Tory backbencher accuses ministers of ‘disregarding’ the public with Dominic Cummings support

PUBLISHED: 12:05 26 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:11 26 May 2020

Senior Conservative MP William Wragg (L) and Dominic Cummings. Wragg labelled support for Cummings 'humiliating and degrading' on Twitter; Twitter Archant/Bolton J

Senior Conservative MP William Wragg (L) and Dominic Cummings. Wragg labelled support for Cummings 'humiliating and degrading' on Twitter; Twitter Archant/Bolton J

Archant

Senior Tory MP William Wragg has accused minsters defending Dominic Cummings in the press of ‘disregarding’ public opinion.

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Wragg, the chair of the Commons committee into public administration and constitutional affairs, said it was “humiliating and degrading” to see ministers run to Dominic Cummings’ defence.

“We cannot throw away valuable public & political good will any longer,” he shared on Twitter.

“It’s humiliating & degrading to their office to see ministers put out agreed lines in defence of an advisor. This is a time of national emergency and our focus must be unrelenting. We owe it to the nation.”

The comments from the Hazel Grove MP came as junior Scotland minister Douglas Ross resigned from government after hearing Cummings’ efforts to defend his trip from London to Durham.

He said it was “not in good faith” that he continued to tell constituents they could not care for sick relatives or say goodbye to dying ones when a senior government aide did not follow those guidelines.

Cummings’ actions have also provoked an emergency meeting of Westminster opposition leaders to discuss “next steps” on dealing with the issue. Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer and the SNP’s leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford, have called on top civil servant Mark Sedwill to launch an investigation into the matter.

Wragg received plenty of praise on Twitter. Psychology student Rebecca said that even though she seldom saw eye to eye with the Tory MP, she agreed with him this time.

“You are my MP. I didn’t vote for you and disagree with you on mostly everything but thank you for doing the right thing and showing some integrity at a time where your constituents need it most,” she wrote.

Colette Austin, who lost her mother to Covid-19 and was unable to visit her, wrote: “As someone who wasn’t permitted under the guidelines to visit my mother in hospital before she died of Covid (because my teenage son had mild symptoms the week before), and who had to FaceTime my last goodbye, I thank you sincerely for having the integrity to speak out, sir.”

@DogLady2020 shared: “Thank you. I have written to my MP, who is a cabinet minister. My 88yr old diabetic grandmother (lifelong Conservative voter) decided she was no longer going to shield because ‘everyone is breaking the lockdown, even those in No.10’. My mother & I are dismayed. Cummings must go.”

Jo Whitehead said: “I don’t often agree with a Tory these days but I can agree with this. I’d go as far as calling for the resignation of all of those that have made excuses for him. The rules are the rules - your rules I should add. You should all be supporting those, not an unelected SPAD (special advisor).”

Tory stalwart Roger Gale also chimed in, saying that the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee should make it clear to Boris Johnson that Dominic Cummings should go.

“The time I think has come for Mr Cummings to resign or for the prime minister to dispense of his services,” Gale said.

“There are people on the 1922 executive who are courageous, and that’s their job. They are elected to tell the prime minister what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear.”

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