First of all, I want to sincerely thank the residents of Carshalton and Wallington for their efforts in tackling this virus. Not only have people been largely compliant with the lockdown measures, but there has also been an incredible take up of volunteers that I have met each week as we go out to deliver food, medicine and PPE to vulnerable people and organisations.
I fully appreciate that this has also been extremely difficult for people to be kept away from their friends, family and loved ones. We have missed the happiest of occasions such as birthdays, holidays, weddings and more. I, like many others, have had to cancel my own wedding, as well as be apart from my friends and family.
However, we have also been unable to come together in times of grief. I especially want to highlight the heartbreaking stories I have heard of people being unable to say goodbye to their loved ones at the end of their life.
Regarding Mr Cummings, I have taken stock of yesterday’s news conference and the emails I have received from constituents and have come to the following view.
As I said on social media yesterday morning, I had already conveyed the strength of feeling from local residents to relevant colleagues. I know I am not the only one to have done so.
I sent the attached letter to the Prime Minister on Sunday evening as I started receiving hundreds of emails about this issue, asking that he invite Mr Cummings to consider his position. You will appreciate that I wanted to give the Prime Minister the courtesy of receiving that letter first of all.
Since sending that letter, more information has come to light, particularly during the press conferences yesterday afternoon.
I have to say, that I do not believe in trial by the media, threats or abusive behaviour, and will not condone any such treatment that has been received Mr Cummings, his family or indeed anyone else.
Nevertheless, after listening to that conference and listening to local constituents, it is clear that many feel his decision is not one that they would have come to, or have open to them in similar circumstances. I myself do not believe I would have come to such a decision, although I confess that neither myself nor my husband-to-be have children yet.
What is more, I am deeply concerned about what this could do to the public’s engagement with the measures being taken to tackle this virus. As we start to relax some of the lockdown measures, we must continue to stay alert in order to prevent a second wave of this virus. I fear this situation risks undermining those efforts, just when we are seeing a significant reduction in the number of tragic lives this virus has claimed.
It is for these reasons, that I have written to the Prime Minister again today to express my view that Mr Cummings should resign.
I will now be returning to the efforts I have been putting locally to tackle this virus, continuing to volunteer when needed, recognising our Unsung Heroes as well as our front line key workers, and ensuring the hundreds of people that have come to me looking for direction to the right help and support to see them through this virus get that assistance.
As ever, if you or anyone you know needs anything at all, please feel free to contact me.