Michael Gove says he has driven with his wife to test his eyesight

26 May 2020, 09:05

Michael Gove says he has driven to test his eyesight

By Kate Buck

Michael Gove has backed Dominic Cummings' claim he drove 60 miles to a beauty spot during the height of lockdown to "test his eyesight" after recovering from suspected coronavirus.

LBC's Nick Ferrari questioned Mr Gove this morning after yesterday's unprecedented press conference in which Boris Johnson's senior aide answered questions about his 260-mile journey during lockdown.

Mr Cummings' said he travelled from London to Durham to seek childcare from his family after both he and his wife fell ill at the end of March.

He has since refused to apologise and said he thinks he did the right thing in making the journey, despite growing calls for him to resign from his position.

Mr Cummings also admitted travelling to Barnard Castle during his time in Durham, claiming he made the 30 mile journey with his wife and small child in the back of the car in order to "test his eyesight".

READ MORE: Dominic Cummings' explanation 'damages public health advice' and 'confuses' police role

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Michael Gove appeared on LBC to defend Dominic Cummings
Michael Gove appeared on LBC to defend Dominic Cummings. Picture: LBC

When asked by Nick Ferrari whether he would have done the same, Mr Gove said: "I have, on occasions in the past, driven with my wife in order to make sure, what's the right way of putting it," Mr Gove said.

Nick Ferrari said he was "staggered," suggesting he did not know how the Government minister was "going to be able to get out of this one."

Mr Gove replied saying: "People who know me would know that I am not an authority on driving" and added he was "not the best person in the world to ask detailed questions about driving."

"I merely asked you if you've ever been on a 60 mile round trip to test your eyesight and you said you had," Nick asked back.

The Minister clarified the point he was "seeking to make" was that he is not an authority on driving as "someone who took seven attempts to pass their driving test, I'm not going to pass judgement on other people's driving."

Nick Ferrari questioned the Cabinet minister this morning
Nick Ferrari questioned the Cabinet minister this morning. Picture: LBC

During this morning's interview, Nick also put it to Mr Gove that Mr Cummings' Land Rover would not have the petrol capacity to get to and from Durham, the minister said he thought he "bought diesel on the way back."

Nick said "so, then he would have risked infecting other people?"

But Mr Gove denied this, "because by the time he drove back he was no longer infectious," and he said that the Prime Minister's senior adviser had received medical advice by this point.

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