Boris Johnson has failed to quell anger from Conservative MPs – including from government ministers – over his chief adviser Dominic Cummings’s actions during lockdown.
The prime minister appeared before a committee of senior MPs on Wednesday to insist it was time to “move on” from the row over alleged lockdown breaches by his senior aide.
However, despite Mr Johnson reiterating his support for Mr Cummings, the stream of Tory MPs calling for the adviser’s resignation continued.
At the same time as the prime minister was being grilled by the House of Commons liaison committee over Mr Cummings’s lockdown trip to Durham, Tory backbenchers Pauline Latham and Giles Watling joined those calling for the Number 10 aide to quit his role.
Fellow backbencher George Freeman also later called for Mr Cummings to resign, with more than 40 Conservative MPs now wanting the prime minister’s chief adviser to go.
It also emerged on Wednesday that Cabinet Office minister Penny Mordaunt, who is Paymaster General, told her constituents in an email that it was clear the row over Mr Cummings had “undermined key public health messages”.
“There are some inconsistencies in his account of events and the reasons behind it,” Ms Mordaunt wrote, adding that she was “personally still not clear of the facts” despite Mr Cummings’s news conference on Monday.
Meanwhile, former chancellor Sajid Javid said in a letter to his constituents that Mr Cummings’s 260-mile trip from London to Durham was not “necessary or justified”.
“I do not believe Mr Cummings’ journey to County Durham to isolate on his family’s estate was necessary or justified,” Mr Javid said, as reported by his local Bromsgrove Standard newspaper.
“I remain unconvinced his visit to Barnard Castle could be considered reasonable.
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