Devizes MP Danny Kruger has upped the stakes in the national debate over Dominic Cummings’ breaking of lockdown rules. Mr Kruger has written to newly elected MPs telling them: “No 10 won’t budge, so calling for DC to go is basically declaring no confidence in PM.”
His intervention was revealed by BBC Newsnight’s Political Editor Nick Watt – and Danny Kruger’s letter featured in the programme’s lead story on Tuesday evening (May 26).
Watt added that Danny Kruger’s letter went on to say: “The Johnson/Partnership is the only way that the government can get Brexit done and achieve its wider goals.” (Those are Watt’s words – marlborough.news has not seen Mr Kruger’s letter.)
According to Nick Watt, this statement has caused “a huge stink” in the Conservative Party. One MP told him is was “pretty extraordinary to say the PM cannot function without Dominic Cummings.”
Before he stood for Parliament, Danny Kruger was Boris Johnson’s Political Secretary at No. 10.
Following the Newsnight report, one viewer (not a Brexit supporter) tweeted: “Danny Kruger saying Johnson can’t function without Cummings. And that asking for Dom to go is basically declaring no confidence in Johnson. We know that, but wow…from a Tory MP.”
Having been a point-man in the defence of Cummings, Mr Kruger has now also taken on the defence of the Prime Minister over the allegations about Cummings’ behaviour in driving to Durham with his wife (journalist Mary Wakefield) and young son and then making a trip to Barnard Castle before returning to London.
Danny Kruger’s first intervention came on Twitter at 8.29am on Saturday morning (May 23): “Dom and Mary’s journey was necessary and therefore within rules. What’s also necessary is not attacking a man and his family for decisions taken at a time of great stress and worry, the fear of death and concern for a child. This isn’t a story for the normal political shitkickery.”
Mr Kruger’s mother, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, retweeted his statement adding: “Well said, Danny. How about a bit of kindness and tolerance.”
The response to this tweet by Mr Kruger was widespread and on the whole looked very damning – it prompted more than 5,600 comments.
Then on Sunday afternoon, Danny Kruger tweeted again: “Am hating the abuse I’m getting on here for sticking up for the Cummings’s. But they are old friends & here goes again: they’re human beings with a small child & made a decision in an emergency. PM is satisfied. Hope we can get back to discussing the recovery now. (Fond hope).”
One Devizes constituent’s reaction to that was simple: “Now we now for sure why Danny Kruger was parachuted into our constituency – he is an ‘old friend’ of Dominic Cummings and Mary Wakefield. Enough said.”
Among Wiltshire’s Conservative MPs, John Glen (Salisbury – Economic Secretary to the Treasury) was fairly restrained in his support for Cummings: “I do not doubt that, right or wrong, he acted in what he thought were the best interests of his wife and son, but I feel extremely sorry for the frustration and anger that some people feel.”
But James Gray MP (North Wiltshire – a staunch supporter of Brexit), writing on Sunday evening (May 24) before he had heard Mr Cummings’ statement from the garden of No 10 Downing Street, was much less sure about the future of Prime Minister Johnson’s top aide: “…it is my view that Mr Cummings should at very least step back from Government with no further delay.”
After watching and considering Dominic Cummings’ Monday statement, while Mr Gray has expressed sympathy with the couple’s plight, he still believes that Mr Cummings’ questionable behaviour has undermined people’s trust in the government response to Covid-19 and states in his e-mail of earlier today (Wednesday 27 May): “It can only be rebuilt if he now departs the scene.”