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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Boris Johnson digs in as coronavirus journey scandal engulfs his controversial chief adviser – Sydney Morning Herald

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He additionally chastised members of the media for not standing two metres aside when gathered exterior his London house.

Johnson and his most senior ministers have launched a serious operation to save lots of the polarising adviser from being compelled out of Downing Street, arguing Cummings and his spouse Mary Wakefield didn’t breach the foundations as a result of they had been apprehensive concerning the welfare of their younger son and needed to be close to Cumming’s aged dad and mom and sister.

The guidelines on the time stated anybody with signs should not go away their house beneath any circumstances and shouldn’t go to relations for any cause, nonetheless deputy chief medical Jenny Harries did inform a press convention held earlier than the journey {that a} state of affairs the place two sick dad and mom had been unable to care for a kid may warrant an “exceptional circumstance”.

Wakefield had coronavirus signs when the couple drove to Durham however Cummings didn’t, calling into query whether or not these distinctive circumstances existed on the time of the journey.

Cummings ultimately developed signs and was bedridden for greater than every week. Wakefield later wrote a bit for the Spectator describing the ordeal however by no means talked about that they’d left London for help. In the identical piece, she wrote of rising “from quarantine into the almost comical uncertainty of London lockdown”.

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Downing Street officers additionally instructed political journalists on the time that Cummings was off work and self-isolating “at home”.

The scandal, revealed through a joint investigation by The Guardian and Daily Mirror, is a political hazard for Johnson. The opposition and even some Tory MPs have stated it exhibits one algorithm applies to political figures and one other to most people.

A senior member of the federal government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, Professor Neil Ferguson, resigned earlier this month after he was caught breaking the lockdown guidelines to satisfy a girl he was in a relationship with.

Many of the identical ministers who blasted Ferguson rushed to defend Cummings in a volley of tweets on Saturday that threaten to undermine the nation’s public well being messaging.

In an unprecedented defence of a authorities employees member by cupboard ministers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Attorney-General Suella Braverman and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove all stated Cummings did nothing flawed.

“Caring for your wife and child is not a crime,” Gove stated.

Dominic Cummings is a key figure inside Downing Street and trusted ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Dominic Cummings is a key determine inside Downing Street and trusted ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Credit:AP

Johnson has given Cummings his “full support” nonetheless the state of affairs is fluid and Cummings’ future is doubtful.

Acting Durham police commissioner Steve White on Saturday described Cumming’s conduct as “unhelpful” and “frustrating”.

“Given the whole ethos of the guidance and regulations issued from the government was to reduce the spread, regardless of the reason, by travelling to County Durham when known to be infected was unwise,” he stated.

“To beat this crisis we need to be selfless as millions have been.”

Downing Street has claimed that “at no stage was Cummings or his family spoken to by the police about this matter” as was reported by The Guardian and The Daily Mail.

However a press release from Durham police stated officers had been instructed “that an individual had travelled from London to Durham and was present at an address in the city”.

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“Officers made contact with the owners of that address who confirmed that the individual in question was present and was self-isolating in part of the house,” the assertion stated.

“In line with national policing guidance, officers explained to the family the guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel.”

The Labour opposition has known as for an inquiry into the affair and stated Johnson should reply particulars about whether or not he knew Cummings had moved to Durham in the course of the lockdown.

“The lockdown rules were very clear: if you or anyone in your household was suspected of having COVID-19 you must immediately self-isolate and not leave the house,” the get together stated in a press release.

“However, the Prime minister’s chief adviser appears to believe that it is one rule for him and another for the British people. This will cause understandable anger for the millions of people who have sacrificed so much during this crisis.”

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