Boris Johnson’s chief adviser was investigated by police for breaking lockdown rules, it has emerged.
Dominic Cummings, 48, was seen at his parents’ home in Durham, more than 250 miles away from his London residence, according to the Mirror. On March 30 Downing Street confirmed the Prime Minister’s top aide had gone into self-isolation.
The following day a Number 10 spokesman said: ‘He is at home, he is self-isolating, he has some symptoms’. But on April 5 a neighbour says they saw Cummings outside his parents’ home in the North-East.
The Brexiteer political strategist was reportedly spotted in the back garden blasting Abba’s Dancing Queen. That same day Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned after apologising for visiting her second home on two occasions.
This was before the Government eased lockdown rules allowing two people from separate households to meet in the park – although gatherings in gardens are still forbidden. On April 14 Cummings was seen returning to work at Downing Street, when a spokesman for the PM said: ‘He certainly had coronavirus symptoms and that is why he self isolated.’
Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live
A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: ‘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’.
Cummings is now facing calls to resign by the end of this evening, and Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has called on the Prime Minister to give him the sack.
He tweeted: ‘Are you f*cking kidding me????? Cummings should resign immediately or be fired.
‘So, Boris Johnson’s right hand man Dominic Cummings broke lockdown to go to his parents’ house 100s of miles away… AS HE SELF-ISOLATED WITH CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS.
‘Fire him tonight Prime Minister @BorisJohnson – or why should anybody heed your lockdown rules?’
A source told the BBC that Cummings’ trip was within lockdown guidelines imposed by Johnson on March 23. He reportedly went to see his parents so they could help with childcare while he and his wife were ill.
The adviser’s wife Mary Wakefield wrote about her quarantine experience for the April 25 edition of Spectator magazine.
She said: ‘Dom couldn’t get out of bed. Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs. He could breathe, but only in a limited, shallow way.
‘After the uncertainty of the bug itself, we emerged from quarantine into the almost comical uncertainty of London lockdown.’
A Labour spokesperson said: ‘If accurate, the prime minister’s chief adviser appears to have breached the lockdown rules. The government’s guidance was very clear: stay at home and no non-essential travel.
‘The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings. Number 10 needs to provide a very swift explanation for his actions.’
An unnamed Tory minister told the Financial Times: ‘How can any government minister, or MP for that matter, ask the public to obey by the rules when the advisor most closest to the prime minister so flagrantly ignores them? It’s hard to see how he can stay based on what we know.’
In early May Professor Neil Ferguson resigned from the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) after it emerged he had broken social distancing rules to meet his married lover.
Nicknamed ‘Professor Lockdown’, he had previously been credited with prompting Boris Johnson to impose social-distancing restrictions across the UK in March.
Research from the epidemiologist and his team at Imperial College London showed that 500,000 people could die if the Prime Minister didn’t act.
In the aftermath, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was left ‘speechless’ by what happened and said Mr Ferguson was right to have stepped down.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.