‘Insert if there has been a bereavement’ - Tory Brexiteer underfire for Dominic Cummings email response

PUBLISHED: 13:28 30 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:54 30 May 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his trip to Durham during lockdown continues. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his trip to Durham during lockdown continues. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire.

A Tory Brexiteer MP has apologised for leaving the instruction “insert if there has been a bereavement” in an email to one of his constituents over the Dominic Cummings saga.

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Conservative MP Anthony Mangnal who has apologised for leaving the instruction Conservative MP Anthony Mangnal who has apologised for leaving the instruction "insert if there has been a bereavement" in an email to one of his constituents. Photograph: Claire Hayhurst/PA Wire.

The mistake was left in an email response to communications Anthony Mangnall received about Cummings’s controversial lockdown trip to Durham.

An extract shared on social media of an email sent by the Totnes MP shows the third paragraph of his response read: “Insert if there has been a bereavement: May I add my condolences to the recent loss of your family member.

“The current situation has made the ability to mourn the passing of loved ones all the more difficult. I send my best wishes to you and your family.”

Mangnall said he is “incredibly sorry” for the error, adding the additional lines were in one response to hundreds of emails he received about Cummings in recent days.

Anthony Mangnall's email to a constituent. Photograph: Twitter.Anthony Mangnall's email to a constituent. Photograph: Twitter.

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He tweeted: “In an effort to respond to those emails, I wrote in my own words my thoughts on the situation.

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“That response contained some ‘insert lines’ that allowed me to respond to specific issues and concerns raised. I stupidly sent out one of those emails without having removed the additional lines.

“This has caused a great deal of offence and I am incredibly sorry.”

Mangnall, who was elected last year, has said he “shares many of the concerns” of his constituents regarding Cummings’s stay in Durham and would not have taken the same “course of action” himself, but he did not call for his resignation.

“The anger and dissatisfaction at Mr Cumming’s behaviour is no surprise at all,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook.

“Spending time defending an adviser is not a good use of time, especially given the many fears and concerns about people’s future and their livelihoods.”

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