A reported sighting of Dominic Cummings during lockdown has sparked fury among older people living in Barnard Castle, with many saying he should have been sacked.
Boris Johnson backed his de facto chief of staff at the coronavirus briefing on Sunday, but the supportive message did not cut through with older voters in the historic County Durham market town.
Below the medieval ruined castle that gives the town its name, Richard Mulley, 75, said: “He should be gone by now.
“He has been backed by Boris Johnson and that’s disgusting. I think Boris is not fit to run the country, saying he has done nothing wrong.
“Everyone else has done what they were asked to do, we were locked in for weeks, while he (Mr Cummings) was coming to our town.”
Talking about the Prime Minister’s briefing, Mr Mulley said: “He couldn’t even get that right and couldn’t speak sensibly.
“Well, it didn’t convince anyone in my house.”
Bill Jones, 87, from Barnard Castle – pronounced locally as “Barn-ad”, said Mr Cummings should no longer be in post.
“He should resign,” he said. “Boris should sack him.
One law for them
“It’s one law for them and another for the rest of us.”
In the town’s main street, which on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday would normally be thronged with motorcyclists stopping on their way up Teesdale, Margaret Bennett, 89, said: “I think it is dreadful and he should go.
“’Intregrity’ is not the right word to use with the prime minister.”
Judith Phillips, 71, said: “Get rid of him, he should have gone, it’s an absolute disgrace.
“A lot of people are angry, my family is absolutely livid thinking what would they have done if two parents were ill.”
A pensioner shopping in the high street, who asked not to be named, agreed, saying: “Why should people observe the rules, but he does not?
“He is a law unto himself.”
But there was some understanding from an 81-year-old resident who was widowed just before lockdown.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “I can understand him wanting to see his parents, although I am not sure about him coming to Barnard Castle, if that’s what he did.”