Minister quits over Dominic Cummings’ lockdown trips

Government minister Douglas Ross has resigned over lockdown trips taken by the Prime Minister’s chief adviser.

Mr Ross said claims by Dominic Cummings he had a valid reason to travel was “not shared by the vast majority of people who have done as the government asked”.

The resignation puts more pressure on Boris Johnson and his decision not to act against Mr Cummings for a series of alleged lockdown infractions.

In a letter to the PM Mr Ross – a Scotland Office junior minister – wrote:

“I have never met Dominic Cummings so my judgement on this matter has always been open and I accept his statement on Monday afternoon clarified the actions he took in what he felt were the best interests of his family.

“However, these were decisions many others felt were not available to them.

“As a father myself, my instinct is to always do what is best for my son and wife. We have been fortunate not to have caught this awful virus but if we did, we are prepared to follow the government advice and stay at home to contain this virus.

“While the intentions may have been well meaning, the reaction to this news shows that Mr Cummings interpretation of the government advice was not shared by the vast majority of people who have done as the government asked.

“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 guidance of the government.

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

The former Scottish Tories leader Ruth Davidson said she was “sorry” to see a “talented” minister go.

A Number 10 spokesman said Mr Johnson had thanked Mr Ross for his service and “regrets” his decision to quit.


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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