A growing number of Conservative MPs are calling for Dominic Cummings to step down, amid concerns his actions may cost lives.
Over a dozen backbenchers have defied the party whip to call for Boris Johnson’s most senior aide’s departure from Number 10.
On Sunday night the Prime Minister launched a defence of his adviser, but MPs and Cabinet colleagues have expressed fears that the move risked “seriously undermining” the Government’s lockdown strategy.
Former Brexit minister Steve Baker was the first to break ranks on Sunday when he warned that the aide was “burning through Boris’s political capital at a rate that we just can ill afford in the midst of this crisis”.
Here are all the MPs who have criticised Mr Cummings and called for him to go.
The senior member of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers toured TV studios on Sunday, insisting that Mr Cummings “must go”.
He said: “If he doesn’t resign, we’ll just keep burning through Boris’s political capital at a rate we can ill afford in the midst of this crisis.
“It is very clear that Dominic travelled when everybody else understood Dominic’s slogans to mean ‘stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives’.
“He is not always right, he is certainly not indispensable to Boris. No one is. I just think this is the end of the road.
“He has at the very least not abided by the slogans that he has enforced on the rest of the country and that is why he should go.”
“I’m afraid it hasn’t been a success trying to save him”
Conservative MP Steve Baker says the Prime Minister’s aide Dominic Cummings is “not indispensible”, saying “Dominic should just save us all this trouble, he should go, he should go today”https://t.co/TqE5ZdUf0F pic.twitter.com/wcUYJp8ZLU
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) May 24, 2020
The Conservative MP for Wellingborough and Rushden said that Mr Cummings “has to go” because he broke the rules and has not apologised.
Speaking on LBC on Sunday, he said: “When an adviser becomes the story, the adviser has to go.
“Boris Johnson can carry on without Dominic Cummings if he goes but it will be hard if he stays.”
Dominic Cummings has a track record of believing that the rules don’t apply to him and treating the scrutiny that should come to anyone in a position of authority with contempt. The government would be better without him.
— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) May 24, 2020
The Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe said in a tweet: “Dominic Cummings has a track record of believing that the rules don’t apply to him and treating the scrutiny that should come to anyone in a position of authority with contempt.
“The government would be better without him.”
Sir Roger, the Conservative MP for North Thanet, joined the chorus of backbenchers calling for Mr Cummings to resign.
He tweeted: “While as a father and as a grandfather I fully appreciate Mr Cummings’ desire to protect his child. There cannot be one law for the Prime Minister’s staff and another for everyone else.
“He has sent out completely the wrong message and his position is no longer tenable.”
I am disappointed by the PMs response, this is a bad decision for the country & the administration. Due to the actions taken by Mr Cummings, I think people will now take more chances. The last thing we want is to see a resurgence in the disease. pic.twitter.com/1frYBH4ME9
— Sir Roger Gale MP (@SirRogerGale) May 24, 2020
In a letter to a constituent, Mr Goodwill said that he believed the aide’s position was “untenable” and said he “should be relieved of his post”.
However, he has not yet spoken out publicly against Mr Cummings.
While Mr Gray has not yet publicly called for Mr Cummings to go, he made his thoughts clear in a letter to one constituent.
“Having him continuing at the heart of Government undermines our credibility and the strength of our message,” he said.
With the damage Mr Cummings is doing to the Government’s reputation he must consider his position. Lockdown has had its challenges for everyone. It’s his cavalier “I don’t care; I’m cleverer than you” tone that infuriates people. He is now wounding the PM/Govt & I don’t like that
— Simon Hoare MP (@Simon4NDorset) May 24, 2020
Conservative MP Mr Hoare tweeted: “With the damage Mr Cummings is doing to the Government’s reputation he must consider his position.
“Lockdown has had its challenges for everyone. It’s his cavalier ‘I don’t care; I’m cleverer than you’ tone that infuriates people.
“He is now wounding the PM/Govt & I don’t like that.”
The Harrogate and Knaresborough MP has written his constituents saying: “It seems clear to me that Mr Cummings has broken the guidelines which we were and are all expected to follow.
“For that reason I think that he should resign and if he does not do so then he should be dismissed.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday night, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham wrote that he had “come to the conclusion that the position of Dominic Cummings is untenable as the chief adviser to the Government and he must resign or be removed”.
He said: “That is a great pity for someone who has contributed so much to Government in various forms and whose intellect and strategic thinking are truly impressive.
“But his continuing in the role any longer can only undermine the authority of the Prime Minister and the Government at a time when both need to be completely focussed on getting the nation through the next stage of the Coronavirus crisis.”
Former minister Paul Maynard was withering in his response to the Prime Minister’s defence of Dominic Cummings.
The Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP said: “I can only share the collective dismay and I understand the widespread anger.
“So many people in this constituency have gone out of their way to stick to both the letter and the spirit of the guidelines and laws, despite it coming at great personal emotional cost.
“It is a classic case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ – and it is not as if he was unfamiliar with guidance he himself helped draw up. “It seems to me to be utterly indefensible and his position wholly untenable.”
I can only share the collective dismay and I understand the widespread anger. So many people in this constituency have gone out of their way to stick to both the letter and the spirit of the guidelines and laws, despite it coming at great personal emotional cost. 1/2
— Paul Maynard MP (@PaulMaynardUK) May 24, 2020
In a Facebook post, the MP for Colne Valley, said: “We must have confidence that we are doing the right things for the right reasons and that we are all truly in it together.
“For that reason I believe Mr Cummings’ position is now untenable.”
The chairwoman of the Commons women and equalities committee said she has informed her party whips there could not be “wriggle room” for some people when it comes to lockdown rules.
The former immigration minister tweeted: “I made my views clear to my whip yesterday. There cannot be one rule for most of us and wriggle room for others.
“My inbox is rammed with very angry constituents and I do not blame them. They have made difficult sacrifices over the course of the last nine weeks.”
I made my views clear to my whip yesterday. There cannot be one rule for most of us and wriggle room for others. My inbox is rammed with very angry constituents and I do not blame them. They have made difficult sacrifices over the course of the last 9 weeks.
— Caroline Nokes MP (@carolinenokes) May 24, 2020
The York Outer MP tweeted: “As more information is revealed, I believe it is becoming clearer that Dominic Cummings’ position is no longer tenable.
“The PM needs to publicly address the situation without delay.”
Sir Robert Syms
The Govt have to explain Test Track and Trace and the next phase of lifting lockdown next week. Whatever the merits of a Govt Advisor they should never be the story or it detracts from central message which is to get us out of this crisis. The advisor should go.
— Sir Robert Syms MP (@RobertSyms) May 24, 2020
The Poole MP tweeted: “The Government has to explain test, track and trace and the next phase of lifting lockdown next week.
“Whatever the merits of a Government adviser, they should never be the story or it detracts from the central message which is to get us out of this crisis. The adviser should go.”
The Conservative MP for Calder Valley in West Yorkshire said Mr Cummings’ position is “untenable”.
He tweeted: “I totally agree that Dominic Cummings position is untenable.
“I’m sure he took the decision in the best interests of his family but like every decision we take we also have to take responsibility for those decisions.
“You cannot advise the nation one thing then do the opposite.”
The Tory MP for Cleethorpes said Mr Cummings had “undermined the Government’s message” and should have resigned.
While Mr Wragg has not released his own statement, the Hazel Grove MP suggested he was of the same view on the matter as Steve Baker by retweeting one of Steve Baker’s critical posts.
While Mr Warburton has not yet called for Mr Cummings to go, he told BBC Breakfast that his own father died alone as a result of the coronavirus lockdown and said the story gives an impression of “double standards”.
He said: “People have made sacrifices, this is a difficult time, this is a time of national crisis.
“In those sacrifices there really hasn’t been the choice to use instinct.
“Instinct hasn’t really been part of it. We’ve been tasked with following regulations laid down by the Government.”
Mr Halfon apologised to his constituents for originally tweeting in support of Mr Cummings.
The MP for Harlow in Essex wrote on his Facebook page: “I would first like to make it clear to residents that I regret writing the tweet in the way I did about the Number 10 political adviser and his movements.
“I am really sorry for it. I do not support, or condone anyone who has broken the law or regulations. Anyone who has done so should face the consequences.”