An NHS volunteer from Keswick has publicly accused under-fire Dominic Cummings of making “mugs” of everyone who abided by lockdown restrictions.
Jackie Knights also spoke of her anger at the town’s MP Trudy Harrison for still urging anyone with Covid-19 symptoms to stay at home despite Mr Cummings, his wife and child travelling by car from London to Durham at the height of lockdown when they had been ill.
Mrs Knights, a first responder with the North West Ambulance Service, took part in a debate on Radio Cumbria today about the future of the prime minister Boris Johnson’s chief advisor, who has refused to resign despite a public and media storm over his actions in March and April.
She said: “If millions of people did what Dominic Cummings did and decided it was reasonable to put his family before following the rules, there would have been no lockdown. We would have simply had chaos and a lot more people dead if everybody had taken the view he did.
“I feel like all the people who follow the rules – we have been taken for mugs. We have been asked to help out and 99 per cent of people have done their best. It feels like there is one rule for one and one rule for another. It feels like a slap in the face for people doing the right thing.”
Mrs Knights had rung her MP to express her anger about the issue at the weekend but said she was “livid” when Mrs Harrison’s recorded message for anyone with coronavirus symptoms was to stay home. “It didn’t say follow your instincts,” Mrs Knights added.
Mrs Harrison, the Conservative MP for Copeland, is Mr Johnson’s parliamentary private secretary. She joined the debate, saying she stood by Mr Cummings and that he had given a “clear and accurate account of events”, had not broken the law and that there had been no police action against him or his wife. She added that she would not be changing her telephone message and that people should, still follow the government’s coronavirus guidelines.
However, her fellow Cumbrian Conservative MP John Stevenson is calling for Mr Cummings’ resignation over his lockdown movements, which included a drive to Barnard Castle to “test his eyesight” for the trip back to London. Mr Stevenson, the MP for Carlisle, said he had not seen his own 93-year-old mother for more than 10 weeks because she lived 150 miles away from him.
“People have made real sacrifices. They have been unable to attend funerals and people have died without their loved ones beside them,” said Mr Stevenson, who added that Mr Cummings “has to be seen to be doing the right thing.”