Downing Street has defended Dominic Cummings after he was accused of breaching lockdown rules by travelling 250 miles to his parents home with coronavirus symptoms.
The PM’s chief adviser faced calls to be sacked after it emerged that he drove from London to Durham with his wife and children at the beginning of April, when stringent travel restrictions were imposed.
The government has ordered anyone with coronavirus symptoms to self-isolate at home and not leave – even for essential supplies – for seven days. Boris Johnson said in March that children should not be left with older grandparents or older relatives ‘who may be particularly vulnerable or fall into some of the vulnerable groups’.
But No10 said Mr Cummings, 48, behaved ‘in line with coronavirus guidelines’ as he needed childcare.
They have also denied allegations that he was spoken to by police after being spotted by neighbours in Durham.
The 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. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.’
Police confirmed they did attended a property in County Durham but did not name who they spoke to.
The Downing Street statement was swiftly followed by a statement from Durham police, who said it was ‘unwise’ for the PM’s aide to have travelled across the country with symptoms of the dealy virus.
The Mirror and the Guardian revealed on Friday evening how Mr Cummings was spotted at his parents’ home in Durham on April 5, days after he was pictured rushing out of Downing Street when Boris Johnson tested positive for Covid-19.
On March 30 the government confirmed the PM’s adviser had gone into self-isolation. The following day a Number 10 spokesman said: ‘He is at home, he is self-isolating, he has some symptoms’.
The Brexiteer political strategist was reportedly spotted in the back garden of a Durham property blasting Abba’s Dancing Queen. That same day Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned after apologising for visiting her second home on two occasions.
Britons abiding by the government’s lockdown measures have slammed the hypocrisy’ of the Prime Minister’s chief adviser.
More to follow
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