Boris Johnson urged to prove Islington advisor Dominic Cummings did not take second Durham trip
PUBLISHED: 15:52 10 August 2020
Boris Johnson is facing calls to prove his chief aide Dominic Cummings, who lives in Islington, did not make a second trip to Durham during the lockdown.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner called on Downing Street to publish any evidence the adviser has that he did not make the additional journey during the peak of the coronavirus crisis.
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Dave and Clare Edwards say they saw Mr Cummings walking in Houghall Woods on April 19, the weekend after he had returned to work in London, and have criticised Durham police’s investigation into the adviser.
They have reportedly filed an official complaint to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Mr Cummings told a Downing Street press conference in May that photos and data on his phone prove the allegation is false.
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Ms Rayner said: “The public have a right to know whether the Prime Minister’s chief adviser made a second lockdown-breaching trip to Durham, and it is surely therefore only right that this evidence is produced.
“If Dominic Cummings was in London during both the morning and afternoon of the April 19, and not in Durham as has been alleged, I’m sure that the Prime Minister will welcome this opportunity to set the record straight.”
Durham Constabulary said they will not take “retrospective action” despite the potential “minor breach” of lockdown laws by making a trip to the North East with his family in April.
This included a visit to Barnard Castle which he said he used to test his eyesight after an illness.
A spokeswoman for IOPC said the complaint was forwarded to Durham police: “It will now be a matter for the force to determine the next steps, including whether this complaint merits referral to the IOPC.”
A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “As outlined in our statement of May 28, Durham Constabulary carried out an investigation into this matter, led by a senior detective, and found insufficient evidence to support the allegation.”
The new allegation follows publication of University College London research which said Mr Cummings’ trip to Durham while suffering from coronavirus drastically undermined public trust in the government’s handling of the pandemic.
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