THE BISHOP of Reading has added her voice to those expressing concerns over Boris Johnson’s decision to defend Dominic Cummings’ decision to break lockdown rules.
At yesterday’s news conference, Boris Johnson said that his special adviser’s decision to drive to Durham while his wife had coronavirus was because he had been following “the instincts of every father and every parent – and I do not mark him down for that”.
The Government guidelines that Mr Cummings had had a hand in devising and that Mr Johnson had delivered to the nation on March 23, stated that families affected by the coronavirus should stay at home and self-isolate to avoid spreading the virus. The advice also said that households should not mix with other households and only essential journeys should be taken.
Despite this, Mr Cummings drove his family from London to Durham so they could be closer to his parents, who are both over 70 and in the government’s at-risk category due to age.
At yesterday’s press conference, Mr Johnson said that he had had extensive discussions with Mr Cummings and felt that the “severe childcare difficulties” was “totally understandable” and that he did the right thing by travelling to Durham.
“In every respect, he has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity,” Mr Johnson added.
The prime minister did not answer allegations that Mr Cummings had been seen in Barnard Castle after he had been in London.
The comments have gone down badly on social media, with many people angry at the decision not to dismiss Mr Cummings from his role.
The majority of people commenting on Wokingham.Today’s story on Saturday disagreed with Sir John Redwood’s stance.
The Wokingham MP had said that opposition politicians should “stop hounding Dominic Cummings”, saying that his children needed care.
And the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, has joined other senior clergy in expressing her concerns at the prime minister’s decisions. Her see includes Wokingham borough.
In a tweet, she said: “I find myself deeply worried by the PM’s judgement call on this one. Not from a political perspective but a moral one. His response lacks both integrity and respect and he has just made his task of leading us through this crisis much, much harder.”
Bracknell MP James Sunderland and Maidenhead MP Theresa May, both Conservatives, and Reading East MP Matt Rodda (Labour) have made no public comment.