Dominic Cummings: Durham police say Boris Johnson's aide may have committed 'minor breach' of lockdown rules

May 28, 2020

Dominic Cummings may have committed "a minor breach" of lockdown rules but will face no further action, police have said.

Durham Constabulary said the embattled Downing Street adviser's 26-mile trip from Durham to Barnard Castle at the start of April, which he said was to test his eyesight, "might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention".

But they confirmed "there is no intention to take retrospective action" because "this would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public".

The force added Boris Johnson's top aide had not "committed an offence" by moving from London to Durham at the end of March.

Mr Cummings said he had decamped 260 miles to his parents' farm to seek childcare help for his son in case he and his wife became incapacitated.

A Number 10 spokesperson responded: "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.

"The prime minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed."

Mr Cummings said in an unprecedented news conference hosted in the Downing Street rose garden earlier this week he did not "regret" the trips as they were for "exceptional circumstances".

He has also been solidly defended by Boris Johnson, who claimed he "followed the instincts of every father and every parent" and has defied calls for an independent inquiry.

The prime minister said people should "move on" from the row, as at least 40 Tory MPs - including a serving minister and one who resigned over the issue - called for Mr Cummings to go.

Penny Mordaunt, the paymaster general, said it "will have undermined key public health messages".

The insistence of police that Mr Cummings may have broken the regulations raises questions about the judgement of Attorney General Suella Braverman - the government's chief legal adviser.

She has publicly defended Mr Cummings, saying "protecting one's family is what any good parent does" and that it was "wholly inappropriate to politicise it".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock laughed off suggestions on Thursday the new contact tracing system had been launched early to distract from the row - despite users reporting website crashes - as "priceless".

There have been at least 37,460 deaths in the UK so far - the worst death toll in Europe and second highest in the world.

Lockdown measures that have been in force for 66 days are due to be reviewed again on Thursday.

Next week from Monday to Thursday, Dermot Murnaghan will be hosting After the Pandemic: Our New World - a series of special live programmes about what our world will be like once the pandemic is over.

We'll be joined by some of the biggest names from the worlds of culture, politics, economics, science and technology. And you can take part too. If you'd like to be in our virtual audience - from your own home - and put questions to the experts, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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