Theresa May says Dominic Cummings has detracted government from dealing with coronavirus

Former prime minister Theresa May delivers a speech. (Photo by Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty

Former prime minister Theresa May delivers a speech. (Photo by Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images

Theresa May has become the latest voice to criticise Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson's handling of his senior adviser.

The former prime minister used a message to her constituents to claim Cummings had not 'followed the spirit' of the lockdown guidance.

May said she can 'well understand the anger' of people who had obeyed the guidance while the PM's aide drove from London to a family farm in Durham.

She added: 'What this matter has shown is that there was a discrepancy between the simple messages given by the government and the details of the legislation passed by Parliament.

'In these circumstances I do not feel that Mr Cummings followed the spirit of the guidance.


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'I can well understand the anger of those who have been abiding by the spirit of the guidance given by the government and expect others to do so.'

But in the message, May said she was concerned that the focus on Cummings was 'detracting from the most important task' of dealing with coronavirus.

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She added: 'One of my biggest concerns has been that the ongoing focus on Mr Cummings has been detracting from the most important task, which is dealing with Coronavirus and starting the process of recovery and easing lockdown.'

Her message emerged a day after Durham Constabulary said it would have taken action if police officers had stopped Cummings on his 50-mile round trip to Barnard Castle.

But the force said it did not consider Cummings had committed an offence by locating himself at his father's farm in the county.

Johnson said he regarded the issue as 'closed' after the police said they did not intend to take 'retrospective action', though the force found that the aide may have committed 'a minor breach' of lockdown rules in driving to the town.

But more than 30 Tory MPs have called for Cummings' departure, while senior minister Penny Mordaunt admitted there were 'inconsistencies' in his account and that 'there is no doubt he took risks'.

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