Police conclude Dominic Cummings’ castle trip possible ‘minor breach’
Police will not take further action against Boris Johnson aide over allegations he broke coronavirus lockdown rules.
LONDON — Boris Johnson’s top aide’s drive from his parents’ property in Durham to Barnard Castle might have constituted a “minor breach” of lockdown regulations “that would have warranted police intervention,” a police investigation concluded Thursday.
After examining the circumstances surrounding Dominic Cummings’ journey to the tourist spot on April 12 with his wife and son, Durham Constabulary said in a statement that police view this incident as minor since there was “no apparent breach of social distancing.”
The statement said police will not take retrospective action against him since this would amount to treating Cummings differently from other people.
At a press conference Monday, Cummings said he drove nearly 48 kilometers to Barnard Castle to test his eye sight after recovering from a suspected case of COVID-19 in order to ensure it was safe for him to drive back to London and return to work.
Cummings had driven to a property on his father’s farm in late March in order to self-isolate near family in case he and his wife needed childcare support after they both fell ill. This stay was not judged by police to have breached the law, though the statement makes clear police are not concerned with possible breaches of the government’s guidance to stay at home.
The police report said: “Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of traveling during the pandemic crisis. Had this advice been accepted by Mr Cummings, no enforcement action would have been taken.”
The statement added officers had not seen evidence suggesting the aide took an alleged second trip to Durham on April 19, something Cummings has denied.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “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.”