UK faces political crisis after Boris Johnson’s top advisor breached lockdown
A political crisis is brewing in Britain after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s closest aide defied calls to quit over an apparent breach of the country’s coronavirus lockdown rules.
On Monday, Dominic Cummings defended his decision to travel 260 miles from London to Durham, northern England, days after the U.K. went into lockdown. The move has provoked anger from the public and led to the resignation of a government minister.
In a press conference, Cummings said his trip to family in Durham was within the scope of the restrictions because he needed to seek childcare in case both he and his wife fell ill. This, he argued, was one of the “exceptional circumstances” allowed under the government’s lockdown measures. His wife had symptoms of Covid-19 at the time of the journey.
The political strategist said he didn’t inform the prime minister about the trip ahead of time, which he admitted was “arguably” a mistake. But he said he does not regret his actions and has not considered resigning over it, insisting he “behaved reasonably.”
However, his explanation hasn’t convinced everyone. On Tuesday, Scotland Minister Douglas Ross announced he was resigning from government due to “events over the last few days.”
Ross said that, while he accepted that Cummings’ statement on Monday “clarified” his actions, “these were decisions many others felt were not available to them.”