I AM not a fan of trial by media and am, clearly, given the Prime Minister’s recent pronouncement, unaware of the actual facts of the Cummings case, but I would like to express my view that his continued presence is damaging the credibility of the government and, by extension, the effectiveness of efforts to beat the coronavirus pandemic.

We have seen many times in political history that when the story becomes about an individual rather than issues, it detracts from the challenges in hand, encourages lazy, partisan thinking and rarely ends well for the party in power... and by extension the country.

Regardless of the facts of this case (which are by now, effectively, irrelevant) Mr Cummings has become the story.

The danger of the storm now raging is that the electorate is unlikely to follow government advice and is more likely to adopt a selfish outlook (...and ‘act by instinct’); this can only lead to disastrous results for both the fight against the pandemic and measures to assure our economic recovery.

I would therefore suggest that the only acceptable, and by extension least damaging, course of action is for Mr Cummings to do the most responsible thing in support of the country and to resign.