The Brexit-bashing former eurocrat used the Prime Minister’s chief adviser refusal to apologise for his actions to launch another stinging attack on the country’s departure from the European Union. Mr Tusk, who was one of the bloc’s harsh critics of the referendum result, hit out at Mr Cummings in a social media post. Writing on Twitter, he said: “This is apparently Cummings and his Brexit friends’ rule: that they leave when they should stay.”
Mr Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, has previously said some Brexiteers deserved a “special place in Hell” for their actions after the 2016 ballot.
Mr Cummings became synonymous with Brexit because of his role as the official Vote Leave campaign’s influential figurehead.
He has since sparked public fury after taking his family on a 260-mile journey to Durham to stay in a cottage on his family’s farm after being instrumental in the coronavirus lockdown.
At an extraordinary press conference, Mr Cummings refused to apologise and said he took reasonable and legal steps to care for his four-year-old son after he feared himself and his wife could be struck down by the disease.
Donald Tusk mocks Brexit vote in attack on Dominic Cummings
Donald Tusk is a former European Council president
He said: “I don’t regret what I did. I think reasonable people may well disagree about how I thought about what to do in the circumstances, but I think what I did was actually reasonable in these circumstances.
“The rules made clear that if you are dealing with small children that can be exceptional circumstances.
“And I think that the situation that I was in was exceptional circumstances and the way that I dealt with it was the least risk to everybody concerned if my wife and I had both been unable to look after our four-year-old.
“I know that the British people hate the idea of unfairness. I want to explain what I thought, what I did and why over this period because I know people like me who help to make the rules should be accountable for their actions.”
Dominic Cummings is the Prime Minister’s chief aide
Mr Cummings’ actions and the Government’s handling of the fallout have attracted a series of bizarre complaints from across the Continent.
Senior Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt said: “Clear now there is one rule for populists like Trump, Bolsanaro, Kaczynski, Johnson and Cummings and another for the people they claim to represent.
“By putting themselves above the law they set for others, they become the elites they tell us they rage against on our behalf!”
Former Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb said: “I have no words for what is going on in the UK at the moment.
Mr Cummings is under-fire after swapping London for Durham during the coronavirus lockdown
“I just wonder whether it would be time to take a deep breath, count to ten, and bring back some good, old calm to the home of rationality.
“Please, many of us deeply care for your country.”
Despite the criticism Boris Johnson has vowed to stand by his most important aide.
The Prime Minister said he regretted the “confusion and the anger and the pain that people feel” but gave his full backing to Mr Cummings.
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But domestically the pair have also faced increased pressure from Conservative politicians.
Tory MP Douglas Ross quit his role as Scotland Office minister, claiming Mr Cummings’ “interpretation of the Government advice was not shared by the vast majority of people who have done as the Government asked”.
Simon Jupp, a former adviser to Dominic Raab who won a House of Common’s seat in last December’s election, also hit out.
He said: “Although I believe his actions were motivated by a father’s desire to do what he felt was necessary to protect his family in exceptional circumstances, if placed in the same situation I wouldn’t have made the same decisions and would have since considered my position.”
Published at Tue, 26 May 2020 15:29:00 +0000