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Scarborough Council's Tory Leader Backs Cummings

Scarborough Council's Tory Leader Backs Cummings

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Carl Gavaghan at 2:59pm 26th May 2020.

The leader of Scarborough Council’s Conservative group has said the scandal engulfing  Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief aide, has been “blown out of all proportion."

Cllr Derek Bastiman said that the furore over Mr Cummings was distracting from the messages around the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Bastiman added that he had been contacted by residents who wanted to “move on” from the story.

Yesterday, Mr Cummings gave a press conference defending his decision to drive more than 250 miles from London to Durham in March to self-isolate with his family.

He also said that while there he took a trip with his family to nearby Barnard Castle to test his eyesight to see if he could make the trip back down to London.  Mr Cummings said he believed he had acted “reasonably” and within the law and refused to apologise for his actions.

Cllr Bastiman said that Mr Cumming’s actions had been guided by a wish to protect his family.

He said:

“He did what he thought was the best thing for his wife and his child and under the circumstances, I think people understand that.

The majority of the people who have been in contact with me are concerned that it is diverting attention away from more important issues and taking too much air time.

I think it has been blown out of all proportion, he did what was right and proper in the circumstances for his family.”

Cllr Bastiman added that he did not think that it would detract from the messaging around the virus.

He added:

“I think people can see through [the reporting].

The emails I have had from people say that it’s time to move, let’s be concerned about getting our high street open, getting people back to work where they want to be and let’s get people spending to boost the economy.”

In contrast, Scarborough and Whitby’s Conservative MP, Robert Goodwill, has called Mr Cummings position “untenable” and that he should be sacked.

Mr Goodwill said he had had more than 500 emails, an “unprecedented” number over the weekend from constituents.

In response to emails before Mr Cummings statement, Mr Goodwill said he thought Boris Johnson’s advisor should be “removed from his post” and today (Tuesday) said he stood by those claims.

He said:

“I’ve not had any emails or contact since the statement from people saying that what he said had changed their minds.”

Mr Goodwill said many people had made sacrifices to stop the spread of the virus and that Mr Cummings had “fallen short of the standards we expect of every individual, never mind a person who should be setting an example”.

Comments

There are 7 comments on this page.

Chippy33, on 26th May 2020 3:57pm
Surprise, surprise, we all know Bastiman is the Boroughs biggest sycophant.
Scarboria Resident, on 26th May 2020 4:56pm
I really would like Councillor Bastiman to explain which coronary message he's referring to. The one that the government employs or the one that the public employs.
I really cannot believe this councillor fully understands how the public feels.
How can we move on with the guidelines until there is clarity and transparency.
Scarboria Resident, on 26th May 2020 5:59pm
So sorry, but I meant Corona Virus and NOT coronary.
zara, on 26th May 2020 6:23pm
well for once i agree with Robert Goodwill (something that i rarely say), unfortunately i cannot say the same for Mr Hollinrake (my MP) when i e mailed him with my thoughts on the handling of the virus situation including the Cummings saga. I will say it was a very quick response and well thought out, trouble was that the tone of the e mail appeared to be from the governments handbook response to this situation!
Whitbyman, on 26th May 2020 8:13pm
A desperate man trying to be valid after losing his crown , even the health secretary says he understands how reasonable people will see Cummings actions as wrong , Bastiman shows here how out of touch he is with voters and decent people and by backing a man who doesn’t even have the decency to admit his mistake and apologise shows he’s firmly in the Boris camp , out of touch and showing utter contempt of decent , reasonable people , feel free to go away and never come back Mr Bastiman , Scarborough doesn’t need your arrogance and contempt anymore.
Just for the record I am a Tory voter ( until yesterday) but after this fiasco not anymore.
Jane Richardson, on 26th May 2020 11:08pm
Another ‘leader’ who believes we should “do as I say not as I do”
Absolutely appalling Mr Bastiman you’re defending the indefensible.
The Orical, on 27th May 2020 5:00am
This debate will linger on with rights Vs wrongs.
If life was clear cut the focus wouldn't be on an
Individual who made and call. I hope all those
Individuals who broke lockdown, many with
Fines, all asked their bosses permission or DWP
To do so. If not should they be fired and have
Benefits stopped? Is it about time you should
Report your friends, family and neighbours for
Covid-19 lockdown breeches. REALITY CHECK
FOLKS the party goers, overnight stayers and
Social distance breakers are the threat to
Civilization as we know it. Move on, Stay Alert,
Fight the virus, save lives. If you still feel his
Actions were wrong report all breaches to the
Authorities so they can deal with individuals be it
Friends or family fairly. Neighbourhood Watch
Can lead the charge!!!!

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