Dominic Cummings claims he DIDN’T break lockdown with 260-mile trip to parents as Boris’s top aide faces calls to quit


DEFIANT Dominic Cummings today claimed he didn’t break government lockdown rules by travelling to see his family in the north east. 

The PM’s chief adviser travelled more than 260 miles from his London home to stay with his parents in Durham so his sister could look after his children while he had coronavirus symptoms.

Mr Cummings rejected claims he’d flouted lockdown outside his home today

The revelation is a humiliation for Boris Johnson’s government

He stayed at the property in Durham with his parents

After being backed by No10 this morning, Mr Cummings told reporters outside his home in London: “I behaved reasonbly and legally.”

When asked by reporters if his trip to Durham during lockdown ‘looked good’,  he added: “Who cares about good looks. It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think.”

Boris Johnson has faced heated calls to sack Mr Cummings today.

But an official statement from Downing Street gave No10’s full backing and said he didn’t break government guidance because he and his wife, journalist Mary Wakefield, stayed in a different building.

A No10 spokesperson also challenged reports the aide and his family had been spoken to by police.

A statement 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.”

The PM’s top aide reportedly travelled to Durham so his parents could help with child care while Mr Cummings and his wife had Covid-19 symptoms.

He contracted coronavirus at the end of March. At the time Downing Street claimed he was holed up in his London home.

A week later, on April 5, a neighbour spotted Mr Cummings in the garden with his son running around to Abba’s Dancing Queen.

They said: “I got the shock of my life, as I looked over to the gates and saw him.

“There was a child, presumably his little boy, running around in front. I recognised Dominic Cummings, he’s a very distinctive figure.”

The revelation comes despite No10 telling Brits they must stay at home and not see family to slow the spread of Covid.

The move allegedly went against advice, which became law on March 26, which stated: “You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home.”

Only in exceptional circumstances were people allowed to attend relatives’ addresses; for example, to drop off food or medicine to their door.


Mr Cummings spoke to reporters outside his home today
Mr Cummings drove away from the property with wife Mary Wakefield after denying he had broken lockdown rules

Durham Constabulary said they had spoken to Mr Cummings’ parents – which has been denied by No10 – and spoke to the family.

A spokesman for the force 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 guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel”.

The news comes as the coronavirus death toll in the UK hit 36,393 today after 351 more deaths.

Acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey today called for Mr Cummings to explain himself – or resign.

He said: “If Dominic Cummings has broken the lockdown guidelines, he will have to resign. It’s as simple as that.”

And in an interview with Sky News today, he said: “It looks quite outrageous that the PM’s closest adviser has done this.”
If the allegations are true, Sir Ed said, then Cummings “should either resign or the prime minister should sack him”.

The Labour Party has demanded a “very swift explanation” from Downing Street over reports that Mr Cummings broke the Government’s lockdown rules.

A Labour spokesman said: “If accurate, the Prime Minister‘s chief adviser appears to have breached the lockdown rules.

“The Government’s guidance was very clear: stay at home and no non-essential travel.

“The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings.

“Number 10 needs to provide a very swift explanation for his actions.”

SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said: “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.”

Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Steve White, called Mr Cummings’ decision “most unwise”.

He also labelled the incident “most frustrating and concerning”.

But senior Tory officials have come out in support of Mr Cummings today.

Minister Michael Gove has taken to Twitter in suppoer od Mr Cummings, writing: “Caring for your wife and child is not a crime.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also wrote on social media: “Taking care of your wife and young child is justifiable and reasonable, trying to score political points over it isn’t.”

Dominic Raab posted: “It’s reasonable and fair to ask for an explanation on this.

“And it has been provided: two parents with xoronavirus, were anxiously taking care of their young child.

“Those now seeking to politicise it should take a long hard look in the mirror.”

Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings had been self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms
Mr Cummings went to Durham with his wife Mary Wakefield and young son to self-isolate