Boris Johnson’s chief adviser allegedly broke the rules by travelling 260 miles from his London home to his family home in Durham after lockdown was introduced on March 31st. The Mirror and the Guardian reported that police intervened after receiving a tip-off that Mr Cummings had travelled to the family home to self-isolate.
Now the SNP Westminster leader said the aide’s position was “completely untenable” stressing that he should be dismissed immediately.
Speaking today, he said: “The Prime Minister must explain exactly when he knew about the breaking of the rules, whether he sanctioned it, why Cummings wasn’t sacked immediately and why it appears that he tried to cover it up, not telling the public until the newspaper(s) broke the story, eight weeks later, last night.”
“What I find interesting is that (according to reports) members of Downing Street knew about this so, first and foremost, Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer over what now appears to be a cover-up.”
He added: “You cannot have a situation where there appears to be one rule for the powerful and the millions of the rest of the public are being told we must follow Government advice.
Ian Blackford with SNP MP’s at Westminster.
Mr Blackford is calling on Dominic Cummings to be sacked.
“Demonstrably, this is an individual who has broken the advice he has been, in many cases, the architect of delivering.”
Mr Blackford said Mr Cummings’ alleged actions were “more serious breaches” than rule breaking carried out by UK Government adviser Professor Neil Ferguson and former Scotland chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, both of whom resigned for their breaches.
But critics of the MP have slammed his comments claiming no one cares what he thinks.
One said on Twitter: “Nobody cares about what he has to say. Especially after how the SNP acted when their CMO defied lockdown.”
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The Downing Street aide travelled to Durham on March 31st so he could self-isolate.
Another ranted: “Ian Blackford is a buffoon with no credibility.”
A third said: “Who really cares what Blackford thinks?”
Boris Johnson appointed Mr Cummings to his top team as a senior adviser at Number 10 when he became Prime Minister in the summer of 2019.
But was once called a “career psychopath” by former prime minister David Cameron, according to widely reported remarks.
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Ian Blackford made the comments this morning.
However, the December 2019 election victory gave Mr Johnson the political capital he needed to take bold decisions – and Mr Cummings soon set to work on his goal of reshaping Whitehall, issuing a recruitment call for data scientists, economists and “weirdos and misfits with odd skills” to shake up the Civil Service.
Former Conservative MP David Lidington, who was de facto deputy PM under Theresa May, was also among those saying that Dominic Cummings’ actions raised serious questions.
He told BBC Newsnight: “There’s clearly serious questions that No 10 are going to have to address, not least because the readiness of members of the public to follow government guidance more generally is going to be affected by this sort of story.”