Danny Kruger is a staunch defender of the prime minister’s embattled senior adviser, who is under fire for travelling from London to County Durham to self-isolate during lockdown.
His defence comes as The Telegraph reported six cabinet ministers have privately told colleagues that Cummings should quit and Tory MPs have said he should go.
The controversy appears to have also dented Boris Johnson’s own popularity too, with the prime minister standing by the strategist.
BBC Newsnight’s political editor Nicolas Watt reported that Devizes MP Kruger has sent a note to new MPs in which he stressed how important he views Cummings’ role in the Tory government.
He said it had become an issue of confidence in Johnson.
And this is the Danny Kruger note pic.twitter.com/7YBdh2dO1A— Nicholas Watt (@nicholaswatt) May 26, 2020
He said keeping Johnson and Cummings together was “why we won the 2019 election and them together is the only way to (get Brexit done), level up the regions, and fix Whitehall – the only things which will win us the next election too”.
On Twitter, Kruger has defended Cummings, who also travelled about 30 miles from his parents’ property in County Durham to Barnard Castle. The adviser said the trip was to check he was fit to drive back to London.
Am hating the abuse I’m getting on here for sticking up for the Cummings’s. But they are old friends & here goes again: they’re human beings with a small child & made a decision in an emergency. PM is satisfied. Hope we can get back to discussing the recovery now. (Fond hope)— Danny Kruger (@danny__kruger) May 24, 2020
Cummings has continued to insist he did not break lockdown rules and refused to apologise.
Despite a number of colleagues calling on him to quit, senior Conservatives continue to insist the issue is in the rear-view mirror.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC it is “time for us all to move on”, insisting voters wanted the government to speak about other issues than the controversy.
“That's not to say this isn't an important issue or that people don’t care a great deal about it but I think there is a lot more that we need to focus on now, like the virus and the economy,” he went on.
Nadhim Zahawi, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the business department, was reported to be telling MPs that focus groups showed people understood Cummings’ motivations.
Sky News’s deputy political editor Sam Coates said Zahawi’s note was being shared on WhatsApp.
👀 This is being shared by Nadhim Zahawi to other Tory MPs on WhatsApp— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) May 27, 2020
(The “research company” isn’t YouGov, by the way, whose polling numbers paint a very different picture. Interesting he doesn’t name the firm) pic.twitter.com/weXy1kgbMK
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