An NHS doctor working in a COVID-19 intensive care unit has said he will resign by the end of the week if Dominic Cummings has not done so by then – and said other NHS staff will most likely follow.
Dr Dominic Pimenta, a cardiology registrar, tweeted a picture of himself wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), saying: “This stuff is hot and hard work. Haven’t seen my parents since January.
“Frankly, Cummings spits in the face of all our efforts, the whole NHS. If he doesn’t resign, I will.”
Boris Johnson has backed his top aide and has refused to fire him after he was accused of breaching lockdown rules by travelling from London to Durham with his wife and young son to stay with his parents at the end of March – a week after the lockdown was imposed.
Dr Pimenta said he will announce his decision to quit by the end of the week if Mr Cummings is still in his position.
He said: “I found it incredibly insulting to see the whole cabinet doubling down on this issue and undermining the public who are working incredibly hard to follow the guidance, it’s a betrayal.
“NHS staff have bent over backwards to meet this incredible challenge, spending hundreds of extra hours in meetings and drawing up timetables to care for patients.
“I do think it’s still early days yet, but I’ll give them until the end of the week for Mr Cummings to resign before I do.
“I’m not trying to lead a movement, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more did the same.”
The doctor called on the government and cabinet members to apologise as he said they “cannot continue to insult health workers like this”.
“Many feel incredibly disrespected, like all their hard work and energy has been thrown back in their faces,” he said.
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Mr Johnson’s decision to back Mr Cummings has brought about a rift among Conservative MPs as well, with at least 15 telling Sky News they want the controversial aide to resign.
However, during Sunday’s daily coronavirus press briefing, Mr Johnson remained steadfastedly supportive, saying Mr Cummings acted “responsibly, legally and with integrity”.