Piers Morgan has issued an angry ultimatum to Boris Johnson over claims his chief aide, Dominic Cummings, broke lockdown rules by visiting his parents.
‘If Boris doesn’t fire Cummings today, then I will deem the Lockdown over & drive down to see my parents (from a 2m distance) for the first time in 12 weeks. I’m not having one rule for these clowns & another for the rest of us,’ The Good Morning Britain star posted on Twitter.
Mr Cummings stands accused of breaking Government rules by travelling hundreds of miles to his parents’ home in Durham from his home in London while he and his wife were said to be isolating because of coronavirus symptoms.
Piers Morgan has issued an angry ultimatum on Twitter to Boris Johnson over claims his chief aide, Dominic Cummings, broke lockdown rules by visiting his parents
Mr Morgan’s ultimatum issued to Number 10 to sack Cummings on Saturday came as Downing Street defended the 48-year-old top aide.
In a series of Tweets, Piers Morgan replied to members of the government who were standing behind Mr Cummings.
‘Oh please. Cummings brazenly broke the rules YOUR Govt – advised by HIM – enforced on everyone else,’ he said in response to a tweet by Michael Gove that read: ‘Caring for your wife and child is not a crime.’
‘I’m not having one rule for these clowns & another for the rest of us,’ The Good Morning Britain star posted on Twitter
Along with support from Cabinet minister Michael Gove, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Chancellor Rishi Sunak also offered backing to Mr Cummings.
Rabb wrote on Twitter: ‘It’s reasonable and fair to ask for an explanation on this. And it has been provided: two parents with Coronavirus, were anxiously taking care of their young child. Those now seeking to politicise it should take a long hard look in the mirror. ‘
To which Mr Morgan wrote: ‘Sorry? The No10 statement says Cummings didn’t have the virus when he did this, and his wife was only ‘suspected’ of having the virus – in which case she should have stayed at home & self-isolated according to your Govt rules.’
Dominic Cummings (pictured) stands accused of breaking Government rules by travelling hundreds of miles to his parents home in Durham
The maverick No10 chief travelled with his wife and son from London to his parents’ Durham farm in March to self-isolate with coronavirus symptoms, despite the government’s own restrictions banning non-essential journeys.
He was spotted by a witness at the gate of the property, with Abba’s Dancing Queen playing loudly.
But in a defiant statement this morning, a No. 10 spokesman said he had not broken any guidelines with the 264-mile trip.
‘Owing to his wife being infected with suspected Coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for,’ the spokesman said.
In a defiant statement this morning, a No. 10 spokesman said he had not broken any guidelines with the 264-mile trip. (Boris Johnson pictured outside Number 10, Downing Street applauding carers in what’s known as ‘The Clap For Our Carers’ on May 21)
‘His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed. His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.
Although Durham police has confirmed the family was given advice on lockdown rules, the statement added: ‘At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.’
Allies pointed to a comment from deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries on March 24, when she was asked what parents should do if both fall ill. ‘A small child is vulnerable. If adults cannot look after the child, that is an exceptional circumstance,’ Dr Harries said.
However, the government guidance said that those self-isolating ‘must stay at home and not leave the house’, as well as ‘staying away’ from vulnerable elderly people. In an account of their ordeal published last month, Mr Cummings’ journalist wife Mary Wakefield also described how he was nursed by their small son with Ribena – suggesting he stayed with them throughout. The PM’s official spokesman told reporters at the time that Mr Cummings was isolating ‘at home’.
In a series of Tweets, Piers Morgan replied to members of the government who were standing behind Mr Cummings
The bombshell revelations sparked accusations of hypocrisy with Mr Cummings’ position branded ‘untenable’, and signs of disquiet among Tory MPs.
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘The lockdown rules were very clear: if you or anyone in your household was suspected of having Covid-19 you must immediately self-isolate and not leave the house. However, the Prime Minister’s Chief Adviser appears to believe that it is one rule for him and another for the British people.
‘This will cause understandable anger for the millions of people who have sacrificed so much during this crisis.
Mr Morgan also hit back at Dominic Rabb on Twitter who said Cummings and his wife ‘were anxiously taking care of their young child’
‘We are still unclear who knew about this decision and when, whether this was sanctioned by the Prime Minister and whether Number 10 is now questioning the validity of the statement from Durham Police.’
SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford told BBC Radio 4’s Today that there seemed to have been a ‘cover up’ and Mr Cummings ‘should have gone by now’.
But sources close to Mr Cummings claimed there is ‘zero chance’ of him resigning.
A close friend of Mr Cummings said overnight: ‘He isn’t remotely bothered by this story, it’s more fake news from the Guardian.
High-profile resignations of architects of the lockdown who flouted rules, such as Prof Neil Fergurson and Scotland chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood, have paved a precedent for Mr Cummings to quit.