Police accused of 'government bias' by couple who say Dominic Cummings made second trip to Durham

Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings speaks as he delivers a statement in the Rose Garden at 1

Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings speaks as he delivers a statement in the Rose Garden at 10 Downing Street. (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) - Credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A couple who claim they saw Dominic Cummings in Durham a second time in lockdown have accused the local police force of bias towards the government after dismissing the eye-witness statement.

An internal review of the constabulary, seen by the Guardian, claims the force did take seriously the alleged sighting of Cummings in a woods in the area on April 19, six days after he returned to London from Durham, but said there was "insufficient evidence" for the claim.

Dave and Clare Edwards have now accused the police of siding with Number 10 because they said they had ignored their own accounts and based the two-and-a-half page review on the press reports of the sightings instead.

Mr Edwards told the newspaper: “How one-sided can you write a report to be? I’m just gobsmacked that anyone in Durham police thought that was adequate. To me it is evidence that the police haven’t done their job.”

He added: “If there was ‘insufficient evidence’, is it because the police weren’t actually looking for it? The report doesn’t answer that, it just selectively quotes the media to suit [the government’s] case.”

Edwards said the handling had already been prejudiced by Suella Bravermann, the attorney general, who had declared support for Cummings in a tweet. 

Mrs Edwards said: “This looks like complicity of the police with the government.”

Last month the pair called on Cummings to provide proof he was in London at that time, after claiming he had phone data and CCTV to prove he was not in the north of England.

Braverman defended her tweet, claiming her words could not have swayed the Crown Prosecution Service because it was "only ten words long".

A spokesman for Durham constabulary said: “We received a complaint which has been dealt with under appropriate procedures and the investigation is now closed.”

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