Former regional chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal joined a legal campaign to prosecute Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s ex-chief aide, last year
Nazir Afzal, the former regional chief prosecutor, has revealed he was forced to move out of his home after his campaign for an investigation into alleged lockdown breaches by Dominic Cummings had apparently prompted attacks upon his property.
In June, a week after Mr Afzal became the figurehead in a legal campaign that is set to prosecute Dominic Cummings, the former chief aide to the prime minister, a brick was thrown through the window of the lawyer’s family home in Manchester, Afzal told the Guardian.
The following month his car was “slashed” outside of his home after he announced that he had urged the Metropolitan police, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate Dominic Cummings’ journeys to Durham and Barnard Castle amid a national lockdown.
This come after 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.
Afzal said: “My family felt scared. I don’t blame Dominic Cummings. All I know is that in 25 years prosecuting some of the most organised criminals in the country, nobody has attacked my home. Yet suddenly someone starting attacking me and my family and we’ve had to move house.”
“There’s always a personal cost to standing up [for] what’s right. In 2006 I was on an al-Qaida death list after I prosecuted Danish cartoon protesters, and in 2012 the far right demonstrated outside my house after the Rochdale grooming gang case. I accept that people will attack me personally, but I draw the line when my family is involved.”
Afzal said he would not be intimidated. “It has made me more committed to delivering justice, not just in the Cummings case, but for anybody for feels they are not being listened to. More than 3,000 people have crowdfunded the campaign to get Cummings prosecuted, and thousands more have messaged me to say ‘you’re doing this for me’. This is about restoring trust.”
This comes after Donald Trump’s comments “directly led” to his supporters storming Congress and clashing with police, Home Secretary Priti Patel has said, following President Trump urging protesters to march on the Capitol building after making false claims of electoral fraud.
Mr Cummings, who resigned from the UK government in November following an internal power struggle, denies that his movements during the first nation-wide COVID-19 lockdown amounted to a breach of the nation’s coronavirus regulations.
In December, Durham police revealed that it was assessing a 225-page dossier submitted by Nazir Afzal and his lawyers, alleging that Cummings breached the UK’s lockdown restrictions multiple times and perverted the course of justice with his account of his movements.
If Boris Johnson agreed to a meeting, Afzal has said that he would volunteer to act as a US-style special prosecutor to investigate the UK’s response to the COVID crisis. Such an investigation would help restore public confidence much quicker than a public inquiry, he said.