Hunters Chairman and MP Kevin Hollinrake emerged last night as one of the key Tories to support Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings following his sensational hour-long Downing Street press conference.
Minutes after the event ended, Hollinrake tweeted that Cumming’s explanation of his movements and actions during the severest weeks of the lockdown were: “Detailed and fair explanation of events, in my view, time to move on”.
Unfortunately for the Thirsk and Malton MP, many of his 1,997 followers and others on Twitter did not move on, and his missive, as well as being liked 2,500 times and retweeted 937 times, attracted 3,000 mostly critical comments.
Away from Twitter, Hollinrake was joined by several high profile government ministers and MPs who strongly supported Cummings, including housing secretary Robert Jenrick – who in April was accused of breaking Coronavirus travel rules himself – plus Chief Whip Mark Spencer and Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, although at the time of writing housing minister Christopher Pincher had not joined in.
Jenrick’s Labour shadow Thangam Debonnaire took a more critical approach, tweeting that: “In the last 48 hours I’ve had 199 emails re: PM’s advisor and his alleged actions, and the PM’s response.
“Very distressing reading. People who have experienced heart-breaking struggle with their family responsibilities. All stuck to the rules. All feel betrayed.”
Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson, said: “Look, I had Covid 19 and I have kids too. Thousands of others have been in the same situation. We followed the guidelines that [Cummings] helped write to keep others safe. While he stays, the government’s messages will be disdained and flouted – and people will die as a result.”