Moray MP Douglas Ross has resigned from Boris Johnson’s government over the Dominic Cummings lockdown controversy.
As reported in the Press and Journal, Mr Ross, who has served as a junior Scotland Office minister since December, announced his resignation on social media.
It comes after the prime minister’s most senior aide breached lockdown rules by travelling 260 miles from London to County Durham.
Mr Ross said: “I have just tendered my resigned from the UK Government and my position as under secretary of state for Scotland.
“Following my re-election as MP for Moray last December I was honoured to be asked by the prime minister to join his government and take on this role in the Scotland Office.
“It is a position I have relished and one I’ve committed to wholeheartedly since my appointment.
I haven't commented publicly on the situation with Dominic Cummings as I have waited to hear the full details. I welcome the statement to clarify matters, but there remains aspects of the explanation which I have trouble with. As a result I have resigned as a government Minister. pic.twitter.com/6yXLyMzItJ
— Douglas Ross MP (@Douglas4Moray) May 26, 2020
“There was much I still hoped to do in this role but events over the last few days mean I can no longer serve as a member of this government.
“I have never met Dominic Cummings so my judgement on this matter has always been open and I accept his statement on Monday afternoon clarified the actions he took in what he felt were the best interest of his family, however, these were decisions many others felt were not available to them.”
He added: “As a father my instinct is to always do what is best for my son and wife. We have been fortunate not to have caught this awful virus but if we did, we are prepared to follow the government advice and stay home to contain this virus.
“While the intentions may have been well meaning, the reactions to this news shows that Mr Cummings’ interpretations on the government advice was not shared by the vast majority of people who have done as the government asked.
“I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved one, families who could not mourn together, people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidance of the government. I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.
“This is not a decision I have reached quickly. I have waited to hear all of the information and thought long and hard over this. I realise both the immediate and long-term implications of my decision to resign.
“While it has been a great privilege to serve as a minister my first duty is to be a representative and I feel I can best represent my Moray constituents and many across the country who have expressed their feelings about this by resigning as minister.”
Mr Ross said he “looked forward” to representing Moray on the back benches.
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