Janet Street-Porter defended Dominic Cummings in a heated Loose Women debate on Wednesday.
The broadcaster, 73, claimed the Prime Minister’s chief adviser may have been forced to take the trip North for childcare by his wife Mary, after he defended his actions and refused to resign.
Saira Khan strongly disagreed and slammed Cummings for his ‘unfair’ actions when a majority of the nation are still unable to visit friends and family due to social distancing guidelines.
At odds: Janet Street-Porter defended Dominic Cummings in a heated Loose Women debate with Saira Khan (right) on Wednesday
Cummings drove from London to Durham to isolate with his family during the lockdown and says he subsequently took a trip to Barnard Castle to see if he was fit enough to drive before returning to the capital.
During the debate, it seemed a majority of the Loose Women panel were in agreement with the nation in condemning Cummings actions.
But Janet noted that it didn’t seem as if Cummings thought he’d done anything wrong.
Saira hit back: ‘Janet, how can an intelligent man who is Oxford graduated, who has been very successful, looks at the timeline and looks at social distancing rules and everything about it, and not interpret he has done something wrong. That is not right.’
Drama: The debate came as the panel discussed whether Cummings is right to insist he did nothing wrong by driving to Durham in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown
He won’t quit! Cummings has defended his actions by claiming he acted ‘legally and responsibly,’ and insisted on Monday he won’t resign (pictured on Wednesday)
Opinions: Janet claimed the Prime Minister’s chief adviser may have been forced to take the trip North by his wife Mary
Janet then pointed out to her panellists that it’s unclear whether the political strategist was asked to travel to Durham by his wife, as they both were battling coronavirus symptoms while trying to organise childcare for their son, five.
She told the panel: ‘Saira hang on a minute, he has a partner who is the mother of his small child.
‘This whole argument is hinged around Dominic Cummings, and no one has thought maybe it was his wife who was the person who wanted to make the journey.’
Opinionated: She claimed: ‘This whole argument is hinged around Dominic Cummings, and no one has thought maybe it was his wife who was the person who wanted to make the journey’
Angry: The debate continued with Saira continuing to rant about his ‘unfair’ behaviour, claiming it’s ‘one rule for one and one rule for them’
Saira furiously responded: ‘He is a member of this government, the second most powerful man in this country.
‘They should be leading this nation in a time of crisis to show us what true leadership is about, I’m really sorry but that is not acceptable.’
Linda Robson also admitted he ‘felt sorry’ for Cummings due to the backlash he’s faced for his actions.
The debate continued with Saira continuing to rant about his ‘unfair’ behaviour, claiming it’s ‘one rule for one and one rule for them.’
Janet – speaking from her home via. video link – attempted to justify her point but struggled to get a word in, and could be seen shaking her head in disbelief.
Sympathetic: Linda Robson also admitted he ‘felt sorry’ for Cummings due to the backlash he’s faced for his actions
While she did note that other people in the UK had also failed to adhere to social distancing, Saira hit back: ‘That’s not the point.’
Christine Lampard eventually had to bring the debate to a close, though the nationwide discussion around Cummings rumbles on.
Despite calls for him to resign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended Cummings in a press conference on Monday by insisting he ‘acted responsibly, legally and with integrity.’
On Wednesday, he flatly dismissed the calls for an official inquiry into Cummings as he was grilled by senior MPs, saying the outcry was just a ‘political ding dong’.
Defending him: Despite calls for Cummings to resign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended him on Monday by insisting he ‘acted responsibly, legally and with integrity’
The PM said he ‘totally understood public indignation’ about the situation, but insisted some of the allegations about his chief aide were ‘not correct’ and urged people to ‘move on’.
Pushed on whether the Cabinet Secretary should carry out a formal investigation, Johnson said there had been plenty of ‘autobiography’ from Cummings and it would not be a ‘good use of official time’ as everyone was working ‘flat out’ on the coronavirus response.
Dozens of Johnson’s own MPs have now joined opposition politicians to demand that Cummings is sacked, but the premier has flatly dismissed the calls.
Cummings also defended his decision with similar language, despite the fact that many families have been kept apart during the lockdown.
This Morning airs weekdays at 12:30pm on ITV.
We’re done! Christine Lampard eventually had to bring the debate to a close, though the nationwide discussion around Cummings rumbles on