(Oooops Owl left out the “s” in resign – slightly changes the meaning!)
Dominic Cummings: Minister Douglas Ross quits over senior aide’s lockdown actions
Junior minister Douglas Ross has resigned over Dominic Cummings’ trip to County Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Ross, Under Secretary of State for Scotland, said the senior aide’s view of the government guidance was “not shared by the vast majority of people”.
Mr Cummings has defended driving driving 260 miles in March from his home to County Durham.
He said he acted reasonably and legally in going to stay on his parents’ farm.
In a statement announcing his resignation, Mr Ross, MP for Moray, said: “While the intentions may have been well meaning, the reaction to this news shows that Mr Cummings interpretation of the government advice was not shared by the vast majority of people who have done as the government asked.”
“I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones; families who could not mourn together; people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidance of the government.
“I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.”
Douglas Ross backed Boris Johnson to be Tory leader and is not one of those in the party seen as hostile to his style of government.
So this resignation is a blow – and could point to wider discontent.
There is a Scottish subplot – the Scottish Tories have been accused of hypocrisy for demanding Scotland’s chief medical officer resign then staying quiet about Dominic Cummings.
But Mr Ross’s reasons for resigning are scathing.
He says he cannot tell his constituents in good faith that they were wrong to miss funerals and other family events, but Mr Cummings was right.
He says he has listened to his constituents and resigned. The question now is whether other Tory MPs are continuing to get the same feedback.