Dominic Cummings: No 10 accused of covering up lockdown breach | Politics

Downing Street is dealing with accusations of a cover-up over Dominic Cummings’ journey to Durham on the top of the nationwide lockdown, amid stories that No 10 knew he made the 264-mile journey after growing signs of coronavirus.

Opposition events have known as for the prime minister to sack his chief adviser over the obvious lockdown breach, which was revealed in an investigation by the Guardian and the Mirror.

Durham constabulary spoke to Cummings’s household to remind of them of the lockdown guidelines after receiving stories on 31 March that he was in Durham days after turning into sick.

Downing Street has made no official touch upon the matter. It has repeatedly refused to reply questions posed by the Guardian over a quantity of weeks.

The BBC reported that an nameless supply near Cummings had claimed {that a} “small number of people in No 10 knew that Cummings had gone to Durham”.

Laura Kuenssberg

Few extra particulars this morning –
-small quantity of folks in No 10 knew that Cummings had gone to Durham, not stayed in London -seems it was his sister who had provided to assist with childcare when he and his spouse fell in poor health
-family stayed in separate home + had no contact in the long run

May 23, 2020

This prompted the Scottish National occasion’s Westminster chief, Ian Blackford, to accuse Downing Street of making an attempt to suppress the story.

Blackford mentioned: “What I find interesting … is that 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.”

A Labour occasion spokesperson mentioned: “We are still waiting for a clear explanation from No 10 about Dominic Cummings’ actions. The public have made extraordinary sacrifices during this pandemic and the lockdown. It cannot be one rule for those who set them and another for the British people.”

The Guardian first approached Downing Street for a remark in April after being instructed by a neighbour of Cummings’s dad and mom that that they had seen him on the Durham property on 5 April.

No 10 refused to debate the problem on the time. A spokesman: “It’ll be a no comment on that one. We wouldn’t get into location of individual members of staff.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Blackford mentioned: “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.”

Dave Penman, the overall secretary of the FDA, the union that represents senior civil servants, mentioned Johnson had an obligation to elucidate Cummings’ behaviour.

He instructed Today: “I believe the prime minister wants to grasp how heartbreaking this lockdown has been for thus many households and the sacrifices which were made up and down the nation.

“I think in these circumstances, if it looks like there is one rule for those at the centre of government and one rule for the rest of the country, then really the prime minister has a responsibility, as well as a constitutional responsibility, to explain his actions. He has known about this for six weeks.”

Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats have additionally known as for Cummings to resign or be sacked.

Prof Susan Michie, of University College London, who’s a member of Sage, the scientific group that has guided the federal government’s response to the coronavirus, recommended Cummings’ journey would undermine belief within the official recommendation on the outbreak.

Susan Michie

Trust in Government is essential to sustaining adherence to Government #COVIDー19 recommendation and perceived equity is essential to belief.

May 23, 2020

Dorset’s police and crime commissioner, Martyn Underhill, mentioned such a high-profile breach of the foundations by Cummings would make it tougher for police to implement the lockdown.

He mentioned: “Here’s a very high-profile person and it’s very unfortunate, the timing of this because, this is going to be the busiest weekend Dorset has seen this year.”

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