Tory MP for Doncaster admits being 'frustrated' by Dominic Cummings' lockdown breaches as row continues
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The news prompted widespread anger and many Conservative MPs have joined a call for Mr Cummings to step down.
Mr Fletcher, elected as the Conservative MP for Don Valley back in December, didn’t call for Mr Cummings to resign but said he ‘wholeheartedly understands why people will be disappointed and angry’.
A Government spokesman said owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, ‘it was essential’ for Mr Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.
Mr Cummings and his family were apparently seen walking by the River Tees in Barnard Castle, 30 miles from Durham and said he made the trip to ‘test his eye sight’ before making the trip back to London.
Mr Fletcher said: “Having watched the press conference on Monday May 25, I share (the) frustration regarding the situation and wholeheartedly understand why people will be disappointed and angry at Mr Cummings’ actions.
“We have all made tremendous personal sacrifices during the lockdown period and have missed important family events.
“I want to make clear that I have been following the lockdown rules stringently since returning from Parliament in late March and understand how frustrating this experience has been.
“Despite the events that unfolded over the weekend, we still have a responsibility to abide by the lockdown measures, and the actions of others should not influence our ability and commitment to do that.”
Other Tory MPs in South Yorkshire are mixed on the actions of Mr Cummings and the response from Government.
Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley said there ‘cannot be one rule for one and another for others’ but Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone & Stocksbridge, said she believed ‘that he did not break the law or the guidelines’.
Ms Cates did concede that ‘fully understand’ why reports Mr Cummings may have broken the lockdown rules have ‘provoked anger and hurt in so many people’.