A statement by Damian regarding Dominic Cummings:
"Mr Cummings has put his case that he believes he acted legally and reasonably.
"But it is clear to me that his actions broke at least the spirit of the regulations, and the interpretation of the regulations made by the vast majority of people in East Hampshire and across Britain.
"Many people have suffered terribly in this time, including many who have lost loved ones to the disease, unable even to see them and comfort them at the end. Many, many more have had to make awful personal sacrifices to help bear down on the virus. Crucial to this has been the sense that everyone is in it together and working together. There cannot be one rule for some and another rule for others.
"The key tasks at hand are fighting this terrible virus, dealing with all its knock-on effects, and starting to move gradually and cautiously towards reopening more of the economy and society more broadly. It is essential that attention is not further deflected from these priorities. I am not convinced that changing personnel at this stage would actually help that, and there is a real possibility it could have the opposite effect. But it does need to be acknowledged that in the case of Mr Cummings mistakes were made and the spirit, at least, of the rules broken, whatever the motivation; and acknowledged again the huge restrictions and privations that the country as a whole has withstood.
"My overriding concern is that we must be fully focused on defeating this disease.
I have put my assessment, and the clear message I have heard from constituents, to the government."