Monday 25th May 2020

Island Labour members are appalled by revelations that Boris Johnson’s political advisor, Dominic Cummings, chose to repeatedly ignore the lockdown rules his own government had imposed on the rest of the country. We note with despair the unequivocal support Boris Johnson and Cabinet members have given to the hypocritical actions of Cummings.

However, we also note that a small handful of more honourable Tory MPs have publicly criticised Cummings, and are demanding his resignation. We believe this is an opportunity for Bob Seely to demonstrate his own integrity by also calling for Cummings to be sacked.

Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said:
“Thousands of Islanders have denied ourselves and our families the contact we so desperately want, in order to keep others safe, by following the government’s rules. Even at the cost of missing final goodbyes to dying relatives.”

“We’ve followed the updates of the Isle of Wight police when they were enforcing the lockdown, with fines available for those who broke it. We have agreed with council leader Dave Stewart’s repeated messages in the local media to stay home and observe social distancing rules. Business owners and individuals have complied with the lockdown restrictions at great cost to themselves. Again, in order to protect others.

“While this has been a grim time for us all, we have been able to draw some comfort from the fact that nearly all of us have willingly suffered these privations in order to protect not just our own families, but people we don’t even know. It has been an act of collective altruism, to impose restrictions on ourselves in order to protect others.”

“This is why what Cummings did is so appalling, and why Johnson and his cabinet’s backing of Cummings is so utterly toxic. To suggest that we who obeyed the rules did so because we didn’t care for our families as much as Cummings did, is disgusting and insulting.”

“If we accept a situation where there is one law for the little people, but another for the powerful elite, then it is an end to our rules-based society. The implications are enormous.”

“Bob Seely has rightly been consistent in calling for islanders to observe social distancing and follow the lockdown rules. We have supported him in that. Now we ask him to support all islanders who have made the sacrifices which Cummings felt didn’t apply to him, and demand Cummings’ immediate sacking.”