THE First Minister announced on Thursday that we are finally beginning to lift lockdown measures in Scotland. After nearly three months of not seeing loved ones, not spending free time outside enjoying the good weather, and not leaving the house for anything but essentials, we are finally starting to get back a small amount of the freedoms we all took for granted.

This is exciting news because it means the hard work we have done in recent months has achieved what it was supposed to do – we have flattened the curve and prevented the NHS being overwhelmed. The thought of seeing parents, siblings and friends again is so joyful that it’s difficult to put into words. But – and unfortunately, there is a but – the hard work is not over.

As we collectively live through the easing of lockdown measures, we have to remember the virus is not gone. It still spreads, although at a much slower rate, through our communities, and you and your loved ones are still very much at risk if you ignore social distancing measures.

So, while you absolutely should go and meet friends and family you haven’t seen in months, please follow all the guidance: only meet with people from one other household at a time, only do so in outdoor spaces (like a garden or a park), and please maintain a two-metre distance from each other at all times. And, please, continue to stay at home as much as is possible. The worst possible thing that could happen now is throwing away all the work we’ve done so far and allowing the virus to run rampant among us all once again.

The Scottish Government has published a lot of guidance on the new lockdown measures and I highly encourage everyone to give it a read. You can find it at

So, with that said, let’s talk about a political leader who wants you to follow the rules he helped set but doesn’t feel the need to follow them himself: Dominic Cummings. I get irritated even calling him a political leader, given that he didn’t win an election. But, nonetheless, it is clear he is in charge of the Prime Minister.

Dominic Cummings, the Mirror revealed last week, flouted lockdown rules by travelling 260 miles to stay in a house on his family estate. If you listened to his press conference from the Downing Street gardens, you’ll know the reasons he laid out for this is that he and his wife had symptoms of Covid-19 and were worried about their ability to look after their young son.

READ MORE: Nearly one million sign petition to sack Dominic Cummings

Worrying about caring responsibilities during this crisis is understandable, but I still remain in the dark as to how the Prime Minister can accept that reason for breaking lockdown, when there are thousands of households with families of all different shapes and sizes who managed to follow the rules. Another breach of lockdown Dominic Cummings partook in was making a day trip to a beauty spot

30 miles away from his parents’ estate. The excuse for this one was that his illness had affected his eyesight, so he went for a drive – equivalent to going from Glasgow to Kilmarnock and back – to make sure he was fit to drive and able to see the road properly.

I don’t know about you, and – like Michael Gove admitted in an absolute car crash of an interview on LBC – I’m not an expert on driving, but if I was questioning my eyesight I simply would not be driving until I was absolutely certain it was sorted. I certainly wouldn’t be driving my young child and wife around if I wasn’t sure I was able to drive safely.

DOMINIC Cummings’s story is laughable, arrogant and dangerous. It not beyond the realms of possibility that Cummings knows this and simply doesn’t care. This is where the real problem is – he doesn’t care because the UK Government doesn’t care.

The scandal at the centre of all this is the Prime Minister, his judgment and his willingness to throw away whatever goodwill he had with the public in the bin to protect his pal.

We all hold political leaders to a higher standard when it comes to morality, and in some ways that’s right and in others it is wrong, but Dominic Cummings has absolutely fallen short of even the lowest standards. The Prime Minister, by blindly standing by Dominic Cummings, has let the mask slip, and we are seeing the horrifying level of indifference he has towards the public.

The stubborn, unjustifiable and unconcerned response of the Prime Minister shows how untouchable he believes he and his cronies are. Ultimately, it is up to the public whether they are untouchable, or whether they will be held to account.

The whole thing is a mess, and I do not believe it is going away any time soon.

What should go away, sooner rather than later, is Dominic Cummings.