As the Government desperately struggles to contain a scandal at the heart of Downing Street, you can always count on the British public to take the mick.
Dominic Cummings and his decision to bolt up to Durham despite Boris Johnson telling us all to stay at home, have inspired a wave of fake reviews on Tripadvisor.
Ever since reports emerged claiming the Prime Minister’s chief adviser was spotted at a beauty spot near Barnard Castle on April 12 – some 260 miles away from his home in north London – the small market town has been getting a lot of attention online.
A reviewer called ‘D.Cummings’ said they ‘had a bit of a cough so thought I’d get away from the city and stroll about doing whatever I want’.
‘I know the law says not the travel unnecessarily but I’ve got a mate in a high place so I’m not worried about adhering to rules,’ the reviewer wrote.
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‘If all else fails I’ll blame the kids. Lovely spot though, I licked everything while I was there.’
Someone who goes by ‘Classic Dom’ poked fun at the PM’s aide, saying they have ‘a very stressful job… so you can imagine how great it was to get away from it all with my family.’
Classic Dom added: ‘Pulled a sickie at work and dashed up for a chilled out couple of weeks including wander around this place. Spoiled a bit by some old coffin-dodger who kept pointing at us, but the Mrs coughed on his car handle as we left so that’s him sorted. Classic!’
Another reviewer called James from Leicester said he couldn’t ‘believe I saw Dominic Cummings there!’
He added: ‘He was a really lovely guy but didn’t seem to stop coughing and was sweating profusely? Other than that, great day out to break lockdown.’
The storm around Mr Cummings’ position in Downing Street has also sparked a furious petition from the public, with a quarter of a million people signing in just two days.
The PM is facing increasing pressure to sack Mr Cummings, but he has so-far defended the senior aide, who apparently made the trip to Durham because he feared he would be unable to care for his son.
A Downing Street statement even described Mr Cummings’ trip as ‘essential’, despite the Government’s own travel guidance stating ‘essential travel does not include visits to second homes, campsites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.’
When Boris Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown on March 23, he told the nation: ‘I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.’
Police confirmed Mr Cummings definitely broke this key guidance as officers spoke to his father about him being in Durham on March 31, after the regulations came into force in England on March 26.
Mr Cummings and his wife, who were experiencing coronavirus symptoms, stayed in a property ‘adjacent’ to his parents’ home.
Downing Street insisted Mr Cummings ‘stayed put’ at the property in Durham for 14 days and made the trip as he needed childcare support. But eyewitness accounts have suggested he flouted rules by travelling 30 miles to a beauty spot in Barnard Castle.
Mr Cummings then returned to London on April 14, but witnesses in Durham say they saw him back in the area on April 19, close to his parents’ home on a walk with his wife.
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Source: Metro News UK