Boris Johnson has said he must fire top official Dominic Cummings today by his own MPs for breaking the Corona virus travel lock when the first cracks appeared in the party unit.
Steve Baker, a former Brexit minister and a senior hardline Brexiteer like Mr. Cummings, broke cover to demand that the adviser be removed and demanded that the Prime Minister take control of events back out of his grasp.
The prime minister set up a determined defense of his controversial lieutenant against revelations he made 260 miles from London to Durham, while telling the public to stay home and tell allies, “It’s not like he was visiting a lover . ”
But just as the Prime Minister decided to remain with his right hand, Downing Street’s advisor was startled by new claims that he ignored the strict national guidelines of two more witnesses, making him even more frenzy to get fired.
Mr. Baker told Sky News that Mr. Cummings’ career has always “caused a tremendous amount of collateral damage,” including the Brexit campaign, and added, “He’s not always right and he’s certainly not indispensable.”
“If he doesn’t quit, we’ll just keep burning Boris’s political capital at a rate we can’t afford during this crisis,” he said.
It is very clear that Dominic traveled when everyone else understood Dominic’s slogans as “stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
“And I think moms and dads who care deeply about their kids and who have given up their extended family’s daycare will wonder why he was allowed to do this.
“I really just don’t see how when we get to the liaison committee (which appears) on Wednesday we will disappear if Dominic doesn’t go.”
Simon Hoare, the Tory North Dorset MP and Chairman of the Select Committee of Northern Ireland, later added his voice to the call and tweeted: ‘With the damage done to Mr Cummings’s reputation as a government, he must consider his position take.
Lockdown has had its challenges for everyone. It’s his cavalier “I don’t care; I’m smarter than you ” tone that infuriates people. He now injures the prime minister / government and I don’t like that. ‘
But transportation secretary Grant Shapps tried to defend Mr. Cummings, telling Ridge he was “doing his best” for his four-year-old son.
Steve Baker, a former Brexit minister and a senior hardline Brexiteer like Mr. Cummings, broke cover to demand that the advisor be removed and demanded that the Prime Minister take control of events back from his grasp
Simon Hoare, the Tory North Dorset MP and Chairman of the Select Committee of Northern Ireland, later added his voice to the call and tweeted: ‘With the damage done to Mr Cummings’s reputation as a government, he must consider his position take
But transportation secretary Grant Shapps tried to defend Mr. Cummings and told Ridge he was “trying his best” for his four-year-old son
Timeline of Cummings’ lockdown sequence
March 23: As the coronavirus crisis escalates, the UK is locked up with strict travel restrictions.
Government guidelines say, “You should not visit family members who do not live in your home.”
Those in a household with symptoms should “stay at home and not out of the house” for up to 14 days.
27 March: Both Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock test positive for coronavirus, while Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty says he has symptoms of the disease and isolates himself.
30 March: Downing Street confirms that Mr. Cummings suffers from coronavirus symptoms and isolates himself.
March 31st: Durham police are “informed of reports that a person had traveled from London to Durham and was at an address in the city.”
Police said the officers had contacted the owners of that address, who confirmed that the person in question was present and isolated themselves in part of the house.
“In accordance with national police guidance, officers explained the arrangements for self-isolation guidelines to the family and repeated appropriate advice on essential travel.”
April 5th: An unnamed neighbor tells the Mirror and the Guardian, Mr. Cummings was seen in his parents’ yard.
“I got the shock of my life when I looked at the gate and saw it,” they said.
March 30 – April 6: The period of Mr. Cummings’ wife, Mary Wakefield, describes the family’s struggle with the coronavirus in the spectator issue of April 25.
She makes no mention of the trip to Durham and describes the challenges of caring for their son while suffering from the symptoms of Covid-19.
She says their son took care of Mr. Cummings with Ribena.
12 April: Robert Lees, a retired chemistry teacher, claims to have seen Cummings 30 miles away from his childhood home in Barnard Castle.
April 14: Mr. Cummings is returning to work for the first time since the news that he was suffering from the coronavirus.
Questions are being asked about his adherence to social distance counseling while being photographed walking down Downing Street with fellow assistant Cleo Watson.
April 19: A passerby claims to have seen Mr. Cummings and his family admire bluebells with his wife back in Durham.
May 22nd: The news breaks in The Mirror and the Guardian of Mr Cummings’ journey to Durham.
May 23: Downing Street stands behind the Prime Minister’s assistant, saying in a statement, “Since his wife was infected with the suspected coronavirus and the high probability that he would become unwell himself, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure that his young child could be well looked after for. ‘
That evening, a joint investigation by Sunday Mirror and Observer reveals the two new eyewitness statements.
Labor shadow secretary Sarah Jones demanded this morning that Johnson hold today’s press conference on coronavirus to “answer questions about what happened, what he knew and what he will do about it.”
The first witness claimed to have seen Mr Cummings on Easter Sunday in a town 30 miles away from his parents ‘farm in Durham, where he isolated himself with his wife and son – despite saying he had’ stayed all the time to sit’.
A second said they had seen Mr. Cummings in Durham on April 19, five days after he returned to work in Westminster – suggesting he made a second 424-mile trip northeast.
They came after the number 10 chef was labeled a hypocrite on Friday for ignoring the same locking instructions to stay at home and helping to make it himself.
Last night’s revelations in the Observer and Sunday Mirror have poured gas in a row that is flooding the prime minister’s assistant, who according to the public firmly believes the restrictions have been violated, a YouGov poll found.
Before the latest allegations of breaking the rules emerged, allies said Mr. Johnson had “thrown a protective ring” around his oldest lieutenant because he had a “compelling case” for his journey that gave him “the benefit of the doubt.”
“Lifting the lock to see that your mistress is very different from doing anything to protect your toddler,” said one.
The prime minister told friends: “Dominic acted within the guidance and just looked after his family. I now consider the case closed. ‘
The Prime Minister also added, “It’s not like he was visiting a lover,” suggesting that Mr. Cummings was not about to suffer the same fate as wise scientist Prof. Neil Ferguson.
Mr. Johnson told allies he wouldn’t throw Mr. Cummings “at the dogs,” the Sunday Times said.
But last night’s claims that the 48-year-old Vote Leave mastermind repeated the lockdown rules repeatedly will likely test the Prime Minister’s support, with an Downing Street insider calling Mr. Cummings’ behavior “ Domnishambles. ”
Number 10 has angrily renounced the reports, saying it will not be “a waste of time to answer a stream of false allegations from campaign newspapers.”
But within Tory, anger is growing at Mr. Cummings’ amazing behavior. One cabinet minister told the Sunday Times he had made them look like “hypocrites” because of the harsh closures imposed on the British public.
And an advisor channeled Monty ‘Python’s cult movie The Life of Brian, saying,’ He’s proven he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very bad boy, actually. ‘
No10 faced a fire on another front after Durham Constabulary last contradicted Downing Street’s statement that police had not spoken to Mr Cummings’ family about his trip to Durham in late March.
The police issued a statement yesterday evening confirming that the officers had in fact spoken to Mr. Cummings’s father about the matter.
Durham bolt hole: The family property of Mr. Cummings and his family is said to have fled during the height of the coronavirus lock
Mr. Cummings (photo left yesterday with his son) insisted he had the right to make the trip to join family
Challenged by reporters at his London home this afternoon whether his actions looked bad, a defiant Dominic Cummings said ‘who cares about good looks’
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps told the Downing Street briefing that the No10 chief had Boris Johnson’s “full backing” as he faced a barrage of questions. Mr. Cummings traveled with wife Mary Wakefield (pictured right yesterday)
Steve Baker, a former Brexit minister and a senior hardline Brexiteer like Mr Cummings, broke cover to demand that the adviser be fired today, demanding that the prime minister ‘take back control’ over events that have come out of his grip
Boris Johnson defended a determined defense from his controversial assistant Dominic Cummings last night, telling allies, ‘It’s not like he was visiting a loved one’ when he reportedly broke the lockdown rules (pictured in September)
Poll believes 68% of British believe Dominic Cummings has broken lockdown rules
More than two-thirds of the British believe that Dominic Cummings broke the rules for closing rules by driving to Durham while isolated, and more than half believed he should step down, as revealed last night.
The survey of 3,707 adults conducted by YouGov today found that only 28 percent thought they should stay on, and another 20 percent on the fence.
Tonight’s YouGov poll also revealed that conservative voters were divided on whether to keep his position, with 41 percent of respondents saying he should quit, while 43 percent wanted him to remain as Boris Johnson’s senior advisor.
Chris Curtis, political research manager at YouGov, said, “These are clearly disturbing figures for the government and Mr. Cummings.
The public already thought the government was too hasty to lift parts of the lock and it is likely that they will be even less impressed if key people are believed to have broken rules that they believe are not strict enough .
“Of course, the government hopes everyone will move on to a story about a relatively unknown adviser soon, but it’s going to be difficult when the public thinks he’s wrong and should go.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said at the daily press conference that it was important for the 48-year-old advisor to “sit” for two weeks when he arrived at his parents’ home in March.
But this story seemed to unravel last night when a witness claimed to have seen Mr. Cummings in a town 30 miles away from his parents’ house.
Robert Lees, a retired chemistry teacher, said he saw the misfit Brexiteer and his family walk at Barnard Castle, Teesdale on April 12.
He told the papers, “I was a little baffled to see him because I know what he looks like. And the rest of the family seemed to agree – a woman and a child.
“I was pretty sure it was him and it didn’t make sense because I thought he was going to be in London.”
He called the assistant to step down and added, “I went home and told my wife we thought he should be in London. Later that day I looked up the license plate and it shows from the search history of my computer. ‘
Cummings received another hit from a neighbor who is said to have seen him in Durham on April 19, five days after he was first portrayed at number 10.
The unnamed passer-by said that he had seen the Prime Minister’s assistant admiring the ‘beautiful’ clocks with his wife Mary Wakefield in Houghall Woods, near his parents’ farm.
It suggests that after recovering from Covid-19, Mr. Cummings traveled back northeast to return to work in Westminster.
Earlier, a defiant Mr. Cummings responded who cares when journalists asked him if his actions looked bad.
Only one number 10 insider joked about his behavior ‘Domnishambles’, a reference to the ridiculous term ‘omnishambles’ that was first used to describe an all-encompassing mess in the BBC’s political satire The Thick Of It and then in Ed Miliband’s Commons.
The latest claims that flared up call for Mr Cummings to be fired. Ian Blackford, leader of SNP Westminster, said the advisor should be fired.
He tweeted, “Obviously Boris Johnson has to fire Dominic Cummings. When the prime minister’s top adviser ignores the government’s instruction to the public not to participate in nonessential travel, he must leave his office. Straight away.’
He has even called on the head of government to investigate the “violation of the rules and cover-up of the Tory government.”
Acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said, “If Dominic Cummings is allowed to sit a moment longer, the prime minister’s verdict will be increasingly in the limelight.
“Boris Johnson must now recognize that his top advisor’s actions are an affront to the millions who have made enormous personal sacrifices to stop the spread of the coronavirus.”
Critics were supported by the weight of public opinion, with a YouGov poll that 68 percent of people thought Mr. Cummings ignored the rules and more than half (52 percent) thought he should step down. Only 28 percent think they should stay at number 10.
A No. 10 spokeswoman said last night: “Yesterday, the Mirror and the Guardian wrote inaccurate stories about Mr. Cummings.
Today they write more inaccurate stories, including claims that Mr. Cummings returned to Durham after returning to work on Downing Street on April 14.
“We will not waste our time answering a flood of false accusations about Mr. Cummings from campaign newspapers.”
In addition to taking down anti-aircraft guns to stop the charges, Downing Street has come under fire for offering a different version of events from Durham Constabulary.
No. 10 had said on Saturday morning, “At no time was he [Mr Cummings] or his family spoke of this, as reported, “and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that statement was” black and white “during the daily Downing Street briefing.
But in a statement released on Saturday evening, police said, “After a significant number of media investigations over the weekend, Durham Constabulary can add the following detail.
“On Tuesday, March 31, our officers were informed that Dominic Cummings had traveled from London to Durham and was at an address in the city.
“At the request of Mr. Cummings’ father, an officer contacted the telephone the following morning.
During that conversation, Mr. Cummings’s father confirmed that his son and his family had traveled from London to the northeast and isolated themselves in part of the property.
Durham Constabulary felt that no further action was needed. However, the officer gave advice on security issues.
Dominic Cummings and wife Mary Wakefield, who wrote about her husband’s coronavirus battle
The Durham property has a series of outbuildings, and it is believed that Mr. Cummings stayed there with his family.
Mr. Cummings ‘parents’ farm, where he moved with his wife and son when they presented with coronavirus symptoms
Cummings’ ex-brother-in-law comes to defend him
Dominic Cummings’s ex-brother-in-law drove to his defense last night, insisting that it was “very, very easy” for the prime minister’s chief counsel to isolate himself at his parents’ house in Durham.
Matthew Herriott, a farmer who lives close to North Lodge, said the property includes a number of self-contained apartments attached to the main house, accessible only through a separate entrance.
It meant that Cummings, his wife Mary Wakefield and their young son could stay in the £ 800,0000 sandstone farm without coming into contact with his parents, Morag and Robert.
There are also outbuildings on the estate where guests stay from time to time.
In a statement yesterday, Downing Street insisted that Mr. Cummings’s sister shop for the family and leave everything at their doorstep.
“North Lodge is undoubtedly large enough to accommodate so many people,” Mr. Herriott told The Mail on Sunday. “It’s one building, but it’s split into separate apartments, so it’s very, very easy for anyone to isolate themselves.
“It has multiple extensions, if you like, so it is more than enough to live there and not be in touch with anyone. It is also on a hectare of land, I think. ‘
Mr. Cummings claims that he traveled to Durham so that his parents, Robert, 73, and Morag, 71, could take care of his four-year-old son if both he and his wife were affected by the virus.
Mr Cummings yesterday rejected reporters’ questions and said, “It’s a matter of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you think, ”he said.
He also satirized photographers for not following social distance rules by spacing two meters apart.
His mother also had a reporter ripped. Speaking from the family home via intercom, she said, “I have one thing to say, Dominic’s uncle died on Palm Sunday and you should be ashamed of yourself.”
A large number of cabinet ministers also gathered. Michael Gove, the former boss of Mr. Cummings, tweeted, “Taking care of your wife and child is not a crime.” Secretary of State Dominic Raab, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Minister Matt Hancock also provided support.
But a tweet from Mr Johnson’s report this afternoon underscored the problem with which ministers are explaining the situation.
“If you have symptoms of #coronavirus, isolate yourself and get tested,” the message said.
At the time, government leaders said that those who isolate themselves should “stay at home and not leave the house,” as well as “stay away” from the frail elderly. In a report of their ordeal published last month, Mr. Cummings’ journalist Mary Wakefield’s wife also described how he was cared for by their baby son with Ribena – suggesting he stayed with them. The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson told reporters at the time that Mr. Cummings was “home”.
Grilled repeatedly over the controversy at tonight’s briefing, Mr. Shapps said, “Most importantly, everyone stays in the same place while locked, which is exactly what happened in the case you mean by Mr. Cummings.
“The prime minister knew he was sitting there and only came out when he felt better.”
Mr. Shapps added, “The counseling says that if you live with children, you should continue to follow this advice to the best of your ability.
“However, we are aware that depending on the circumstances, not all of these measures will be possible.”
Mr. Shapps suggested that the guidance was related to individual interpretation and said, “It is up to an individual to make the decision” how do I make sure I have enough support around the family “especially in the case you are referring to with the potential of both parents getting sick and having to nurse a young child.
“How did you get that support network around them, and the decision here was to go to that location and stay in that location. They don’t have to go any further and so it would be for every individual to find the best way to do that, and that’s what happened here. ‘
Mr. Shapps added, “You have to lock yourself up and do it in the best and most practical way – and I think it will be different for different people, under whatever circumstances, dictate their specific family differences, that’s all it happened in this case. “
As to whether Mr Johnson was aware of Mr Cummings’ activities, Mr Shapps pointed out that the Prime Minister himself had been ill at the time. “I can tell you that the Prime Minister gives full support to Mr Cummings and Mr Cummings has made a full statement,” he said.
Asked to clarify guidance on closing travel, Dr. Jenny Harries said it was “clear” that someone with symptoms should isolate with their family.
But she said all guidance had a “common sense” element about protection. Dr. Harries said, “So we don’t want an elderly person to be home without medicines because they feel like they can’t get out.”
Dr. Harries said that if there was a “protective problem” where a child had “no support,” it would be a problem.
“There is always a safeguard clause in all advice,” she said, adding, “The interpretation of that advice is probably for others.”
Sources near Mr. Cummings say there is “no chance” of him stopping.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill warned that the breach will be thrown in the police officers’ faces as they try to curb sun-seeking visitors during what is expected to be a warm holiday weekend.
Mr Underhill said the furore would inevitably be cited this weekend by people flocking to Dorset beauty sites and beaches.
“The timing of this is unfortunate, as it will be the busiest weekend Dorset has experienced this year,” he said.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner weighed in to say that Mr Cummings’ actions had made monitoring the closure “much more difficult.”
Former Labor Member of Parliament David Jamieson said in a statement: “The task of the police to enforce the shutdown has become much more difficult, both through the actions of Dominic Cummings who have traveled more than 260 miles, and the flexibility with which the government now seems to interpret the lead.
He urged the Prime Minister to fire his adviser “to restore public confidence and some credibility in addressing this terrible Covid-19 crisis.”
Tory assistants who have felt Mr Cummings’ anger also welcome his controversy.
“Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy,” one of them told MailOnline. “But I’m sure they won’t allow him.”
Another agreed that Mr. Cummings would not go. “He’s needed too much,” they said. “Who else wants to play the role he created?”
His wife, journalist Mary Wakefield, wrote about his struggle with the disease and suggested that he be locked up in their London hometown, as would the Prime Minister’s spokesperson in late March.
Neighbors were ‘shocked’ to see him in northeast England a few days after he was pictured in Westminster and isolated him with the symptoms of Covid-19.
The neighbor, unwilling to give his name, said to the mirror, “I got the shock of my life. A child was walking around, probably his son. I recognized Dominic Cummings, he is a very distinctive figure.
“I was really annoyed. I thought ‘it’s okay to drive all the way to Durham and escape from London’.
“I sympathize with him that he wants to, but other people are not allowed to do that. It’s one line for Dominic Cummings and one line for the rest of us. ‘
On April 14, the assistant was pictured in Westminster for the first time since his recovery from the coronavirus.
Mr Cummings was not beaten with a fine of £ 60 for breaking the rules were ushered in on March 26.
On March 26, Coronavirus laws said, “You should not visit family members who do not live in your home. The only exception is if they need help, such as dropping groceries or medicines. ‘
A few days later, on April 5, Mr. Cummings stayed on the Durham estate and was noticed by a neighbor of Mr. Cummings’s parents,
The government has released its latest slides showing the status of the UK’s coronavirus outbreak tonight
Who hit Dominic Cummings? It is speculated that ‘dark forces’ are behind exposé on an assistant Whitehall dared to hire – while opposition members questioned what DID Boris Johnson knew about ‘cover-ups’
By Glen Owen, Harry Cole and Brendan Carlin for the mail on Sunday
The explosive revelations about Dominic Cummings come against the backdrop of mounting tensions between the Maverick and the Whitehall establishment, prompting some Tory MPs to speculate about “dark forces” behind the exposé.
Shortly before the story broke in two left-facing newspapers yesterday, sources claimed that Mr. Cummings was at the center of an attempt to oust Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, something no source denies.
The claims have been circulated in the wake of the appointment of the Duke of Cambridge’s private secretary, Simon Case, to the formerly dormant role as No. 10’s own permanent secretary.
The move was described by a political assistant as “a shot over the arches of Sedwill” – but was also seen as an attempt to tone down Mr. Cummings’ ubiquitous influence.
Sources claimed that Mr. Cummings was central to an attempt to oust Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill (left), which no source denies. The claims have been circulated in the wake of the appointment of the Duke of Cambridge’s private secretary, Simon Case, (right) to the previously dormant role as the permanent secretary of No 10
BBC’s Kuenssberg controlled by left-wing players
Laura Kuenssberg, BBC’s political editor-in-chief, received fierce criticism yesterday for appearing to defend Dominic Cummings after reporting that he had breached lockdown rules.
Within 30 minutes of breaking the story on Friday night, Miss Kuenssberg shared a rebuttal from an unnamed source, claiming that the Prime Minister’s 260-meter journey from London to his parents’ home in Durham was’ inside ‘ used to be [the] guidelines’.
Commenting on the Daily Mirror journalist who broke the story, Miss Kuenssberg tweeted, “The source says his trip was within guidelines, as Cummings went to stay with his parents so they could help with childcare while he and his wife were ill – they insist no breach of lockdown ‘.
Her reply was immediately answered by a chorus of condemnation from the Labor-supporting trolls, with some accusing her of being a “mouthpiece for the government” and a “Tory stooge.”
Last night, her response had received nearly 16,000 responses.
Piers Morgan described her explanation as “absolute nonsense,” while former Labor spin doctor Alastair Campbell demanded from Mrs. Kuenssberg to “get a handle” on the repeated reliance on “sources close to Dominic Cummings.”
Philosopher A.C. Grayling was also discredited by tweeting, “It’s time to end anonymous” No 10 source “(= Cummings) briefings (= to Laura Kuenssberg) = lies, propaganda, spider, dead cats, etc.”
Sir Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, said, “My confidence in Laura Kuenssberg, for whom I had some respect, is quickly fading.”
Last night, the hashtag ‘sackkuenssberg’ was popular on Twitter. Others, however, jumped in her defense. Former Home Secretary of the Interior Jacqui Smith said, “Whoever the villain is today, it’s not Laura Kuenssberg.”
A long-standing critic of the Whitehall site, Mr. Cummings described the permanent bureaucracy as “an idea for the history books” and suggested abolishing the role of senior officials.
A high-ranking source admitted tensions in No. 10 ran high, with many officials exhausted from the Covid-19 crisis, but downplayed the idea that Mr. Cummings had been the victim of a ‘hit job’ by his enemies in the government .
Mr Case, an experienced mandarin and former GCHQ security officer, has been appointed to serve as a ‘bridge’ between Mr Johnson’s political team and the government agency, in effective recognition that the crisis is under the current No. 10 structure under enormous has put pressure on tension.
Mr. Johnson personally called Prince William last week to ask for permission to second Mr. Case to Downing Street to address the crisis.
To heighten tensions in No. 10 and the sense that Sir Mark’s wings are being cut, Whitehall official Helen Macnamara has been promoted to Assistant Secretary of Cabinet and Head of Cabinet Secretariat.
The role that coordinated the work of the cabinet had previously been held by Sir Mark. A source added: “There is an opinion that Sir Mark has kept a few things out of the prime minister’s position and that the prime minister needs more control over what he plans to do. He is clearly spread too thin and that is changing now ‘
A Tory Member of Parliament said, “Dom has made enemies everywhere and you can’t wonder if there were dark forces at stake to get revenge.”
Transport Minister Grant Shapps defended Mr. Cummings for facing a slew of questions about the case at the Downing Street press conference yesterday.
Mr. Shapps went out of his way to insist that the assistant did what was best for his four-year-old son and said, “In times of crisis, we try to have our family around us.”
But he seemed annoyed that he had to deal with repeated questions about Mr. Cummings instead of the series of transportation announcements – including a four-way plan over the Pennine – he was making.
Mr. Shapps insisted that Mr. Johnson was aware of his chief assistant’s decision to travel to County Durham so that his young son would be safely cared for and said, “The prime minister had known he would stay put and would not come more outside until he felt better ‘.
Pressured by the lockdown advice, Deputy Chief Physician Jenny Harries said the interpretation of the rules was for others, adding, “All counseling has an element of common sense” – including protecting children.