Durham Police have said that Dominic Cummings did break lockdown rules when he travelled 50 miles to Barnard Castle – but they have ruled out taking any further action.
The Prime Minister’s top aide has come under fire for his 60-mile round trip to the beauty spot with his wife Mary Wakefield and four-year-old son on April 12.
Mr Cummings claims he made to the trip to test out his eye-sight to see if he was fit to drive after suffering coronavirus-related issues.
The Brexiteer said he acted ‘lawfully’ at all times when making the 260 mile trip from London to Durham in a highly unusual press conference at No10 on Monday.
After launching a probe into Mr Cummings actions, Durham Police have concluded that he did commit a breach of the guidelines imposed by Boris Johnson in March, as reported by The Telegraph.
But they said they would not be taking any further action against the top advisor.
In a statement the force said: ‘In line with Durham Constabulary’s general approach throughout the pandemic, there is no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident since this would amount to treating
‘Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public. Durham Constabulary has not taken retrospective action against any other person.’
Dominic Cummings (pictured in Downing Street today) is facing backlash over his trip to Durham
A No10 spokesman said the Prime Minister now considers this matter closed after Durham Police decided not to pursue legal action.
They added: ‘The police have made clear they are taking no action against Mr Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations.
‘The Prime Minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed.’
The force found itself at the centre of the explosive political row after saying in a statement that it gave advice on lockdown guidelines and self-isolation when officers visited Mr Cummings’ father on March 31.
On Sunday the force backtracked, saying that officers only gave security advice after learning that Mr Cummings was coming from London with his four-year-old son and wife.
The top aide claims he used the journey on his wife’s birthday to check his vision had recovered enough to drive back to London after suffering suspected Covid-19.
He had already travelled 260 miles from the capital to the North East two weeks before to stay at his parents’ farm.
Road police officers warned it was a bad idea to take to road with impaired vision in the wake of the Cummings case.
Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter wrote on Twitter: ‘Folks, I say this in all sincerity and as an important road safety issue.
‘If you’re feeling unwell and your eyesight may be impaired do not drive your vehicle to test your ability to drive. It’s not a wise move.
‘As a former road death investigator with Hampshire police I have investigated many serious collisions, including fatalities.
‘Some of these were caused by drivers with impaired vision, this is a serious issue. Do not drive if your eyesight is impaired or you feel unwell.’
Boris Johnson ruled out an inquiry into his top advisor yesterday and urged people to ‘move on’ from the incident.
But that has done little to quell anger in the Tory ranks over Mr Cummings behaviour.
Penny Mordaunt, who currently serves as Paymaster General, said there are ‘inconsistencies’ in Mr Cummings’ account and that the row had ‘undermined key public health messages’.
Meanwhile, former chancellor Mr Javid said in a letter to constituents that he did not believe Mr Cummings’ trip to Durham to self-isolate with his family was ‘necessary or justified’.
Though stopping short of calling for the aide’s resignation as many of his Tory colleagues have done, Mr Javid did call on him to apologise for the controversial journey.
Mr Javid wrote in the letter to constituents: ‘Mr Cummings has argued he acted within the letter of the law.
‘As a father myself, I also appreciate the fear and uncertainty one can feel when the safety of your child is potentially at stake.
‘That being said I do not believe Mr Cummings’ journey to County Durham to isolate on his family’s estate was necessary or justified. I remain unconvinced his visit to Barnard Castle could be considered reasonable.
‘I was also deeply concerned by his decision to return to Downing Street directly after coming into contact with a family member who was ill, potentially with coronavirus.’
Source: Daily Mail – Articles