Boris Johnson accused of a ‘cover up’ over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham

PUBLISHED: 10:25 23 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:51 23 May 2020

Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings arrives in Downing Street. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings arrives in Downing Street. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

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Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader, says the prime minister has “serious questions” to answer regarding what he knew about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown trip to Country Durham.

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Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the MP said: “I think what should have happened by now is that Dominic Cummings should have gone.

“What I find interesting...is that (according to some reports) members of Downing Street knew about this so, first and foremost, Boris Johnson has serious questions to answer over what now appears to be a cover-up.

The prime minister must explain exactly when he knew about the breaking of the rules, whether he sanctioned it, why Cummings wasn’t sacked immediately and why it appears that he tried to cover it up, not telling the public until the newspaper(s) broke the story eight weeks later last night.”

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He branded the alleged actions the “height of irresponsibility for someone to think this is a reasonable course of action”, and added: “Here we have the highest official in government, the closest confidant of the prime minister prepared to break the rules that the rest of us are being asked to obey.

“You cannot have a situation where there appears to be one rule for the powerful and the millions of the rest of the public are being told we must follow government advice. Demonstrably, this is an individual who has broken the advice he has been, in many cases, the architect of delivering.”

Blackford said Cummings’ alleged actions were “more serious breaches” than rule breaking carried out by UK government adviser Professor Neil Ferguson and former Scotland chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, both of whom resigned for their breaches.

Blackford was one of a number of politicians yesterday evening to call for Cummings to resign or be fired.

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