UK police to not take action against PM Johnson's advisor Cummings

WION Web Team London, London, UK (Great Britain) May 28, 2020, 05.59 PM(IST)

File photo: Cummings and Johnson Photograph:( Reuters )

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Dominic Cummings, Johnson's Chief Strategy Advisor, defended a journey to his parents' home in Durham, north-east England, as reasonable and legal, and the UK prime minister has so far stuck by him with Downing Street reiterating the same line.

British police will not take an action against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior advisor Dominic Cummings, who breached the coronavirus lockdown weeks ago.

"Dominic Cummings did break lockdown rules when he made a 50-mile journey to Barnard Castle, an investigation by Durham Police has concluded. But the force said it would not be taking any further action against Mr Cummings," the Telegraph reported.

Dominic Cummings, Johnson's Chief Strategy Advisor, defended a journey to his parents' home in Durham, north-east England, as reasonable and legal, and the UK prime minister has so far stuck by him with Downing Street reiterating the same line.

Cummings had masterminded the 2016 campaign to leave the European Union, and is a close aide of Johnson's.

Cummings came under pressure when the Daily Mirror and Guardian newspapers reported he had travelled 400 km (250 miles) to Durham in northern England with his wife -- when Britain was under a strict lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak. His wife had COVID-19 symptoms.

"I believe that in every respect he has acted responsibly and legally," Johnson told a news conference.

Johnson's office had earlier said Cummings made the journey to ensure his 4-year-old son could be properly cared for by relatives if he too fell ill.

The 'Observer' and 'Sunday Mirror' have reported that Cummings was seen in the north east of England on two more occasions, after recovering from his COVID-19 symptoms.

On Sunday, newspapers report that witnesses saw Cummings in Barnard Castle, more than 25 miles from Durham, on April 12.

Two days later, on April 14, he was seen in London. According to a witness, he was spotted again in Houghall Woods near Durham on April 19.

Downing Street, however, branded the reports as inaccurate.

Also read | UK PM Johnson backs Cummings despite calls to quit over coronavirus lockdown travel