Grant Shapps swerves questions on what Boris Johnson knew about Dominic Cummings’ rule-breaking
- Credit: PA
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has swerved questions about what Boris Johnson knew about senior aide Dominic Cummings breaking lockdown rules.
Speaking at the latest Downing Street briefing, Shapps was asked if the prime minister knew about Cumming's actions and had approved them.
He said: 'The important thing is that everyone remains in the same place whilst they are on lockdown which is exactly what happened in I think the case you're referring to with Mr Cummings.
'The prime minister will have known he was staying put and he didn't come out again until he was feeling better.'
The minister added: 'The guidance says if you're living with children keep following this advice to the best of your ability.
You may also want to watch:
'However, we are aware that not all these measures will be possible depending therefore on circumstances.'
The minister said it's for an individual to make a decision on how best to practice lockdown measures.
- 1 Why don't Brexiteers like to talk about Brexit any more?
- 2 Brexit: British 'expats' in Spain facing deportation over residency
- 3 Major disaster: How Tories' 1992 victory sowed seeds of Brexit
- 4 Michael O'Leary: My hope for the future over Brexit
- 5 Is the Sun setting on Murdoch's global media empire?
- 6 When Eton took on a team of miners at football
- 7 Five years of Brexit summed up by Cold War Steve
- 8 Did Donald Trump really wear his trousers backwards at Republicans' North Carolina rally?
- 9 English to be temporarily replaced by French as EU's 'working language' in 2022
- 10 The 40 best European TV shows to stream
'It's for an individual to make the decision 'how do I make sure I've got enough support around the family', particularly in the case you are referring to with a potential of both parents ending up being ill and having a young child to look after.
'How do you have that support network around them, and the decision here was to go to that location and stay in that location. They don't then need to move around from there and so it would be for each individual to work out the best way to do that, which is what's happened here.'
Shapps added: 'You have to get yourself in lockdown and do that in the best and most practical way - and I think that will be different for different people under whatever circumstances, their particular family differences, happen to dictate, that's all that's happened in this case.'
But Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, said: 'The public health advice is take yourself out of society if you have symptoms, stay at home, stay at home with your family, I don't know the details of this specific case and I am commenting on the medical advice.'
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said afterwards: 'He [Cummings] ought to have resigned by now, but it's quite clear after that performance today by the transport secretary that there is no real defence and that Dominic Cummings should now be sacked by the prime minister.'
He added: 'We should have been hearing from the prime minister today… The prime minister needs to come clean about when he knew about this, whether or not he authorised this, why he hasn't taken his responsibilities in asking Dominic Cummings to resign? But, failing that, making sure that he sacks him.
'Because this man has undermined the public messaging that the UK government has sought to deliver.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.