Dominic Cummings lockdown row deepens as authorities says guidelines topic to ‘circumstances’


Squirming Transport Secretary Grant Shapps appeared to vary lockdown guidelines whereas defending under-fire Downing Avenue aide Dominic Cummings in the present day.

The cupboard minister was challenged over Cummings’ 250 mile journey to Durham – regardless of tens of 1000’s of Brits having to be other than their households in heartbreaking circumstances.

In an obvious blurring of the foundations, Mr Shapps now claimed folks needed to quarantine “in probably the most sensible method” – breaking drastically with authorities recommendation to date.


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The federal government has beforehand informed those that develop coronavirus signs – and people they reside with – to not go away their houses.

Cummings claimed he made the journey together with his spouse and little one as a result of he was fearful in regards to the four-year-old’s welfare, and needed to be close by his household.

Dealing with questions from the media at in the present day’s every day briefing, Mr Shapps stuttered: “For those who’re ready the place you’ve got acquired a younger little one and also you’re fearful in regards to the welfare of that little one then clearly being someplace the place different family members can help, then which may be one of the best place for you.”

a man wearing sunglasses: Dominic Cummings leaves his home in London this morning

© AFP through Getty Pictures
Dominic Cummings leaves his dwelling in London this morning

He added: “Mr Cummings is within the public eye however the actuality is that the four-year-old kid’s welfare is the necessary factor.”

Mr Shapps stated the Prime Minister knew Cummings was sick, however wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not Boris Johnson knew his advisor had travelled to Durham.

And showing to turn out to be irritated with questions on Cummings’ actions, Mr Shapps stated: “This wasn’t to go to a vacation dwelling, this was to remain at dwelling.”

Grant Shapps wearing a suit and tie: Grant Shapps has defended the PM's advisor

© 10 Downing Avenue/AFP through Getty
Grant Shapps has defended the PM’s advisor

Labour has referred to as for an inquiry into the incident.

In a letter to Sir Mark Sedwill, Labour’s Rachel Reeves says: “The British folks have made necessary and painful sacrifices to assist the nationwide effort, together with being away from household in occasions of want.

“It’s due to this fact very important that the Authorities can reassure the general public that its most senior figures have been adhering to the identical guidelines as everybody else.”

At present the UK’s Covid-19 dying toll has risen to 36,675 – a rise of 282 since yesterday, figures from the Division of Well being present.

Earlier in the present day the UK’s hospital dying toll in the present day handed 29,500, with a 12-year-old little one among the many newest casualties.

It comes with Downing Avenue and police at odds over whether or not the PM’s aide Dominic Cummings was spoken to by offiers.

Quantity 10 has come out preventing, claiming that “at no level” was the controversial advisor approached by officers over allegations he’d damaged lockdown guidelines.

It adopted an earlier assertion by Durham Constabulary saying the other.

Cummings has admitted driving greater than 250 miles to a house close to his household – regardless of the federal government’s personal guidelines telling folks to remain at dwelling.

However he has claimed he “behaved moderately and legally”, and cupboard members have defended his actions on social media.

Durham Constabulary stated in an announcement on Friday that officers contacted the house owners of a property on March 31, greater than every week after the lockdown had been imposed by the PM, once they have been made conscious of reviews that a person had travelled from London .

Talking on Friday, a spokesman for the power stated: “On Tuesday, March 31, our officers have been made conscious of reviews that a person had travelled from London to Durham and was current at an deal with within the metropolis.

“Officers made contact with the house owners of that deal with, who confirmed that the person in query was current and was self-isolating in a part of the home.

“In step with nationwide policing steerage, officers defined to the household the preparations round self-isolation tips and reiterated the suitable recommendation round important journey.”

The power declined to replace its assertion after the Downing St remark.


Keep at dwelling as a lot as attainable to cease coronavirus spreading – right here is the most recent authorities steerage. For those who suppose you may have the virus, do not go to the GP or hospital, keep indoors and get recommendation on-line. Solely name NHS 111 for those who can’t cope together with your signs at dwelling; your situation will get worse; or your signs don’t get higher after seven days. In components of Wales the place 111 is not obtainable, name NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anybody with signs is suggested to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Eire, name your GP.

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