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Dominic Cummings: Cross-party letter to Dame Cheryl Gillan MP

May 27, 2020 7:22 AM

Today, a cross-party group of six former parliamentary candidates from the Greens, Labour and LibDems joined together to write to our MP, Dame Cheryl Gillan. Trust in the government of PM Johnson is being seriously undermined by the recent revelations surrounding Mr Dominic Cummings and his interpretation of the lockdown regulations. We believe it is vital that trust in this government is rebuilt if we are to collectively fight off this deadly virus. We are still in a public health emergency; here is the letter:

Rt. Hon. Dame Cheryl Gillan MP

House of Commons




May 26, 2020

Dear Cheryl

We hope you are well and that your experience of lockdown has been comfortable.

We write to you to address the serious disquiet abroad in the country around the Prime Minister's special advisor, Mr Dominic Cummings accusation of, and investigation for, breaching the government's lockdown regulations with regard to essential travel under
the 'Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, S6,
Restrictions on Movement'.

It is of great significance, and a terrible risk to further greater loss of life, that there will be destruction of the trust that the general public needs to be able to place in their government and the public's willingness to follow the government's core
- and essential - public health messaging and information.

For the advice to work - even the new, watered-down, "Stay Alert" message - the public has to act as one, and know that together, community action, common discipline and self-sacrifice will be effective. And, to a degree it has proven to be so. But now, by
backing the "instincts" of the "individual" in Mr Cummings, the Prime Minister has holed this ship of state below the water line. And unless there is now swift action, this ship will sink. Mr Cummings must go now, as the first step in rebuilding that essential
bond of trust that the government will act fairly - and always - in the interests of the public as a whole.

Unlike other nations, in this country we are only nearing the end of the beginning of this crisis. Many still fear a second or third surge of new cases of Covid-19. The official published numbers suggest that there has been only around 10% of the population
that has had a Covid infection. We don't really know because of the slow implementation of the testing programme.

But it is clear that as a country we are a very long way off the protection of herd immunity, or the safety which could be found through the shielding of a vaccine. Our best - and only - defence remains collective action - putting the We before the I in society.
To succeed in coming through this crisis, the rest of us cannot act in the way Mr Cummings has done.

There will likely be the need for future lockdown-like restrictions in which the public will need to show even greater levels of resilience and heroism to combat the continuing pandemic. Trust in our leadership is the primary pillar to support this effort.
You will well know that the UK's deaths per million, and excess deaths compared to the average background levels are near to the worst in the world, and starkly far worse than comparable western nations such as Australia or Germany.

This is nothing short of national tragedy. And worse, an avoidable one.

We demand that you take every possible step - firstly publicly calling for Mr Cummings' dismissal - to start the process of restoring the public's trust in its government. This crisis is ongoing and further mismanagement of the spread of this virus will lead
to more needless death, most immediately from the virus itself. But it is highly likely that there will more and significant, suffering, from the carnage wrought to the economy that extended and renewed lockdowns will bring. The dither and delay at the start
of this crisis, when we had the shocking experiences of places like Italy giving us an early-warning and arguably a head-start, means that the UK is further away from suppressing the virus to comparable nations around the world. Do the right thing now and
help to set this government back on the right course to protect the nation.

Your sincerely

Alan Booth, Green Party PPC, Chesham & Amersham, 2017 & 2019

Matt Turmaine, Labour Party PPC, Chesham & Amersham, 2019

Dan Gallagher, Liberal Democrats PPC, Chesham & Amersham 2019

Nina Dluzewska, Labour Party PPC, Chesham & Amersham, 2017

Gill Walker, Green Party PPC, Chesham & Amersham, 2015

Ben Davies, Labour Party PPC, Chesham & Amersham, 2015