The Prime Minister’s former most senior adviser Dominic Cummings, who was castigated for taking his household out of London on the peak of lockdown, says there’s a real reason he did it – which he could not clarify.
During the lockdown Mr Cummings fled London and moved his household to County Durham – together with making a visit to Barnard Castle.
Mr Cummings, who had Covid-19 on the time, later held a press convention in the Rose Garden of Number 10 Downing Street the place he justified his journey, and mentioned the time out to Barnard Castle was to check his eyesight.
Dominic Cummings has mentioned he overlooked a “essential half” of his clarification as to why he broke lockdown guidelines and travelled to County Durham when he held a press convention in Downing Street’s rose backyard final yr.
As the lockdown was put in place throughout the nation, Cummings moved his household to the house of family members in the north.
But Mr Cummings now says there was a severe safety risk he could not reveal on the time.
Speaking to a committee of MPs this afternoon he mentioned: “In autumn 2019 I needed to transfer out of my home due to safety threats for about six weeks.”
Mr Cummings instructed MPs he was “extraordinarily sorry” in regards to the episode and that “that complete episode was positively a serious catastrophe for the Government and for the Covid coverage”, however mentioned there have been safety points he had not beforehand revealed.
He says mobs had gathered exterior his home due to his function in the Government’s Covid response.
Mr Cummings mentioned earlier than leaving London he had a name from his spouse saying: “There’s a gang of individuals exterior they usually say they’ll break in and kill everybody.””
Mr Cummings says he mentioned the matter with Boris Johnson and the Cabinet Secretary and was given clearance to maneuver himself and his household out of London.
He says the one time police spoke to him about him leaving London was to debate safety – to not focus on a breach in safety.
He mentioned in February his spouse had instructed him there was a gang exterior the household residence “saying they’re going to interrupt into the home and kill everyone inside”, and it was determined with the Cabinet Office after that – mixed with press protection with prompted extra threats – that he would transfer his household out of London to his mother and father’ residence in County Durham no matter lockdown guidelines.
After his journey was reported by newspapers, he mentioned: “The Prime Minister and I agreed that due to the safety issues, we might mainly simply stonewall the story and never say something about it.
“I used to be extraordinarily aware of the issue that if you speak about this stuff, you trigger extra hassle for your self, and I’d already put my spouse and baby in the firing line on it. So I mentioned, I’m not speaking about this, we should always shut our mouths about it.”
However, he mentioned the PM got here underneath stress to elucidate and it was agreed the press convention can be known as, however Mr Cummings mentioned he made the “horrible, horrible, horrible mistake” of not sending his household out of London once more and telling the entire reality.
“I ended up giving the entire rose backyard factor the place what I mentioned was true, however we overlooked a sort of essential a part of all of it,” he mentioned.
“And it simply … the entire thing was a whole catastrophe and the reality is – after which it undermined public confidence in the entire thing – the reality is, if I simply when the Prime Minister mentioned on a Monday, ‘we are able to’t maintain this line, we’re going to have to elucidate issues’, if I simply mainly despatched my household again out of London and mentioned right here’s the reality to the general public, I feel folks would have understood the state of affairs.
“It was a horrible misjudgment not to try this. So I take … the Prime Minister received that flawed, I received that flawed.”