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The No10 adviser was spotted at his parents’ home in Durham, 260 miles from London, in early April after he developed coronavirus symptoms. A joint investigation by the Mirror and the Guardian found that he made the journey from London to Durham during the height of the lockdown shortly after he was seen running out of Downing Street when Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus in late March. Mr Johnson had told people they “must stay at home” in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Police are understood to have been notified of Mr Cummings presence at the Durham property by a member of the public.
Durham Constabulary have confirmed officers contacted the homeowners about the matter, but Downing Street has said neither Mr Cummings nor his parents were spoken to by police.
A spokesman for the force told the Guardian: “On Tuesday, March 31, our officers were made aware of reports that an individual had travelled from London to Durham and was present at an address in the city.
“Officers made contact with the owners of that address who confirmed that the individual in question was present and was self-isolating in part of the house.
“In line with national policing guidance, officers explained to the family the guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel.”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said the aide’s position was “completely untenable”.
He said: “He must resign or be sacked.”
Sir Ed Davey, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, called for Mr Cummings to quit over the allegations.
A spokesman for Labour said: “The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings.”
As the news broke on Saturday morning, Downing Street issued a statement vehemently denying Mr Cummings had flouted lockdown rules.
They said the No10 adviser had travelled up north with his child but had not stayed with his parents’.
The statement read: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.
“His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed.
“His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.
“At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported.
“His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines.
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“Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.”
The development will not doubt irritate the public who have been in lockdown for two months.
Millions are facing their ninth weekend under strict measures and some will have no choice but to spend the bank holiday weekend apart from family members.
The Guardian reported that Mr Cummings, 48, was spotted near the gate of his parents’ home with a young child – believed to be his son – at around 5.45pm on Sunday April 5.
The sighting is said to have happened five days after police received a report about Mr Cummings in Durham.
Hours after he was allegedly seen on April 5, Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital suffering from coronavirus.
An unnamed neighbour said they saw Mr Cummings in the garden of his parents’ home five days after police are believed to have contacted the family on March 31.
They said Abba’s Dancing Queen was playing loudly.
They said: “I got the shock of my life, as I looked over to the gates and saw him.
“I recognised Dominic Cummings, he’s a very distinctive figure.”
Mr Johnson is being pressured to sack Mr Cummings over the matter.
Downing Street previously confirmed that Mr Cummings had started displaying coronavirus symptoms “over the weekend” of March 28 and 29.
Even before the lockdown, Mr Johnson set out a stark warning to the nation, saying on March 16 that “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel”.
Lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government with the Prime Minister facing pressure to sack his closest aide after it emerged that he travelled to his parents’ home despite coronavirus-related restrictions.
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