Durham Police: Dominic Cummings may have committed ‘minor breach’

Cheryl Sanders
May 28, 2020

Mr Cummings has refused to apologise for the trip, involving a 400km trip to his parents' property in northern England and another trip to a local castle that he said he took to test his eyes and driving ability after falling ill.

The force issued a statement on the prime minister's top aide's decision to travel to the county days after lockdown had been imposed, saying it did not consider that by locating himself at his father's premises he committed an offence. Should they, for example, drive to a family home in Durham? His office said "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" and the prime minister "regards this issue as closed".

The breach is described as "minor" as there was no apparent breach of social distancing, according to Durham Police.

"In line with Durham Constabulary's general approach throughout the pandemic, there is no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident since this would amount to treating Cummings differently from other members of the public".

Durham police said it had also investigated reports Mr Cummings was spotted in Durham on April 19, which Mr Cummings denies, and police said they had "insufficient evidence to support this allegation".

Downing Street said Mr Johnson believed the matter closed.

- ONS figures suggest the average number of people with coronavirus in community settings in England remains "relatively stable", though the infection rate among people working outside the home is around three times as high as for those working at home.

- The toll of deaths linked to the virus rose to nearly 48,000, while at least 189 frontline health and care workers have died after contracting Covid-19.

On Wednesday, Johnson said he understood the "indignation" the public may feel over Cummings' actions, adding: "But I think what they want now is for us to focus on them and their needs rather than on a political ding dong about one adviser may or may not have done".

Mr Johnson faced fresh cross-party calls for Mr Cummings to go in light of the police statement.

"The public have sacrificed so much for the health of our nation - which he's now undermined".

"He broke the rules he helped write".

The SNP's Ian Blackford tweeted: "It is now beyond any doubt that Dominic Cummings did break lockdown rules".

"His position is completely untenable".

Despite an admission that he may have caused a breach of lockdown rules, Boris Johnson is standing by his senior aide.

Other reports by iNewsToday