Sturgeon joins calls for top No 10 adviser to resign

The First Minister said the 'integrity' of public health advice is more important than losing an adviser.

Sturgeon joins calls for top No 10 adviser to resign Getty Images
Dominic Cummings: Facing calls from Tory MPs to quit.

The First Minister has joined calls for the Prime Minister’s top adviser Dominic Cummings to quit over multiple reports he breached the lockdown.

Nicola Sturgeon referenced the resignation of her former chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood for breaking the rules, saying it is “tough to lose a trusted adviser” during the Covid-19 crisis.

But issuing her first statement about the controversy on Twitter, the FM added: “When it’s a choice of that or integrity of vital public health advice, the latter must come first.

“That’s the judgment I and, to her credit, Catherine Calderwood reached. PM and Cummings should do likewise.”

It comes ahead of Downing Street’s announcement that Boris Johnson will take Sunday’s coronavirus press briefing on a day which has seen a number of Conservative MPs call for Cummings to lose his job.

Media reports over the weekend have accused the Prime Minister’s adviser of a second trip to Durham from London in April, following revelations of a first in March.

Downing Street has said the first trip, while his wife had coronavirus, was to get care from grandparents for their young child, while they have refuted the details of the second trip.

But backbench Tories, including prominent 1922 Committee member Steve Baker, said Mr Cummings “must go”.

He told Sky: “It is very clear that Dominic travelled when everybody else understood Dominic’s slogans to mean ‘stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives’.”

Tweeting later on Sunday afternoon, the First Minister said: “I know it is tough to lose a trusted adviser at the height of crisis, but when it’s a choice of that or integrity of vital public health advice, the latter must come first.

“That’s the judgment I and, to her credit, Catherine Calderwood reached.

“PM and Cummings should do likewise.”

Calderwood was forced to leave her post after it emerged she had twice travelled with her family to a holiday home in Fife, despite being the public face of the Scottish Government’s “stay at home” lockdown message.