Police spoke to Dominic Cummings after breaching lockdown while showing signs of coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 20:43 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:52 23 May 2020
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Police spoke to Boris Johnson’s top adviser after he breached the government’s lockdown rules to travel to see his family in Durham - despite having shown signs of coronavirus.
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An investigation by the Mirror and Guardian found that Cummings travelled 264 miles and was spoken to by officers, days after being seen rushing out of Downing Street.
Official government advice at the time was for people to stay at home and not to travel, those who had shown signs of Covid-19 were told to self-isolate for at least a week. Such breaches of the rules had led to Neil Ferguson, a SAGE scientist, resigning as well as Catherine Calderwood - Scotland’s chief medical officer.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick was also criticised by the media for travelling between homes - said to be at least 40 miles.
But shortly after the prime minister tested positive for the virus at the end of March a member of the public saw Cummings at the gate of his parents’ home in Durham and reported him to the police.
When asked if Cummings had been warned about breaching the lockdown, a spokesman for Durham Constabulary told the newspapers: “On Tuesday, March 31, our officers were made aware of reports that an individual had travelled from London to Durham and was present at an address in the city.
“Officers made contact with the owners of that address who confirmed that the individual in question was present and was self-isolating in part of the house.
“In line with national policing guidance, officers explained to the family the guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel.” Downing Street has previously refused to disclose where Cummings was stayed during the lockdown.
The newspapers also report that Cummings was spotted near the gate of his parents’ home with a young child - believed to be his son - five days after making the complaint to police on April 5.
One eye witness told the Guardian: “I got the shock of my life, as I looked over to the gates and saw him,” they said. “There was a child, presumably his little boy, running around in front. I recognised Dominic Cummings, he’s a very distinctive figure.”
It was just over a week after Cummings had started self-isolating with signs of the coronavirus, and was just hours before Johnson was admitted to hospital.
Mary Wakefield, Cummings’ wife, provided an account to the Spectator about how she feared for his health at this period of time. She said he had been bed-ridden with the illness, but she did not specify where the political adviser had been staying.
Downing Street has yet to comment on the reports.
Earlier this month Matt Hancock said it was right Neil Ferguson resigned over his breach of the lockdown, while Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith said his behaviour “risks undermining the government’s lockdown message”
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