PM’s adviser Dominic Cummings to make rare statement as resignation calls grow

Dominic Cummings is to make a rare statement and take questions later today, Downing Street has confirmed.

The address by Boris Johnson's most senior adviser is a virtually unprecedented move, given aides largely stay out of the limelight as ministers are responsible for their actions.

He is under-fire for travelling 260 miles from London to Durham while Britons were being told to "stay at home" at the end of March.

Johnson tells nation he's standing by Cummings

19 Conservative MPs – as well as bishops and NHS staff – claim he broke the rule and are calling for his resignation, but the prime minister has maintained that Mr Cummings acted "responsibly, legally and with integrity".

More Tory backbenchers have urged Mr Cummings to directly address unanswered questions about a witness who claimed to have spotted him visiting Barnard Castle on 12 April, a picturesque town 30 miles away from his parents' farm where he self-isolated, and again in Durham a week later.


Confusion also remains after Durham Police said they contacted the Number 10 aide's family – an account disputed by Downing Street.

Mr Cummings said he decamped from London when his wife developed COVID-19 symptoms in case he came down with the virus too so his family could look after the couple's young child.

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He is expected to make his statement later on Monday afternoon, despite the code of conduct for special advisers stating they "must not take public part in political controversy, through any form of statement".

One insider said the guidance "refers to what you do in a personal capacity" and not what an adviser is asked to do by their boss.

Barnard Castle town.
Image: A witness says they saw the Downing Street aide in Barnard Castle

Tory former ministers have called on Mr Cummings to quit or be sacked, Paul Maynard saying: "It is a classic case of 'do as I say, not as I do' – and it is not as if he was unfamiliar with guidance he himself helped draw up.

"It seems to me to be utterly indefensible and his position wholly untenable."

Conservative MP Steve Baker says Dominic Cummings is not 'indispensable' and 'should go'
Tory MP and former minister: 'Cummings has not abided by his own rules'

Steve Baker also told Sky News on Sunday: "We are now in a nonsense position, a pantomime position where it seems if you wish to apply a wide common-sense interpretation to the rules you can do, at least if you work in Number 10."

Cabinet ministers have so far rallied round Mr Cummings, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson telling Sky News on Monday: "At no stage did he break the law or break the rules."

Labour has called for Read More – Source

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