UK PM defends aide Dominic Cummings over lockdown journey

UK PM defends aide Dominic Cummings over lockdown travel

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted calls on Saturday from opposition events to sack adviser Dominic Cummings after he travelled 400km (250 miles) from London to northern England whereas his spouse confirmed COVID-19 signs.

The Guardian and Mirror newspapers reported that Cummings, who masterminded the 2016 marketing campaign to depart the European Union through the Brexit referendum, was seen at his dad and mom’ property in Durham, northeast England, on the finish of March.


A lockdown that started on March 23 stipulated that folks ought to stay at their major residence, leaving just for important native errands and train, and never go to family members. Anybody with signs was advised to utterly isolate themselves.

Durham Police mentioned that officers went to a home on March 31 and “defined to the household the rules round self-isolation and reiterated the suitable recommendation round important journey”. Police didn’t point out Cummings by identify.

Johnson’s workplace mentioned Cummings made the journey to make sure his younger son could possibly be correctly cared for, as his spouse was sick with COVID-19 and there was a “excessive probability” that Cummings would himself change into unwell.

“I behaved fairly and legally,” Cummings mentioned on Saturday. Requested if he would contemplate his place, he mentioned: “Clearly not.” He then chided reporters for being improper about the results of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“You guys are most likely all about as proper about that as you have been about Brexit: do you bear in mind how proper you all have been about that?” Cummings mentioned.

Ministers voiced assist for the senior adviser.

“I can let you know that the PM gives Mr Cummings along with his full assist,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps advised reporters, including that he didn’t know when the prime minister discovered in regards to the journey. Downing Avenue mentioned Cummings’ “actions have been consistent with coronavirus pointers”.

The Guardian and Mirror newspapers reported in a while Saturday that Cummings might have made a second journey to northern England through the lockdown.

Calls to fireside Cummings

Opposition events referred to as for Johnson to sack Cummings and Labour referred to as on the nation’s most senior civil servant, Mark Sedwill, to open an investigation into the journey.

“The prime minister’s chief adviser seems to imagine that it’s one rule for him and one other for the British folks,” the Labour Celebration mentioned. “We’re nonetheless unclear who knew about this resolution and when, whether or not this was sanctioned by the prime minister.”

Just some days earlier than Cummings’ journey, Johnson imposed a lockdown in the UK and requested folks to remain at house. He mentioned on March 23 that folks “shouldn’t be assembly relations who don’t dwell in your house”.

Shortly after Johnson introduced that he had examined constructive for COVID-19, Cummings sprinted out of Downing Avenue on March 27 and developed signs on the weekend of March 28-29.

Authorities pointers say that those that have COVID-19 or suspect they’ve it ought to self-isolate for not less than seven days together with their family and never go away their home for any motive.

The Scottish Nationwide Celebration and the Liberal Democrats referred to as for Cummings to be sacked. Different distinguished figures have resigned after having damaged lockdown guidelines.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson stop as a member of the federal government’s scientific advisory group after was visited at house by his girlfriend. Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, stepped down after she was caught making two journeys to her second house.

Dave Penman, the chief of civil servants union the FDA, mentioned: “The prime minister wants to grasp how heartbreaking this lockdown has been for therefore many households and the sacrifices which were made up and down the nation.”

He mentioned Johnson should clarify why “it seems like there’s one rule for these on the centre of presidency and one rule for remainder of the nation”.

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