Anthony Browne previously claimed that "it would be a lot better... if everyone in public positions behaved responsibly”WIKIMEDIA/DAVID WOOLFALL, BBC NEWS. Composite: Joe Cook

Anthony Browne, Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, reiterated his support for Dominic Cummings in an interview with Victoria Derbyshire this morning.

Browne, whose constituency covers Homerton and Girton Colleges, initially expressed support for Cummings on Saturday, proposing that “there is absolutely no reason for him to resign”.

In an interview with BBC News today he reiterated his support, saying: “I think he acted reasonably and within the law.

Browne continued: “[Cummings] went through everything in great detail and the public have to make up their own minds as to whether he acted reasonably.”

Meanwhile, Varsity has found audio footage in which Browne previously criticised members of the public and the police for not closely adhering to social distancing rules.

Speaking to Mike Graham on Talk Radio on 24th April, Browne said “it is really important that all people in public positions display behaviour in a way that they expect the broader public to do.

“We’re all making sacrifices and it would be a lot better, easier, to keep everyone along with it if everyone in public positions behaved responsibly.”

Relevant clip begins at 9.00.talkRadio

The interview followed concerns over images of members of the public, police and care workers not adhering to social distancing rules at a ‘clap for carers’ event on Westminster Bridge.

In response, Browne said, “I think things like on the Westminster Bridge, much as I understand the need for release and the stress, it is important for medical staff and the police to show the rest of the public that we are all in this together.”

This arises as the row over Cummings’ journey to Durham enters its fourth day.

Scotland Office minister Douglas Ross quit the Cabinet today saying, “I cannot in good faith tell [constituents who missed funerals] they were all wrong and one senior advisor to the government was right”.

Several other Conservative MPs have called on Cummings to leave his role.

Constituents represented by Browne have expressed frustration with their MP’s support for Cummings.

Colette Austin wrote to Browne to express her dissatisfaction, saying the Prime Minister has “now broken this ‘social contract’, this bond of trust and common sacrifice between us.”

Austin’s letter to Browne includes an emotional account of the death of her mother, who she says died in a care home “without any of us there to hold her hand as she passed”.

The letter states that “thousands of people” have made “heart-breaking sacrifices” in which they have “trusted and appreciated one another for doing the same”.

Other South Cambs constituents have described the row as “unacceptable” and say they feel “ashamed” by Browne’s support for Cummings.

Browne did not respond to Varsity‘s request for comment on Saturday evening, as further claims about Cummings’ journey emerged.

On 27th May, Browne wrote to his constituents who had raised their concerns over the weekend. Browne said that he “completely understand[s] the public anger. It is unacceptable for those who make the rules to break them”.

He continued by addressing the statement Cummings delivered at 10 Downing Street on Monday (25/05), proposing that “the immediate welfare of a vulnerable four year old child was at stake and I am satisfied that the decisions made by Mr Cummings, at a time of enormous pressure, were in the best interests of his child and did not breach the rules.”

In the letter, Browne did not address the controversy surrounding Cummings’ journey to Barnard Castle. He instead expressed desire to move on from the row, stating “my overriding feeling now is that we need to draw a line under this issue and move on to more important matters”.

These frustrations are echoed nationally. Polls indicate that public support for the government and Prime Minister has been negatively affected by concerns that his chief political advisor did not follow the rules which he had helped to develop.

71% of the public feel that Cummings broke lockdown rules in travelling to Durham, whilst 59% feel that Cummings should resign from his job as advisor for the Prime Minister.

Updated 27 May 16.35: This article was updated to account for the letter Browne sent to constiuents on 27th May.

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