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UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson under pressure to sack Dominic Cummings - latest updates UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson under pressure to sack Dominic Cummings - latest updates
(32 minutes later)
Pressure for prime minister’s top adviser to go follows report he breached lockdown rules in March. Follow the latest developments as they happenPressure for prime minister’s top adviser to go follows report he breached lockdown rules in March. Follow the latest developments as they happen
The Durham police and crime commissioner, Steve White told BBC News:
No 10 earlier put out a statement backing Cummings (see 10.25am.) which said:
My colleague Matthew Weaver wrote on Friday, “When asked if Cummings had been warned [by police] about breaching the lockdown, a spokesman for Durham Constabulary said:
A number of Conservative politicians, including senior cabinet ministers, have defended Dominic Cummings’ actions on Twitter this morning.
Downing Street has said Cummings believes he “behaved reasonably and legally” when travelling from his London home to Country Durham during the lockdown (see 10.25am.).
Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, said it was “not a crime”.
The first secretary of state, Dominic Raab, said an explanation had been provided and that the issue of a sick couple needing help with childcare was being “politicised”.
And the chair of the Commons education committee, Robert Halfon, wrote:
Britons abiding by the government’s lockdown measures have slammed the “hypocrisy” of the prime minister’s chief adviser following reports he travelled to his parents’ home despite coronavirus travel restrictions.
Police have confirmed they attended a property in County Durham after it emerged that Dominic Cummings travelled more than 260 miles from his London home during the lockdown Boris Johnson had just announced with his wife and child, while the former was suspected to have contracted the virus.
Members of the public are piling pressure on Downing Street to sack him.
Some Twitter users said they had not left their home to see their family since February, while others said the reports were making their “blood boil”.
One user, who gave his name as Tony, tweeted that he was unable to hug his father at his mother’s funeral, saying he was “frankly appalled”. He said:
Another user, Katie Hall from Yorkshire, said:
The public has been asked to follow restrictions since they were brought in on 23 March, which has kept many people apart from loved ones for months.
User Rachel Kerry, tweeted:
Another user, Johanna Saunders, wrote:
Others hit out at the fact that Cummings displayed coronavirus symptoms “over the weekend” of 28 March, and questioned why the public should continue following restrictions.
User Nat Reed tweeted:
In more upbeat news, the children’s author Michael Rosen has left intensive care after eight weeks in hospital, and continues his recovery on the ward.In more upbeat news, the children’s author Michael Rosen has left intensive care after eight weeks in hospital, and continues his recovery on the ward.
His wife, Emma-Louise Williams, has been updating fans on the former children’s laureate’s condition on Twitter, though she has not confirmed if his condition is related to Covid-19.His wife, Emma-Louise Williams, has been updating fans on the former children’s laureate’s condition on Twitter, though she has not confirmed if his condition is related to Covid-19.
Amid accusations of a “cover up” about what was known by whom about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown travels, No 10 has issued its first official response, maintaining that “his actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines” and Cummings “believes he acted legally and responsibly”. Amid accusations from Opposition MPs of a cover-up about what was known by whom about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown travels and calls for the top aide to resign, No 10 has issued its first official response, maintaining that “his actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines” and Cummings “believes he acted legally and responsibly”.
This is from the Mirror’s Pippa Crerar, who broke the story with the Guardian’s Matthew WeaverThis is from the Mirror’s Pippa Crerar, who broke the story with the Guardian’s Matthew Weaver
Police have confirmed they attended a property in County Durham after it emerged that Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, travelled more than 260 miles from his London home during the lockdown.Police have confirmed they attended a property in County Durham after it emerged that Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, travelled more than 260 miles from his London home during the lockdown.
And this is from the BBC’s Nick RobinsonAnd this is from the BBC’s Nick Robinson
Here is some reaction from Twitter about the Dominic Cummings storyHere is some reaction from Twitter about the Dominic Cummings story
From the FT’s Jim PickardFrom the FT’s Jim Pickard
A thread from ITV’s Robert PestonA thread from ITV’s Robert Peston
A thread from HuffPost’s Paul WaughA thread from HuffPost’s Paul Waugh
From Business Insider’s Adam BienkovFrom Business Insider’s Adam Bienkov
Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said the prime minister had “serious questions” to answer regarding what he knew about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown trip to Country Durham.Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said the prime minister had “serious questions” to answer regarding what he knew about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown trip to Country Durham.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Blackford said:Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Blackford said:
He branded the alleged actions the “height of irresponsibility for someone to think this is a reasonable course of action”, and added:He branded the alleged actions the “height of irresponsibility for someone to think this is a reasonable course of action”, and added:
Blackford said Cummings’ alleged actions were “more serious breaches” than rule-breaking carried out by UK government adviser Prof Neil Ferguson and Scotland’s former chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, both of whom resigned for their breaches.Blackford said Cummings’ alleged actions were “more serious breaches” than rule-breaking carried out by UK government adviser Prof Neil Ferguson and Scotland’s former chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, both of whom resigned for their breaches.
Good morning. Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to sack his closest aide following reports he breached lockdown rules in March.Good morning. Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to sack his closest aide following reports he breached lockdown rules in March.
A joint investigation by the Guardian and Mirror newspapers revealed that police spoke to Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s key adviser, after he visited his parents’ home in Durham, 264 miles from his London home while he had coronavirus symptoms in late March.A joint investigation by the Guardian and Mirror newspapers revealed that police spoke to Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s key adviser, after he visited his parents’ home in Durham, 264 miles from his London home while he had coronavirus symptoms in late March.
Cummings and his wife, who was also experiencing symptoms, stayed with his parents while self-isolating. A source close to Cummings denied a breach of the coronavirus rules to the BBC, saying the couple needed childcare help. They added that the couple had stayed in a separate building at the property.Cummings and his wife, who was also experiencing symptoms, stayed with his parents while self-isolating. A source close to Cummings denied a breach of the coronavirus rules to the BBC, saying the couple needed childcare help. They added that the couple had stayed in a separate building at the property.
Only days earlier, the government had told the public to avoid all non-essential travel, to not meet family members who do not live with them, and to stay at home – with fines in places for those who broke the rules – and both Boris Johnson and the health secretary, Matt Hancock, had tested positive for Covid-19. Anyone with coronavirus symptoms was also instructed to self-isolate at home and not to leave the house for seven days - even for essential supplies. The prime minister had also said clearly that children should not be left with grandparents or older relatives “who may be particularly vulnerable or fall into some of the vulnerable groups”.Only days earlier, the government had told the public to avoid all non-essential travel, to not meet family members who do not live with them, and to stay at home – with fines in places for those who broke the rules – and both Boris Johnson and the health secretary, Matt Hancock, had tested positive for Covid-19. Anyone with coronavirus symptoms was also instructed to self-isolate at home and not to leave the house for seven days - even for essential supplies. The prime minister had also said clearly that children should not be left with grandparents or older relatives “who may be particularly vulnerable or fall into some of the vulnerable groups”.
Labour demanded No 10 “to provide a very swift explanation for his actions”. The party’s vice chair, Tulip Sadiq, said:Labour demanded No 10 “to provide a very swift explanation for his actions”. The party’s vice chair, Tulip Sadiq, said:
The acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, tweeted:The acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, tweeted:
And Ian Blackford, the Scottish National party’s Westminster leader, said:And Ian Blackford, the Scottish National party’s Westminster leader, said:
But a source close to Cummings said there is “zero chance” he will resign.But a source close to Cummings said there is “zero chance” he will resign.
Cummings is the latest high-profile figure to have broken the government’s lockdown rules. Prof Neil Ferguson, whose epidemiological modelling helped shape the lockdown policy, resigned in early May when it was revealed that he flouted the rules to receive visits from his lover at his home. And Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, had to go after it emerged in early April that she visited her second home twice despite her own advice to the public to avoid all non-essential travel.Cummings is the latest high-profile figure to have broken the government’s lockdown rules. Prof Neil Ferguson, whose epidemiological modelling helped shape the lockdown policy, resigned in early May when it was revealed that he flouted the rules to receive visits from his lover at his home. And Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, had to go after it emerged in early April that she visited her second home twice despite her own advice to the public to avoid all non-essential travel.
I’ll be bringing you all the latest UK developments on the coronavirus pandemic throughout the day, so please feel free to get in touch with any news tips, advice, comments or suggestions.I’ll be bringing you all the latest UK developments on the coronavirus pandemic throughout the day, so please feel free to get in touch with any news tips, advice, comments or suggestions.
Email: lucy.campbell@theguardian.comTwitter: @lucy_campbell_Email: lucy.campbell@theguardian.comTwitter: @lucy_campbell_