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Ipswich MP shares ‘confusion and anger’ over Cummings’ statement as Peter Aldous torn on resignation calls

PUBLISHED: 21:13 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 21:13 25 May 2020

Ipswich Conservative MP Tom Hunt said he understood why Mr Cummings would want to make such a trip - but shares the views of confusion and anger of constituents  Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

Ipswich Conservative MP Tom Hunt said he understood why Mr Cummings would want to make such a trip - but shares the views of confusion and anger of constituents Picture: OLIVER SULLIVAN

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Suffolk MPs have reacted to Dominic Cummings’ defence of breaking lockdown rules - with one saying he shares people’s “confusion and anger” at the actions of the prime minister’s special advisor.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous had initially called for Mr Cummings' resignation, but has since said he will be driven by the views of his constituents  Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONSWaveney MP Peter Aldous had initially called for Mr Cummings' resignation, but has since said he will be driven by the views of his constituents Picture: HOUSE OF COMMONS

A divide has formed in the Conservative Party over Mr Cummings’ actions, after he travelled to County Durham to self-isolate with his wife and son – later revealing all three at one point showed coronavirus symptoms.

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has defended his actions and urged the country to “move on”, while others such as Ipswich MP Tom Hunt raised questions over Mr Cummings’ decision-making.

MORE: Cummings insists he does not regret lockdown trip to County Durham

Mr Hunt said he shared the views of confusion and anger among his constituents – many of whom he admitted have faced “extremely challenging personal circumstances” similar to Mr Cummings but heeded the “stay home” guidelines – and questioned why Mr Cummings needed to drive so far to test his eyesight.

Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings said he does not regret his decision to drive to Durham during coronavirus lockdown and will not apologise  Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PABoris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings said he does not regret his decision to drive to Durham during coronavirus lockdown and will not apologise Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

Mr Hunt added: “The press conference clarified some key points but some other questions do remain. I continue to have concerns regarding the trip to Barnard Castle, in particular why it was necessary to drive that far to test his eye sight and also the fact that he got out the other end.

“Though I believe his actions were motivated solely by the desire to protect his family, that he didn’t endanger the lives of others and that his situation was quite complex, I do believe he has made errors of judgement and frankly I do share much of the confusion and anger of many of my constituents.

“I have and will continue to represent both the concerns of constituents and my own concerns to government over the coming days.

“I do think it’s important that the prime minister reflects on the anger that this episode has caused and makes absolutely sure that we are able to move on from this ASAP to deal with the great challenges at hand for both my constituents and country more generally.”

MORE: Suffolk’s post-coronavirus housing market explained

Waveney MP Peter Aldous called for Mr Cummings to resign on Monday afternoon – yet later said the views of his constituents would guide him forward.

Mr Aldous said: “I had received so many emails from constituents – many of whom who have never got in touch before.

“It was something I had to take notice of, and I had to highlight my concerns.

“The statement was certainly very compelling, but I will be guided by the thoughts of my constituents.”

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge refused to comment on the statement but added he will ensure to respond to concerned constituents “at length”.

Therese Coffey, Dr Dan Poulter and Jo Churchill were all approached for comment.


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