Home News ‘It’s not about what you guys think’: Cummings defends 260-mile trip

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‘It’s not about what you guys think’: Cummings defends 260-mile trip

by ace

Dominic Cummings insisted on "I behaved reasonably and legally" after it was revealed that he traveled 260 miles from London to Durham during the blockade.

When asked by reporters if his trip looked good, he said, "Who cares about looking good? It's a matter of doing the right thing. It's not what you (the media) think about."

The PM's top aide, who emerged from his London home on Saturday, holding a bicycle and a ball, also berated reporters for not distancing themselves socially, telling them: "You should be more than two meters away – get out the way. "

The PM must tell Cummings & # 39; he has to go & # 39;

The prime minister's chief adviser is facing resignations after he left the capital with his wife and son to stay with his elderly parents in the north – after developing symptoms of coronavirus.

Durham police confirmed that they spoke with property owners on March 31 – a week after the prime minister imposed the blockade – after a call from someone who reported seeing Cummings in the area.

But Downing Street said that nobody related to Cummings was contacted by the police, and it was perfectly okay for him to seek child care for his four-year-old son.

"Since his wife was infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood of him becoming ill, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure that his son could be treated properly," said number 10 in a previous statement.

"His sister and nieces offered to help, so he went to a nearby house, but separated from his family, in case their help was needed. His sister bought the family and left everything out. At no time did he or his family speak . by the police on this matter, as is being reported. His actions were in accordance with the coronavirus guidelines. Cummings believes he behaved in a reasonable and legal manner ".

Analysis: statement number 10 raises more questions

By Rob Powell, political correspondent

It is very difficult to see how Mr. Cummings followed the coronavirus guidelines when rule number one is to stay home and isolate yourself if someone in your home has symptoms.

Families who have struggled with the virus may wonder why the top consultant was unable to get help shopping with family and friends at his London home, instead of taking a 260-mile trip to Durham.

Downing Street also did not speak about who cared for Cummings' son after he traveled to the northeast.

Anonymous allies suggested last night that the grandparents had helped. If true, this would be an additional violation of the blocking rules, potentially exposing two individuals vulnerable to the virus.

Then there is the unspoken number 10 accusation that the Durham police lied to the press when they said the officers had talked to the Cummings family about the trip.

Durham police said they agreed with their statement when contacted by Sky News to obtain a response to version 10 of the events.

Employees were informed by a member of the public that Mr. Cummings was staying with his parents.

"According to national policing guidelines, police officers explained to the family the arrangements around the self-isolation guidelines and reiterated the appropriate advice on essential travel," the force said.

Opposition parties said Cummings "must go" and accused Downing Street of "cover-up".

Westminster SNP leader Ian Blackford said he wrote to the Prime Minister and the head of public service, Sir Mark Sedwill, calling for an investigation into the breach of the blockade.

"Boris Johnson must answer serious questions about his role in this incident and the cover-up – including when he found out, when he heard about the police action, why Cummings was not fired immediately and why he kept the public in the dark for eight weeks until that a newspaper told the story, "he said.

"Dominic Cummings' position is completely untenable."

Sir Ed Davey, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, told Sky News that Cummings "should resign or the prime minister should fire him".

"I don't think there can be a rule for everyone else and a different rule for the prime minister's main team," he said.

"I don't see how Dominic Cummings is going to dodge this one."

A spokesman for the job said: "The blocking rules were very clear: if you or someone in your home was suspected of having COVID-19, you should immediately isolate yourself and not leave the house.

"The declaration of number 10 also raises more questions than answers. We still do not know who knew of that decision and when, whether this was sanctioned by the prime minister and whether number 10 is questioning the validity of the Durham police statement."

Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey

Ed Davey says the PM's top advisor should go & # 39;

Government officials expressed their support for Mr. Cummings, including Secretary of Health Matt Hancock, who tweeted: "I know how the coronavirus is sick. It was perfectly right that Dom Cummings would find a nursery for his baby when he and his wife were staying. sick ".

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused Cummings' opponents of "seeking to politicize" the issue, while his office colleague Michael Gove added, "Taking care of his wife and child is not a crime."

A joint investigation by The Guardian and the Daily Mirror revealed that Cummings left the capital at the same time that the prime minister was instructing people to stay home and not travel to their second homes.

A number 10 spokesman confirmed on March 30 that Cummings was isolating himself after suffering the symptoms of COVID-19.

Sources close to Cummings cited comments made by Deputy Medical Director Dr. Jenny Harries, who suggested in "exceptional circumstances" that parents who were too sick to care for a child could count on family support, among other options.

But Harries made his observations almost two weeks after Cummings traveled north.

A Dominic Cummings timeline during the block:

March 18: In his briefing on Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: "Children should not be left with older grandparents or older relatives, who may be particularly vulnerable or belong to some of the vulnerable groups".

March 22: The government's advice is that people should stay in their main residence and not travel to their second homes: "It is not allowed to leave your home – the place where you live – to stay in another home".

March 23: Strict blocking rules are imposed, meaning that people can only leave their homes for essential trips.

March 27: Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock are confirmed positive for the coronavirus. Cummings is seen running down Downing Street.

Dominic Cummings seen running from the door at 10 Downing Street

Chief PM adviser seen running from number 10

Weekend of March 28 and 29: this weekend, Cummings developed symptoms of coronavirus, Downing Street confirmed.

March 31: Mr. Cummings traveled to his family's farm in Durham – and it was on that date that Mr. Cummings' family was contacted by the police.

April 10: Deputy medical director Jenny Harries said that being too sick to care for a small child was an "exceptional circumstance" and she pointed to accessing family support, among other options.

April 14: Cummings is pictured on Downing Street after recovering from coronavirus.

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