Cummings: 'Gang threatened to kill everyone in my Islington home'
- Credit: PA
Dominic Cummings has said he broke lockdown rules last year after his wife claimed there was a gang outside their Islington home threatening to "break in and kill everybody inside”.
Before MPs today, Boris Johnson's former chief advisor explained his much-criticised action to leave London for his family home in County Durham at the height of the pandemic.
He claimed there were security issues he had not previously revealed and that he had left out this “crucial part” of his explanation when he held a press conference in Downing Street’s rose garden last year.
Giving evidence before a committee of MPs on coronavirus, he said he was “extremely sorry” about the episode which was "definitely a major disaster for the Government and for the Covid policy”.
He said his wife had told him about the gang outside their home in De Beauvoir in February.
It was decided with the Cabinet Office that because of the combination of threats and press coverage, he would move his family out of Islington.
After his trip was reported by newspapers, he said: “The Prime Minister and I agreed that because of the security things, we would basically just stonewall the story and not say anything about it.
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“I was extremely mindful of the problem that when you talk about these things, you cause more trouble for yourself, and I’d already put my wife and child in the firing line on it. So I said, I’m not talking about this, we should shut our mouths about it.”
However, he said the PM came under pressure to explain and it was agreed the press conference would be called, but Mr Cummings said he made the “terrible, terrible, terrible mistake” of not sending his family out of Islington again and telling the whole truth.
“I ended up giving the whole rose garden thing where what I said was true, but we left out a kind of crucial part of it all,” he said.
“And it just … the whole thing was a complete disaster and the truth is – and then it undermined public confidence in the whole thing – the truth is, if I just when the Prime Minister said on a Monday, ‘we can’t hold this line, we’re going to have to explain things’, if I just basically sent my family back out of London and said here’s the truth to the public, I think people would have understood the situation.
“It was a terrible misjudgement not to do that. So I take … the Prime Minister got that wrong, I got that wrong.”
The hearing is continuing this afternoon.