chhildcare assistance from family after he and his wife Mary Wakefield contracted the virus.
Cummings also travelled 30 miles to Barney Castle while in recovery to ‘test his eyesight’ which he claims was impaired by the coronavirus. He made this trip with his wife and child.
Blackford has already written to the head of the civil service, Mark Sedwill, calling for an investigation into Cummings’ actions.
Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, Blackford said Boris Johnson needed to be held to account over the issue.
‘This is now about Boris Johnson’s leadership because he needs to recognise what’s right and what’s wrong,’ he said.
‘Quite simply this man should go and that’s why today I’m calling a meeting of all opposition leaders so we can consider what our next steps will be.’
Asked by a presenter what options the opposition had despite parliament being shut for a short recess, he said: ‘There are a number of options and I’ve already written to the cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill asking for an investigation because it’s clear that there is a breach of the lockdown rules.
‘This whole thing is unprecedented. I don’t think any of us, Gary, can remember a time where an official in government, the senior adviser to the prime minister, is giving a press conference at a time such as this.
‘He has become the story and he’s deflecting attention away from what we should be doing, which is keeping people safe through this crisis, it simply isn’t good enough.
‘The man has to go so we need to look at what measures that we can put in place.’
He said opposition leaders would be speaking to the media following the meeting at 11am.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed into the debate on Friday, saying he would have ‘sacked’ Cummings if he were prime minister.
‘If I were prime minister I’d have sacked Cummings.
He added: ‘There must now be an investigation into what has happened.’
He earlier tweeted his disapproval of prime minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the issue.
‘This was a test of the prime minister and he has failed it,’ he wrote.
‘It is an insult to sacrifices made by the British people that Boris Johnson has chosen to take no action against Dominic Cummings’.