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This is exactly how angry Twitter is with the “gaslighting” govt response to Dominic Cummings

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Anna Brech
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Is Boris Johnson gaslighting the entire UK? This is how Twitter has reacted to the ongoing Dominic Cummings lockdown saga – and it’s not a pretty sight. 

The rules are made to be broken, right?

Well unless the health of the nation depends on those rules, millions of people have suffered in trying to stick to them and you yourself wrote the rulebook.

So it is with Dominic Cummings, the controversial PM aide who finds himself under fire right now for travelling on a 260-mile trip to Durham with his family at the end of March, in apparent breach of strict lockdown conditions put in place by the very government he serves.

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A joint investigation by the Guardian and Daily Mirror newspapers this weekend revealed that Cummings, together with his wife and his child, drove from London to Durham to be near relatives at a point when his wife, and later Cummings himself, developed symptoms of coronavirus.

At the time, the government’s own advice was very clear that you should not leave home in order to prevent the spread of the virus and prevent overwhelming the NHS. This guidance was even more rigid for people experiencing symptoms of the illness, who were (and still are) expected to self-isolate for at least seven days.

Eye witness reports also place Cummings at beauty spots near Durham at two other points throughout April, although he denies travelling to the area from London for a second time last month. 

boris johnson
Boris Johnson defended Dominic Cummings, saying he had acted with integrity

Whether or not Cummings legally breached lockdown conditions is unclear. But his actions – taken at a time when the whole country made huge sacrifices in order not to spread the virus – are made worse by a string of senior cabinet ministers, who have jumped in to defend him.

Commenting on Twitter this weekend, Michael Gove, Rishi Sunak, Dominic Raab and other high-profile government ministers all repeated variations of the sentiment that “caring for your family is not a crime”. 

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Needless to say, this comeback has sparked fury from the many people who felt that they were caring for their families and the wider community precisely by not moving around. 

Yesterday’s statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson defending Cummings – he said his advisor acted “responsibly, legally and with integrity” in travelling the country on lockdown – only added fuel to the flames. It also left a lot of people in confusion as to what is, and isn’t, permitted under the rules of lockdown.

Some even accused Johnson of gaslighting: by making them doubt the exact advice around not visiting loved ones that everyone has worked so hard to adhere to these past 10 weeks.

Here’s how people have been reacting to the saga on Twitter, amid continued calls for Cummings to resign:

Images: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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