Labour MP takes aim at government for response to Dominic Cummings Barnard Castle incident

7 July 2021, 16:35

By Sam Sholli

Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi has taken aim at "sycophantic, spineless, hypocritical government ministers lining up to defend the indefensible" when it comes to Dominic Cummings' Barnard Castle trip while he was the PM's chief adviser.

The MP for Slough made the statement while speaking during Prime Minister's Questions.

The Labour MP said: "Mr Speaker, my grandmother, whom I love dearly, was lying on her hospital deathbed and none of us were allowed to be there to comfort her in her final moments.

"I couldn't even carry her coffin on my shoulders. I also had to endure the agony of watching alone online the funeral of my fun-loving uncle.

"And we were not there to comfort my brother-in-law's father, who had somehow contracted Covid in a Slough care home, during his final moments. All this because we followed government guidance.

“Having experienced such painful, personal sacrifices, like many others, imagine our collective disgust when in order to curry favour with the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, we see sycophantic, spineless, hypocritical government ministers lining up to defend the indefensible, saying it’s time to move on, with some even having the gall to tell us that they too go for a long drive when they need to get their eyesight tested.

“What an absolute disgrace and they should all be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

"So when is the Prime Minister finally going to apologise to the nation for not mustering up some courage and integrity, for [not] doing the honourable thing and sacking his chief adviser who so shamelessly flouted his own government guidance?

“He could have regained that lost public trust and confidence and he could have demonstrated that it’s not one rule for him and his elite chums, and another for the rest of us plebs.”

Mr Johnson replied by saying the government "sympathises with those who have gone through the suffering described by the gentleman opposite".

He later said: "I apologise for the suffering that the people of this country have endured and all I can say is that nothing I can say or do can take back the lost lives [and] lost time time spent with loved ones that he describes. And I'm deeply deeply sorry for that."

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