Dominic Cummings ‘does not regret’ County Durham trip after arguing he acted on ‘expert medical advice’
PUBLISHED: 17:28 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 18:07 25 May 2020
Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings said he has not considered resigning amid calls for him to be sacked following a trip to County Durham with his family during lockdown.
Mr Cummings made his statement and took questions from the media on Monday afternoon, May 25, following his trip to County Durham in the height of lockdown – which he argued was in the interest of his family’s safety and the health and wellbeing of his son.
Mr Cummings had made the trip to his family’s estate in the north east from London on March 27, after arguing he needed to ensure there was adequate child care for his son after his wife fell ill, which he did not have in London.
Lockdown guidelines at the time had called for those showing symptoms and their household to self isolate.
Mr Cummings admitted however he “pretty clearly” had the virus after showing symptoms on his first full day in Durham on March 28.
His son was also taken to hospital by ambulance in April – where he spent the night – but later tested negative for Covid-19. Neither Cummings or his wife Mary were tested.
Allegations had also been made that Mr Cummings made trips outside of his family’s estate, including claims he was spotted in Barnard Castle – which he later admitted to have been during a trip to the town to “test” his eyes before making a longer trip back to London.
Mr Cummings said he had decided to make the trip after taking on “expert medical advice” once he was fit to return back to work.
He admitted the family stopped during the journey back to Durham from Barnard Castle to allow his son to go to the toilet, but also played in a nearby wood before resuming their trip.
He added he made no further trips outside of London other than to visit Chequers.
Speaking in the garden of 10 Downing Street, Mr Cummings insisted he did not “break the spirit” of lockdown and did not break any laws and therefore would not apologise.
Mr Cummings added: “I don’t regret what I did. I think reasonable people may well disagree about how I thought about what to do in the circumstances, but I think what I did was actually reasonable in these circumstances.
“The rules made clear that if you are dealing with small children that can be exceptional circumstances.
“And I think that the situation that I was in was exceptional circumstances and the way that I dealt with it was the least risk to everybody concerned if my wife and I had both been unable to look after our four-year-old.”
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