Demands have been made for Dominic Cummings to be sacked for breaking lockdown rules.
Despite the government’s restriction on non-essential journey, the maverick No10 chief, Cummings travelled 246 miles from London to his parents’ Durham farm in March to self-isolate with coronavirus symptoms.
This revelations sparked accusations of hypocrisy with Mr Cummings’ position branded ‘untenable’, and signs of disquiet among Tory MPs.
Dorset police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill warned this morning that the flagrant breach will be thrown in the face of officers as they tried to restrain sun-seeking visitors on what is expected to be a hot bank holiday weekend.
Sources close to Mr Cummings claimed he is ‘not remotely bothered’ about the storm caused by his actions, and there is ‘zero chance’ of him resigning although No10 has refused to comment officially.
MPs said the silence showed Downing Street ‘didn’t give a monkeys’ about the public, while Dave Penman, chair of the FDA civil service union, said stonewalling was the ‘modus operandi’ of No10 and it is ‘not good enough’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today that the ‘integrity’ of the PM himself was at question. ‘Only he can sack or discipline Dominic Cummings,’ he said.
‘The PM’s silence is simply not enough. If he doesn’t think Dominic Cummings has flouted the rules when there seems such an obvious case to answer then he needs to explain that.’
High-profile resignations of architects of the lockdown who flouted rules, such as Prof Neil Fergurson and Scotland chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, have paved a precedent for Mr Cummings to quit.
According to sources, the 48-year-old Number 10 staffer made the 264-mile trip to the North East so his parents could care for his young son in case he and his wife, who were both displaying symptoms, were unable to look after him.
Yet he was afforded little sympathy from Britons wrestling with equally difficult situations during the health crisis, who are expected by the government to stick to the measures.
Mr Johnson’s credibility is also under the spotlight, with questions swirling over whether he knew his senior aide was breaking the lockdown.
When Mr Cummings was announced to have contracted Covid-19 symptoms on March 30, the PM’s official spokesperson told journalists he was isolating ‘at home’.
Downing Street has not commented on the story, muddying the waters as to whether Mr Cummings did not tell the PM about his trip, or whether he did tell his boss and Mr Johnson kept this quiet.
The BBC reported that Mr Cummings and his wife stayed in a separate building at his family’s farm as they both had symptoms of the coronavirus.
He is also said to have told colleagues that he and his wife feared they would not be well enough to look after their small boy.
ITV reported that they decided, already ill, to drive them all to the North.