"The PM has created a dangerous umbilical cord to Cummings," Lord Heseltine tells James O'Brien

25 May 2020, 13:58 | Updated: 25 May 2020, 14:10

By Fiona Jones

The former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine told James O'Brien that Boris Johnson has created an "umbilical cord" to Dominic Cummings which is a "dangerous thing to do."

The Prime Minister defended senior aide Dominic Cummings in Sunday's press briefing after reports he flouted lockdown rules by travelling to Durham from his London home on multiple occasions.

The Former Deputy Prime Minister said that Boris Johnson made the right decision leading Sunday's press conference and confronting the "very real public concern" that Dominic Cummings' decision to go to Durham had created.

However, he said, the questions did not have very satisfactory answers, despite being predictable.

"Boris has created an umbilical cord to Dominic Cummings which in the end is a very dangerous thing for a Prime Minister to do," he said.

James asked if Lord Heseltine could remember the Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Church of England uniting against a Conservative Prime Minister.

"The PM has created a dangerous umbilical cord to Cummings," Lord Heseltine tells James O&squot;Brien
"The PM has created a dangerous umbilical cord to Cummings," Lord Heseltine tells James O'Brien. Picture: LBC/PA

Lord Heseltine replied: "The one that haunts me...is the Profumo affair where the Prime Minister, for whom I have very high regard, relied on the word of a minister because he just believed he could trust him and it turned out the word was bogus.

"I'm just worried... you have this very close relationship between the Prime Minister and Mr Cummings and there are questions which should be simple to answer. The most simple question that Boris didn't answer, and I can't understand why, is did Dominic Cummings break not just the first visit but one or two others?

The Prime Minister's excusing of Dominic Cummings is based on an emotional appeal that he was doing the best for his child, with which the British public may be able to empathise, he said.

However, Lord Heseltine continued, "Nothing can explain the visit to Barnham Castle and when the Prime Minister said...most of the allegations are false, it implies that some were genuine. The Barnham Castle comes in that category until there is a categoric assurance that it didn't happen."

Durham Police has been asked to "establish the facts concerning any potential breach of the law" surrounding Dominic Cummings' visit to the county.

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