REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean has spoken of her disappointment and anger over the Dominic Cummings affair but says her loyalty lies with the Government and the Prime Minister.
With 44 of her Conservative Party colleagues calling for Boris Johnson’s adviser to go and neighbouring Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid saying Cummings’ journey wasn’t ‘necessary or justified’ Mrs Maclean acknowledged she had received hundreds of emails and letters on the issue.
And she said the overwhelming majority were calling for him to be sacked and for her to protest in the strongest possible terms over Cummings decision to drive 260 miles to Durham and then a further 60 mile round trip to local beauty sport Barnards Castle ‘to test his eyesight’.
All this while his wife was showing signs of coronavirus.
“I completely understand why people are angry, I really do,” said Mrs Maclean.
“The British have such a strong sense of fair play and people are thinking ‘I’m doing my part and he is not’.
“What’s very disappointing is that I’ve been the MP here in Redditch for three years and I have worked really hard for people and suddenly all of it is trashed by someone you do not know – but it’s out of your control.
“The worst thing about it is I have never met him, I do not know the guy, he is not even a colleague, I did not work on the vote leave campaign, I do not owe him any loyalty.
“But at the end of the day you serve a government and my loyalty is to the Prime Minister.
“I did not employ Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister employed him and he has decided to keep him.
“It would not have been right for me to come out and say he should be sacked.
She added: “I know people have had heartbreaking decisions to make in this pandemic.
“People have lost loved ones, people are working on the frontline, risking themselves, and I understand that every parent in the country is thinking what would I do in that situation.
“But I always say you have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you throw mud at them.
“None of us know the full facts – people are saying his journey was not exceptional but were you there? And at the end of the day, he made that judgement.”
• Comment, page eight.