Dominic Cummings is a ‘man of honour and integrity’, claims Michael Gove

PUBLISHED: 09:10 26 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:10 26 May 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings arrives at his north London home, after he a gave press conference over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings arrives at his north London home, after he a gave press conference over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Dominic Cummings’ account of his trip to Durham was “exhaustive, detailed and verifiable”, Michael Gove has claimed.

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The minister for the Cabinet Office told BBC Breakfast: “I think Dominic completely understands the sense of concern people felt as the story broke.

“I think the account he gave yesterday was exhaustive, it was detailed, it was verifiable. I think people will make their own mind up as they listened to Dominic’s account.

“I think most people will understand he was under pressure, and sought to put the health of his wife and son first, and took care to ensure they as a family unit were not in danger of infecting other people.”

The minister said he only found out that Cummings had travelled to Durham when the story was revealed through the media.


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He said he had been unaware of Mr Cummings’ journey until Friday evening.

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He explained: “When I read the story I was convinced there would be an explanation from Dominic, because I know he is a man of honour and integrity.”

Further defending the senior government aide, Gove said: “People can then form their own judgment about whether or not what they thought he did was wise. My own view is that it is entirely reasonable.

“The allegation from some was he was heedlessly and recklessly putting other people in danger, I think if we look at the whole story we can see that was not the case.”

Asked what was Cummings’ reasonable excuse under the law to drive to Barnard Castle, Gove told Today the adviser was “preparing to return to work” and wanted to be “confident” in his ability to drive to London.

Told the reason “preparing to return to work” did not appear under the regulations, he replied: “No, but the key thing is Dominic is a key worker and being in a position to return to work is a sensible thing.

“It’d have been entirely within his right to return to work that day on the basis of the advice he had been given, that’s my understanding, so that drive was completely appropriate.”

Asked if it was within the guidance, he said: “I believe so.”

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