Prime Minister Dominic Cummings’ chief aide’s journey from London to Durham with his sick wife to be close to loved ones during the coronavirus lockout was “on schedule”, says number 10.
A spokesperson said it was “essential” for Mr. Cummings to make sure he had care for the children if he also developed symptoms of Covid-19.
The Durham police chief said it was “not wise” for Mr. Cummings to travel.
The SNP called for his resignation, while the Labor party asked for a “clear explanation” of his actions.
Downing Street said Mr. Cummings believed he “behaved reasonably and lawfully” when he made the 260-mile drive from his home from London to Country Durham during the lockout.
A No. 10 spokesperson said, “Because of his wife’s suspected coronavirus infection and the high likelihood that he would become ill himself, it was essential that Dominic Cummings ensure that his young child is properly cared for.
“His sister and nieces had volunteered to help him, so he went to a house near but separated from his extended family in case their help was needed. Her sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.
“At no time did he or his family speak to the police about this, as reported.
“His actions were in accordance with the guidelines on coronaviruses. Mr. Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and lawfully. “
Police said they had visited Durham County property after the Guardian and Daily Mirror newspapers reported for the first time that Mr. Cummings was seen near his parents’ home at the beginning of ‘April.
Durham police and the commissioner of crime, Steve White, said, “Given the general ethics of the directives and regulations that were designed to reduce the spread, for whatever reason, traveling to County Durham when it is known that he is infected was very reckless.
“To overcome this crisis, we must be selfless like millions of people have been.
“The response from the people of Durham has been exemplary, which makes the situation even more frustrating and worrying. “
The government has ordered anyone with symptoms of coronavirus to isolate themselves from their homes and not to leave – even for essential supplies – for seven days.
A Labor spokesman said the government should use the daily Downing Street Covid-19 press conference on Saturday to provide answers to the reports.
A statement added, “The public has made extraordinary sacrifices during this pandemic and the lockout.
“This cannot be one rule for those who set them and another for the British people.”
Cummings, the former director of the Vote Leave campaign, is the Prime Minister’s closest political adviser. He attended meetings of the Scientific Emergency Advisory Group (Sage) – the scientific body that provides independent advice that shapes the government’s response to coronaviruses.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove Defended Mr. Cummings, tweeting: “Caring for your wife and child is not a crime. “
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has insisted that an explanation for Mr. Cummings’ actions now be provided.
he tweeted: “It is reasonable and fair to ask for an explanation about this. And that has been provided: two parents with coronavirus were worried about their young child.
“Those who are now trying to politicize it should look in the mirror for a long time. “
Earlier, Scottish National Party leader Westminster Ian Blackford told BBC Radio 4 Today that Mr. Cumming’s position was “untenable” and that the Prime Minister had “serious questions” to answer about reporting.
Meanwhile, Dave Penman, secretary general of FDA, the union representing senior officials, said the Prime Minister was responsible for the actions of his senior assistant and asked Mr. Johnson to explain the information that Mr. Cummings broke the lock rules.
It comes after other prominent figures involved in the fight against the pandemic resigned for breaking the lock restrictions, including former Scotland chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood and lead scientist Professor Neil Ferguson.
Dr. Calderwood resigned in April after making two trips to his second home during the shutdown of the coronavirus.
While Professor Ferguson resigned as a government advisor on the coronavirus after it was reported that a woman he was in contact with went to his home.
On March 30, it was reported that Cummings, the former Vote Leave chief who was the architect of the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy, had developed symptoms of the coronavirus and self-isolated at home.
His wife, reporter Mary Wakefield, described in Spectator magazine how he collapsed and was bedridden for 10 days.
Durham police have confirmed that officers spoke to the owners of an address after agents were informed on March 31 of reports that someone had gone there from London.
A spokesperson said that the owners of the address confirmed that the individual “was present and isolated in part of the house”, and the police “explained to the family the instructions for self-parking.” isolation and reiterated appropriate advice regarding essential travel. “
On March 31, the government recommended that the public stay at home and leave only for clearly defined reasons, such as exercise, essential purchases, or medical needs.
At the time – and as it remains the case – those with symptoms of coronavirus had to isolate themselves at home and not even leave for essential supplies, if possible, for seven days.
It was also forbidden to leave your house to visit friends and family at their home, while government advice for people aged 70 and over continues to minimize contact with other people outside of their house.
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In other developments:
- Police are “wary” on patrol as sputum attacks escalate during the coronavirus pandemic
- People arriving in the UK must isolate themselves for 14 days from June 8 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government has said.
- The founder of the UK weekly applause for frontline workers said it should end next Thursday
- Oxfordshire nursing home said how it closed early to protect residents
- And BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh tested positive for anti-coronavirus antibodies