Dominic Cummings story 'an issue of Boris Johnson's judgement and integrity'

Darnell Taylor
May 24, 2020

The UK's lockdown, which began March 23, stipulated that people should remain at their primary residence, leaving only for essential local errands and exercise. Anyone with symptoms was told to completely isolate themselves.

Cummings strenuously denies the claims and Downing Street said late Saturday said it "would not waste time" responding to "campaigning newspapers".

"His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed".

"The prime minister gives Mr. Cummings his full support", said a visibly uncomfortable Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who was peppered with questions about Cummings' trip during the government's daily coronavirus news conference.

It comes as thousands of families across the country have been forced to deal with bereavement and grief whilst sticking to the lockdown rules.

"This wasn't visiting a holiday home or going to visit someone", he said.

A witness told the Sunday Mirror and the Observer that he was seen on April 19 in woodland near the Durham property he stayed at with his family - days after he was spotted back in Downing Street on April 14, and when strict rules were still in place not to travel.

"Dominic Cummings has a track record of believing that the rules don't apply to him and treating the scrutiny that should come to anyone in a position of authority with contempt", tweeted Conservative lawmaker Damian Collins.

The main opposition Labour Party wrote to the head of the civil service to call for an official investigation. "It is therefore vital that the government can reassure the public that its most senior figures have been adhering to the same rules as everyone else".

"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".

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Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said "if Dominic Cummings has broken the lockdown guidelines he will have to resign".

Mr Johnson then returns to the screen, telling viewers: 'So many, millions and millions of people across this country have been doing the right thing.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in March 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".

A YouGov poll on Saturday found that 68 per cent of voters think Cummings broke the lockdown, while just 18 per cent disagreed. That is the second-highest confirmed total in the world after the United States.

Yesterday, Gillingham MP Rehman Chisti retweeted a tweet from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab defending the adviser.

Cummings, who is widely credited with masterminding the campaign to leave the European Union, claimed that he brought his son to live with his relatives after his wife became ill with what turned out to be COVID-19.

Before the new allegations, both Labour and the SNP said Mr Cummings flouted the government's own advice and called for an urgent inquiry into his conduct.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson stepped down as government scientific adviser earlier this month after a newspaper disclosed that his girlfriend had crossed London to stay with him during the lockdown.

Dr Calderwood resigned in April after making two trips to her second home during the coronavirus lockdown. For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered.

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