Dominic Cummings to make rare public statement on lockdown row

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings leaving 10 Downing Street, London, as lo

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings leaving 10 Downing Street, London, as lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government after it emerged that he travelled to his parents' home despite coronavirus-related restrictions. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief advisor, is to make a rare public statement later today as pressure mounts on him to quit over breaking lockdown rules.

The growing calls for Mr Cummings to resign included one from Waveney MP Peter Aldous, who said that he “changed his perspective” following a series of angry emails from constituents.

The former Vote Leave campaign chief travelled 260 miles with his family to be near relatives when his wife developed Covid-19 symptoms.

Despite widespread condemnation, including from many Conservative MPs, Mr Johnson backed his aide by insisting that Mr Cummings acted responsibly by caring for his children.

Mr Aldous initially supported that point of view, saying: “The welfare of Mr Cummings’ child was of understandable importance.”

But further allegations later surfaced of Mr Cummings taking trips outside when he was supposed to be self-isolating.

However, today Mr Aldous has said: “Questions have been raised about whether the family were completely self-isolating in County Durham and whether they took a family trip to Barnard Castle, 30 miles away from where he was staying.

“These new developments have made me reconsider.

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“My constituents are expressing anger at the sacrifice that many families have made, and the fact that there seems to be one rule for the electorate and another rule for the people in charge.

“I think there should not be any distractions at this stage which might jeopardise the lockdown, especially in light of the need to stop a second wave of the virus.

“Therefore, after taking guidance from my constituents, I have come to the conclusion that Mr Cummings should indeed step down.”

There are concerns that if those in power are seen to be breaking the rules and not setting an example, it will become harder to enforce them amongst the wider public.

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