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FILE - In this Tuesday, July 30, 2019 file photo, Dominic Cummings, a British political strategist and special adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks into 10 Downing Street in London. The British government faced accusations of hypocrisy on Saturday, May 23, 2020, after the revelation that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, traveled more than 250 miles (400 kms) to his parents’ house during a nationwide lockdown while he was showing coronavirus symptoms. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
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Boris Johnson's top aide accused of flouting lockdown rules

23 Comments
By JILL LAWLESS

The British government faced accusations of hypocrisy on Saturday after the revelation that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, traveled more than 250 miles (400 kms) to his parents’ house during a nationwide lockdown.

The Guardian and Mirror newspapers reported that Cummings, who lives in London, was seen at the property in Durham, northeast England, at the end of March. A lockdown that began March 23 stipulated that people should remain at their primary residence, leaving only for essential local errands and exercise, and not visit relatives. Anyone with symptoms was told to completely isolate themselves.

Durham Police said that officers went to a house on March 31 and “explained to the family the guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel.” Police did not mention Cummings by name.

Johnson's office said in a statement that Cummings made the trip because his wife was showing coronavirus symptoms, he thought he was likely to also get sick, and relatives had offered to help look after the couple's young son. It said Cummings stayed in a house “near to but separate from” his extended family.

Downing St. said Cummings believed he had behaved “reasonably and legally.”

Cummings, a contentious figure who has a spiky relationship with the media, was one of the architects of the successful campaign to take Britain out of the European Union, and later was appointed Johnson’s top aide.

The government has previously said that Cummings spent some time off work with coronavirus symptoms. He is one of a slew of senior British government figures to contract COVID-19, including the prime minister, who spent three nights in intensive care at a London hospital.

Cummings, 48, is one of several senior U.K. officials who have been accused of flouting the lockdown rules that they advocated for the rest of the country.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson stepped down as government scientific adviser earlier this month after a newspaper disclosed that his girlfriend had crossed London to stay with him during the lockdown. In April, Catherine Calderwood resigned as Scotland’s chief medical officer after twice traveling from Edinburgh to her second home.

Dave Penman, the leader of civil servants union the FDA, said “the prime minister needs to understand how heartbreaking this lockdown has been for so many families and the sacrifices that have been made up and down the country.”

He said Johnson must explain why “it looks like there is one rule for those at the center of government and one rule for rest of the country.”

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©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


23 Comments
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Big deal. He's a top aide and great at his job.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

The bloke that made the Coronavirus rules for Johnson and said that he didn’t care if old people died drove 250 miles with an child, while ill with the virus, to visit his elderly and vulnerable parents. Others have been sent to prison or fined for less. Even more sickening is the sight of Cabinet ministers making excuses for this appalling and illegal behaviour. The UK Government is morally bankrupt. The fact Cummings won’t resign, or has nor ben sacked, shows the contempt he and his mates show for the British people.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Big deal. He's a top aide and great at his job.

Sure. I mean there are many who'd argue with you about how "great" at his job this person is, but sure. Of course as a "top aide", Cummings doesn't have to abide by his own Government's guidelines. That's what born to rule means, right? One rule for them, one rule for everybody else?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Big deal. He's a top aide and great at his job.

He’s part of the reason why we have the highest death toll in Europe.

Garbage.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

America has Stephen Miller. Britain has Dominic Cummings. And I'm not just talking about their shiny heads!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Above the regulations he helps to put in place. Durham has a high rate of infections. Fine him for his abuse of authority.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

If you asked a three-year old to draw a “nasty man”, that’s what you’d get....

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Since when have politicians and bureaucrats not been hypocrites? They live their lives telling other people what to do while not practicing what they preach.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Since when have politicians and bureaucrats not been hypocrites?

What's your point here? That we should just lay down and accept it? They should be allowed to do it because some always have? We should allow it because it's just the way things are?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Big deal. He's a top aide and great at his job.

If measured by results, no

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Can be found under arrogant self-important narcissist.

When challenged Cummings vomited “so what, not bothered, who cares about looks” ………

A charisma bypass at birth.

Believed/rumoured to be a competent strategist, if one can manage to remain in the room long enough without beating Cummings senseless with an article of furniture.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Privilege.

The lockdown rules were clear, and he broke several of them with this journey. People were fined for less; meanwhile he is responding with dismissive arrogance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

He said Johnson must explain why “it looks like there is one rule for those at the center of government and one rule for rest of the country.”

Because there are always exceptions to the rule...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Reports today say he broke the lockdown a second time. Still Cabinet Ministers are falling over themselves to excuse him. Most of the UK aren’t accepting this bollocks.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

No BusinessMay 23  07:55 pm JST

Big deal. He's a top aide and great at his job.

So you would be okay with getting stopped by the police and fined for doing the same thing while he gets away with it and his Tory bosses stick up for him?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Believed/rumoured to be a competent strategist

That's about the extent of it. Outside campaigning, he hasn't exactly set the world on fire in his other ventures - despite posting masses of pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-technical verbiage on his blog, and making no secret of his disdain for people who don't meet his standard of brilliance (measured in IQ scores, naturally).

From someone who makes a virtue of firing people ("I’ll have to spend time helping you so don’t apply unless you can commit to at least 2 years. I’ll bin you within weeks if you don’t fit — don’t complain later because I made it clear now"), it will be instructive to hear his special pleading about why restrictions urged on the general population were not intended to apply to him; and why he doesn't need to trouble himself with considering resignation.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/23/new-witnesses-cast-doubt-on-dominic-cummingss-lockdown-claims

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Students of history know that the more things change, the more they stay the same...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

An absolute disgrace and insult to all those who have worked so hard to prevent the spread of the virus.

Do as you're told, say the Tories. Except if you're one of us...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Big deal. He's a top aide and great at his job.

It's a huge deal. At the very, very least, he should be sacked.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Students of history know that the more things change, the more they stay the same...

They also know what happens in a revolution. Especially to leaders and lackeys who lord their arrogance over us mere serfs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do what I say not what I do.

Perfect example of elitism.

Get gone already you unelected creepy weirdo. And lying Johnson too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The US is polarized between North (Democrats) and South (Republicans) and has always been so. The UK started this, and has their longer split between North (Labour) and South (Conservative) ... or you could take that further and say the Scots & the English...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hypocracy and stupidity knows no boundaries. It's OK for a 'top aide' for Bozo to break the lockdown and endanger others, and Dictator Donnie goes golfing this weekend -fiddling while America suffers.

Scumbags!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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