A couple who claimed to have seen Dominic Cummings in Durham for a second time during the lockdown after it was said he was back in London have challenged Downing Street to provide evidence that they are wrong.
Two people who say they saw Cummings on a second trip to Durham have complained to the police watchdog of failing to investigate their claims.
Clare Edwards, 59, told the Mirror she is ‘100% certain’ she saw the prime minister’s top advisor while she and her husband were walking through Houghall Woods near Durham on April 19.
Cummings has consistently denied the claims and is said to have phone data and CCTV that proves he was in London on that day – evidence Edwards is calling to be released to the public.
‘It would be great to see if he could produce anything. I just want the truth to be out there,’ she said, urging Cummings to make his whereabouts known.
Edwards and her husband Dave are among three new witnesses who allegedly saw Cummings at the natural beauty spot on April 19 – six days after he returned to London from Durham. Both have signed witness statements to Durham police saying they saw the senior political advisor at 11am that day.
Their statement has prompted another two witness to come forth while one witness claims to have seen Cummings in a London park that afternoon.
On a quiet Sunday, the 270-mile trip from Durham to London takes around three-and-a-half hours to complete.
The couple have now written to the police watchdog requesting a Subject Access Request to understand how the force handled their personal information.
In the letter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), they wrote: ‘Given the high profile nature of this issue it is inconceivable that this matter has not been followed up thoroughly.
‘We have no personal issue with Mr Cummings or his family, but we do feel that Durham Police’s handling of our complaint is below the standard we would expect.’
Durham Constabulary said: ‘As outlined in our statement of May 28, [we] carried out an investigation into this matter led by a senior detective and found insufficient evidence to support the allegation.’
The couple described seeing Cummings on the side of a footpath with five children.
Edwards’ husband said: ‘He was the dead image of Dominic Cummings. He was standing over a small child on a bike.
‘I said to my wife, ‘Did you see Dominic Cummings there?’. If it wasn’t him he would win the Dominic Cummings look-a-like award.’
Mrs Edwards said: ‘He had a beanie hat, was wearing glasses, he was tall and angular. I was so convinced.
‘But I thought ‘no it can’t possibly be him – he’s in London and we’re in lockdown’.’ The mum-of-three added: ‘I am 100% certain it was Dominic Cummings. I just know it was him.’
The couple made the report after they heard prime minister Boris Johnson deny his advisor had made the second trip.
One witness said they had a digital record of the location of the sighting, explaining: ‘We know his parents do live locally so we have recognised them before in the local area. I would recognise him [Cummings] again.
‘At first I could not quite believe that I had seen him. I thought ‘why would he be up here?’.
‘But I posted about it on the day. I was sure about it at the time.’
Downing Street said it has seen evidence of Cummings’ trips but has refused to release it to the public.
A Downing Street spokesman said on Thursday: ‘Durham Constabulary have made clear they are not taking any further action against Mr Cummings and that by locating himself at his father’s premises he did not breach the regulations.
‘The prime minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and he considers the matter closed.’
The renewed speculation comes as fresh polling shows Cummings’ lockdown-breaking trip in March had severely dented public confidence in the government.
Researchers reviewed 220,000 survey results from 40,000 people living across Britain between April 24 and June 1 and found that among those living in England, confidence dropped approximately 0.4 points between May 21 and 25 – the same week news of Cummings’ trip broke.