The British government received hypocritical allegations on Saturday when it was revealed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, traveled more than 400 kilometers to his parents’ home during the national quarantine.
The Guardian and Mirror newspapers reported that Cummings, who lives in London, was seen on the property in Durham, in north-east England, in late March. The quarantine rules imposed on March 23 mandated staying home, leaving only for essential tasks or exercises, and not visiting relatives. People who had symptoms should completely isolate themselves.
Durham police said their officers went to a home on March 32, “explained the family’s self-isolation rules and reiterated relevant advice on essential travel.” Cummings was not identified by name.
Johnson’s office said Cummings made the trip because his wife was showing symptoms of coronavirus, he thought he might also get sick, and his relatives had offered to take care of the couple’s youngest son. He said Cummings believed he had acted “rationally and legally.”
Cummings, a contentious figure in British politics, was one of the architects of the campaign to remove the country from the European Union, and Johnson appointed him as its chief adviser. He is one of the top government officials who has fallen ill with COVID-19. Another is the Prime Minister, who spent three months in intensive care at a London hospital.
Dave Penman, leader of the FDA public employees union, said Johnson must explain why “there seems to be one standard for top government officials and one for the rest of the country.”