Good Morning. Boris Johnson is facing increasing pressure to fire its closest adviser, after reports that he violated the blocking rules in March.
A joint investigation by the Guardian and Mirror newspapers revealed that the police talked to Dominic Cummings, the prime minister's chief adviser, after he visited his parents' home in Durham, 427 km from his London home, while showing symptoms of coronavirus in late March.
Cummings and his wife, who was also in symptoms, stayed with their parents while they were isolated. A source close to Cummings denied the BBC a breach of coronavirus rules, saying the couple needed help with child care. They added that the couple stayed in a separate building on the property.
Just a few days earlier, the government had told the public to avoid all non-essential travel, not to meet family members who do not live with them, and to stay home – with fines in places for those who broke the rules – and Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock had tested positive for Covid-19. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus was also instructed to isolate themselves at home and not to leave the house for seven days – even for essential supplies. The prime minister also said clearly that children should not be left with grandparents or older relatives "who may be particularly vulnerable or belong to some of the vulnerable groups".
The job required number 10 "to provide a very quick explanation for your actions". Party vice president Tulip Sadiq said:
If necessary, the prime minister's chief advisor appears to have violated the blocking rules. The government's guidance was very clear: stay at home and don't make non-essential trips.Advertisement
The British people do not expect there to be a rule for them and another for Dominic Cummings. Number 10 needs to provide a very quick explanation for your actions.
Interim Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey tweeted:
If Dominic Cummings violated the blocking guidelines, he will have to resign. It's that simple.Advertisement
And Ian Blackford, Westminster leader of the Scottish national party, said:
Dominic Cummings' position is completely untenable – he must resign or be fired.
But a source close to Cummings said there was a "zero chance" that he would step down.
Cummings is the most recent prominent figure who broke the government's blocking rules. Professor Neil Ferguson, whose epidemiological modeling helped shape the blocking policy, resigned in early May, when it was revealed that he broke the rules to receive visits from your lover in your home. And Scotland's medical chief, Catherine Calderwood, had to go after she emerged in early April that she visited her second home twice, despite her own advice to the public to avoid all non-essential travel.
I will present all the latest developments in the UK on the coronavirus pandemic throughout the day. So feel free to get in touch with tips, advice, comments or news suggestions.