Reports just in that the UK government have said it was ‘reasonable’ for Dominic Cummings to travel 260 miles whilst carrying the Covid-19.
Mr Cummings, who is Boris Johnson’s chief advisor and has helped with coronavirus and Brexit strategy, was spoken to by police regarding breaking lockdown rules and the country, including opposition leaders, have called for him to be sacked.
However, the UK government issued the following statement in his defence:
“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.”
The news of his travel whilst infected came to light after he was spotted outside of his parent’s home in County Durham 260 miles from his own home in London, with local police questionning him.
A Durham Constabulary spokesman 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.”
Opposition leaders aswell as the public have been in uproar at the news.
Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey said: “He must go. He should either resign or the prime minister should sack him.”
“When millions of people have sacrificed so much… it looks quite outrageous that the prime minister’s top adviser should breach the rules. The prime minister has got to make his position clear. I can’t see that this is anything other than a breach of the guidelines.”
There was also uproar about why a man infected with Covid-19 and had been advising the UK public on safety measures would then go and stay with his parents who are in the ‘vulnerable category.’
“I don’t think there can be one rule for everyone else and a different rule for the prime minister’s top team,” said Mr Davey.
The government has ordered anyone with coronavirus symptoms to self-isolate at home and not leave the house for seven days for any reason.
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.”
The SNP’s leader, Ian Blackford, has said Mr Cummings position is ‘unattainable’ and that Borish Johnson should ‘do the right thing.’
Taking to Twitter today Mr Blackford said: “This is a key test of leadership for Boris Johnson. People must have confidence that the Tory government is following its own rules – not being investigated by the police for breaking them.
“Millions of people will find it completely incredible that Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser has been breaking his own government’s rules when the rest of us have all made huge sacrifices to obey them.
“There was absolutely nothing in the list of reasons under the law for leaving the house that allowed someone to travel the length of the country to stay with their parents, particularly not someone who was known to have the virus.”