LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted calls on Saturday from opposition parties to sack adviser Dominic Cummings after he travelled 400 km (250 miles) to northern England while his wife showed COVID-19 symptoms.
FILE PHOTO: Dominic Cummings, special adviser for Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London, Britain, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
Cummings, who masterminded the 2016 campaign to leave the European Union during the Brexit referendum, travelled to Durham in late March, when a strict lockdown was already in place.
Johnson’s office said Cummings made the journey to ensure his young son could be properly cared for, as his wife was ill with COVID-19 and there was a “high likelihood” that Cummings would himself become unwell.
“I behaved reasonably and legally,” Cummings told reporters outside his house after telling them to stay 2 metres apart in accordance with government guidelines.
When a reporter said it did not look good, he said: “Who cares about good looks – it’s a question of doing the right thing it’s not about what you guys think.”
Downing Street said his “actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines.”
Johnson’s most senior ministers, including Michael Gove, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, defended Cummings.
But opposition parties called for Johnson to sack Cumming