Durham police have said that Dominic Cummings may have committed “a minor breach” of lockdown rules but will face no further action
The Prime Minister’s adviser took a 26-mile trip from Durham to Barnard Castle in early April at a time when the country was in lockdown, which he said he took in order to test his eyesight, “might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention”, according to the police.
But Durham Constabulary confirmed “there is no intention to take retrospective action” because “this would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public”.
The police force added that Dominic Cummings had not “committed an offence” by making the 260-mile drive from London to Durham to stay with his parents at the end of March.
This comes after a Conservative Member of Scottish Parliament has resigned following Dominic Cummings’ trips while the nation is still in lockdown, putting on more pressure for the top Downing Street aide to lose his job.
Mr Cummings said that he needed to drive the 260 miles to his parents’ farm, in order to seek childcare help from them for his son in case he and his wife became unable to look after him due to having symptoms of COVID-19.
A Number 10 spokesperson responded: “The police have made clear they are taking no action against Mr Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations.”
“The prime minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed.”
In an unprecedented news conference, Mr Cummings hosted in the Downing Street rose garden earlier this week, he said that he did not “regret” the trips that he took during lockdown, saying they were for “exceptional circumstances”.
Boris Johnson has defended his aide, who claimed he “followed the instincts of every father and every parent” ignoring many demands to have him sacked.
Penny Mordaunt, the paymaster general, said it:
“will have undermined key public health messages”.
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “The police have confirmed what we all knew, that Dominic Cummings broke the rules he helped to write. The country cannot afford for this saga to carry on. Only Boris Johnson can draw a line under it.”
Mr Thomas-Symonds said that Boris Johnson should fire Cummings, adding: “If he does not act then he will send a clear message that there is one rule for his closest adviser and another for the British people.”
This comes after a new survey has suggested that the trust and confidence of the UK Government’s response to the pandemic have declined in the past six weeks.
The statement by Durham police that Mr Cummings may have broken the nation’s lockdown restrictions raises questions about the judgement of the government’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Suella Braverman, who publicly defended Mr Cummings, saying: “protecting one’s family is what any good parent does” and that it was “wholly inappropriate to politicise it”.