Dominic Cummings says he behaved reasonably and legally when asked about his travel during lockdown in March
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings has said he behaved reasonably and legally when asked about reports that he broke lockdown travel rules.
When asked by reporters if his trip to Durham in March looked good, he said: "Who cares about good looks. It's a question of doing the right thing. It's not about what you guys think."Police confirmed they attended Mr Cummings's family property in Durham after allegations emerged he travelled more than 260 miles from his London home during the lockdown in place across England.
Downing Street said Mr Cummings believed he "behaved reasonably and legally".A Number 10 spokesman 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." Latest coronavirus stories Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove has spoken out on behalf of Mr Cummings, tweeting: "Caring for your wife and child is not a crime."
Support for Mr Cummings continued with Chancellor Rishi Sunak tweeting: "Taking care of yourwife and young child is justifiable and reasonable, trying to score political points over it isn't."Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said an explanation had been provided.
It's reasonable and fair to ask for an explanation on this. And it has been provided: two parents with Coronavirus, were anxiously taking care of their young child. Those now seeking to politicise it should take a long hard look in the mirror. https://t.co/fvfvPmlccQ
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) May 23, 2020 However, political leaders have piled pressure on Mr Johnson to sack the 48-year-old strategist. The Labour party said the government should use today's Covid-19 press conference to provide answers.
"We are still waiting for a clear explanation from Number 10 about Dominic Cummings' actions," said a party spokesman."The public have made extraordinary sacrifices during this pandemic and the lockdown."It cannot be one rule for those who set them and another for the British people.
"There is a press conference this afternoon: the country deserves answers."Durham's acting police and crime commissioner said Mr Cummings' journey was "most unwise".In a statement, Steve White said: "Given the whole ethos of the guidance and regulations issued from the government was to reduce the spread, regardless of reason, by travelling to County Durham when known to be infected was most unwise.
"To beat this crisis we need to be selfless as millions have been. The response by the people of County Durham and Darlington have been exemplary, which makes this most frustrating and concerning."The news comes as authorities managing beaches and beauty spots are bracing for an increase of visitors expected to put social distancing rules under strain.
Following the easing of some lockdown measures last week, there are no restrictions on how far people can go to get to the countryside, National Parks and beaches in England. With the Met Office forecasting that temperatures could reach highs of 26C on Monday, many people may be planning trips to the beach, with pictures of crowds flocking to beaches in Brighton and Southend in recent days sparking fears that guidance over remaining two metres apart is being set aside.
Questions also remain over whether Britons will be able to go on holiday this summer after Home Secretary Priti Patel announced plans, due to come into force on 8 June, for visitors - including residents returning home from breaks - to quarantine for two weeks on their arrival into the UK.
Ms Patel, speaking at the Downing Street briefing yesterday, said the government guidance continued to be that all but essential travel abroad was advised against. Mr Cummings's reported Durham developments only added to scrutiny on No 10.
According to a joint investigation by the Daily Mirror and the Guardian, at the same time as the UK government was instructing people to remain home - with fines in place for those contravening the rules - Mr Cummings reportedly decided to escape the capital.
He is alleged to have been present at his family home in the North East when police from Durham Constabulary turned up on 31 March, following a call from someone reporting they had seen Mr Cummings in the area. Durham police confirmed officers had spoken to the owners of an address in the city after reports a person had travelled there from London.
A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: "On Tuesday, March 31, our officers were made aware of reports that an individual had travelled from London to Durham and was present at an address in the city. "Officers made contact with the owners of that address who confirmed that the individual in question was present and was self-isolating in part of the house.
"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." Downing Street had previously confirmed Mr Cummings had started displaying coronavirus symptoms "over the weekend" of 28-29 March.
The same day as police spoke with members of Mr Cummings's family, Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital with coronavirus, where he would later require treatment in intensive care. According to the two papers, he was spotted a second time at the Durham property on 5 April.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said the aide's position was "completely untenable". "He must resign or be sacked," he added. Ed Davey, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, called for Mr Cummings to quit over the allegations, while a spokesman for Labour said: "The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings."
But friends of Mr Cummings suggested he would be going nowhere. Close friends told the PA news agency: "He isn't remotely bothered by this story, it's more fake news from the Guardian. Read more: RTÉ News »
Does he advise him on how to dress as well? Scruffy bugger The guidelines are open to interpretation? That is a dangerous precedent to set. This just shows how partisan RTE really is. When Neil Ferguson was caught it was basically laughed off by our media. His models contributed to the lockdowns, but even Ferguson didn’t take his own predictions seriously. But Dominick Cummings has camera crews outside his house?
UK scandal & the end of Ramadan makes our news while the anniversary of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings doesn't 🤔 Why is RTE reporting this shite about an adviser to BJ breaking lockdown rules, RTE love to show scandals of other governments but never the Irish government. Will he wait until he's pushed? Can RTE focus on examining Irish events for a change? If I wanted to know what’s happening in the UK, I’d switch on sky or the bbc
Liar. Liar,........again! Must be a relief for all those people who were facing 14 days of quarantine on traveling to the UK to know that they can just go ahead and skip it if they have a kid. Even if they're infected. Pmacgiollabhain '...and does anybody fancy making up a fourball on Friday?' It bullshit. He broke the very uncomfortable rules and regulations he imposed on millions of others. Thousands of them died a lonely, isolated death adhering to those rules, he went home! Time he was gone
He is a liar Johnson and his bunch of crooks must go why are they getting away with murder Two legs good Four legs bad
No 10 – Cummings believes he behaved ‘reasonably and legally’ with lockdown tripDominic Cummings travelled more than 260 miles to self-isolate while experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms. “Sociopath believes his behavior is acceptable”
No 10 says Cummings acted 'in line with coronavirus guidelines' following reports he travelled 260 miles from homeDowning Street has said Dominic Cummings believed he 'behaved reasonably and legally' following reports he travelling more than 260 miles from his London home during Covid-19 restrictions Protect your friends, Tories with no integrity It’s not about what he believed. As a person with symptoms he should not have travelled anywhere never mind the length of the country. West Brit media, somehow I don’t think British media is even aware of who our political class are let alone report on it
No 10 accused of cover-up over allegations it knew about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown tripDominic Cummings travelled more than 260 miles to self-isolate away from London while experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms.
No 10 accused of cover-up over allegations it knew about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown tripDominic Cummings travelled more than 260 miles to self-isolate away from London while experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms. Even seagulls have more cop on than Cummings!
Calls for Dominic Cummings to resign after reports he broke lockdown rulesThe Prime Minister’s chief aide is alleged to have travelled 260 miles after falling ill with coronavirus-like symptoms. One rule for the plebs another for their rulers it appears!!
Portugal give exact date Irish tourists can travel to holiday spots againPortugal give exact date Irish tourists can expect to travel to holiday spots again after lockdown