Boris Johnson’s adviser travelled more than 260-miles to self-isolate away from London while experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms.
Lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government with the Prime Minister facing pressure to sack his closest aide after it emerged that he travelled to his parents’ home despite coronavirus-related restrictions.
When a reporter suggested to him outside his London home that the trip to Durham did not look good, he replied: “Who cares about good looks?
“It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think.”
His comments follow a statement from Downing Street which said the actions of Boris Johnson’s chief adviser were in line with guidelines, and reports that his family were spoken to by police were incorrect.
A spokesman said: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.
Political leaders have piled pressure on Mr Johnson to sack the 48-year-old strategist for flouting the rules.
The matter is bound to irritate the public – praised by ministers and officials for its high compliance with the restrictions since they were brought in on March 23 – which faces another bank holiday weekend apart from family members.
According to a joint investigation by the Daily Mirror and the Guardian, at the same time as the UK Government was instructing people to remain home – with fines in place for those contravening the rules – Mr Cummings decided to escape the capital.
Similar examples of public officials ignore lockdown guidelines have led to resignations and condemnation from senior Tories.
When Professor Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist whose modelling prompted the lockdown, quit as a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies for flouting distancing rules when he was visited by his girlfriend, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “speechless”.
Downing Street had previously confirmed Mr Cummings had started displaying coronavirus symptoms “over the weekend” of March 28 and 29.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said the aide’s position was “completely untenable”.
“He must resign or be sacked,” he added.
The Downing Street aide is accused ‘unbelievable hypocrisy’ on Twitter.
Boris Johnson has come under pressure to sack his top aide and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, speaking at the daily Downing Street Covid-19 briefing today, said: “I can tell you the PM provides Mr Cummings with his full support.”
What are your views? Should Dominic Cummings resign or be sacked? Or did he do the right thing to protect his child? Or is it acceptable that he remains in his current position?