Dominic Cummings: Chichester MP Gillian Keegan responds to concerns of constituents

Gillian Keegan, MP for Chichester, has provided a statement on the controversial actions of Government adviser Dominic Cummings.

Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 12:59 pm
Chichester MP Gillian Keegan said we need to 'continue to be cautious, keep distant and follow the guidelines' during this 'vital period'.

Mr Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's most senior adviser, drove more than 260 miles from his home in London to his parents’ house in Durham, with his wife, who had coronavirus symptoms at the time, and his child.

He has been accused of breaking lockdown rules, but defended himself in a press conference on Monday (May 25), saying he did so to seek childcare for his young son at his family’s farm.

The Prime Minister publicly defended his right hand man during Saturday’s daily press briefing saying that his key aide had ‘acted responsibly, legally and with integrity’ and ‘followed the instincts of every father and every parent’.

However, a number of MPs, including from the Tory party, have this week called for Mr Cummings to resign.

When asked for her opinion on the saga, Chichester's MP said she can 'truly appreciate people’s frustration' but finds it 'difficult to put myself' in the situation of Mr Cummings.

"So many have sacrificed an enormous amount to follow the rules and protect others," Mrs Keegan said.

"We are all anxious to see our families and are now entering our tenth week without being able to do so, something all of us are finding really hard. Ultimately, this sacrifice has been worth it as the NHS hasn’t been overwhelmed and we are now moving cautiously towards a new normal, with greater freedoms.

"As your MP, my focus is entirely on supporting our local services and those of you who have reached out for extra help and support to get through this pandemic.

"Many are very concerned about their health, jobs, businesses and children’s education and future. I apologise to those still waiting, the volume has been unprecedented and we still have many cases to respond to.

"We have received a number of emails from people who are angry with Dominic Cummings and the choices he made to deal with his personal situation. Many disagree with his choices (some agree) and question whether they were within the spirit of the lockdown or within the guidelines.

"As the facts of Mr Cummings’ situation are disputed and there are ongoing investigations, I have made the range of views from constituents known to my Government colleagues.

"I find it difficult to put myself in this situation as I have not had Covid-19, nor do I have a young child, and faced with this situation would hesitate to advise any parent what is best for their family."

Mrs Keegan said we need to 'continue to be cautious, keep distant and follow the guidelines' during this 'vital period'.

She added: "The Government is focused on making the key decisions which will lead us to the next phase and start to open up and rebuild our economy.

"This will not be easy, we have a great deal of uncertainty ahead of us and we will need all of our collective effort to do so."

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