Barnard Castle Tory calls on Dominic Cummings to 'fall on his sword'

Top government aide Dominic Cummings should ‘fall on his sword,’ according to Conservatives from his home county.
Dominic Cummings. Picture by Victoria Jones/PA WireDominic Cummings. Picture by Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Dominic Cummings. Picture by Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The controversial advisor and right hand man to the Prime Minister has been under pressure to quit following revelations he travelled to Durham at the height of the coronavirus lockdown.

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Had Mr Cummings been stopped by officers, he would most likely have been told to go back to the Durham house, and no further action taken if he had done so, police said.

Speaking before the announcement by police, Boris Johnson’s party members in County Durham had added their voices to calls for him to go, with those representing Barnard Castle, where Cummings drove to ‘test’ his eyesight, among the loudest.

“The public are disgusted, utterly and completely disgusted,” said Conservative councillor Ted Henderson, who represents Durham County Council’s Barnard Castle West division.

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“The amount of people who have been under lockdown for 10 weeks, and then an arrogant man like that goes and breaks the rules the government has set.

“It’s like when a football team chairman says he backs the manager and then two days later they’re sacked.

“He should resign, fall on his sword, say I did wrong, I dug a hole and the way out is to go away.”

Coun Henderson added he expected to see more people flout COVID-19 lockdown restrictions as a result, a view shared by fellow Barnard Castle councillor George Richardson.

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Sedgefield Conservative councillor David Brown disputed this however, labelling Cummings ‘just the one that got caught’ and predicted there would have been more rule breaking regardless.

Speaking to journalists in Downing Street on Monday May 25, Cummings admitted travelling to his father’s farm in Durham in late March and staying in a cottage on the family’s land with his wife and son.

At one point during the stay he also drove to Barnard Castle to see if he ‘could drive safely’ due to concerns about eyesight after suffering suspected COVID-19.

Of the county council’s 10 Conservative councillors, two, including Coun Henderson, said Boris Johnson had been wrong to support Cummings over the affair.

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Another two were prepared to back the Prime Minister’s decision, while two more declined to offer a personal judgement on his handling of the incident.

However one Barnard Castle councillor, James Rowlandson, was prepared to offer his support to Cummings, claiming the advisor had been ‘through the ringer’.

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