Police gave Dominic Cummings' family 'no specific advice on coronavirus' they reveal in new statement on lockdown trip

DURHAM Constabulary gave Dominic Cummings' family "no specific advice on coronavirus" as they have revealed in their new statement over the controversial lockdown trip.

Cummings has faced calls to resign after he was accused of breaking the lockdown three times to see his family 260 miles from his London home.

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Police released an update today to their previous statement from Saturday.

A Durham Constabulary spokespersons said: "We can confirm that on April 1, an officer from Durham Constabulary spoke to the father of Dominic Cummings."

"Mr Cummings confirmed that his son, his son’s wife and child were present at the property. He told the officer that his son and son’s wife were displaying symptoms of coronavirus and were self-isolating in part of the property.

"We can further confirm that our officer gave no specific advice on coronavirus to any members of the family and that Durham Constabulary deemed that no further action was required in that regard.

"Our officer did, however, provide the family with advice on security issues."

Mr Cummings addressed reporters this evening in the Rose Garden of Downing Street where he said he never told the Prime Minister before doing to Durham.

It comes as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson this morning issued a fiery defence of the Prime Ministers top aide resign saying he “didn't break the rules or the law” on lockdown.

Despite a growing backlash from Tory MPs, today Mr Williamson insisted the controversial Vote Leave organiser had done nothing wrong.

He told Sky News: “The guidance is incredibly extensive and at the heart of that guidance is always the issue of safeguarding children and making sure that children are always absolutely protected.

“My understanding is from what the Prime Minister said yesterday is that at every stage Dominic Cummings followed and his family followed the guidance and at no stage did Dominic Cummings or his family break the law.”

The Education Secretary insisted Mr Cummings should not resign “because he has made it clear that he’s broken no rules and he’s broken no laws”.

It comes as:

  • Boris confirmed primary schools WILL open on June 1 with some secondary pupils back in following weeks
  • The PM faces a full-blown Cabinet revolt for sticking by embattled top aide Dominic Cummings over his lockdown breach.
  • It was revealed diabetics have to stay at home to shield against the coronavirus once lockdown is lifted.
  • The coronavirus death toll grew by 118 in 24 hours- the lowest rise of any day since lockdown began
  • The BBC admitted it is pressing ahead with controversial plans to axe the free TV licence for millions of OAPs
  • A “large number” of schools will open next week with pupils and teachers in “protective bubbles”, the Education Secretary confirmed.

The probe comes with Boris Johnson facing a full-blown Cabinet revolt for sticking by his embattled top aide.

Last night PM said he had cleared his most senior adviser of any wrongdoing and branded his actions “sensible and defensible”.

Mr Cummings is accused of ignoring strict government advice by driving his virus-stricken wife, Mary Wakefield, from London to self-isolate at his family farm near Durham.

He spent five hours holed up in No 10 yesterday, fuelling speculation he was about to quit.

But Boris emerged to tell the nation he was standing by his man, who he said was only trying to protect his four-year-old son.

Hosting a tense evening No 10 briefing, Boris dismissed growing calls for an official inquiry.

Instead he insisted Mr Cummings had acted “responsibly, legally and with integrity”, and “stuck to the rules”.

The PM added: “He followed the instinct of every father and every parent, and I do not mark him down for that.”

But that enraged some Cabinet ministers, who are aligning with Tory MPs to demand that Mr Cummings is sacked.

One minister said: “Cummings is going to burn us all. He cannot stay.

"There has to be some contrition from Boris too or he will spend the next ten weeks having to answer questions about it all.

“This is not a bubble story. Real people are furious, because they have been doing the right thing and isolating.”

A second minister added: “The test is simple: Is retaining Cummings a sign of strength or weakness? It’s increasingly looking like the latter.”

A Tory MP in a northern constituency said colleagues there were fuming at No 10.

They told The Sun: “We are f****** livid. We cannot understand why the PM didn’t launch an inquiry to get to the facts.”

Another Tory added: “Are we putting Dom Cummings before the R rate? It looks like it.”

Another said: “I can only think Boris is just dependent on him, like a battery in a Duracell bunny.

“If we don’t sort this the public will turn against us in a big way.”

Boris refused to say if he knew about Mr Cummings’ 260-mile trip or if he had sanctioned it.

He also refused to answer whether ordinary Brits could leave their main residence for elsewhere if they had childcare concerns.

The PM did hint that there were some special circumstances that influenced Mr Cummings’ decision, but “for medical reasons I don’t want to go into it”.

Furious Tory backbenchers are demanding the controversial aide is booted out of his role immediately.

Yesterday Tory MP Steve Baker became the first to publicly call for him to resign.

Appearing on Sky News, he said: “If he doesn’t resign we’ll keep burning through Boris’s political capital.

“I think mums and dads who very much care about their children and who have been foregoing the childcare of their extended family will wonder why he has been allowed to do this.

“We're now in a nonsense position, a pantomime position where it seems if you wish to apply a wide common sense interpretation of the rules you can do, at least if you work in Number 10.

“It’s ridiculous and he has to go.”

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also demanded he go, pointing to the resignation of Scotland's Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood after it was revealed she visited her second home.

She tweeted: "I know it is tough to lose a trusted adviser at the height of crisis, but when it’s a choice of that or integrity of vital public health advice, the latter must come first.

"That’s the judgement I and, to her credit, Catherine Calderwood reached. PM and Cummings should do likewise."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "This was a test of the Prime Minister and he has failed it.

"It is an insult to sacrifices made by the British people that Boris Johnson has chosen to take no action against Dominic Cummings.

"The public will be forgiven for thinking there is one rule for the Prime Minister's closest adviser and another for the British people.

"The Prime Minister's actions have undermined confidence in his own public health message at this crucial time.

"Millions were watching for answers and they got nothing. That's why the Cabinet Secretary must now launch an urgent inquiry."




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