Response to recent emails: 27th May 2020

I realise that there has been much attention in the media prior to and over the recent weekend regarding the Prime Minister’s senior advisor, Dominic Cummings and you have contacted me directly to raise your own concerns in relation to the matter.

This is a difficult time for us all, I know most of you will have followed the Government’s guidelines and not seen family members and friends for months – I join you in that. And I, and I hope you, will continue to follow the guidelines as we move forward and see our collective way through the current pandemic and its effects.

Many of you have asked for my own view on this matter. I will be clear – I support the Prime Minister’s conclusion, which as of Tuesday morning, is for Mr. Cummings to remain in post.

My reason for this is simple. Only the Prime Minister can do both the hiring and firing of his staff and his Cabinet and Ministers.  It is therefore up to the Prime Minister to investigate and draw his own conclusion, as any other line-manager would do, in any other job.  I have never and will never, support the practice which has become common in our society ‘trial by media’, or perhaps even worse: ‘trial by social-media’.

I know many in Politics, the media and our wider society have used this ‘news story’ as a chance to score political points, perhaps some to try and settle ‘old-scores’, and although there are a plethora of worthy and factual points I could make, particularly regarding the inaccuracies, wilful or otherwise, of left-wing media outlets and others, maybe now is not the time for Party-politics.

The media, and perhaps more seriously, others, be they group or individuals, have been hounding Mr. Cummings, and his immediate family for some time and more recently gathering outside his London home in large groups – breaking the very rules they claim Mr. Cummings broke.  They have now moved on to harassing his family in the North-East.  I have some sympathies with Mr. Cummins in this regard as due to the death threats and subsequent police advice, my family and I had to leave our lovely home of eight years in the centre of Lincoln back in 2012.  It is an unsavoury aspect of ‘modern’ politics and these actions are by those who would undermine our democracy.

I want us all to unite and continue our effort to defeat Covid-19.  We as a Country have made much progress, our incredible public services have done us all proud.  Over the next few weeks we will see more easing of restrictions and guidance will change.  I am particularly pleased to see that ‘non-essential’ high street shops will be open from mid-June.  Please can you shop local and support our and your local businesses when they open – now is more important than ever to support these key local and small businesses.

I have received hundreds of emails on this matter, many of them with the same form of words and phrases, others more personalised and I have made the choice to reply ‘en- masse’.  Of course, you are more than welcome to write to or email me back if you have any further thoughts, and I will try and respond to you as soon as possible to your home address, therefore please ensure you provide an address.

Take care and stay safe,

Karl McCartney JP MP
Member of Parliament for Lincoln