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Sun, 31 May 2020

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Labour demands ‘very swift explanation’ after reports Dominic Cummings ‘broke lockdown rules’

Labour demands ‘very swift explanation’ after reports Dominic Cummings ‘broke lockdown rules’

Dominic Cummings is Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser.

2 min read

Labour are demanding a “very swift explanation” from Number 10 following reports that Boris Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings breached coronavirus lockdown rules.

The Mirror and The Guardian reported on Friday night that the senior adviser was seen in Durham more than 250 miles from his London home, despite having shown symptoms of Covid-19 at the end of March.

The Government's own lockdown rules, in force since late March, say people should not visit family members “who do not live in your home” unless they need specific help such as “having shopping or medication dropped off”.

The report comes after government scientific adviser Neil Ferguson and Scottland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood were forced to resign over breaches of the strict coronavirus curbs.

Both The Mirror and The Guardian report that Durham Police were contacted by a concerned member of the public. 

A spokesperson 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 guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel”.

A close friend of Mr Cummings told the Press Association: "He isn’t remotely bothered by this story, it’s more fake news from the Guardian. There is zero chance of him resigning.”

But Labour has already called on Downing Street to respond to the claims.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party 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.”

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: "If Dominic Cummings has broken the lockdown guidelines he will have to resign. It’s as simple as that."

The SNP’s Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said: "Dominic Cummings' position is completely untenable - he must resign or be sacked.”

Number 10 has been approached for comment. 

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