STEVE Elsworth's letter (June 1) clearly shows, in Mr Drax's quoted avowal that he would do the same as Mr Cummings, Mr Drax's own contempt for the law, for his constituents, and for the country at large.

Mr Drax is in disagreement with the Durham police, who believe that the Cummings family did indeed break the law on their Barnard Castle trip, and the whole episode was unarguably in breach of the "Stay at home" injunction, widely seen as a three-word slogan bearing Mr Cummings' own distinctive trademark, and which most people have taken responsibly to heart.

Mr Drax, perhaps, does not really understand. Cummings' action, with government support, undermines the message that those anxious to save lives have been stressing.

Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology at University College London’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health has said: “…they are treating the whole health crisis as though it were a political crisis…[in a] political crisis, what you do is try to manage your reputation. If it is a health crisis you focus on saving lives."

Prof. Stephen Reicher of St Andrews University stated, “Boris Johnson has trashed all the advice we have given on how to build trust…Be open and honest, we said. Trashed. Respect the public, we said. Trashed. Be consistent, we said. Trashed. Make clear, ‘we are all in it together.’ Trashed.”

Robert West added: “It’s not a question of whether lives will be lost now: it’s a question of how many.”

Both these experts are part of the government's own advisory group.

Richard Horton, a doctor and editor of "The Lancet", opined that the scientific and medical experts advising the government should rapidly distance themselves: “What is at stake…is the independence and credibility of science and medicine.”

The government has not done most of the right things at the right time - it has done very few of them - but the dishonest Cummings affair risks undermining the few good things it has done.

Is that really Mr Drax's intention?

Barry Tempest

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