Dominic Cummings 'Didn't Break Lockdown Rules' Says Downing Street
Dominic Cummings didn't break lockdown rules, Downing Street has said.
No. 10 has defended Boris Johnson's top political advisor after it was revealed he had travelled more than 250 miles from London to County Durham to visit his elderly parents, after developing symptoms of coronavirus.
According to reports, the incident, which took place at the beginning of April, before lockdown measures had been eased, was investigated by local police.
Responding to the story, a spokesperson said: "Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.
"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. His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.
"At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally."
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Following news of Cummings' long trip up to the north of England, many have called for him to resign.
SNP politician Ian Blackford said his position was untenable. He wrote on Twitter: "Following the news that Dominic Cummings travelled from London to Durham during lockdown and his behaviour was investigated by the Police, his position is completely untenable - he must resign or be sacked."
The leader of the Liberal Democrats said: "If Dominic Cummings has broken the lockdown guidelines he will have to resign. It's as simple as that."
A top government scientist had to resign from his advisory role after breaking lockdown rules. Matt Hancock said of that "I think he took the right decision to resign"- Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) May 22, 2020
No.10 now has to show it's not one rule for them and another rule for everybody else. https://t.co/DJAmGtR0Hv
The revelations, that were first published in The Mirror, also seem to go against an account published by Cummings' wife Mary Wakefield last month, in which she described how ill her husband had become after contracting the virus, though failed to mention their trip to the North East.
Others have also pointed out recent cases of top officials having to resign over breaches of the lockdown rules.
Professor Neil Ferguson, the architect of the lockdown, was forced to quit this month, as was Scotland's chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood, after it was revealed that she had visited a second home with her family.
Referencing the two cases, Labour MP Richard Burgon wrote: "A top government scientist had to resign from his advisory role after breaking lockdown rules. Matt Hancock said of that "I think he took the right decision to resign".
"No.10 now has to show it's not one rule for them and another rule for everybody else."
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