Dominic Cummings’ position is ‘untenable’, say opponents

Prime Minister Boris Johnson went into hospital with his coronavirus symptoms the day police officers are reported to have spoken to Dominic Cummings’ family about his travels to Durham

Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings did not break strict lockdown rules when he travelled 400 km to his parents' home, the United Kingdom government said on Saturday.

The Guardian and Mirror newspapers reported that Cummings, who lives in London, was seen at the property in Durham, northeast England, at the end of March. "Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally".

Even before the lockdown, Mr Johnson set out a stark warning to the nation, telling them on March 16 that "now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel".

"What I find that (according to some reports) members of Downing Street knew about this so, first and foremost, Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer over what now appears to be a cover-up".

Mr Cummings began developing Covid-19 symptoms in late March.

The BBC reports that sources close to Cummings deny he broke any rules, and that he and his family "had made the trip because his parents could help care for his young child while he and his wife were both ill with symptoms of coronavirus".

In a speech on 18 March, the Prime Minister said that "children should not be left with older grandparents, or older relatives, who may be particularly vulnerable or fall into some of the vulnerable groups". "Following the news that Dominic Cummings travelled from London to Durham during lockdown and his behavior was investigated by the police, his position is completely untenable - he must resign or be sacked", Blackford wrote on Twitter.

"I felt breathless, sometimes achy, but Dom couldn't get out of bed", she said.

"There was a child, presumably his little boy, running around in front".

Dominic Cummings may have some explaining to do. I thought it's okay for you to drive all the way up to Durham and escape from London. He returned to the office on April 14.

Dominic Cummings is understood to have left his north London home to travel to Durham contravening lockdown rules
Dominic Cummings is understood to have left his north London home to travel to Durham contravening lockdown rules

In early April, Catherine Calderwood, the chief medical officer for Scotland, resigned after breaking lockdown to visit her second home.

But opposition parties called for Johnson to sack Cummings.

"It is as simple as that", said Ed Davey, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Labour, meanwhile, said No 10 needed to issue a "very swift explanation" about what went on.

"In line with national policing guidance, officers explained to the family the arrangements around self-isolation guidelines and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel".

The Labour Party said in a statement that "the British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings".

Dave Penman, the leader of civil servants union the FDA, said "the prime minister needs to understand how heartbreaking this lockdown has been for so many families and the sacrifices that have been made up and down the country". Cummings exclusively confirmed to Palatinate last July that his role was to take money on the door.

Cummings is considered a key member of the 2016 pro-Brexit campaign and the man responsible for helping Johnson become prime minister past year.

As of 9am on Friday 22 May, there are 1,898 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in County Durham, out of a population of around 530,000.

He has served as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister since Boris Johnson's arrival in Downing Street in July 2019.



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