THE Bishop of Worcester has stressed that his intervention in the Dominic Cummings saga was not “politically motivated” and said at the time he was calling for a better explanation from the Prime Minister’s chief aide.

Bishop John Inge (pictured above) took the unusual step of condemning Dominic Cummings for not making the same sacrifices as other families during the pandemic on social media after it was revealed Boris Johnson’s chief adviser travelled 260 miles with his family, in March, to be near relatives at a family farm in the North East.

At a meeting of the General Synod recently senior bishop, the Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, said bishops who spoke out had been motivated by the need to “uphold the principle of truth”.

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Following the meeting Dr John Inge said: “Tweets by bishops at the time of the ‘Dominic Cummings affair’ received much media attention.

“Speaking for myself and not for other bishops, I simply observed that the public, who made such extraordinary sacrifices for the common good, deserved a better explanation for Dominic Cummings’ conduct during the lockdown than had been given by the Prime Minister on the Sunday night: to be told simply that he had obeyed the instincts of any parent seemed to me to devalue the sacrifice that so many had made in suppressing their parental instincts to protect others. There was no indication at that stage that Dominic Cummings would say anything. I simply didn’t know that whether he had had good cause to do what he did and called for clarification.

“Unlike some local Conservative MPs, I did not at any stage call for Dominic Cummings to resign.

“I think this demonstrates my intervention was not politically motivated – even though it was seen as such by those who asked questions at General Synod.

“In my view, this was not a matter of politics but of life and death: if, as a result, people felt that government instructions can be taken with a pinch of salt there would be another spike in infections by the virus and thousands would lose their lives.

“What really mattered was that trust should be restored in government instructions. I might add that I deplored the hounding of Dominic Cummings and his family later that week, though that was not reported. It remains crucial that we should stay together through this pandemic. ‘Together’ must be our watchword.”