UK PM regards aide’s case ‘closed’ after police announcement

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers the issue involving his top aide, Dominic Cummings as “closed” after police said no action would be taken against the latter who has been accused of breaching lockdown rules, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Since May 22, Cummings has been at the centre of a major row when it was revealed that he drove about 418 km in March from London to his parents’ home in the northeast city of Durham, reportedly breaking the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, reports Xinhua news agency.

The row has dominated headlines and led to dozens of MPs calling for Cummings to resign.

In a statement released on Thursday, Durham police said by locating himself at his father’s premises, Cummings had not committed an offence contrary to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, but by making a journey from his father’s property to Barnard Castle with his wife and son, there might have been “a minor breach” of the coronavirus regulations that would have warranted police intervention.

The statement added Durham constabulary viewed this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing, and will take no further action in this matter.

Responding to the police announcement, Johnson said it was “now time to move on”.

“The police have made clear they are taking no action against Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations.

“The Prime Minister has said he believes Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed,” the Downing Street spokesperson said on Thursday.

Cummings made a public explanation earlier this week that he made the car journey together with his wife and their four-year-old son from London to Durham when his wife developed COVID-19 symptoms.

He was worried that if he also became ill, which he subsequently did, there would be problems looking after their young son.

Critics say Cummings has failed to apologize for his actions, while opposition parties continue to call for him to be sacked.

Johnson has publicly backed Cummings.