A former prosecutor, who lost his brother to coronavirus, has joined a campaign that is calling for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to carry out a fresh investigation into Boris Johnson’s senior aide over a breach of lockdown.
Nazir Afzal, who lost his older brother Umar in April, has claimed that the public ill lose confidence in the criminal justice system if Dominic Cummings did not face the consequences of his actions during the lockdown.
He has joined forces with law firm Hodge Jones and Allen to launch a ‘citizens’ bid’ which is calling for a thorough investigation over Cummings’ trip to Durham and Barnard Castle in the middle of the coronavirus restrictions.
The campaigners believe that, should there be the evidence, the adviser should be prosecuted for the breaches.
The law firm has claimed that Durham Police’s initial investigation was flawed after it found there may have been a breach in lockdown guidelines, but failed to take further action.
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The firm is pressurising a specialist unit in the Metropolitan Police to investigate the case, and will press the CPS to consider a public or private prosecution against Cummings, dependent on the response.
Afzal, previously a chief prosecutor for the North West of England, has said he would consider aiding the private prosecution on the public’s behalf if the CPS fails to act.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said: ‘When I witnessed the prime minister and others wrapping a shield around Dominic Cummings I was horrified.
‘He and his wife wrote about their experience of Covid-19 to elicit sympathy for their predicament – one experienced by thousands of others including my late brother – without telling us that he had breached the regulations that were in place to protect every one of us, by taking the disease to Durham, at a time when London was drowning in Covid whilst the North East wasn’t. Worse, he helped draft the regulations.’
He added: ‘My experience tells me that there have to be consequences for law breaking otherwise the public lose confidence in those meant to enforce the law, and lose trust in the law itself.
‘Is it a coincidence that 1000s of our fellow citizens looked at what he did and how he was allowed to avoid justice and decided that they too wouldn’t comply?’
Mike Schwarz, a partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, told the Guardian: ‘The Metropolitan police do not appear to have investigated properly, promptly or at all, serious allegations about Dominic Cummings’ behaviour in London and elsewhere.
‘The public’s continued sense of injustice, frustration and anger can only begin to be addressed if there is openness and rigour on the part of the police. Otherwise the perception remains and mounts that there is one rule for ordinary citizens and another for those in government.’