Tory Brexiteer compares Dominic Cummings to ‘a frontline doctor returning to work’

Andrew Bridgen appears on BBC Newsnight to defend Dominic Cummings. Photograph: BBC.

Andrew Bridgen appears on BBC Newsnight to defend Dominic Cummings. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

With no ministers available to defend Dominic Cummings on BBC Newsnight, it was left to Tory backbench MP Andrew Bridgen to offer a defence.

Bridgen appeared on the programme to brand the whole story a 'media witch-hunt', when presenter Emily Maitlis asked the MP if the senior aide had given was adequate.

She asked: 'So anyone else who had been in that situation, in your view, where they decided on their wife's birthday to make a 60 mile round trip to test their eyesight, that would have been fine and legitimate and understandable?'

But Bridgen said it was 'understandable' given that Cummings is 'a dedicated public servant in a crucial role, a critical worker during a crisis where he is at the centre deciding government policy'.

'Had we replaced that critical worker Dominic Cummings with a doctor returning to a frontline hospital 260 miles away we wouldn't be having this conversation today.

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'I'm not sure what the difference is, other than the media have blown absolutely this out of proportion'.

His explanation left people perplexed on social media by his defence of Cummings.

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One said: 'A doctor wouldn't have done this, and they wouldn't have had time for a jolly to Barnard Castle either'.

'Just to be clear doctors don't go on test drives to check their eyesight before they go back to work. There is a highway code,' said another.

Bernard Walton wrote: 'Bridgen confused between a doctor who saves lives and an advisor, who should and can work from home, that breaks rules which threatens lives. Populism. Making bad sound good.'

'The arrogance and lack of understanding of the mood of the country is sadly unsurprising,' tweeted Dan Smith.

'It's amazing how Andrew Bridgen actually managed to listen to Dominic Cummings' arguments and come up with even worse excuses,' noted Joe Oliver.

'Cummings is not a keyworker,' said Jackie Schneider. 'He's a spin doctor - do you honestly not know the difference between this and a NHS worker? Has he not heard of zoom?'

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