Nearly 76,000 people have signed a petition calling for Dominic Cummings to be sacked after he broke lockdown restrictions by travelling to Durham.
The Prime Minister’s most senior aide is currently at the centre of a storm after it emerged that he, his wife and child, four, had travelled more than 250 miles to Durham while suffering with coronavirus symptoms. A number of Tory MPs have now called for him to be sacked by Boris Johnson, but Mr Cummings has so-far been backed by Downing Street.
It has now sparked a furious petition from the public, with tens of thousands of people signing in just 24 hours. The page explains how, under government guidelines, anyone with coronavirus symptoms should not leave their home, even if for essential supplies, for seven days.
The page also refers to government scientist Professor Neil Ferguson who stepped back from his role after it emerged that his girlfriend had visited him from another household during lockdown.
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Mr Cummings is believed to have first travelled to Durham with his family in March while his wife was experiencing coronavirus symptoms. They then stayed in a property ‘adjacent’ to his parents’ home. It is not clear whether or not the family had any rest stops during the drive up to Durham.
Downing Street insisted Mr Cummings then ‘stayed put’ at the property in Durham for 14 days and made the trip as he needed childcare support. But eyewitness accounts have suggested he flouted rules by travelling 30 miles to a beauty spot.
Mr Cummings then returned to London on April 14, but witnesses in Durham say they saw him back in the area on April 19, close to his parents home on a walk with his wife.
Writing on the petition, members of the public shared the ways they had followed lockdown rules as they voiced their upset with the senior adviser.
One person said: ‘I had to attend a close friend’s funeral via a link, I wasn’t able to travel to it. Many have had loved ones die on their own in hospital and [Cummings] thinks it’s ok to do as he wishes. That’s why I signed!’
Another added: ‘My mum recently died, not corona related but we still were not allowed to visit in hospital. Two days before she passed a nurse rang me and I had a brief video call with my mum.
‘I got to tell my mum via phone that I loved her, she was so weak we could just about hear her, meanwhile that ****hole Cummings goes on a trip to relatives under the pretext of him and the wife being ill and relatives going to look after their kid.’
While a third wrote: ‘I have shielded now for over nine weeks following the government advice. It is a sacrifice and nobody should be excluded from the lockdown requirements.’
A YouGov poll taken over the weekend revealed that 68% of the public said Cummings’ actions broke lockdown rules, while 18% said they did not. Of those asked, 52% said he should resign, while 28% said he should not.
Boris Johnson is facing calls to sack his top aide Dominic Cummings after it emerged he was spoken to by police after travelling from London to Durham when he had coronavirus symptoms. Cummings himself said this morning that he behaved reasonably and legally.
A snap poll by YouGov shows that Britons think that Cummings broke the rules and that he should resign. X GB adults were surveyed on Saturday, 23rd May 2020.
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Johnson is said to have ‘thrown a protective ring’ around his most trusted adviser after the accusations first emerged, claiming he had a ‘compelling case’ for the trip to Durham as he needed childcare for his four-year-old.
No 10 later said they would not ‘waste their time’ answering a ‘stream of false allegations’ about the senior aide after reports suggested he had made the journey on more than one occasion.
However, a series of MPs have now come forward and urged Johnson to get rid of Cummings. MP Steve Baker led the way this morning, telling Sky News: ‘If he doesn’t resign, we’ll just keep burning through Boris’s political capital at a rate we can ill afford in the midst of this crisis.
‘It is very clear that Dominic travelled when everybody else understood Dominic’s slogans to mean “stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives”.
‘And I think mums and dads who very much care about their children and who have been forgoing the childcare of their extended family will wonder why he has been allowed to do this.’
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