East Devon MP Simon Jupp say hundreds of constituents have contacted him over under-fire Dominic Cummings – and he’s ‘made the strength of feeling clear’ to Tory leaders.
Mr Jupp said he has felt a ‘mixture of anger, disappointment and frustration’ since it was revealed the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser had travelled across the country during the coronavirus lockdown.
Conservative Mr Jupp added that, if placed in Mr Cummings’ shoes, he would have acted differently and ‘since considered his position’.
He did, however, say he believed Mr Cummings was ‘motivated by a father’s desire to do what he felt was necessary to protect his family in exceptional circumstances’.
The East Devon MP, elected in December, said in a statement: “Like you, I have felt a mixture of anger, disappointment and frustration in recent days.
“We are all making significant sacrifices and coping with situations we couldn’t imagine just a few months ago.
“Many of us, including myself, have lost people in our lives and haven’t been able to see family and friends. It’s been incredibly tough for everyone.
“Hundreds of people have contacted me regarding Dominic Cummings. I have read each and every email sent to me on this topic.”
Mr Jupp, who previously worked as special advisor to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, added: “I wanted to know the facts before responding to you.
“I have raised questions which I felt needed answering and made the strength of feeling in East Devon clear to the party leadership.
“Although I believe his actions were motivated by a father’s desire to do what he felt was necessary to protect his family in exceptional circumstances, if placed in the same situation I wouldn’t have made the same decisions and would have since considered my position.
“I will continue to share my views and those of my constituents with the party leadership. This has been a deeply unhelpful distraction we could do without as a nation dealing with a pandemic.
“As your MP, I will continue to focus my efforts on the hundreds of emails I continue to receive daily from constituents requiring my help and support.
“I would be doing a disservice to you and those who need support during this difficult time if I acted in any other way.”
Mr Cummings is facing calls to resign after he drove 260 miles from London to a farm owned by his parents in Durham with his wife and child to in late March.
He says that his wife was unwell at the time and that he got sick soon after, with what they believe was coronavirus.
Mr Cummings added that they self-isolated at the property to be close to relatives in case they needed help with care for their young son.
Mr Cummings also took a 60-mile round trip from Durham to a nearby town on his wife’s birthday in April.
He has said he made the trip in order to test his eyesight, which he was concerned had been impaired by coronavirus.
At a press conference on Monday, Mr Cummings said he believed he acted ‘reasonably’ and within the law. He has been backed by Boris Johnson and other senior government ministers.