‘Hounding of Dominic Cummings by some journalists has been appalling’ – York Conservatives speak out

Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over the Durham trip taken by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide continues. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor / PA Wire

York’s Conservative councillors say Dominic Cummings’ alleged lockdown breach has been a “huge distraction” – and that residents can draw their own conclusions about the actions of the Prime Minister’s aide.

Boris Johnson’s senior adviser drove from London to Durham to isolate with his family during the lockdown. He said he also took a trip to Barnard Castle to see if he was fit enough to drive before returning to the capital.

The York councillors’ intervention came as Boris Johnson continued to stand by Mr Cummings. In an appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee of senior MPs, he insisted it is time to “move on” from the alleged lockdown breaches despite mounting Tory anger and plummeting poll ratings.

At least 35 Tory MPs have called for Mr Cummings’ departure after he expressed “no regrets” about his trip.

Draw your own conclusions

Cllr Paul Doughty

City of York Conservative councillors Paul Doughty and Martin Rowley said in a joint statement: “Mr Cummings gave his personal account to the nation and it is for citizens to make their own conclusions.

“We feel some of the coverage in elements of the media has been misleading and the hounding behaviour of some so-called journalists has been nothing short of appalling.

“Councillor Rowley and I are of the opinion that this has been a huge distraction from the many issues the country needs to be dealing with and the vital work being done by government and in our communities to combat the pandemic.

“Residents we have spoken with agree with us on this.

“We urge everyone to continue to follow the advice and guidelines from scientists working with government on social distancing and to keep safe. As Conservative councillors, our focus and priority is entirely on continuing to support our residents in York.”