Boris Johnson is facing a major revolt from within his own party as backbench Tory MPs line up to condemn the prime minister for failing to fire Dominic Cummings over his 260-mile journey from London to Durham.
The backlash continues to rage – not only over Mr Cummings’ trip during lockdown – but over Mr Johnson’s claim his chief adviser acted “responsibly”. At least 40 Conservative MPs have now either called for the strategist to go or for the prime minister to sack him.
1. Sir Roger Gale MP
“I’m very disappointed, I think it was an opportunity to put this to bed and I fear that now the story is simply going to run and run ... There cannot be one law for the prime minister’s staff and another for everyone else.”
2. Simon Hoare MP
“The PM’s performance posed more questions than it answered. Any residual hope that this might die away in the next 24 hours is lost.”
3. Steve Baker MP
“Enough is enough. I and others saved him once before when he was driving Vote Leave to implosion. Not today. Dominic Cummings must go before he does any more harm to the UK, the government, the prime minister, our institutions or the Conservative party.”
It is intolerable that Boris’ government is losing so much political capital. Three changes are immediately required:
1 - Govt needs competitive expert advice
2 - Govt must insist on high software engineering standards
3 - Dominic Cummings must gohttps://t.co/zUOCVcDAmN— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW)May 24, 2020
4. Peter Bone MP
“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.”
5. Tim Loughton MP
“What I wanted to hear was a proper justification of why what Dominic Cummings did was fine. I fear I didn’t get that and what’s more worrying is my constituents didn’t get that.”
6. Caroline Nokes MP
“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
7. David Warburton MP
"[Dominic Cummings] is damaging the government and the country that he’s supposed to be serving … 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.”
8. Damian Collins MP
“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.”
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
9. Paul Maynard MP
“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.”
10. George Freeman MP
“Today we needed: some humility; a clear acknowledgement that people would be rightly angry if they sensed double standards; a sincere thank you to the millions of people (including fathers) who have made sacrifices Dominic Cummings didn’t; and a public apology from him.”
11. Julian Sturdy MP
“I don’t think this can go on much longer. It is damaging the government’s reputation. You can’t have one rule for government advisers and one for everyone else. His future does seem to look more and more untenable moving forward."
12. Jason McCartney MP
“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 … perceived hypocrisy of the rule makers potentially threatens the success of any future measures.”
13. Robert Syms MP
“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.”
14. James Gray MP
“Unless and until he can justify what he did, he should face the consequences of it and give up his role as a government adviser. Having him continuing at the heart of government undermines our credibility and the strength of our message.”
15. Craig Whittaker MP
“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.”
16. Andrew Jones MP
The Harrogate Advertiser has reported that Mr Jones has written to his constituents: “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.”
17. Martin Vickers MP
“I’m afraid it does undermine the key government message … I think out of loyalty to the prime minister [Dominic Cummings] should have said, ‘Look I’m in a vulnerable position because the press are out to get me and this is bound to leak out and it will undermine the government’s position’.”
18. Peter Aldous MP
“My initial view was to be sympathetic to Dominic Cummings due to his expressed desire to protect his young son. I have now revised this opinion … The government should recognise what families have gone through and what people are thinking and saying. It is thus important that Dominic Cummings should now stand down.”
19. John Stevenson MP
“Carlisle and the country have sacrificed a lot over the last few weeks. People in positions of power have added responsibility – Mr Cummings holds such a position. Therefore in my view in the interests of the country Mr Cummings should resign.”
20. Douglas Ross MP
Resigning his position as Under Secretary of State for Scotland on Tuesday, the MP for Moray said: “I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones; families who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidance of the government. I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.”
21. Harriet Baldwin MP
The West Worcestershire called for Dominic Cummings to resign following his speech on Monday afternoon, according to the BBC. She said members of the government and advisors should be “subject to a higher bar.”
22. Simon Jupp MP
The MP for East Devon suggested that Mr Cummings should consider his position, saying he has felt “anger, disappointment and frustration” during the “deeply unhelpful distraction”.
23. Mark Harper MP
The former chief whip Mark Harper said Mr Cummings “should have offered to resign, and the Prime Minister should have accepted his resignation”.
I have always said that politics is a team effort, not an individual one. Difficult times are ahead, which will require the Government to be able to deliver clear and credible public health messages. In the interests of us all, I hope this will still be possible. pic.twitter.com/R7hymZE843— Mark Harper (@Mark_J_Harper)May 26, 2020
24. Stephen Hammond MP
“Public adherence to the rules is achieved by consent in this country and that is made much harder if people feel it is one rule for them and another for senior government advisers.”
25. William Wragg MP
“It’s humiliating and degrading to their office to see ministers put out agreed lines in defence of an adviser. This is a time of national emergency and our focus must be unrelenting. We owe it to the nation.”
26. Mark Pawsey MP
The Conservative MP for Rugby said Mr Cummings had “acted very much against the spirit of the lockdown rules” and should be sacked.
27. Bob Stewart MP
“The truth is that, whether Mr Cummings broke or didn’t do the right thing, he certainly destroyed the spirit of the rules by what he did ... I am afraid I believe his position is thus untenable.”
28. Laurence Robertson MP
According to Gloucestershire Live, the Tewkesbury MP has told constituents he believes Mr Cummings should go. “I agree with those who are saying that Dominic Cummings should resign, or else be dismissed, from the prime minister’s employment.”
29. Robert Largan MP
“We can’t have a position where it is one rule for the public and another for politicians. If all the reports about Dominic Cummings are true, then I believe his position is untenable and he should resign.”
30. Robert Goodwill MP
According to The Scarborough News, the Whitby and Scarborough MP told constituents that Mr Cumming’s “position is untenable and he should be relieved of his post”.
31. Mark Pawsey MP
“I believe that it is wrong that Mr Cummings remains in an important post in government. I had hoped he that would tender his resignation of his own accord. As he has failed to do so, I now believe it is right for the prime minister to ask for his resignation.”
32. Philip Davies MP
According to the Telegraph and Argus, the Shipley MP has called on Dominic Cummings to "do the honourable thing and resign his position … [Mr Cummings] no longer has the trust of the overwhelming majority of the public”.
33. Jeremy Wright MP
The Kenilworth and Southam MP said that “it would be better for Mr Cummings to leave his position at Downing Street”.
34. Sir Bob Neill MP
“To avoid future distractions from our common message and purpose, I believe that Mr Cummings should now step down from his post.”
35. Jackie Doyle-Price MP
“Frankly this has been a very embarrassing episode for the government. To bring this sorry chapter to an end I am afraid Mr Cummings has to go.”
36. Stephen Metcalfe MP
According to Business Insider, the MP Stephen Metcalfe has told his constituents that Mr Cummings should resign “to restore faith in the rules and to allow us to move on”.
My MP has just responded. (He initially retweeted something in Cummings defence)
Read the penultimate paragraph: pic.twitter.com/VcRQs7nchq— Rick Turner (@Rick_Turner)May 26, 2020
37. Alec Shelbrooke MP
According to Politics Home, the MP for Elmet and Rothwell has told constituents he no longer believes Mr Cummings trip to Barnard Castle was “justifiable … For that reason, I think his position is untenable.”
38. Elliot Colburn MP
Calling for the prime minister to sack Mr Cummings, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington said: “What is abundantly clear... is that Mr Cummings’ interpretation of the guidance is not shared by many others in my constituency, nor indeed across the country.”
39. Andrew Percy MP
According to Sky News, the MP for Brigg and Goole has written to constituents telling them he wishes for Mr Cummings to resign.
40. Mark Garnier MP
The Wyre Forest MP said “we’ve got ourselves into such a mess over this, the only way out of it is for him to be a gentleman about it and move on”.