UK PM Johnson defends adviser who travelled with coronavirus symptoms


'People will now say there is one rule for them and one rule for the Prime Minister's political advisers.

Commenting on the criticism of Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's aide who travelled from London to his parents' home in Durham with COVID-19 symptoms during the lockdown, Downing Street stated that the official went on the journey to ensure that his child could be cared for.

Cummings, who is widely credited with masterminding the campaign to leave the European Union, claimed that he brought his son to live with his relatives after his wife became ill with what turned out to be COVID-19. "Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally".

The opposition also stated that the government can not have different rules for the public and different for the officials.

Elsewhere, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Dom Cummings followed the guidelines and looked after his family".

Durham Police said that officers went to a house on March 31 and "explained to the family the guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel".

He wrote on Twitter: "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".

As Dr Harries pointed out during Saturday's Downing Street press conference, any of the government lockdown guidance can be overruled by safeguarding concerns, or prevention of harm, and cited an elderly person with no supply of medication or a child with both parents too unwell to provide medical care as examples.

'Many have had to look after their own young children while ill.

The reports could put Mr Cummings in a hard position, after several senior people involved in the country's response to the coronavirus outbreak were forced to resign when it emerged that they had broken the lockdown rules.

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"You guys are probably all about as right about that as you were about Brexit: do you remember how right you all were about that", he added.

"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", the police said.

This time it was over Dominic Cummings and his 250 mile trip to Durham, which has blown up in the media after a Guardian and Daily Mirror investigation.

Mr Cummings began developing Covid-19 symptoms in late March.

Cummings, 48, is one of several senior United Kingdom officials who have been accused of flouting the lockdown rules that they advocated for the rest of the country.

A Labour occasion spokesperson mentioned: "We are still waiting for a clear explanation from No 10 about Dominic Cummings' actions".

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has called on Sir Mark to investigate the "rule-breaking and the Tory Government's cover-up" of Mr Cummings' lockdown journey to Durham.

"This is a highly defamatory fabrication which was not put to No 10 [the prime minister's office] by the Sunday Times before publication", a government spokesman said after the report was published.

Earlier this month, Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist whose work has been pivotal in the British government's response to the outbreak, quit his government advisory role after he was found to have breached lockdown rules to meet his married lover.

Ministers have spent the day insisting that Cummings had stayed in his property in Durham once he arrived there, after travelling to seek the support of his extended family.