Police say Cummings may have committed ‘minor breach’ of lockdown but will face no further action

Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his trip to D

Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his trip to Durham during lockdown continues. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Dominic Cummings may have committed 'a minor breach' of lockdown rules when he drove to Barnard Castle but will face no further action, Durham police have said.

The force issued a statement on the prime minister's top aide's decision to travel to the county days after lockdown had been imposed, saying it did not consider that by locating himself at his father's premises he committed an offence.

But it said: 'Durham Constabulary have examined the circumstances surrounding the journey to Barnard Castle - including ANPR (automatic number plate recognition), witness evidence and a review of Mr Cummings' press conference on 25 May 2020 - and have concluded that there might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention.

'Durham Constabulary view this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing.

'Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis.

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'Had this advice been accepted by Mr Cummings, no enforcement action would have been taken.'

The force added: 'In line with Durham Constabulary's general approach throughout the pandemic, there is no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident since this would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public.'

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Despite an admission that he may have caused a breach of lockdown rules, Boris Johnson is standing by his senior aide.

A Number 10 spokesman said: 'The police have made clear they are taking no action against Mr Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations.

'The prime minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances, and he regards this issue as closed.'

Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones tweeted: 'Durham Police just confirming what we all already knew. Cummings broke the rules whilst we were dutifully obeying for the common good.

'He broke the rules he helped write. Actions have consequences. Your move prime minister.'

Almost one million people have called for the government official to be sacked in an online petition.

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