Maajid Nawaz's instant reaction after police say Dominic Cummings "might have" breached rules
28 May 2020, 14:07
This was Maajid Nawaz's instant reaction after police say Dominic Cummings "might have" breached rules.
A police investigation has concluded that Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings "might have" broken coronavirus lockdown rules.
Durham Constabulary concluded Mr Cummings would have been in minor breach of lockdown rules had he been stopped by an officer when he drove to Barnard Castle, but the force will not take any retrospective action against him.
Speaking on his LBC show, Maajid Nawaz called this development significant as it "really does damage the stance that the Prime Minister has taken that they believe he hasn't [broken the rules]."
Maajid reflected that the President of Austria was fined for staying in a restaurant beyond the time he was allowed to in breach of his own rules.
The President apologised and paid the fine which was "cathartic", said Maajid, "so maybe Mr Cummings needs to come out and say sorry for the Barnard Castle trip, I drove 40 minutes to test my eyesight with my wife and kid in the car, it doesn't make any sense."
"Maybe that's a bit of catharsis that the nation needs to move beyond this."
A spokesperson for Durham Police said: "On 12 April 2020, Mr Cummings drove approximately 26 miles from his father’s property to Barnard Castle with his wife and son.
"He stated on 25 May 2020 that the purpose of this drive was to test his resilience to drive to London the following day, including whether his eyesight was sufficiently recovered, his period of self-isolation having ended."
Durham Police said following an investigation around his journey to Barnard Castle officers concluded that there "might have been a minor breach of the Regulations that would have warranted police intervention."
The force said they view this as minor because there was "no apparent breach of social distancing."
"Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis.
"Had this advice been accepted by Mr Cummings, no enforcement action would have been taken," the force said.
Number 10 responded to the police statement:
"The police have made clear they are taking no action are taking no action against Mr Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations."
"The Prime Minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed."