Government “out of control”, says Labour as minister quits over Cummings

Elliot Chappell
© David Woolfall/CC BY 3.0

Labour has accused the government of being “out of control” after junior Scottish minister Douglas Ross quit over the actions of senior adviser Dominic Cummings.

Amid sustained pressure on Downing Street to dismiss Cummings for having broken the lockdown rules last month, and after a press conference held by the adviser on Monday, Ross tendered his resignation from his post this morning.

In reacting to the news, Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary declared that “integrity has been sadly lacking from this government”, and said that Ross has “shown more integrity than Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw”.

Commenting on the resignation of the under-secretary of state, Murray said: “Douglas was a fair and reasonable minister who has done the decent thing and resigned from a government that is out of control.

“Integrity has been sadly lacking from this government, especially over the last 72 hours, so I commend him for making this difficult decision. He understands that it’s not acceptable to have one rule for Boris Johnson’s closest adviser, another for everybody else.

“Douglas has shown more integrity than Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw and other UK government ministers who have defended the indefensible and couldn’t be more out of touch with the people of Scotland and the UK.”

In his resignation letter Ross wrote: “I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones; families who could not mourn together; people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidelines of the government.

“I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.”

Labour has called for an urgent investigation into the actions of Cummings, who took a 260-mile trip to Durham after he and his family began displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

Government ministers have continued to defend the behaviour of the senior adviser, insisting over the weekend that he had done nothing wrong and had complied with the rules – despite having made the journey to Durham.

Boris Johnson defended the actions of his senior aide on Sunday. He claimed that Cummings had “acted responsibly, legally and with integrity” and “followed the instincts of every father and every parent”.

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has written to the government, demanding clarity on the implications that Johnson’s defence of the lockdown trip could have for policing.

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